Would you step into a teleporter?

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Peter
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Would you step into a teleporter?

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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?
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Re: Would you step into a teleporter?

Post #21

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to The Barbarian in post #21]
It might not have originated here. It seems many people looking at that issue, have concluded that conditions on Mars billions of years ago, were more hospitable to abiogenesis, and that ejecta from meteorite strikes seeded life on Earth. A nice summary of recent work on this can be found in A New History of Life:
I was including panspermia or any other mechanism for origin of life on Earth, but the answer to this question seems to be the biggest obstacle to settling several debates. This thread by Miles:

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=37648

may be a better place to continue a discussion along these lines as it is unrelated to the OP teleporter question. But there has been some progress on possible abiogenesis mechanisms since the old Miller-Urey experiment in the 1950s, although we're still evidently a long way from anything definitive.

EDIT 1/26/21: This is the thread I originally meant to link to (by Otseng):

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=36616
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Re: Would you step into a teleporter?

Post #22

Post by John Bauer »

DrNoGods wrote: Thu Jan 21, 2021 4:13 pm
... This thread by Otseng: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=37648
*cough* ... Miles ... *cough*
"Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act
in accordance with the dictates of reason."
— Oscar Wilde.

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all
argument, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. That principle
is contempt prior to investigation."
— William Paley.

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Re: Would you step into a teleporter?

Post #23

Post by John Bauer »

Peter wrote: Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:16 pm
Would you step into a teleporter?

“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?
This is a somewhat older thought experiment and can be found in Part 3 of Derek Parfit's book, Reasons and Persons (Oxford University Press, 1984), wherein he deals with personal identity and the "teletransporter" problem:1
.
Parfit asks the reader to imagine entering a "teletransporter," a machine that puts you to sleep, then destroys you, breaking you down into atoms, copying the information and relaying it to Mars at the speed of light. On Mars, another machine re-creates you (from local stores of carbon, hydrogen, and so on), each atom in exactly the same relative position. Parfit poses the question of whether or not the teletransporter is a method of "travel"—is the person on Mars the same person as the person who entered the teletransporter on Earth?
.
Things get complicated, he shows, by changing the proposal so that now the original you back on Earth is not destroyed, so instead the machine makes infinite replicas. Are they all "you"?

It is certainly an interesting philosophical problem, one of several philosophical problems that led me to adopt my current position, the "constitution view" of the late Lynne R. Baker, Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View (Cambridge University Press, 2000)—namely, I am constituted by a physical body without being identical to that physical body, and without an immaterial soul (rejecting substance dualism).

At any rate, something a bit similar to this thought experiment already happens to all of us. According to Jonas Frisen, professor of Stem Cell Research with the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at Karolinska Institute, Sweden, practically all of the tissues and cells that make up your body are constantly renewed. Epithelial cells in your gut last only about five days, and even the entire human skeleton is replaced about every 10 years. So the cells that make up my body have been replaced a few times already (with a notable exception for the cells of the cerebral cortex and the inner lens of the eye)—and yet I still consider myself to be my ongoing self (persistence of self-continuity).

So unlike some others here, I don't think I'd have a problem stepping into such a teleporter. I agree that technology can be faulty, but that doesn't stop me from getting into elevators or airplanes. If something went wrong with the teleporter and I died, then so be it, I died. Stuff happens.

Edited to add: There is a similar problem for Christians and the resurrection. A Christian who died and was buried in the 14th century has almost entirely decomposed, leaving behind just a cracked and disintegrated skeleton. At the resurrection, it is said, he will be given a new, perhaps spiritual or glorified body. Presumably, that person will still be the same person, despite being composed of entirely different material. I suspect the substance dualists will have a cheat here, identifying the person with their immaterial soul, so the body is irrelevant. Too gnostic for me, but there it is.

_____

1 Wikipedia, s.v. "Reasons and Persons – Personal identity" (accessed January 22, 2021). See also Nicholas Wade, "Your Body Is Younger Than You Think," New York Times, August 2, 2005. Personal persistence over time gets into the diachronic problem of personal identity; for example, "What makes it true that a person at one time is the same thing as a person at another time?"
"Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act
in accordance with the dictates of reason."
— Oscar Wilde.

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all
argument, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. That principle
is contempt prior to investigation."
— William Paley.

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Re: Would you step into a teleporter?

Post #24

Post by brunumb »

John Bauer wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 12:06 am Presumably, that person will still be the same person, despite being composed of entirely different material. I suspect the substance dualists will have a cheat here, identifying the person with their immaterial soul, so the body is irrelevant.
If the soul is the identity of a person, you have to wonder how and why that personal identity, or personality, can be altered so significantly by damage to the physical body, particularly the brain.
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Re: Would you step into a teleporter?

Post #25

Post by John Bauer »

brunumb wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 1:29 am
If the soul is the identity of a person, you have to wonder how and why that personal identity, or personality, can be altered so significantly by damage to the physical body, particularly the brain.
Yes, exactly.
"Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act
in accordance with the dictates of reason."
— Oscar Wilde.

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all
argument, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. That principle
is contempt prior to investigation."
— William Paley.

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Re: Would you step into a teleporter?

