Would 'you' be in control of a clone of yourself after you die?

  • Thread starter johnnya
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I've just had this wacky thought which I thought I should share...

We humans are unique. We have different DNA, features etc... and we have total
control of ourselves. (In other words we're not robots who are not conscious)

Now when you die, you lose consciousness. You cease to exist and you're no longer 'you'. You were 'you' because you had 'that' DNA, and you were conscious of your self. That's what I think and what most scientists think (I think)

And now for the wacky thought...

If you die, and let's say scientists find a way to clone a human exactly like you (exact DNA etc..). Only difference would be that the clone wouldn't have the memories and experience you had before you died since he will be born as a baby.

Would that baby be 'you'?

I hope u understand what I'm trying to say here because this question is tricky.

The baby clone wouldn't really be 'you' because you died, but he's exactly like you, so who would be the one to 'control' that clone?

I think that it would be 'you' who controls it... of course you wouldn't have any idea that you already existed since you wouldn't possess the memories and experience of your previous life...

If that clone wouldn't be 'you', then that would mean that 'you' were not really the brain along with the body with that specific DNA that you had, otherwise 'you' would control the 'new you'. It would mean that 'you' are some kind of 'energy' 'soul' 'spirit' whatever people call it...

Strange thought huh?

What do you folks think? :)


EDIT: I kept on thinking and it got stranger... if it really would be 'you' that controls that clone, then what in the world would happen if that clone was created when you were still alive? Lol
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Office_Shredder
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By "he's exactly like you" you mean "He has the same DNA as you". Don't stretch that farther than it really goes
 
  • #3
Vanadium 50
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A clone is essentially an identical twin. (Actually, identical twins are more identical than clones, but lets not go there) If you replace "clone" with "twin" everywhere, you'll have your answer.
 
  • #5
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The answer to the question is no because you will be dead.What you are or were is due to your nurture as well as your nature.
 
  • #6
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Let me throw in a slightly alternative situation, inspired by the sci-fi video game Eve Online.

Lets say you have a clone kept unconscious in suspended animation. Lets also pretend that there exists the technology to map your brain such that all your memories, personality, etc, can be saved and then transferred into that clone. When you die, this machine is rigged to automatically take a snapshot of your brain, transfer it to the clone, and wake the clone up.

Are you still dead and this vat-grown clone is some other person? I'd still say "yes."
 
  • #7
Vanadium 50
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As far as I know identical twins are not exactly the same:
And neither are clones.
 
  • #8
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Surely identical twins are identical. Otherwise they would be called slightly similiar twins.
 
  • #9
cronxeh
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'You' is an emergent property of your brain. If i operate on your brain i can remove 'you'. Extrapolate to some other clone, bottom line is, you seize to exist as your brain dies.
 
  • #10
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No. An enormous part of the "self" is social in nature. Although the genetic material would be identical, the social self would not be. You and your clone would be different persons.
 
  • #11
Regarding the OP, this isn't complex. If there were no limit on post size...

No.
 
  • #12
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Interesting answers, thanks.

BUT...

I don't think that you really did understand my point here.

I KNOW that the clone wouldn't be you (that person that you were when you died) even if somehow it was made exactly
like you.

Think about this...

Why is it that 'I' control myself, and 'you' control yourself? Why isn't it the other way
around.

See what I'm pointing out here?

Now, back to the clone story...

My guess is that 'we' are who we are because of our unique biological structure. So when the you die, will 'you' be in a sleep like state where you will not know what's going on and you won't be in control of anything, or will 'you' be in control of a clone who's exactly like you were without even knowing it?

Notice how I'm putting ' around the you. I'm doing it because I'm reffering to you as the controlling unit of your body.
 
  • #13
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Are you still dead and this vat-grown clone is some other person? I'd still say "yes."
Yes, it would be another person, but what makes you so sure that 'you' wouldn't be the one controlling it after you die? It would NOT be you (the person who you were) but it would be 'you' that controls it just like you're controlling yourself now.

See what I mean?
 
  • #14
cronxeh
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Interesting answers, thanks.

BUT...

I don't think that you really did understand my point here.

I KNOW that the clone wouldn't be you (that person that you were when you died) even if somehow it was made exactly
like you.

Think about this...

Why is it that 'I' control myself, and 'you' control yourself? Why isn't it the other way
around.

See what I'm pointing out here?

Now, back to the clone story...

My guess is that 'we' are who we are because of our unique biological structure. So when the you die, will 'you' be in a sleep like state where you will not know what's going on and you won't be in control of anything, or will 'you' be in control of a clone who's exactly like you were without even knowing it?

Notice how I'm putting ' around the you. I'm doing it because I'm reffering to you as the controlling unit of your body.
You dont seem to understand the answers you were given. No point in replying to you further.
 
  • #15
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"My guess is that 'we' are who we are because of our unique biological structure. So when the you die, will 'you' be in a sleep like state where you will not know what's going on and you won't be in control of anything, or will 'you' be in control of a clone who's exactly like you were without even knowing it?"

Ridiculous. Who I am is primarily a function of my experiences and how I've perceived these experiences, and you've explicitly stated that this clone would not have my memories nor experiences.

I mean, do you think that a person with my exact DNA and such, but born in China would be an exact replica of me as a person?

And how would I control my clone from beyond the grave? I'm dead already and as far as anyone can tell, I would not be able to exert any influence upon the living.

I don't think you've thought this through at all. And judging by the chorus of disagreement, I think your idea is poorly constructed.
 
