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A Question of Cloning and Resurrection.

  1. Jul 5, 2003 #1
    I've recently seen the movie "The 6th Day", and I have a question regarding individuality and the type of cloning that occurs in that movie.

    You see, in the movie, some of the characters have very little fear of death, because they will be cloned and thus resurrected (brought back to life, so to speak). Now, my question is: If I died, and a perfect (and I do mean absolutely perfect) copy of me could be made, would I feel as though I were "waking up", or would somebody else (my clone) experience it as though it were himself that had died and "woken up"?

    Another question to ponder, while answering the first one, is this: If I am still alive when they clone me, and a clone-Mentat awakens and believes himself to be the real me (which is somewhat what occurs in "The 6th Day"), then what happens when one of us dies (kind of the inverse of the previous question, isn't it?)?

    Any/all viewpoints, correction, or other comments (on-topic) are appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 5, 2003 #2
    You failed to provide one piece of subliminary information.

    Once you die and this clone is made. Would this clone have your entire memory up until the point of death?

    Normally a clone does NOT have any more memory than that of a new baby.

    To anticpate your answer - the answer is:

    If the clone had your entire memory - then you would feel very similiar to being asleep for the period of time from death to conscious clone. In other words - you would have a distinct sense of a missing period of time.

    If the clone didn't have your memory, then of course it would be just like being a completely different person.

    Got it?

    As far as your second question - it's just irrational. If there was a clone of you made after you - it would be it and you would be you.

    There is no need to say the "real mentat" because the clone would be no more a mentat than I would - sure it would look similiar, but a clone of someone doesn't make that clone them anymore than I am them...

    Got it?

    In otherwords - the different between bob and mentat is the same as the different between mentat and clone mentat.

    So the answerr of what would happen if the real mentat would die is simply the same as what would happen if a random person died, which happens everyday - and the answer, virtually nothing.

    Glad I could help.
  4. Jul 5, 2003 #3
    I do beg your pardon, CrystalStudio, as I apparently did not make it clear that I do not mean clone in the actual scientific sense. Rather, I mean "clone" as in a perfect replica, complete with all of your memories and everything else that makes you you. In fact, in the movie that I mention, they used already-produced bodies and just inserted the memories like software.

    I again apologize for not having clarified this from the start.
  5. Jul 5, 2003 #4
    So do you see my concept then?

    Although let us discuss the space of time from the INSTANCE before death, and the time at which the clone brain memory is created.

    If the memory contained any information about the death. The knowledge that death had or was CERTAINLY going to occur, OR any feelings like pain (from a painful death) those would be included.

    So - we can say that if knowledge of a death was in the memory - it wouldn't just feel like waking up, it would feel literally like you were living post-death!! and would certainly be very scary.

    So, if this was to be done on a decent massive scale - the clones would most likely need to be immediately divided into ones which had memory of death and those would didn't.

    SUrely the psychological impact of this COULD (but maybe wouldn't) be important.

    For instance, if you never knew you died but people said "hey you died and we brought you back" you would feel just as though you were knocked out in a hospital, you know and wer eback. You'd probably just say "damn I am glad to not have been permenantly dead!"

    but if you recalled the death - it might be a bit more difficult.

    However my knowledge would say that these would be just as similiar as the people who either die for like a split second, or are merely unconcsious from something...

    ... in other words - in reality the two experiences probably wouldn't be much cause for concern.....

    BUt who knows, maybe it would play some interesting mental change which we'd never guess until we actually did this!
  6. Jul 5, 2003 #5
    So it is your opinion that it would "me" who felt this way (like "post-death" or like I was about to die, or like I "woke up", etc), and not just my clone, feeling as though he had been me.
  7. Jul 5, 2003 #6

    Could you restate that? I don't understand...
  8. Jul 6, 2003 #7
    Except that the clone's body would not have been traumatized, in which case there would be no "physical memory" of the trauma, and it would probably seem more like a "fleeting nightmare."
  9. Jul 6, 2003 #8
    well i am preety sure that it will be imposable for a blank boady to be made into you because that is just silly.

    But any way no prably not because it is in actualty a diffrent brain same compasition and memories but diffrent everything
  10. Jul 7, 2003 #9
    Is it your opinion that, if I were to die, and a perfect clone (that's what I'll call a clone of the type described in the 6th day, with all of my memories and characteristics) of me was made, I (myself, the one that is posting to you right now) would feel like I was waking up; or would someone else (the clone) experience this "waking up", and believe that they were me, when in fact they were not?
  11. Jul 7, 2003 #10


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    I don't quite buy the whole transferral of consciousness thing.

    I consider the awareness we have to be an effect of the complex reactions of our brain. Hence, even with a replica, your awareness continues in your brain, and the clones in it's. While the clone believes itself to be you, it's awareness is a new one, a copy, not a transfer.
    But I accept that in the end, it may be impossible to tell this apart. The dead person is not capable of feeling, and the living brain is secure in it's belief and recreation of thought.

