If you were teleported across the room, would you still be 'you'? Watch

username227084
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I just read this on reddit (social news site) and thought it would be interesting to raise the same question on TSR. Mods, I seriously have no idea where to put this debate as it is not related to religion and doesn't fit in the other categories.

I have had this conversation with numerous people. Some people just don't understand the question, but I think it's a pretty interesting thought experiment.

Ok here we go:

You have teleportation technology. Based on my rudimentary understanding of our current teleportation technology, the best we can do is deconstruct the person's molecules to transport them at near light-speed, then recreate them on the other side of the room. In all respects, the new object is completely identical. All of the particles are the same, it has the same chemical makeup, same characteristics. The only thing which is different about the new object is it's position.

Now imagine YOU go through the teleporter. Everything about you is copied to the new location. All of the particles, every last bit of information which makes you up as a person is replicated into your copy, and then BAM - the original is wiped out.

Would 'you' cease to exist when the teleporter deconstructed you? Or would copying everything about you allow your consciousness as it currently stands to live on in the copy. The interesting thing I think is that the 'new' you would remember walking into the teleporter and appearing at the exit point, as they would have your memories of entering. However, they don't remember being deconstructed, because it didn't happen to them. They believe they are you. You can ask them anything and they will respond exactly as you would have. There is no way for them, or anyone else, to say whether your consciousness has transferred to the copy - because they will have all of your memories and personality and will know no different.

So what do you think would happen? Would it just be a convincing clone, and you and your consciousness would cease to exist while the doppleganger took over your life? Or would your consciousness live on in the copied version of yourself?
I personally think that to "you", the original you would cease existing and would be equivalent to death, a permanent loss of original, continuing consciousness. However, to all intents and purposes, the teleported "you" would still be "you" to everyone else. Therefore, there would be an illusion where the new "you" would be cheering, thinking the teleport had worked correctly, and everyone else would believe "you" had survived.

:yep:
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herzblut
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It's not a teleporter then is it, it's a human xerox machine.

I assume that to teleport someone would to be to destroy them or break them down in one location and rebuild them using the same particles in another location rather than creating a copy and destroying the original.
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didgeridoo12uk
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(Original post by herzblut)
It's not a teleporter then is it, it's a human xerox machine.

I assume that to teleport someone would to be to destroy them or break them down in one location and rebuild them using the same particles in another location rather than creating a copy and destroying the original.
and how do you plan on moving these particles to the new location?
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username227084
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(Original post by herzblut)
It's not a teleporter then is it, it's a human xerox machine.

I assume that to teleport someone would to be to destroy them or break them down in one location and rebuild them using the same particles in another location rather than creating a copy and destroying the original.
EDIT: never mind.
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lm_wfc
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Basically yeah.
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username227084
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(Original post by lm_wfc)
Basically yeah.
To yourself, personally, or to everyone else?
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Longorefisher
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At the moment - with our limited science knowledge -this is a philosophical question.

Generally - what science doesn't know, philosophy can make a reasonable guess towards.
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1721
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its like asking what would happen if they transfered everything about your brain to a computer then you dies and your memories and everythign was on this pc would you carry on "living" as the computer
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herzblut
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(Original post by didgeridoo12uk)
and how do you plan on moving these particles to the new location?
I have no idea. This isn't exactly my area of expertise. thought I'd have a crack at it though. :dontknow:

(Original post by mazza558)
EDIT: never mind.
oh. okay then. :emo:
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username227084
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I've clarified the original post. Read it again and see what you think. The idea would be deconstructing and reconstructing your molecules rather than destroying the original for no reason.

(Original post by herzblut)
I have no idea. This isn't exactly my area of expertise. thought have a crack at it though. :dontknow:



oh. okay then. :emo:
See above :p:
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bigmo7
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(Original post by 1721)
its like asking what would happen if they transfered everything about your brain to a computer then you dies and your memories and everythign was on this pc would you carry on "living" as the computer
They're working on that aren't they?

It's scary stuff imo....
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lm_wfc
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(Original post by mazza558)
To yourself, personally, or to everyone else?
:dontknow:

both, all 'you' are is a body with certain features, including a brain with certain capabilites and certain thoughts and memories, which are all just chemicals in your brain.

depressing really
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joeahuja
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I don't think you would cease to exist, some parts of us i.e. red blod cells are replaced every four months does that mean we're not the same person....research is currently being done to ascertain whether the widely held theory that every cell in the body is replaced every "x" years...if that is the case then we would all be different people to when we were born.
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Craig_D
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Well there isn't a single cell in your body that was in you the day you was born. There isn't a single cell inside your Mother that was in her the day you was born.

Are you the same person as that original baby? Is your Mother still the person that gave birth to you? If your answer to these is 'yes' then the answer to the teleportation question should also be yes.

Your conscious is clearly like a wave passing through millions of cells and they have changed and will continue to change hundreds of times through your life. So why should your cells changing during the teleportation make you a different person?
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1721
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(Original post by bigmo7)
They're working on that aren't they?

It's scary stuff imo....
scary as in it questions the nature of reality and conciousness then yes.
but wont it be awesome if they invented a GTA where you are the main ccharicter
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DarkWhite
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Yeah, I reckon you'd still be you. I define myself to be a collection of molecules, and I'd be the exact same after transportation in such a manner.

But then again, I'm not into all this, "If a tree falls and there's nobody there to hear it, does it make a sound?" lark lol
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joeahuja
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(Original post by Craig_D)
Well there isn't a single cell in your body that was in you the day you was born. There isn't a single cell inside your Mother that was in her the day you was born.

Are you the same person as that original baby? Is your Mother still the person that gave birth to you? If your answer to these is 'yes' then the answer to the teleportation question should also be yes.

I don't think it's been proved yet that neurons (and some other stuff) are replaced....altho i'm not 100% sure please feel free to correct me
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bigmo7
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(Original post by 1721)
scary as in it questions the nature of reality and conciousness then yes.
but wont it be awesome if they invented a GTA where you are the main ccharicter
I like how you can pretty much ignore all the freaky aspects of it and go straight to GTA! But yeah that would be awesome!!!
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CinderellaDontGo
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If I smash a vase and rebuild it, is it still the same vase?

Yes.
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Craig_D
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(Original post by joeahuja)
I don't think it's been proved yet that neurons (and some other stuff) are replaced....altho i'm not 100% sure please feel free to correct me
I heard that neurons are every 4 years. But I have no source for that :p:


This source says some are, and something like every 6 months .

http://www.jneurosci.org/cgi/reprint/22/3/624.pdf
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