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Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

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Old May 16 2013, 05:18 PM   #16
Third Nacelle
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

^If a crane dropped a steel beam on your head from twenty stories up, you won't notice any difference either.

Admiral Buzzkill wrote: View Post
How do I know that my consciousness doesn't die every instant - or, to simplify, during periods of unconsciousness like sleep?

We believe that we're forever one being because we have memory - that's really our only evidence for this peculiar assumption. As long as that's passed on from the original to the copy, does it make a difference?
I believe I am one continuous being because I have the same heart, lungs, spleen, skin, toenails, and trachea this morning that I had last night. Those things are just as much a part of me as my consciousness, maybe more so. I can't even prove I am conscious or explain what the hell consciousness is. Neither can you. If I transport from point A to point B, it will make absolutely no difference to the guy who steps of the pad at the other end. But it will make a hell of a difference to me.

It's sort of like the ship of Theseus question... except instead of all the parts being gradually replaced over time, the entire ship is replaced all at once.

Most of the matter in my body right now will, quite literally, have been flushed down the toilet six months from now. But it's a slow process and for everything I lose, I assimilate something else. I don't see how you can say a person, or any object, that has been totally converted to energy all at once, then back to matter and reassembled the same thing, no matter how identical.
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Old May 16 2013, 06:03 PM   #17
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

Timo wrote: View Post
The guy who gets created apparently can't feel any difference, either. And I'm that guy after using the device, so sign me in.
No you're not. That's the point. Every time you use a transporter, you die. You're never the guy after, that's always a different guy.

iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
Tiberius wrote: View Post
iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
A difference which makes no difference is no difference at all.
But it makes a big difference to the guy who gets vaporized in order to create an exact copy at the other end.
Since he won't notice any difference: no, it doesn't.
He will notice a big difference in that it will be the end of his life, he will cease to be, he will be bereft of life, he will have expired and gone to meet its maker. When you are alive, being dead is something completely different. It can't be more different than that: it's the opposite.
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Old May 16 2013, 06:12 PM   #18
Timelord Victorious
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

The Mirrorball Man wrote: View Post
Timo wrote: View Post
The guy who gets created apparently can't feel any difference, either. And I'm that guy after using the device, so sign me in.
No you're not. That's the point. Every time you use a transporter, you die. You're never the guy after, that's always a different guy.

iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
Tiberius wrote: View Post
But it makes a big difference to the guy who gets vaporized in order to create an exact copy at the other end.
Since he won't notice any difference: no, it doesn't.
He will notice a big difference in that it will be the end of his life, he will cease to be, he will be bereft of life, he will have expired and gone to meet its maker. When you are alive, being dead is something completely different. It can't be more different than that: it's the opposite.
So you are assuming that what makes you you is intrinsically tied to a soul that obviously must be but can't be transfered to the "new" body.
Because if all you are is the matter and energy making up your body and emerging conciousness is 100% the same before and after than there is no difference to you existing from one planck time to the next, it's just that you continue your existence in an entirely different place in space.
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Old May 16 2013, 07:01 PM   #19
The Mirrorball Man
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

Timelord_Victorious wrote: View Post
So you are assuming that what makes you you is intrinsically tied to a soul that obviously must be but can't be transfered to the "new" body.
Because if all you are is the matter and energy making up your body and emerging conciousness is 100% the same before and after than there is no difference to you existing from one planck time to the next, it's just that you continue your existence in an entirely different place in space.
I am assuming that if you get vaporized, your life ends, even though you may have an identical twin somewhere. Really, I'm not making a metaphysical point. Yes, after you've been anihilated by the transporter beam, someone who is identical to you is created, and from a philosophical, cosmic point of view, I guess nothing has changed. But from a practical, existential point of view, your life ends, you can't do anything anymore, you're dead.
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Old May 16 2013, 07:32 PM   #20
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

I am not. Only one of my potentially infinite bodily incarnations is.

The point of the kill-copy transporter is that the individual is no longer consigned to a single body. If there's some sort of a "unique identity" associated with one of the incarnations, it's associated with all the rest as well, because it's not possible to assign different identities to identical copies.

I mean, yeah, you could say "Hey you! You the third identical copy from the left!". But you can't do that with the kill-copy transporter, because the copy cannot be distinguished from the original even in terms of spatial coordinates, not at any point of time as the two won't exist in parallel. Any sort of "identity" assigned here is purely fictional and of no consequence to anybody except those who choose to care about utter fiction (yeah, yeah, all the folks here, but with a somewhat different flavor).

There's no "me" that would exist outside the unbroken chain of incarnations, and nothing stops, nothing starts. Thus it's no different from blinking your eyes, or farting, except that your state of existence is altered much less between "before" and "after".

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Old May 16 2013, 10:26 PM   #21
iguana_tonante
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
^If a crane dropped a steel beam on your head from twenty stories up, you won't notice any difference either.
But the world will notice. And what a sad day it would be for the universe!

On the other hand, if another me was somehow created at the same time, with the same memories and the same brain patterns, no one will notice any difference. Not me. Nor anybody. So, for all reasons and purposes, there will be no difference.

