question and its variant has been asked often enough, but i couldn’t find a poll. so here it is, the hypothetical creates a perfect copy of you with optional enhancements, then kills off the original you. would you use it?
It would depend on how fast the “killing” part happened, since as soon as a copy is made, the two versions will begin to diverge and no longer be true copies. If there’s no time to diverge then yes I would; physical continuity is an illusion. The cells and molecule that compose me are constantly being replaced; this would just be doing much the same thing faster. Ultimately I’m a particular collection of information & “programming”; the matter comprising me is transient.
Example: Freeze the brain and perform a destructive read on it to get a copy of the brain state. Strip it from the outside in until it’s destroyed but you have all the data it contained. Then load the data into a new brain. There’s no time for any divergence, so the “copy” is me; if you run off multiple copies, they are all me. Until they diverge that is; then they are all different versions of me.
Someone has to be the original though, the instant the copies are ‘switched online’ and begin to diverge they’re different people. Almost exactly the same as the original but not quite and increasingly different as time goes on and their experiences differ.
This is why I could never buy the scenario I’ve come across a few times in science-fiction where a person has a copy of their mind made and stored in backup then goes off and lifes their life safe in the knowledge that it doesn’t matter if they’re killed as a copy is safe and secure ready to take over when they bite the bullet.
But that doesn’t make sense, it does the person with the backup no good at all to have a backup apart from having another version of themselves.
Its not just a matter of losing a few months of memories, as soon as they’re dead their conciousness is gone as effectively if they had no backup at all.
Sure a version of themselves will continue but thats not the same thing at all.
Sorry if that made no sense, I’m rambling, long day.
I’ll only agree to it if you can make the switch with out my knowlegde of it.
Something along the lines of; I get a letter in the mail a month from now telling me the switch was made three days ago in my sleep,
Sure I would. If the procedure is well-tested and the advantages are strong enough, I wouldn’t even mind if the killing of the redundant me is a bit painful. Think of it as an unpleasant but ultimately beneficial surgical operation.
Of course, the killing happens after the cloning, so they could torture old-me to death with a cheesegrater and I (the me that goes on living) wouldn’t feel a thing, but like LHOD I’m opposed to suffering even when it happens to other people, especially when the other person is someone I have a lot in common with. Therefore, the amount of pain I would be OK with for old-me to suffer, would be the same as what I would be willing to go through if I did have to remember it.
I understand the “what’s the point, the clone will be a different person” argument, but I don’t agree with it. The new person will have all my thought patterns and memories, right up to the point where I stepped into the cloning machine, and will react to any stimuli in exactly the same way that I would. In the absence of any other people making the same claim, that’s good enough for me.
I even think that, if I opened my eyes after going into the cloning machine and was told “sorry, you’re the original, please stand still for a moment” I could have peace with the idea that my current line-of-consciousness was about to end, as long as I knew that there was a basically identical copy of myself which would happily go on living, with an improved clone body into the bargain.
Sorry but I just can’t grasp this way of looking at things, the new person may be a version of you but its not the ‘you’ that has been copied, the instant they’re switched on they become a different person.
If I could copy myself and retain the original then I’d probably give it a go, hell upload my conciousness into a female body or a body of a different ethnicity then the new me and old me can compare and contrast our diverging life experiences from that point. Now that would be interesting and you’d finally get to find out what sort of person you are from the outside.
Even better again would if the facility was possible to merge the original and copies experiences and memories at a later point, sort of many lifetimes of experience rolled into one.
But if as the OP posited the process requires the original to be destroyed then no thanks!
As far as I’m concerned, the brain patterns that contain my memories and determine my feelings and behaviour, are who I am. Remove those brain patterns from my current body, and I will be gone, even if the body is otherwise unharmed. Copy those brain patterns to another body, and that other body has just as much claim to being ‘me’ as I do right now.
Admittedly, once you allow two or more of these bodies to run around simultaneously, you’ve got the mother of all identity crises on your hands. But that doesn’t change the fact that if you have a person who remembers being me from childhood onwards, then that person is in fact me.
Apologies, don’t have time for a considered reply, up early tomorrow and off to bed.
I agree that depending on the technology used (which at this point may as well be magic) the copy may have as much right to be considered ‘you’ as the original but as soon as the original you and the copy you awake they instantly become two different people. The original might have a better claim to be the ‘real you’ since its still in the original body but in actuality you now have two different people on your hands.
My objection is the claim that its OK to dispose of the original because the copy is the same person, I disagree, the copy is new person because the original becomes a new person as well from the moment the scan is complete and the original could argue to have a unbroken continuity of conciousness which the copy couldn’t.
Thats leaving aside whether the person who wakes up tomorrow is still me or not, I view sleep as more an engine idling rather than being turned off.
I’m with you. I wouldn’t agree to being photographed and then slain, either. The difference between that and “uploading” (as described every single time I’ve encountered this notion) is only in the sophistication of the technology employed. Actually transferring someone’s (for lack of a better word) awareness from one vessel to another would require some damned Sufficiently Advanced technology. I have yet to hear anyone describe a hypothetical “uploading” process that was more convincing than brain surgery as performed by Homo erectus.
yes, that is correct. i’ve intentionally left the hypothetical open so you can fit in any of the variants. be it a robot, a healthier you, a cyborg, whatever. i should also clarify that “optional enhancements” can be anything, including remote construction of the new you in a new locale, ie, a teleporter.
this question has always fascinated me because, for as long as i remember, i’d always favoured the use of teleporters. that is, until i read the notion that teleporters work by destroying you and recreating a copy on the other end. it really is insinuous - introducing a fantastic new technology with no apparent drawback until its all too late reveal after it’s used. frankly I (the new me) wouldn’t care, but perhaps the plane this time round.
interesting that you should mention this. the OP specifically states that the copy would be made first before killing off the original. this is to intentionally highlight that stepping into teleporters are an illusion in continuity.
as for the divergence, that is a position i do not share. i believe that a new person is created the moment it is. why solo time is needed to establish it as a person i do not understand.
i share your position, though i understand the idea and its allure - it’s just a “save and reload” idea taken from games. certainly if you’re going to be the only person tasked to save the world (and get the girl), you’ll want several copies of yourself to get the job done.
no pain if you wish. foolproof in the sense that everything and everybody (including the copy) thinks the copy is you. except for you that is, unless you share Walton Firm’s beliefs.
this is the obstacle for me that makes the question so fascinating. i just can’t get over it.
i shall cling to the flesh that i have deemed to be Me and reject all others that claim to be what i can see is not. i will not be assimilated.
Is the clone an improvement on the original? For example, I’m a few days short of 55. Is the clone maybe 18 (or better yet, a child)? Is the clone healthy, with any genetic flaws removed? So that, say, if the original I had a genetic predisposition to some kind of cancer or diabetes or something like that, the clone would not?
Because if the answer is yes, hell, to me that’s like asking if I would like to be 18 again, only knowing everything I already know. To heck with the 55-year-old me; what do I care? As a few people have already said, it would be like going under general anesthesia and waking up with an 18-year-old body! The new me would have no sense of foreignness - my memory would be comparable to that of someone who has had surgery - a period of blank consciousness. I don’t see any moral issue here; the only person being killed here is the old me, who is perfectly willing (assuming painlessness here). The “true” me would continue living with a vastly improved body.