    But that also raises an unpleasant thought. Each time you wake up, you do not wake up at all, but a new "you" is created from your memory, with the impression that it was always the same you. Can anyone possibly tell the difference?
  12. Jul 7, 2003 #11
    Am afraid it would only truly work if one had a soul, and am not sure how the soul affixes itself to "one body" in particular (must have something to do with the "neruo-energy" field I guess?), except that when the body perishes the soul won't be able to find it's way back. And indeed I've had dreams like this, where I've had to look around for myself (its "physical source" or center) and then try to force myself awake.
  13. Jul 7, 2003 #12
    They would be seperate persons of course, alike in many ways, esp. in their biological appearence, but probably also in their psycholgical appearence, but nevertheless seperate individuals.

    Like one-celled twins.
  14. Jul 8, 2003 #13
    I have already considered this, and, while I agree with you in almost everything you've said here, I do have to say that even the most materialist of Philosophers (such as Dan Dennett) have posed the idea of the "self" as being a "program" run by our brains (the organic computers). Thus, if you were to get another computer to run our programs (so to speak), "you" would be transferred to another brain.

    Actually, my dear fellow, that is my little test that proves quite the opposite as you say it implies. You see, at night I go to sleep with the knowledge of the possibility that I will "die" tonight, and that a perfect clone (believing himself to be me, much like I believe myself to be yesterday's "me") will take my place, but every morning I awaken! And while it's never proof to me when I bring it up to others, I still try it out every night, and in the morning, it is "proven" to me all over again.

    Remember, I cannot know right now that I am really the one that has performed these "tests" ever night/morning, but I can know that I'm going to try it tonight (as I believe I've done every night) and I hope to prove it to myself in the morning :smile:.
  15. Jul 8, 2003 #14
    Re: Re: A Question of Cloning and Resurrection.

    Well this is obviously true of actual clones (as I admitted in one of the earlier posts), but I'm talking about a perfect copy of your body and brain, where only the "information" of "you" has been transferred (or just copied, if you are still alive when "cloned").
  16. Jul 8, 2003 #15


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    But you see, is it the same you as the one which went to bed. Let's see - how do you know that you went to bed in the first place, but from your memories? The ones left over?

    If we use the computer analogy, we can say that sleep is like a rebooting of the computer, and cloning is copying the hard disk. In which case, it depends on what your concept of self lies - if it lies in the active running of the program, ie. in the current session on the proccessor, or in terms of the pattern of the mind, or rather the code that is run by the computer. In the first case, your self is repeatedly destroyed and re-created from base instruction, and is only a transient thing. In the second, it is perfectly fine your existence to be continued, or even duplicated, but the immediate perception, or the current running session is aware only of one of them.
  17. Jul 9, 2003 #16
    I already covered that point. I said that I never know whether I really did it, in the morning, but I know that I'm going to sleep (at night), and so I go to sleep, and then (according to my memory) I've woken up every time. Now, this is never conclusive - in fact, I never get any closer to proving it than when I started - but somehow, inside, it just feels right ('fraid I can't get more scientific than that ).

    Yes, this is the point I had been making, though I never believed the first choice, we are indeed a program, run by the brain. When we go to sleep, the program stops running temporarily, but it is re-started in the morning.
  18. Jul 9, 2003 #17

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    The 'self' is just an illusion created by our single point of reference anyway.

    When I think of transfering consciousness like this, I think that "The clone will be me, but I will not be the clone."

    Lets say I had this option open to me, but I wasn't confident that I could download my brain, kill this body, and adopt the new body... So as a test, I create a perfect clone of myself, and ask it if it is really me... It would reply

    "Yes. Absolutely, I am 'me', as perfectly as I have ever been, everything is just perfect.. Don't fear, you can clone yourself and your consciousness is kept perfectly intact..."

    But in it answering that, 'I' would know that I could never be resurrected in a clone, because even though the clone is certain that everything is perfect, and that 'my self' is within it, 'I' am still not there, because 'i' am still trapped in my body, looking at the new copy of my old self.

    The clone is me, but I am not the clone.
  19. Jul 10, 2003 #18

    exactly. remember the ending scene, mentat? the "bad-guy" cloned himself (imperfectly) and still died, while the clone felt nothing. so you die, and yet you live. it greatly depends on your definition of yourself.
  20. Jul 11, 2003 #19
    That's not entirely true. When you go into REM sleep, your concious mind is asleep, but your subconcious mind is still processing external information from the senses. It's what wakes us up when we hear a loud noise or some other external stimuli.

    To address your earlier question, if there were 2 of you, then they would in essence diverge and become 2 seperate personalities. They would be the same up to the point of the clone, then diverge from there, each having thier own seperate experiences. In theory they could develop entirely seperate personalities over time, becoming nothing alike.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2003
  21. Jul 11, 2003 #20
    Mentat, you bring up an important question for evolution: in what proportion do nature and nurture affect survival instinct? In other words, do I fight harder and flee faster to preserve my genetics or my life experiences?
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