Would you step into a teleporter?

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Peter
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Would you step into a teleporter?

Post #1

Post by Peter »

“Well sure” is the first response but let’s break it down.

You step in and are held in stasis while your entire body is rendered into information down to the last atom and mid synapse firing. The information is transmitted to another location and used to reconstruct your body from raw atoms exactly as it was in the stasis field. You step out and marvel at the technology which teleported you in mid thought. But are you still you?

How is the above different from killing original you at one end and waking up duplicate you at the other? Does it matter? Did your soul survive the process? Do you have a soul?
Religion is poison because it asks us to give up our most precious faculty, which is that of reason, and to believe things without evidence. It then asks us to respect this, which it calls faith. - Christopher Hitchens

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Re: Would you step into a teleporter?

Post #2

Post by Diagoras »

The way the question's worded leaves open the possibility that the original could be somehow not 'lost' (or killed), so you've effectively been duplicated - like the perfect clone. If the process is 100% efficient, there's nothing to stop you from teleporting multiple copies of yourself into existence. In the duplication scenario though, 'original you' would experience no change: the teleport didn't have any effect, while 'created you' is - physically - barely a second old, but with memories of many years somehow kept.

Assuming the destruction of 'original you' is essential to the process however, it could be used as a test for the existence of the soul. Teleport a devout Christian, and see whether they believed themselves to be 100% the same at the other end. Since the teleport can only act on physical matter and energy fields, any metaphysical properties of the person wouldn't go through the process*.

Could be a useful 'atheist test': only those who don't believe they possess a soul would be willing to be teleported.

* Upon further thought, people could claim the soul somehow zaps itself across time and space to 'reconnect' with the person, defying all physical laws. No way then of proving anything - shame.

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Re: Would you step into a teleporter?

Post #3

Post by Bust Nak »

[Replying to Peter in post #1]

Relevant comic: https://existentialcomics.com/comic/1

I would step into a teleporter because a) I am not the atoms in my body but the pattern of the atoms, the pattern is maintained. b) the conveniences of teleportation far out weight the abstract fear of the moving a file being a different concept to copying a file to another folder and deleting the original.
Diagoras wrote: Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:07 amUpon further thought, people could claim the soul somehow zaps itself across time and space to 'reconnect' with the person, defying all physical laws. No way then of proving anything - shame.
There is room for further exploration here, would they claim that souls can be copied with multiple copies of the same person?

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Re: Would you step into a teleporter?

Post #4

Post by Peter »

For the purpose of debate I would NOT step into a teleporter. I see no difference between teleportation and duplication followed by killing the original. In both cases the result, no matter how perfect, is only a copy of the original which no longer exists. I have been killed and an imposter is living my life.
Religion is poison because it asks us to give up our most precious faculty, which is that of reason, and to believe things without evidence. It then asks us to respect this, which it calls faith. - Christopher Hitchens

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Re: Would you step into a teleporter?

Post #5

Post by Diagoras »

[Replying to Bust Nak in post #3]

Ah, yes - that does open up a line of inquiry.

If you perfectly duplicate someone who believes they have a soul, then you end up with two people claiming to have a soul. It seems unlikely that the teleporter created a new soul for the 'duplicate', so the duplicate would be 'soulless'. I imagine that such a person, on discovering that they were the duplicate, and not the original, would become quite upset once they thought through the consequences of them 'losing' their soul.

Since communication with a deity seems to rely on a spiritual connection, they may find that prayer doesn't work anymore. On the plus side, they wouldn't have to worry about what happens to them when they die - it's just a physical process. No risk of their soul being condemned to an eternity in Hell.

For purposes of debate, I'd be happy to undergo the process.

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Re: Would you step into a teleporter?

Post #6

Post by Purple Knight »

Peter wrote: Thu Aug 20, 2020 9:59 am For the purpose of debate I would NOT step into a teleporter. I see no difference between teleportation and duplication followed by killing the original. In both cases the result, no matter how perfect, is only a copy of the original which no longer exists. I have been killed and an imposter is living my life.
They explored that exact thing in The Outer Limits.

