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Old May 25 2011, 02:49 AM   #46
HAL.9000
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

Pauln6 wrote: View Post
I doubt such an explanation woiuld make much sense to a physicist though...
Yeah, that pretty much puts the "fiction" in science fiction, but who knows what discoveries are awaiting us in the future.

Again, I didn't see the episode, so did this other "Riker" just go on with his life or was he removed from existence somehow?

Also, did he consider himself to be just like the original and felt somehow his life was taken from him by the "copy?"

BTW...how did they figure out which one was the "real" Riker.

-I really need to catch that episode.-
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Old May 25 2011, 09:00 AM   #47
Pauln6
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

HAL.9000 wrote: View Post
Again, I didn't see the episode, so did this other "Riker" just go on with his life or was he removed from existence somehow?

Also, did he consider himself to be just like the original and felt somehow his life was taken from him by the "copy?"

BTW...how did they figure out which one was the "real" Riker.

-I really need to catch that episode.-
It is an interesting episode quite apart from the transporter curveball. To answer your question without ruining the episode, it does ask which of them should be considered the 'real' Riker and creates a dilemma for Troi since 'Tom' Riker is keen to rekindle their relationship. It certainly makes no moral judgment about which of them might be 'real' but we also know that, while acts of cloning are illegal, conscious clones have full legal rights under Federation law.
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Old May 25 2011, 09:43 AM   #48
Sean Aaron
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

Yeah, it was unusual in that there was no "resolution" really. It was recognised that you couldn't really say which was the "real" one, but since the Riker on the Enterprise had been living his life, the other one decided to take his middle name as his forename. I just can't see how Tom wasn't insane from living alone for years like that.
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Old June 5 2011, 04:45 AM   #49
CoveTom
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

To jump in here a few days behind the curve, I think one thing that's being missed in this discussion is the fact that in Trek, they've stated many times that the discovery has been made that matter and energy are interchangeable. Our contemporary science does not believe this to be the case, but in Trek it's true. Matter can become energy, energy can become matter, and on and on. Therefore, the idea of what happens to the matter is not really relevant to this discussion -- in Trek's universe, the matter and the energy are the same thing.
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Old June 5 2011, 07:16 AM   #50
sojourner
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

It's the same thing in real life too. Just ask a physicist. your argument holds no water.
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Old June 5 2011, 12:05 PM   #51
Deks
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

Getting back on track...
Trek transporters were stated to NOT create copies of people.
Rare transporter incidents (such as the one that created duplicate Riker) not-withstanding of course.

In real-life, it is stated that quantum teleportation would effectively destroy the original and recreate a copy on the other end.
However, we are still not close enough to conduct such a trial and it is quite possible we will discover new ways which will improve upon existing knowledge (or partially/completely rewrite it).

It's also possible that the destroying bit is accurate, however, painless and the consciousness is preserved in the computer and then transfered to the copied body (I would surmize that if our transporters reach a point where they will be able to transport a human being, and if we cannot find a way around 'destroying the original body' bit, then we will most likely find ways to transfer the conscience into computer memory and then put it into a 'new' body that arrives on the other end).
Aside for a new body, it will still be 'you'.

But in Trek, nothing is apparently lost in the transportation process.
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Old June 5 2011, 06:30 PM   #52
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

In the future --- there will be double posts.

Last edited by T'Girl; June 6 2011 at 12:25 PM.
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Old June 5 2011, 06:31 PM   #53
T'Girl
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

Deks wrote: View Post
In real-life, it is stated that quantum teleportation would effectively destroy the original and recreate a copy on the other end.
Okay, creates the copy out of what?

HAL.9000 wrote: View Post
With your explanation, please explain how Riker was duplicated in a certain episode when transported.
In the case of the two Rikers (and earlier, two Kirks), think about the starfish. As most kids know if you cut or tear a starfish in half, as long as each half retains a part of the center/core of the original whole starfist, each half will regrow back into a whole starfish.

Neither is a copy of the original, they're both identical to the starfish which was cut in two, right down to any abnormalities in shape.

When Riker was being beamed aboard his former ship, the transporrter operator desided to split the matter stream beam, cut it in half much like the starfish. both beam contained the original Riker, neither contained a copy.

