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Old May 21 2011, 11:21 PM   #31
Captrek
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

A difference that makes no difference is no difference.
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Old May 22 2011, 01:01 AM   #32
Merry Christmas
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

YellowSubmarine wrote: View Post
Of course, the answer to the question is, yes, since the other person is you
Actual, the two people in question are two different individuals . The second person might resemble me (exactly), have my memories up to the point of pre-transport scan and for a time possess my personality. However, as we live different life, full of numerous experience, differences will manifest themselves. I would hope this person would be endowed with a unique soul and spirit as I have been.

So no, the copy of me isn't me.

Which would you choose
Ultimately, my answer would be neither, a response that I would maintain even at your insistence that I would have to select only from your short list of choices. It certainly wouldn't be my place (or yours) to condemn this guiltless new individual to death. Nor would I choose suicide (my religion frown on such) in favor of my new twin.

From a certain way of looking at it, the copy is your offspring, and should be treated as one.

murder of the person
Because that is what we're talking about here, but allow me to restate a question that I posed up thread, if a copy is in fact being create, why would there be a necessity of one or the other of the transports participants being killed/murdered/destroyed? Why not make any required scans, the original leaves, the copy being produced subsequent to that procedure.

All that said, I do not believe that a copy is being made, every beaming begins and ends with the non-reproduced personal you.

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Old May 22 2011, 11:29 AM   #33
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

Trek's explanation of how transporters work is very technical and doesn't really deal with this issue very well. Some sort of quantum entanglement must be going on but even there it seems to me that you are simply copying information.

The question seems to be whether the matter is destroyed when it is turned into energy or whether it is somehow phased into another dimension and the 'digital' information is simply a quantum level pattern of information transmitted through subspace to allow them to be rephased back into the real world.

Many Trek explanations favour the former, while Realm of Fear drops enough hints to suggest the latter. I think I prefer the latter because it is still possible to come up with a wibbly wobbly theory to explain quantum duplicates whereas with the former explanation you have to think of reasons why duplicates wouldn't be common (not every species shares the Federations qualms after all). Pattern degradation then becomes a question of disentanglement so that not all the pattern can be rephased.
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Old May 22 2011, 05:53 PM   #34
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

Imagination is powerful. It can also defy the laws of physics and plausibility. So, any answer to this question must also be imagination... which means, anything is possible.

That said... yes, you are still you. Remember, the passage of roughly 7 years results in a human body with every cell replaced. So, 7 years ago, you were made up of different matter. Are you the same person? Well, by identity you are. I think you can use this analogy for the transporter. You've just accelerated the replacement time, that's all.
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Old May 24 2011, 12:07 AM   #35
Temis the Vorta
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

Transporters kill people and replace them with duplicates. You can't have your molecules torn apart and expect to survive the process. It amazes me that anyone is willing to step into one. I guess everyone in the future is just accustomed to the idea that induction into Starfleet requires perpetual suicide.
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Old May 24 2011, 12:30 AM   #36
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
Transporters kill people and replace them with duplicates. You can't have your molecules torn apart and expect to survive the process. It amazes me that anyone is willing to step into one. I guess everyone in the future is just accustomed to the idea that induction into Starfleet requires perpetual suicide.
No, they don't, which is why they don't have any issues with it.
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Old May 24 2011, 03:49 AM   #37
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

It is difficult to imagine a nation of people with that level of fatalism. Why would such a people lament the destruction of a starship or even a entire world when individual life is so meaningless to them?

I also have a problem with the transporter aboard the 22nd century NX-01 possessing the ability to assemble a functional Human duplicate, given the technology of the time. In addition, when Major Hayes died shortly after being transportered, personal aboard the Enterprise treated it like a real person died, not as the termination of some biological fax machine's discharge.

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Old May 24 2011, 05:02 AM   #38
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

The episode where Riker is duplicated really opens a moral can of worms that are surprisingly not even brought up in said episode.
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Old May 24 2011, 09:32 AM   #39
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

sojourner wrote: View Post
The episode where Riker is duplicated really opens a moral can of worms that are surprisingly not even brought up in said episode.
But if you accept the quantum entanglement & phased matter explanation then nobody dies and duplicates are still possible because entangled molecules can react in the same way regardless of distance. So somehow, the quantum pattern is able to produce two copies of the individual because the 'accident' acquired sufficient energy to duplicate them in a way that wasn't fatal like the Enemy Within (which dealt with incomplete rephasing of all the DNA at the same time). One of them would effectively be a clone though since it would not be possible to use the 'real' phased matter to produce a second individual.