Yes, the transporter on Star Trek simply kills you every time. The fact that is has indeed duplicated people proves this. That there is one Thomas Riker alive means there are a hundred dead ones - one for every time the fool stepped into the transporter and the original wasn't preserved. The Outer Limits episode simply used a similar premise and made it explicit.

I argue that it doesn't matter because what I am afraid of is not dying, but ceasing to live. We all die in the same sense that the transporter kills you when we go to sleep: We enter a state which, between REM cycles, is thoughtless. We are effectively dead. But we don't care because we wake up and become alive again in the morning.

We oughtn't really be afraid of being dead any more than we're afraid of going to sleep. Dying in one's sleep, outside of a REM cycle, would be no transition; the state of consciousness would not change. This is probably why some people would prefer to die in their sleep.

The reason we are afraid of dying is because organisms are programmed to pass on their genes. That's it. That's the only reason. So if you dig this deep all that matters is whether your transporter doppel can pass on your genes, and if it can, and if stepping inside the transporter helps you somehow, then go for it.

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Re: Would you step into a teleporter?

Post #7

Post by brunumb »

Peter wrote: Thu Aug 20, 2020 9:59 am For the purpose of debate I would NOT step into a teleporter. I see no difference between teleportation and duplication followed by killing the original. In both cases the result, no matter how perfect, is only a copy of the original which no longer exists. I have been killed and an imposter is living my life.
I am in complete agreement with that. If there was a machine that could reproduce you down to the smallest detail and you stood face to face with it, you would be you and it would be it. It would be able to function perfectly as a replacement for you, but it would not be you. If the machine was a so-called transporter, it would simply be a device that kills you and produces your replacement at another location.
Christianty: 2000 years of making it up as you go along.

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Re: Would you step into a teleporter?

Post #8

Post by The Barbarian »

Diagoras wrote: Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:07 am The way the question's worded leaves open the possibility that the original could be somehow not 'lost' (or killed), so you've effectively been duplicated - like the perfect clone. If the process is 100% efficient, there's nothing to stop you from teleporting multiple copies of yourself into existence. In the duplication scenario though, 'original you' would experience no change: the teleport didn't have any effect, while 'created you' is - physically - barely a second old, but with memories of many years somehow kept.

Assuming the destruction of 'original you' is essential to the process however, it could be used as a test for the existence of the soul. Teleport a devout Christian, and see whether they believed themselves to be 100% the same at the other end. Since the teleport can only act on physical matter and energy fields, any metaphysical properties of the person wouldn't go through the process*.

Could be a useful 'atheist test': only those who don't believe they possess a soul would be willing to be teleported.

* Upon further thought, people could claim the soul somehow zaps itself across time and space to 'reconnect' with the person, defying all physical laws. No way then of proving anything - shame.
As Pope john Paul II remarked, the soul is not merely an epiphenomenon of the mind. But maybe that's one of the things it is. We just don't know. I don't believe I'd step into a transporter. But then, it seems that we are not at all the person we were decades ago:

You’re a completely different person at 14 and 77, the longest-running personality study ever has found
https://qz.com/914002/youre-a-completel ... has-found/

So what, then?
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Re: Would you step into a teleporter?

Post #9

Post by nobspeople »

Peter wrote: Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:16 pm “Well sure” is the first response but let’s break it down.

You step in and are held in stasis while your entire body is rendered into information down to the last atom and mid synapse firing. The information is transmitted to another location and used to reconstruct your body from raw atoms exactly as it was in the stasis field. You step out and marvel at the technology which teleported you in mid thought. But are you still you?

How is the above different from killing original you at one end and waking up duplicate you at the other? Does it matter? Did your soul survive the process? Do you have a soul?
If a soul exists, and your soul is energy, and the teleporter can reconstitute energy, seems the soul issue is a non-issue.
A lot of IF's for sure, but life is full of IF's so the concept is nothing new.
My biggest concern would be if someone else is being reconstituted in the exact same place at the exact same time. :shock:

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Re: Would you step into a teleporter?

Post #10

Post by Athetotheist »

The "am-I-the-same-person-on-the-other-end" debate aside, I would definitely not step into a teleporter for the simple reason that, as much trouble as the onboard computer in my car has given me, I wouldn't trust a mode of transportation as complicated as a teleporter to work properly no matter how it was supposed to work.

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