Tiberius wrote: View Post
I don't see how you can say a person, or any object, that has been totally converted to energy all at once, then back to matter and reassembled the same thing, no matter how identical.
That makes no sense. If they are identical, then they are identical, which means there is no way to distinguish between the two.

If you disassemble a house, brick by brick, move it in another place, and they reassemble it without any loss of information, then it's the same house.

Beside, if you look small enough, matter is basically empty space, energy, and information. If we can transport energy and information, then we can transport matter.

In the end, it all boils down if you believe there is some "ineffable" quality in matter that can't be measured, copied, or transported (even using "magical" technology as the transporter). Basically, if you believe in souls.
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Old May 16 2013, 11:13 PM   #22
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

I don't believe in souls, which is precisely why I DON'T believe the original person survives transport. You're the one claiming that there is some immeasurable identity being passed from original to copy during transport.

I am saying that what I am is a body sitting at a desk right now. If I am converted to energy, I am no more, regardless of whether that energy is converted into an identical copy of me or not. Saying that the copy is still me means there is something more than the sum of my parts that gets passed on, and I just don't see it.
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Old May 16 2013, 11:48 PM   #23
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
I don't believe in souls, which is precisely why I DON'T believe the original person survives transport.
"Survives" is a loaded term. The original body/person is in one place, then it is no more, and then it is in another place.

Is it the same body? Yes (or at least, that's how the magical technology of transporter is supposed to work). So, the issue can't be one of material component. The issue seems to be continuity of consciousness. You seem to imply that there should be continuity of consciousness to be the same person. But we don't have continuity of consciousness. Every time you fall asleep, your consciousness is interrupted. During the night, a lot of stuff happens inside your body: molecules are created and destroyed, atoms are shifted around, and particles do all the crazy stuff that particles do. Does the original person survive the night? Or a slightly different copy wakes up in the morning, thinking it is the original?

If you fall asleep on a plane, you can travel thousands of miles before you regain consciousness. From your own point of view, how is it different from travelling with a transporter?

Or, taking a slightly different approach but still asking the same question: what is lost inside the transporter? It can't be matter, it can't be energy, it can't be information. So what is it?

Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
You're the once claiming that there is some immeasurable identity being passed from original to copy during transport.
No. I am arguing that identity is a consequence, not a premise. (*)

Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
I am saying that what I am is a body sitting at a desk right now. If I am converted to energy, I am no more
But then you are again.

Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
regardless of whether that energy is converted into an identical copy of me or not.
If the copy is identical, how is it not you?

Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
Saying that the copy is still me means there is something more than the sum of my parts that gets passed on, and I just don't see it.
No. Refer to (*).
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Old May 17 2013, 01:41 AM   #24
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
I don't believe in souls, which is precisely why I DON'T believe the original person survives transport.
"Survives" is a loaded term. The original body/person is in one place, then it is no more, and then it is in another place.

Is it the same body? Yes (or at least, that's how the magical technology of transporter is supposed to work). So, the issue can't be one of material component. The issue seems to be continuity of consciousness. You seem to imply that there should be continuity of consciousness to be the same person. But we don't have continuity of consciousness. Every time you fall asleep, your consciousness is interrupted. During the night, a lot of stuff happens inside your body: molecules are created and destroyed, atoms are shifted around, and particles do all the crazy stuff that particles do. Does the original person survive the night? Or a slightly different copy wakes up in the morning, thinking it is the original?

If you fall asleep on a plane, you can travel thousands of miles before you regain consciousness. From your own point of view, how is it different from travelling with a transporter?

Or, taking a slightly different approach but still asking the same question: what is lost inside the transporter? It can't be matter, it can't be energy, it can't be information. So what is it?

Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
You're the once claiming that there is some immeasurable identity being passed from original to copy during transport.
No. I am arguing that identity is a consequence, not a premise. (*)

But then you are again.

Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
regardless of whether that energy is converted into an identical copy of me or not.
If the copy is identical, how is it not you?

Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
Saying that the copy is still me means there is something more than the sum of my parts that gets passed on, and I just don't see it.
No. Refer to (*).
if I take your car, make an exact duplicate of it and then destroy the original, has your car remained undamaged?
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Old May 17 2013, 01:44 AM   #25
Tiberius
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
Tiberius wrote: View Post
I don't see how you can say a person, or any object, that has been totally converted to energy all at once, then back to matter and reassembled the same thing, no matter how identical.
That makes no sense. If they are identical, then they are identical, which means there is no way to distinguish between the two.

If you disassemble a house, brick by brick, move it in another place, and they reassemble it without any loss of information, then it's the same house.
But that's not how the transporter works.

A better analogy would be that you disassemble the house brick by brick, get an expert sculptor to make exact duplicates of each brick, then put the duplicates back together and destroy the originals.

In the end, it all boils down if you believe there is some "ineffable" quality in matter that can't be measured, copied, or transported (even using "magical" technology as the transporter). Basically, if you believe in souls.
No, I'm just saying that an exact copy of me isn't me. If it was, it wouldn't be called a copy.
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Old May 17 2013, 01:51 AM   #26
iguana_tonante
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

Given the duplicate is mine as well, that is my car now.