I think essentially the accident represents a rare way that a transporter can gain enough energy to function like a replicator. It's the only viable explanation to cover the inconsistencies otherwise it would not be necessary to 'grow' clones like in TNG or DS9 when you could just use a transporter.

Admittedly, it doesn't cover the frequent references to transporters disassembling you or scattering your molecules. Those statements probably have to be put down to poetic licence on the part of the characters. That they are often engineers is regrettable but modern writers understand quantum theory a bit more than they used to.

The soul argument is pointless. If it's an issue for you then Tom Riker acquired a soul from the same place as any newborn child.
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Old May 24 2011, 03:06 PM   #40
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

A person is not a lump of matter, a person is the arrangement of the molecules, in particular the brain structures. Destroying person's molecules isn't murder, destroying the brain structure is. Since the brain structure is retained after transport, it is the same person and nobody got killed. As I said, erasing memory is a much bigger issue.

Another thing, not yet possible with current technology, but if you took an almost exact scan of someone's brain right before their body died and they were buried, the person is not dead until the scan of his brain is erased (much like no person is really dead until their brain decays).
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Old May 24 2011, 03:10 PM   #41
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

Well, was Flynn killed when he was digitised in Tron? It's the same thing right?
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Old May 24 2011, 03:34 PM   #42
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

Good points, but Trek has a mixed history when it comes to this sort of thing. We have What are Little Girls Made of and the Schizoid Man suggesting that a man is more than the sum of his digitised thoughts; we also have Ilia, where the jury was out on how much of the Probe was really her (it's expressly stated that Ilia is dead even though she is preserved in digital format, the probe is artificial but mimics every body function, including memory patterns buried beneath V'ger's programming, and Decker thinks enough of her remains to want to join with V'ger); we have Data plus the Holgoraphic EMH; we have transporters generally.

If a person is just a mixture of DNA and chemicals in the brain that store experiences and memories then a kill and copy machine would produce identical people indistinguishable from the originals. The problem is that it is too easy to make copies - all you need it enough energy stored to produce the matter for two people when you re-energise the transportee.
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Old May 24 2011, 07:07 PM   #43
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

Sean Aaron wrote: View Post
Well, was Flynn killed when he was digitised in Tron? It's the same thing right?
In the original film, it is said that the person's original molecules remain suspended in the laser beam and that they are reintegrated when the process is complete.

What this means for Trek's transporters is unclear. As I have said about a thousand fucking times , TNG's "Realm of Fear" is conclusive proof that a person is not duplicated or killed, but passes through the transport process intact and alive. I think we can conclude that some kind of quantum entanglement process produces results similar to Tron's laser. It's the original molecules, somehow moved to the destination.
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Old May 24 2011, 07:23 PM   #44
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

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As I have said about a thousand fucking times , ...
OK, OK!!!! I hear you and I beleive you. Now go lay down for awhile, I'm sure you have a headache from that head pounding.


Jking.

With your explanation, please explain how Riker was duplicated in a certain episode when transported.

No trolling...I'm really curious how the series explained that incident. I never saw it.
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Old May 24 2011, 11:24 PM   #45
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

Realm of Fear suggested that the actual matter is phased i.e. shunted into another dimension but we know that the tansporter 'pattern' is transmitted via subspace. I think the pattern is just the blueprint that allows each quantum entangled molecule to be phased back in the right order.

If more than one molecule can be entangled with another then presumably one or more 'copies' can be produced. Only one is the rephased original though, the other is a clone created by converting energy to matter by following the pattern akin to a replicator.

Normally, replicators produce only inanimate matter so transporters cannot clone transportees even if enough energy is available but the special circumstances caused by the storm created a second viable set of quantum entangled transporter energy that was able to clone Riker and generate a live copy at the same time the original matter was rephased.

I doubt such an explanation woiuld make much sense to a physicist though...
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