General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

Would you still be you?

Asked by Ltryptophan (12091points) April 25th, 2010

Imagine that a teleportation machine has been designed that can successfully scan exactly what you physically are and reorganize matter as an exact replica of you somewhere else. Then the machine simultaneously deletes the old copy (aka you). Is this new living, breathing, thinking copy of you now you? What are the legal, moral, ethical, ramifications of being copied? If each time this process took place you willed all of your rights, property, etc. to the copy would it matter that it was not you since the copy would know exactly what you knew only moments before?

You would technically die, right?

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11 Answers

DarkScribe's avatar

I am more interested in what happens if the original you doesn’t die – something goes wrong. Who gets to be you then? The first one home?

CaptainHarley's avatar

The experiences and personalities of such “doppelgangers” would diverge from yours as soon as they were created, in effect creating a similar, but non-idencial “you.”

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

Watch the movie Moon with Sam Rockwell. That’s my 90 minute answer to this question.

ragingloli's avatar

Technically it would not be me, but for all intents and purposes, it would be. The more interesting question is; what if the original ‘you’ survives?

kenmc's avatar

I’ve wondered this many times. Would one’s conscience be teleported? Or would it be a new, yet identical conscience?

I have no idea, but am interested in knowing.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Anyone who tells you they know the answer to this question is full of it! Heh!

DarkScribe's avatar

Just think of the legal implications if the original was not “removed” – no one could ever have an alibi again.

CaptainHarley's avatar


Or, alternatively, would having your doppleganger alibi for you be legally acceptable? : )

talljasperman's avatar

It one of those things that we will have to experiment on in real life….right now I’m on Dr. Macoy’s views from Star Trek.

anartist's avatar

Why would you bother to will everything to yourself every time you caught the cross-state transporter to go to work? Pretty tiresome it seems.

It is just a faster version of whsat your body does every day, deleting cells and replacing them with new. Every cell in your body has probably been replaced many times over. Are you still you?

Disc2021's avatar

If you’re creating a new you, then the old you is the old you and the new you is the new you. Unless you still consider the old you to be you – then what you’re doing is killing the old you and replacing it with a new you. No matter what though, you are you… if there are two of you, then you’ve got… ah? Erhm…

Depends on how you want to look at it, ha. You’d be rewriting history though or altering the past.

What are the moral, ethical, legal ramifications? Depends on how a country/society/population wants to consider such a machine and what regulations it wants to impose under it’s legal system. What do I think? I think such a thing would be nuts and shouldn’t even be attempted. We’d royally screw our time-line out of proportion.

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