  • #16
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You dont seem to understand the answers you were given.
I do understand them.


'You' is an emergent property of your brain. If i operate on your brain i can remove 'you'. Extrapolate to some other clone, bottom line is, you seize to exist as your brain dies.
Yes, you do sieze to exist. If your brain dies then you will no longer function and won't be aware of anything. You will be gone.

But do we know what it is that makes us 'us'? Why I'm this person and you're that
person? We don't, that's why I had this crazy thought that if they cloned someone
like you after you die, you could be the one controlling it, without being aware that
you were the one controlling the other 'you' before he died.

As I said this is just a thought, I don't believe in this, but I don't rule it out as an impossibility either.
 
  • #17
DaveC426913
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This is straightforward.

Who 'you' are is the sum total of the DNA you started with and all of your experiences since the moment you could be considred to have experiences.

A clone shares only that initial single-cell filled with DNA. Absolutely everything that happens to it from that point on (including development in the womb, which is based on the nutrients received externally, right up through college) is utterly unique to it and was not shared by you.
 
  • #18
DaveC426913
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But do we know what it is that makes us 'us'? Why I'm this person and you're that
person? We don't,
We do.

Us is defined by the chemistry in the 3lbs. of grey matter balanced at the top of our spine.
 
  • #19
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Ridiculous. Who I am is primarily a function of my experiences and how I've perceived these experiences
I'm not referring to 'you' as the person who you are. I'm picture 'you' as your consciousness (whatever you want to call it)

When you were 2-3 years old you hadn't experienced all the experience that you experienced till today. You were different it was still you. You were in control.



And how would I control my clone from beyond the grave? I'm dead already and as far as anyone can tell, I would not be able to exert any influence upon the living.
You wouldn't, this isn't what I meant.

You wouldn't be able to exert any influence upon the living because you're gone. But maybe 'you' (NOT you who you are now) would be in control of that clone.

I'm sorry if I'm not making any sense, english is not my first language, and I can't really explain what I'm thinking.
 
  • #20
DaveC426913
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If I may suppose:

You are grasping for a definition of individual that is beyond the simple conscious (and unconscious) mind.

Like if, somehow your entire mind were wiped of thought (say, by death) there would be be some essence of 'you'ness that remains.

This is a common belief, and is commonly called a soul. Trouble is, there's no empirical evidence for its existence.
 
  • #21
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We do.

Us is defined by the chemistry in the 3lbs. of grey matter balanced at the top of our spine.
Thanks Dave, I'll search on that.
 
  • #22
We do.

Us is defined by the chemistry in the 3lbs. of grey matter balanced at the top of our spine.
Hey, there are plenty of glands (my nuts for instance) which also determine who I am! Don't forget the importance of DEEZ NUTZ!

Ok... with that out of my system *rimshot* it seems that johnnya is asking if you could essentially be a ghost inhabiting the body of your clone... which means you'd need to be something other than a materialist. I don't buy that, BUT...

What if by control you meant something else? What if you ran a financial empire and wanted it to continue in a particular way, or you're a terrorist and you want to keep up appearances? With technology that is not within anything like the current scope of neuroscience and cybernetics, you could make a clone that followed a preset series of orders, to be governed by its basic nature. You create that nature by imprinting select portions of your own memories and personality culled from you when still alive.

The thing is, I can't for the life of me imagine why anyone even with such tech would do this. It would be easier to just make a clone without much intellect and control it closely with human agents. Anyway, as none of this goes towards the OP I'll cease and desist now.

OP... you should research the concepts of Materialism vs. Dualism... that's the issue you seem to be struggling with... the basic issue that DaveC has identified. I for one hope that if I do have a soul, its fate is not to be trapped in a clone of myself.
 
  • #23
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If I may suppose:

You are grasping for a definition of individual that is beyond the simple conscious (and unconscious) mind.

Like if, somehow your entire mind were wiped of thought (say, by death) there would be be some essence of 'you'ness that remains.

This is a common belief, and is commonly called a soul. Trouble is, there's no empirical evidence for its existence.

No, no, I do not believe in a soul. And like most of you guys here I do believe that when you die you're gone for good.

I was just thinking that by reconstructing someone like yourself after you die you could be the one controlling it because DNA is the same. This doesn't mean however that 'you' will act the way the original you acted. The clone in reality wouldn't be 'you' (the being who you were).

I don't believe this either, It's just a thought, that's all.
 
  • #24
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Hey, there are plenty of glands (my nuts for instance) which also determine who I am! Don't forget the importance of DEEZ NUTZ!

Ok... with that out of my system *rimshot* it seems that johnnya is asking if you could essentially be a ghost inhabiting the body of your clone... which means you'd need to be something other than a materialist. I don't buy that, BUT...
Neither do I.

I don't believe in a soul, ghosts or stuff like that. I don't know where you got that idea, cause I didn't say that. I thought maybe the clone seeing as he's the same he would've have the same consciousness, or something like that.
 
  • #25
DaveC426913
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No, no, I do not believe in a soul. And like most of you guys here I do believe that when you die you're gone for good.

I was just thinking that by reconstructing someone like yourself after you die you could be the one controlling it because DNA is the same. This doesn't mean however that 'you' will act the way the original you acted. The clone in reality wouldn't be 'you' (the being who you were).

I don't believe this either, It's just a thought, that's all.
This is making no sense.

You agree that when you're dead, you're dead. Let's be explicit: You Are dead.

So how can you claim that You are controlling some clone?
 

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