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A Little Hypothetical For You to Answer

  1. Mar 2, 2009 #1
    Only 2 conscious beings are alive in a universe. They are clones, exactly similar in every way down to the last atom, quantum fluctuation etc. Their names: Clone A and Clone B, to keep it logical they grow up in completely separate environments unbeknown to the fact the other one exists.

    Clone A suddenly dies.

    Clone A is not in existence, but Clone B is. Did Clone A become Clone B?

    My Answer: Yes.

    Your Answers:
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 2, 2009 #2


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    Why would clone A become clone B?
  4. Mar 2, 2009 #3
  5. Mar 2, 2009 #4


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    :confused: But you said that your answer would be "clone A became clone B." I'm asking you why you think this.
  6. Mar 2, 2009 #5
    I have given you my answer, please share with me yours.
  7. Mar 2, 2009 #6


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    Fine: No.
  8. Mar 2, 2009 #7
    Share your reasoning then I will share mine.:smile:
  9. Mar 2, 2009 #8
    There's a few things that bug me about this statement:

    If they're exactly the same (atoms, quantum fluctuations, etc.) then wouldn't they be the same person to begin with?

    If they were exactly the same wouldn't they try to murder each other at the same time?

    Is it murder if there are only two people in the universe.

    My answer to the question: No. Clone A is always Clone A, as Clone B is always Clone B. The molecules represented by Clone A are not destroyed when he is killed and they are certainly not replaced by Clone B.

    My opinion of this question: Why the hell did I waste 5 minutes of my life reading and answering it :rolleyes:
  10. Mar 2, 2009 #9
    I have changed it to make it more sensible. They grow up in different environments and they are not one person, they are clones ie. 2 different conscious beings with the exact same material composition. This one doesn't have any murder either, I will keep it non-violent :smile:
  11. Mar 2, 2009 #10
    but then they'd grow to be different, if the environment were different in even the slightest, in which case, no.

    if their environments were identical, on the other hand, and for the sake of argument *everything* about them is the exact same, then one would not die before the other. are they same person in that case? ... yes/no:

    you could say yes, by some standards; but essentially no, because it is possible to put one in a different state than the other, simply by introducing some external factor to his identical environment and not doing the same to the world of the other guy.

    but i think that's an essential flaw in the question itself.

    one dying before the other implies a difference. if anything, you might say that at that point A and B turn into different people, actually-- for up till then hey were indistinguishable.
  12. Mar 2, 2009 #11
    They are identical, environments identical except some being pops into existence and shoots Clone A, then pops back out of existence. There, are you happy now? By the way, you need to stop arguing the question and actually provide an answer and reasoning as to if you think Clone A becomes Clone B or not. There is nothing wrong with the hypothetical, I am saying they are the exact same material composition, it doesn't matter if their environment's differ if the fundamental personal identity is based on genes, which seems to be the most logical explanation according to science.

    Deny this logic and I will happily change my answer.

    Btw, they are already different people: one of them is not existing as the other.

    It makes perfectly logical sense that upon the death of Clone A, Clone B is the only experiencer therefore Clone A becomes Clone B.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  13. Mar 2, 2009 #12
    If they were in the same universe they would cease to be identical the moment after they are created. Just like cloned humans would (another words identical twins). Maybe a better posit is that they are in separate identical universes too? Anyway the answer is no in my opinion too.

    If I have two identical casks of Amontillado and I put a body in one and then disintegrate it does a body appear in the other? :bugeye:
  14. Mar 2, 2009 #13


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    I have two one dollar bills in my wallet. I go and buy a soda with one of them. Does the second one become the first? No. Heck, the first one doesn't even cease to exist, it's just changed state a little.

    This is a silly hypothetical.
  15. Mar 2, 2009 #14
    I guess a much more interesting thing to ask in my opinion, is:
    Will the clones share a common perception of consciousness if both clones are in existence?

    I think it is hard to imagine how consciousness could be shared. But if it cannot be shared, why not? If consciousness is merely a perception of the brain, and both brains are perfectly identical then logically, it would follow that consciousness can be shared. Hmm...
  16. Mar 2, 2009 #15


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    Closed pending moderation.

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