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Old May 1 2010, 08:40 PM   #16
Myasishchev
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Re: When a person is beamed up it's not the same person

ReadyAndWilling wrote: View Post
This has been bugging me for a long time. I mean when you get beamed up basically you die and a copy of you is made?

I mean that person is gone, just because there is an exact copy doing exactly what the old you would have done doesn't mean you are still a conscious functioning being, you cease to exist. It isn't you if you are just re-assembled using different matter.
You're not the same person from planck time to planck time anyway; or, at the very least, there is obvious discontinuity on the much longer timescales of seconds. Continuity is a complete illusion, one maintained by transport... so what's the difference?

The real question is how they manage to keep it from hurting. It obviously ain't instantaneous, and being torn apart atom by atom... well, ask a man who's been set on fire how he feels.
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Old May 1 2010, 08:43 PM   #17
xortex
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Re: When a person is beamed up it's not the same person

Could the transporter change someone's personality and make them a whole different person in someone else's eyes?
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Old May 1 2010, 08:58 PM   #18
Wereghost
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Re: When a person is beamed up it's not the same person

Myasishchev wrote: View Post
The real question is how they manage to keep it from hurting. It obviously ain't instantaneous, and being torn apart atom by atom... well, ask a man who's been set on fire how he feels.
Good question. Maybe the transporters also transport the energy in the body (eg nerve impulses, heat). Now that I think about it, I don't recall any scenario where electrical devices lost power by being transported, so perhaps the human body is similarly unaffected and somehow retains its "wholebness" in the few seconds it takes to be transported.

xortex wrote: View Post
Could the transporter change someone's personality and make them a whole different person in someone else's eyes?
Also a good question. A poster in another thread recently raised the question of what would happen to a teleportee's mental faculties given that the brain operates in some way on a quantum level. Maybe something would be lost in transit.
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Old May 1 2010, 09:07 PM   #19
xortex
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Re: When a person is beamed up it's not the same person

It could create a new breed of people who see things 'differently' but on the other hand it might be able to cure cancer and such.
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Old May 1 2010, 10:53 PM   #20
Ensign_Redshirt
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Re: When a person is beamed up it's not the same person

I think there was an episode of the new Outer Limits dealing with this issue:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Think_L...uter_Limits%29
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Old May 1 2010, 10:54 PM   #21
jefferiestubes8
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Transporter accident

ReadyAndWilling wrote: View Post
when you get beamed up basically you die and a copy of you is made?
When the transporter was in its infancy there was much controversy surrounding its safety and reliability within United Earth.
The debates ranged from health issues and even to metaphysical debates over whether or not the person transported was the same person or instead a copy of the original. (ENT: "Daedalus")
also see
what are deemed "Transporter accidents"
Split one entity into good and evil entities
(TOS: "The Enemy Within")

Split one entity into two identical entities
(TNG: "Second Chances")
This is the episode Scrawny71 mentioned about Riker.

Two entities merged into one
(VOY: "Tuvix")
via
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Old May 2 2010, 01:06 AM   #22
SpyOne
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Re: When a person is beamed up it's not the same person

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
I think it depends on how you want to look at it. For all intents and purposes, a person does technically die or is vaporized whenever their body is converted (or molecularly partially decoupled) into a compressed energy beam.
Nope: matter stream. No conversion to energy occurs.
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Old May 2 2010, 01:21 AM   #23
SpyOne
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Re: When a person is beamed up it's not the same person

Saw an excellent short animated film about this (I believe on Cartoon Network's Oh Canada program):
At an invention fair, there is a guy showing off his teleportation booth. When the narrator asks for more details, he reveals that it makes a copy at the destination then destroys the original, she balks at the exactness of the copy. To prove it is exact, he sets a delay in the destruction (30 seconds or so) so that she can view both copies side by side. As before, the creator goes through the booth so she can see. The two versions of the creator then start to argue about which should be destroyed.

The narrator then points out that neither of them can hold the patent to the device, since neither of them is the original inventor: they are both just copies of the inventor.

The Star Trek Transporter, however, seems to work by putting you back together out of the same stuff you began with. In fact, it seems to not work any other way. (Setting aside a few episodes where established facts were not allowed to derail the story.)

IIRC, in The Enemy Within, one or both of the copies of Kirk were dying.

Here's my theory (gleaned from many sources):
When you beam someone, some of the matter gets lost. Usually not enough to matter (no pun), but sometimes enough to be life-threatening. Usually, the transporter makes up for this loss by adding a bit of material from the replicator stores, but this only works for replacing a very small percentage of the original matter: for reasons not fully understood, transporters only work if most of the material used to reassemble the person is the same material that was disassembled.
There has only been one known case of someone surviving rematerialization from as little as 50% original material (Second Chances), and that was an unduplicatable freak accident, made all the more freakish by the fact that it actually happened twice, simultaneously. Best bets are that unique atmospheric conditions played a role.

Tuvix? Either ignore it or say that Tuvix was extra dense or something: about 300 to 400 pounds of matter in that guy.
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Old May 2 2010, 10:07 AM   #24
Londo
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Re: When a person is beamed up it's not the same person

Are we not entirely replaced through cell division many times in our lives anyway?
If so having the transporter create new ones would seem like little difference.
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Old May 2 2010, 11:29 AM   #25
Cheapjack
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Re: When a person is beamed up it's not the same person

I'm not the same person I was years ago.

