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Beam Me Up Scotty

  1. Nov 28, 2003 #1
    Beam “me” up Scotty. This statement all depends on your definition of “me”. How can one define them self? Let’s say for example, Scotty tells me to enter his teleportation machine. On goes the switch and in the blink of an eye, I am teleported to an adjacent pod located 5’ away. I remember nothing of the event except standing in one location and a split second later I am standing 5’ to the left. What happened? Well, for arguments sake let’s say that a computer scanned the molecular make-up of my entire body, deconstructed those molecules, transported them 5’ to the left and reconstructed them. Now, let’s say we perform the teleportation once again. However, this time the computer scans my molecular make-up but doesn’t breakdown the molecules of my body. Instead, the teleportation machine deconstructs the molecules of a 68kg sack of potatoes and uses those molecules to construct “me” 5’ away. So, what’s the difference? Well, in the first example, my experience has me standing in position 1, then instantaneously existing (and knowing) that I am now 5’ to the left. In example two, I am standing in position 1…and I never leave position 1. So, who’s the guy 5’ to my left that looks just like me? Am I more than just a systematic arrangement of molecules? When 2 of me exist in this world, whose eyes do I see out of? Who’s got the answer…..?

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 29, 2003 #2
    If there were more to you than your molecular makeup, and the transporter was unable to duplicate this, then you might have a problem existing in two bodies at once.

    Similarly, if the transporter were able to project your "physical body" clear across the galaxy, would your "consciousness" be able to follow suit?

    You ever have a dream where you knew you were dreaming and you tried to wake yourself up but you couldn't find your body?
  4. Dec 4, 2003 #3
    Well, if your physical body made it, I would claim your consciousness did as well. As for the dream waking where you could not find your body... I have not experienced that as such, but I do have what I have now deemed a "dream world" in which I go to, which is entirely consistent within itself, in which I talk in my sleep when I am in. When I am there, I cannot be convinced that it is not reality, people have tried, its very funny. But I have always had a body, wherever I go. I have spun around the room a few times, and turned things in front of me, but none of these are what I would call out of body experiences.
  5. Dec 4, 2003 #4
    Maybe the new "me" formed from the 68kg of potatoes is just a shell of the real "me." In that case I think "my" original conscious self would stay in my original body, looking at the non-animated shell.

    That is, unless the teleportation device managed to "copy" my conscious mind, so that the new "me" would be looking at the original "me" and mirror every movement. That would make "me" not unique, as there would be another "me" in this universe.
  6. Dec 5, 2003 #5
    I appreciate everyone’s comments. Iacchus32, I like the point you made about distant teleportation. Dark Wing, if your original body remained where it was and your "copy" traveled across the galaxy for 20min. How would "you"(the original you) perceive the moment when your copy is reconstructed. Would you gain control of your copy? motai, you're exactly right(well...just in my opinion). However, we seem to agree that the same molecularly identical beings can exist in the universe at the same time....but can an identical consciousness exist at the same time? Thanks for the input.
  7. Dec 6, 2003 #6
    Well, the closest we can get to this are identical twins which, for the most part are unique identities and yet, strikingly close in terms of personalities. So perhaps we're not speaking of something altogether different here?
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