One beam was reflected back to the surface, one continued on to Riker's ship. I can't immediately say where the extra mass came from to materize two full size, full weight Rikers from.

But both were originals.


Last edited by T'Girl; June 6 2011 at 12:22 PM.
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Old June 6 2011, 04:09 PM   #54
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

Or both were copies. You say potato...

Since modern science shows that our memories are formed from chemical markers in our brains it would be possible to reproduce a copy of a person without the need to 're-insert' their mind into the new body. Whether you digitise their memories as discrete information or simply as chemical signatures to replicated when you rebuild the brain seems irrelevant to whether that person believes that they are (or indeed truly are) the 'real' person.
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Old June 6 2011, 09:40 PM   #55
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
HAL.9000 wrote: View Post
For arguments sake let's do away with the idea that we have an internal spirit or "soul" for a moment.
Then you're nothing but an animal, take off your clothes, walk outside and poop on the lawn.
Is this a suggestion that the rest of the animal kingdom is different to humanity and that their view of the world is somehow less than ours? Does it therefore follow that none of the other species that walk the Earth are sapient/sentient and as such the concept of cruelty to animals is as ridiculous as cruelty to rocks.
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Old June 7 2011, 03:06 AM   #56
T'Girl
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

Butters wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
HAL.9000 wrote: View Post
For arguments sake let's do away with the idea that we have an internal spirit or "soul" for a moment.
Then you're nothing but an animal, take off your clothes, walk outside and poop on the lawn.
Is this a suggestion that the rest of the animal kingdom is different to humanity
Yes.

and that their view of the world is somehow less than ours?
Yes.

Does it therefore follow that ...
Probably not.

none of the other species that walk the Earth are sapient/sentient
Reversing your order, sentient is something that is likely held by a large number of animals to a certain degree. But less than Humans.

Sapience on the other hand (I believe) is unique to Humans.

and as such the concept of cruelty to animals is as ridiculous as cruelty to rocks.
Cruelty to animals, solely for the sake of cruelty, is wrong.

Rocks are inanimate objects and the concept of cruelty towards them is nonsensical.

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Old June 7 2011, 05:11 PM   #57
Pauln6
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Rocks are inanimate objects and the concept of cruelty towards them is nonsensical.

Tell that to the Horta.
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Old June 7 2011, 05:49 PM   #58
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

And the American Indians and Japanese Shinto practitioners...I'm sure there are others!
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Old June 7 2011, 08:16 PM   #59
T'Girl
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

Pauln6 wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
Rocks are inanimate objects and the concept of cruelty towards them is nonsensical.
Tell that to the Horta.
Hortas (Hortai?) would be an example of animated rocks and a exception to my previous manifesto.

Sean Aaron wrote: View Post
Japanese Shinto practitioners
While all rocks, of course, have a kami, only some rocks contain a unusually powerful sacred spirit and are therefor subject to worship in the Shinto faith.

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Old June 8 2011, 06:25 PM   #60
Gary7
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Re: A philosophical question regarding transporter technology.

YellowSubmarine wrote: View Post
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.
Actually, one may say it's also the arrangement of "specific molecules." I'd mentioned earlier how across the span of a 7 year period of a person's life, none of the original cells they had 8 years ago are the same. They've all been replaced. Now, some may argue that as you age, you're not the same person. Well, not exactly the same person. We not only change physically, but emotionally and mentally as well. However, the basis of who we presently are is rooted in our previous versions.

In "Measure of a Man", Data said that Mannix might be able to completely replicate his positronic brain, and all of his memories, but the "essence" or ineffable qualities of those memories would be lost. It's a copy, but not 100% the same. If this can be accepted, then certainly it would be applicable to human beings. The transporter destroys and then recreates people. They are seemingly identical copies. Are they really the same person?

This is all imagination. I do not believe for one second in the real world that transporter technology will ever be possible for human beings. We can imagine many things... some of which can be forged into reality. But there are many of which cannot. In the areas of science fiction, there are far more concepts and ideas that remain pure fantasy than have materialized into real things we see today.
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