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Old May 2 2010, 01:19 PM   #26
JarodRussell
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Re: When a person is beamed up it's not the same person

Very philosophical question. And the problem is: nobody could ever find out. Because from the point of view of other people, you disappear and reappear, with all your thoughts, memories, personality, because your brain pattern is copied perfectly. If you actually die and a copy of you continues to exist... no one could ever tell.

Then there's the problem: is there a soul or not?

A soul means that you are way more than the sum of your parts, that your consciousness is way more than just the result of chemical reactions inside your brain. Somehow your soul is attached to your physical body. If you die, your brain shuts down, and your soul is set free (whatever this means, we will never know).

Now what happens if you beam? Depends on how the soul - if it exists - is attached to you. Will it travel with you during the beam? Or does the beam "kill" you, so your soul travels to Heaven or Hell? But what happens to the copy of you? Does "it" have a soul? What happens to a human if you remove the soul and it suddenly is merely the sum of its parts?


Though I think the answer is simple. If a soul exists, then some kind of masterplan exists. And if beaming is possible, then that masterplan includes it (about what happens if you switch from our world to the next place). And then your soul will travel along the beam, and you will be the same person before, during, and after the process. Because I doubt there can be multiple copies of a unique soul, and I doubt there can be humans created without a soul.

If a soul doesn't exist... well then it doesn't matter. You cease to exist (whatever this means) but a copy of you carries on. And nobody else but you will notice a difference (which doesn't matter, because you don't exist anymore ).
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Old May 2 2010, 02:05 PM   #27
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Re: When a person is beamed up it's not the same person

Londo wrote: View Post
Are we not entirely replaced through cell division many times in our lives anyway?
If so having the transporter create new ones would seem like little difference.
This has all been discussed elsewher, I think in a "Tuvix" thread. All the cells in us die and are replaced except neurons. But even the matter in them is replaced over time (one reason we eat). The calcium in bones replaces slowest, over 7-10 years iirc. "I" am quite literally a different person than the "I" of 10 years ago, even aside from any learned behavior/personality changes.
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Old May 2 2010, 02:52 PM   #28
JarodRussell
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Re: When a person is beamed up it's not the same person

plynch wrote: View Post
Londo wrote: View Post
Are we not entirely replaced through cell division many times in our lives anyway?
If so having the transporter create new ones would seem like little difference.
This has all been discussed elsewher, I think in a "Tuvix" thread. All the cells in us die and are replaced except neurons. But even the matter in them is replaced over time (one reason we eat). The calcium in bones replaces slowest, over 7-10 years iirc. "I" am quite literally a different person than the "I" of 10 years ago, even aside from any learned behavior/personality changes.
And it is besides the point. You can change the hardware without having to change the operating system. The brain is the only important thing, because that seems to be the place where "you are".
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Old May 2 2010, 03:18 PM   #29
C.E. Evans
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Re: When a person is beamed up it's not the same person

SpyOne wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
I think it depends on how you want to look at it. For all intents and purposes, a person does technically die or is vaporized whenever their body is converted (or molecularly partially decoupled) into a compressed energy beam.
Nope: matter stream. No conversion to energy occurs.
A matter stream is a form of energy.

So there is indeed a conversion to energy as the binding force that holds molecules together has to be decoupled (at least partially) to enable a person or object to be transported as seen in the show. Heck, it's even been said onscreen more than once that a transporter is a matter/energy conversion device.
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Last edited by C.E. Evans; May 2 2010 at 08:13 PM. Reason: typo
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Old May 3 2010, 02:57 AM   #30
DevilEyes
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Re: When a person is beamed up it's not the same person

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
I think it depends on how you want to look at it. For all intents and purposes, a person does technically die or is vaporized whenever their body is converted (or molecularly partially decoupled) into a compressed energy beam. But the person that emerges at the end of the process has the exact same DNA as the person who was at the start of it. There isn't a duplication or cloning of the original but a deconstruction and reconstruction of the original. In such instances, the difference between the person who left and the person who arrived is negligible if not zero, IMO.

The only time a transporter has made genuine clones have been due to very rare malfunctions, like the ones that made duplicates of Kirk and Riker.
They were not clones.
It had absolutely nothing to do with cloning. They were same people.

Well, in Kirk's case, they were both versions of Kirk and neither was the same as the original Kirk, but that plot never really made any sense.

Riker, however, was simply duplicated as exact same person, with same personality and memories... only those two Rikers were at different places in the next 7 years and had completely different experiences. It amazes me that people are still confused about this, even though Beverly explained it right away in the episode: "So which one is the real Riker?" "They both are."

Biggshow wrote: View Post
xortex wrote: View Post
How about if it made you forever young and immortal but not the same person, would you do it?
If I seemed to have conscious continuity, what difference would it make. And that to me is the key point of this; if the person who emerges from the other end of the beaming cycle has the continuity of consciousness of the person who was beamed, there is no real difference, whether you believe the original was killed and built from redirected matter or reassembled from the original material.
That's how I see it. As pointed out, cells in our organism die and change all the time, so if this was the criterion, we could say that we aren't technically the same people as when we were born. Although the above criterion is somewhat problematic, if you think about people with severe brain damage or amnesia...

Here's an excellent essay on the subject of personal identity - it was written in relation to BSG, but it is relevant here: "I'm Sharon, but I'm a different Sharon: the identity of Cylons"
(very fitting here, with Scrawny71's avatar ).
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