When a person is beamed up it's not the same person

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by ReadyAndWilling, May 1, 2010.

  1. ReadyAndWilling

    ReadyAndWilling Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  2. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I thought the transporter reassembled using the SAME matter, but I could be wrong.
     
  3. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    'Tis a good philosophical topic indeed.

    What if your personality is encoded electronically in the beaming process, and assembled with the "new" body?

    That, of course, leave the whole "soul" thing unanswered.
     
  4. Shazam!

    Shazam! Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I kinda take 'beaming' literally in that your molecules and that are transported down some kind of 'corridor' and reassembled at the other end.
     
  5. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I prefer to think that the transportee really is vaporized and replaced with an identical copy.

    Bones was right all along.
     
  6. Navaros

    Navaros Commodore Commodore

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    The idea presented in the OP is totally incorrect.

    The transporter does not make a copy and create a new person.

    All it does is transport the exact same one person from one place to another.
     
  7. Udat

    Udat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That what I understood
     
  8. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  9. Kai Winn

    Kai Winn Captain Captain

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    strictly speaking, pretty few if any cells in your body are still the originals you were born with. there are a couple of things i couldn't understand about the beaming. a number of episodes mentions that all sorts of germs can be sorted out, so how comes that constantly sick folks with alien diseases arrive in sickbay? why does the transporter not fix injuries, or resurrects the dead? there was an episode of ds9 were some crewmembers got buffered in the computer system and the holodeck of the station, and could be brought back. so, why is not the data of any person beamed backuped?
     
  10. ClayHefner

    ClayHefner Commander Red Shirt

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    On DS9 they needed all the memory on the station to store four people.
     
  11. xortex

    xortex Commodore

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    How about if it made you forever young and immortal but not the same person, would you do it?
     
  12. ClayHefner

    ClayHefner Commander Red Shirt

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    Maybe it would be cool if they DID use it as a kind of resurrection technology in future series, and no one ever dies for good.Immortal redshirts!
     
  13. Biggshow

    Biggshow Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  14. Wereghost

    Wereghost Part-time poltergeist Rear Admiral

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    Maybe in the original series, but apparently not in TNG. Two episodes spring to mind, though I can't name them:

    One where Picard beams out into an energy cloud or something, having been possessed by an alien entity. If I remember correctly, no Picard rematerialises at the other end, as the entity is of pure energy and wishes to remain so. Picard is then re-assembled using the Picard pattern held in the transporter.

    The other is the "two Rikers" episode from season six. Riker asks which is the original and is told that they both are because they were materialised from the same patterns.

    As regards the "copy" issue, the current prevailing view of how teleprtation would work is probably in line with what current quantum teleportation experiments have shown; that there's no meaningful distinction between teleporting the quantum state of an object and altering its location; ie when it comes down to the nuts and botls of the universe, nothing is nexessarily destroyed.
     
  15. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I suspect that there will be people in the future who will refuse to use transporter technology, believing it kills them or steals their soul or what-not.

    Of course, those people probably won't be allowed to serve in Starfleet, where willingness to be transported appears to be a requirement.

    For me, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck... A difference that makes no difference is no difference.
     
  16. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  17. xortex

    xortex Commodore

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    Could the transporter change someone's personality and make them a whole different person in someone else's eyes?
     
  18. Wereghost

    Wereghost Part-time poltergeist Rear Admiral

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    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.

    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.
     
  19. xortex

    xortex Commodore

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    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.
     
  20. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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