Post #26

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to John Bauer in post #23]
*cough* ... Miles ... *cough*
Whoops ... corrected. This is the thread I originally meant to link to (by Otseng):

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=36616
In human affairs the sources of success are ever to be found in the fountains of quick resolve and swift stroke; and it seems to be a law, inflexible and inexorable, that he who will not risk cannot win.
John Paul Jones, 1779

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.
Mark Twain

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Re: Would you step into a teleporter?

Post #27

Post by William »

I am thinking that it doesn't matter if you have become another copy of your former self because if the 'self' part of you remained intact through the teleportation process, then it is still 'you'. Effectively you have just move from one point in TimeSpace to another.

If that process would be used to simply store a copy of yourself and ship the entire code on a spaceship, to build those copies on Mars, then - even if those copies were all clones of the original, they would each experience their selves as unique and individual because they are experiencing their lives differently - even that they share the same situation on Mars - they have different functions/jobs etc - but of course, there would have to be many copies of many different humans in order to expand on what can be achieved re different functions/jobs etc.

We are all unique, which appears to be following the pattern [coding] of this Universe....itself unique, as is every thing separate from every other thing.

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Re: Would you step into a teleporter?

Post #28

Post by John Bauer »

[Replying to William in post #28]
William wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 6:10 pm
I am thinking that it doesn't matter if you have become another copy of your former self because if the 'self' part of you remained intact through the teleportation process, then it is still 'you'. Effectively you have just move from one point in TimeSpace to another.
If what gets teleported is digital information concerning how the atoms and molecules of Earth-William were arranged, information used for constructing Mars-William, is it really your Self that is being teleported? Personally, I wouldn't think so. It seems, to me, that "you" cease to exist between the destruction of Earth-William and the construction of Mars-William.

As a Christian, it's natural for me to put this in the context of a Christian world-view: I would say the same thing about my own Self, that in between my natural death and ultimate resurrection I do not exist. God knows how to reconstruct me, as it were, but that information is not identical to my Self.

Of course, the replicas thing really throws me for a loop. If Earth-John is not destroyed, then is Mars-John "me"? What about Belter-John? I don't think so, but I struggle to articulate why not. I mean, if Earth-John is destroyed, then Mars-John is "me"—but if Earth-John is not destroyed, then Mars-John is NOT "me"? Why not? I don't have an intelligent answer for that.
"Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act
in accordance with the dictates of reason."
— Oscar Wilde.

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all
argument, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. That principle
is contempt prior to investigation."
— William Paley.

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Re: Would you step into a teleporter?

Post #29

Post by brunumb »

John Bauer wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 9:18 pm As a Christian, it's natural for me to put this in the context of a Christian world-view: I would say the same thing about my own Self, that in between my natural death and ultimate resurrection I do not exist. God knows how to reconstruct me, as it were, but that information is not identical to my Self.
It's a real can of worms. If a body was reassembled exactly as you were at the time of your death then that body would have all your memories and behave and think as a continuation of you. But is it 'you'? When you cease to exist anything made that is an exact duplicate of you is a new entity as far as I am concerned. Perhaps a resurrected you would be 'you' again in the same way that 'you' are back when you emerge from a general anaesthetic. Or do 'you'? My brain hurts :D
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Re: Would you step into a teleporter?

Post #30

Post by William »

John Bauer wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 9:18 pm
[Replying to William in post #28]
William wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 6:10 pm
I am thinking that it doesn't matter if you have become another copy of your former self because if the 'self' part of you remained intact through the teleportation process, then it is still 'you'. Effectively you have just move from one point in TimeSpace to another.
If what gets teleported is digital information concerning how the atoms and molecules of Earth-William were arranged, information used for constructing Mars-William, is it really your Self that is being teleported? Personally, I wouldn't think so. It seems, to me, that "you" cease to exist between the destruction of Earth-William and the construction of Mars-William.
So we have to determine what the 'you' is in relation to the human instrument [body/form] are they the same thing? [are you the form?
Is 'you' the form?].
I have experienced being outside of my form. [link] <<< what the bible say's that Jesus say's about this 'you' re "Born Again You Must Be."
As a Christian, it's natural for me to put this in the context of a Christian world-view: I would say the same thing about my own Self, that in between my natural death and ultimate resurrection I do not exist. God knows how to reconstruct me, as it were, but that information is not identical to my Self.
As I understand it, there is no complete agreement re Christian beliefs about "what happens after you die?" :o
If the 'self' is actually a 'soul' which is independent of the human form, then it may not be able to be be deconstructed and then reconstructed using physical world technology.
If that were the case, then the self is detached from the human experience - the form deconstructs - and thus your god would be able to reconstruct that in a similar manner as human technology.
But how are you to argue that the soul is 'non existent' - between times where it has no body to occupy and experience things through?
Of course, the replicas thing really throws me for a loop. If Earth-John is not destroyed, then is Mars-John "me"? What about Belter-John? I don't think so, but I struggle to articulate why not. I mean, if Earth-John is destroyed, then Mars-John is "me"—but if Earth-John is not destroyed, then Mars-John is NOT "me"? Why not? I don't have an intelligent answer for that.
As I wrote in my last post;

"We are all unique, which appears to be following the pattern [coding] of this Universe....itself unique, as is every thing separate from every other thing."

"You" are simply not the instrument you currently occupy. If you can get your head around that, and extend it to all the world then "we are not the bodies we move around within" which is then to ask "IF we are not the bodies THEN what are we?" "Born Again?"

:joker:

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