So let me ask you: if I take your car, make an exact duplicate of it, and give it to you, will you notice any difference? Will the car?
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Old May 17 2013, 01:51 AM   #27
Tiberius
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

[QUOTE=iguana_tonante;8099512]
Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
Is it the same body? Yes (or at least, that's how the magical technology of transporter is supposed to work).
If I take a perfect photocopy of a piece of paper, then destroy the original, can we still say I have the original?

So, the issue can't be one of material component. The issue seems to be continuity of consciousness. You seem to imply that there should be continuity of consciousness to be the same person. But we don't have continuity of consciousness. Every time you fall asleep, your consciousness is interrupted. During the night, a lot of stuff happens inside your body: molecules are created and destroyed, atoms are shifted around, and particles do all the crazy stuff that particles do. Does the original person survive the night? Or a slightly different copy wakes up in the morning, thinking it is the original?

If you fall asleep on a plane, you can travel thousands of miles before you regain consciousness. From your own point of view, how is it different from travelling with a transporter?
Except the person snoozing on the plane doesn't have his body destroyed, does he?

Or, taking a slightly different approach but still asking the same question: what is lost inside the transporter? It can't be matter, it can't be energy, it can't be information. So what is it?
Yes, it IS matter. When the transporter takes you apart, your body ceases to exist as matter. You lose the matter of your body.

Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
regardless of whether that energy is converted into an identical copy of me or not.
If the copy is identical, how is it not you?
Two cars that come off the production line are identical. Are they the one car? Of course not.
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Old May 17 2013, 02:45 AM   #28
iguana_tonante
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

Tiberius wrote: View Post
iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
If you disassemble a house, brick by brick, move it in another place, and they reassemble it without any loss of information, then it's the same house.
But that's not how the transporter works.
Actually, in the magical universe of Star Trek, that's exactly how the transporter works.

From Memory Alpha:

Matter stream

In a transporter system, the matter stream referred to the energized form of the matter being transported.

Transporter matter stream
The matter stream consisted of the stream of sub-atomic particles that resulted from the dematerialization of a transport subject. The stream was relocated from the original site of the subject, passed through the pattern buffer, transferred as an energy beam, and rematerialized into its original form again at its destination (often a transporter platform).

Tiberius wrote: View Post
A better analogy would be that you disassemble the house brick by brick, get an expert sculptor to make exact duplicates of each brick, then put the duplicates back together and destroy the originals.
Given the above explanation, an even better analogy (always taking in mind that analogies are inherently flawed - quantum particles are definitively unbricky in their properties and behaviour) would be this: disassemble the house brick by brick, make each brick into powder separately, move the separate bags of powder into a different location, remake every brick with the same matter and the same pattern, and rebuild the house. As you can see, the issue becomes much more muddied.

Tiberius wrote: View Post
No, I'm just saying that an exact copy of me isn't me. If it was, it wouldn't be called a copy.
The point is that it isn't just a copy. It's a copy made of the same materials, with the same patterns, who thinks it's the original.

Tiberius wrote: View Post
If I take a perfect photocopy of a piece of paper, then destroy the original, can we still say I have the original?
I don't know. That is the point. You have no way of knowing which one is which.

You are arguing from an ontological point of view: there is the "original", and there is the "copy". I am arguing from a practical point of view: the "copy" is indistinguishable from the "original", so it's irrelevant which is which, especially given that the "original" is no longer when the "copy" is created.

Tiberius wrote: View Post
Except the person snoozing on the plane doesn't have his body destroyed, does he?
How do you know he doesn't? You don't know what happens when you are asleep. Point is: if we believe your theory, then you can be actually be dead and not realize it because you are still alive. That's a contradiction. Reduction ad absurdum.

Tiberius wrote: View Post
Yes, it IS matter. When the transporter takes you apart, your body ceases to exist as matter. You lose the matter of your body.
Matter and energy are just different states of the same stuff. Like ice and water.

Tiberius wrote: View Post
Two cars that come off the production line are identical. Are they the one car? Of course not.
If I switch one for the other, will you notice any difference?
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Old May 17 2013, 02:54 AM   #29
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

A difference is not what we're talking about here. To the person who just transported, there is no difference. He has all the memories and is identical to the person who dematerialized moments ago - it makes no difference to him.

But the guy who dematerialized? He's dead.

If I break a cake down into flour, butter, sugar, and eggs... then rebake them into an identical cake, there is no difference, but they are not the same cake.

Consisting of the same matter does not make you the same person. There may be water molecules in me that used to be part of a tyrannosaurus, yet I am not part tyrannosaurus.
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Old May 17 2013, 03:14 AM   #30
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Re: Would you use a transporter?

Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
Consisting of the same matter does not make you the same person.
So I ask again: what exactly makes you the same person?

If it's not the matter, not the information, and not the consciousness, then what is it?

You haven't given a satisfactory answer yet. (Or any answer, for what is worth.)
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