To Beam Or Not To Beam?


by Whitestar
Tags: beam
Whitestar
Whitestar is offline
#19
Sep10-03, 05:06 PM
P: 72
Originally posted by amadeus
OK, let's look at this from the subject's perspective: if there is a copy, it makes no more sense to say "me" and "my copy". What I don't understand is, why? Why doesn't it make sense for me to say "I've had a hot-dog for lunch" and "my copy had cheeseburger for lunch"? What's nonsensical about those two statements? What's the right way to convey the information that there was a hot-dog-eating event and a cheeseburger-eating event happening at the same time?

I just don't get it!

Sure. But what happens to ME? Are you going to say the two me's are the same? That makes no sense at all to me!

That's exactly what I'm saying: the original cannot be copied! If the copy were a true copy, then everything that was true about the original should be true about the copy. Your example makes it clear that a photocopy is not the original. That's why we call it "a copy" after all!

You are saying both you and your copy have individuality, and you are saying they are the same person. This doesn't make any sense to me.

If John and Jack are twin brothers, do you believe they are the same person? What's different between twins and the hypothetical scenario of "copying" a person?

Yes, exactly! That's what I was trying to convey when I posted this. Thanks Amadeus!

Whitestar
FZ+
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#20
Sep10-03, 06:39 PM
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P: 1,954
What's nonsensical about those two statements?
What is nonsensical is that you have ALREADY assumed, by labelling one as a copy and one as not that the two are imperfect copies. This make it possible for everything that follows to be an invalid, circular argument.

That's exactly what I'm saying: the original cannot be copied! If the copy were a true copy, then everything that was true about the original should be true about the copy. Your example makes it clear that a photocopy is not the original. That's why we call it "a copy" after all!
What this highlights is that the paradox derives from your idea of the word "copy", not what is actually copied. If, as you insist what you require is something that is the same, yet is different, it is not possible for anything to fulfill your idea of copy. You can't copy *anything*. And so your very concept of copy itself is meaningless.

What is conventionally held as a good copy are two, individual objects, deriving from the same process (the act of copying) and sharing close to the same properties - to be apparently identical. In that case, there is no paradox. And this is the sort of copying that is done of your body, and hence presumeably of your consciousness.
amadeus
#21
Sep11-03, 09:34 AM
P: n/a
Originally posted by FZ+
What is nonsensical is that you have ALREADY assumed, by labelling one as a copy and one as not that the two are imperfect copies. This make it possible for everything that follows to be an invalid, circular argument.
Not everything but some things. Think about this for a minute: if there's no way to tell one object from another, then we must think of them as the same object. That is known in physics as the Pauli exclusion principle, and that's where you seem to be coming from.

I would agree with you that if an outside observer can't tell the difference between myself and a copy of myself, then the outside observer must think of both me's as the same person. But the problem for your argument is that it doesn't take into account the subjective perspective: even if you think there are two me's, *I* am convinced there is only one. If you see my copy walking down the street and you tell me, "hey, look, that's you down there", I would immediately correct you, "no, that's not me, I am here by your side; what you see there is my copy".
What this highlights is that the paradox derives from your idea of the word "copy", not what is actually copied. If, as you insist what you require is something that is the same, yet is different, it is not possible for anything to fulfill your idea of copy. You can't copy *anything*. And so your very concept of copy itself is meaningless.
It's not meaningless. I can take a piece of paper and draw a circle of radius X. I can take another piece of paper and copy my first drawing: draw another circle of radius X. Have I made a copy? I sure have. Are both drawings the same? They are not! Even if they look exactly the same, down to the last particle in the piece of paper, they still occupy two different positions in space and time.

From my perspective, the flaw in this "copying a person" scenario is the failure to take into account that you can copy a person's body but you cannot copy the space and time coordinates a person occupies.
What is conventionally held as a good copy are two, individual objects, deriving from the same process (the act of copying) and sharing close to the same properties - to be apparently identical. In that case, there is no paradox. And this is the sort of copying that is done of your body, and hence presumeably of your consciousness.
I object to the "sharing close to the same properties". You can, at least in principle, copy any object down to every single property except for two: its position in space and time. And since one property of consciousness is that it knows its position in space and time, that means you can't copy a person's consciousness, even if you can copy every single atom of that person's body.

I'm sorry if that argument smacks of souls, spirits, or dualism. I can't do anything about it, it's pure logic as far as I can tell.
FZ+
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#22
Sep11-03, 06:23 PM
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even if you think there are two me's, *I* am convinced there is only one.
And the other you will say the same. It is still better to say there are two yous, than presume from the beginning a distinction of you, and your copy.

It's not meaningless. I can take a piece of paper and draw a circle of radius X. I can take another piece of paper and copy my first drawing: draw another circle of radius X. Have I made a copy? I sure have
And so the same for conciousness. But what you have set as an additional factor is that future influences on the circle be shared as well - destroy one circle, and the other is destroyed too. In that case, this idea of copy is not meaningful.

Even if they look exactly the same, down to the last particle in the piece of paper, they still occupy two different positions in space and time.
Precisely. And for this precise reason, the sort of copy you make out for the person is meaningless.

You can, at least in principle, copy any object down to every single property except for two: its position in space and time.
But the nature of the universe makes that meaningless, as we cannot establish such an absolute idea of it. It cannot be determined which of the yous holds the original space/time position. It is furthermore clear that position and time are constantly changing, and so illogical that exact knowledge and similarity are maintained in consciousness. When you move, you switch to a new position - and yet your consciousness is not lost.

And since one property of consciousness is that it knows its position in space and time, that means you can't copy a person's consciousness, even if you can copy every single atom of that person's body.
And hence we return to the waking up analogy - consciousless is a process, not a property. When the consciousness is duplicated, senses bring a new awareness of location and time, and each is none the wiser.
amadeus
#23
Sep12-03, 08:21 AM
P: n/a
Originally posted by FZ+
And so the same for conciousness. But what you have set as an additional factor is that future influences on the circle be shared as well - destroy one circle, and the other is destroyed too. In that case, this idea of copy is not meaningful.
I could agree with you in principle, but I have a problem with the consequences of this kind of reasoning: it eventually leads you to think everyone is the same person.

If "me" and "my copy" are the same person, what stands in our way of saying "me" and "my brother" are the same person? What about "me" and "Elvis Presley"? "me" and "Napoleon Bonaparte"? "me" and "Jesus Christ"? Do you realize the trouble?

If you'd like to go with that, I don't think I have a logical counterargument to offer. The best I can do is write you off as a mystic whose ideas lie beyond my ability to comprehend. But I don't think that is the case, I think we are simply miscommunicating.
FZ+
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#24
Sep12-03, 06:29 PM
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P: 1,954
If "me" and "my copy" are the same person, what stands in our way of saying "me" and "my brother" are the same person? What about "me" and "Elvis Presley"? "me" and "Napoleon Bonaparte"? "me" and "Jesus Christ"? Do you realize the trouble?
Ok... I think we are hanging up on the idea of "same". When I talk of making a copy, I mean same in origin from the process that made them. Obviously our consciousness, our "state of mind" is something that is dynamic, constantly changing. Hence it is certain that even if made the same, the consciousness copies would diverge by just natural development. Napoleon as a baby is probably very similar to you or I as a baby - but then we grew up.


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