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The Dilemma of Teleportation


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#1 Hobbesy

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 02:46

Earlier today a friend and I were talking about teleportation, and how it could be utilized when a thought occurred to me. "What would make the person who stepped out the other side you?" After all, if such a system were to utilize computers and data storage, you would have to be vaporized and in essence, cloned. Even if the person teleported had your exact thoughts and was a complete clone, would your conscience still be with them? Of course, we could go even deeper than that by asking "What exactly is conscience?" and if it is definable, can it be stored so that the teleportee doesn't lose it, and in essence, die?

#2 AllStarZ

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 02:56

Yes.

You'd encounter the same dilemma if you tried to transfer your memories.

Existence is consciousness. If you cease to exist, you cease to be conscious, even if this is for a brief moment.

#3 Hobbesy

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 02:58

I've come to the conclusion that the only sane way to teleport a conscience organism is with a wormhole or a portal of some nature.

#4 Alias

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 03:16

The problems mentioned in the OP are also the reasons why I'm completly against any form of transhumanism.
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#5 CJ

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 07:03

In fact, it's not even about consciousness, I'm wondering if teleporting an animal (which doesn't have a conscience) would enable that animal to continue living normally, or if that would transform it into a brainless zombie since only it's body would be affected by the teleportation...

View PostChyros, on 11 November 2013 - 18:21, said:

I bet I could program an internet


#6 Alias

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 07:12

Who is to say the body even continues to survive? In order for teleportation to work you need to completely deconstruct something and then completely reconstruct it. Organic items are far to complex to reconstruct intact, at least for the present moment. I'm sure we'll have working teleportation sometime, but it's going to be limited to inanimate or inorganic items.

Edited by Alias, 20 May 2010 - 07:13.

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#7 Golan

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 07:23

Isn't this more of a technical than a philosophical concern?
If the "teleporter" is built to only create a copy at the destination and erase the original then obviously only a copy will arrive. If the teleporter is an actual teleporter, then obviously the problem doesn't exist.
Seeing how science doesn't even remotely understand what consciousness is and how it is connected to our squishy bits we really can't speculate on the feasibility of modifying, storing or transporting it in any way.
If you're aiming for the question whether a thing is defined by shape or history, that applies to pretty much everything else so you really don't have to come up with an ill-defined situation like teleporting. For example, I'm 100% positive that none of the matter I was composed of 5 years ago or earlier still remains in my body, therefore making me a gradual copy of my "past self". Yet I would say to be still me but not the same person.

View PostArgetlam, on 20 May 2010, 7:03, said:

In fact, it's not even about consciousness, I'm wondering if teleporting an animal (which doesn't have a conscience) would enable that animal to continue living normally, or if that would transform it into a brainless zombie since only it's body would be affected by the teleportation...
Isn't that more of a question of teleporter quality? If you see animals as lacking a consciousness (which I'd disagree with, but meeh) then they're pretty much biologic machines. "Teleporting" a machine by disassembling and reassembling isn't exactly difficult, you could do that with two nerds and two identical sets of LEGO. Whether functionality remains is then only a question of the two nerds not forgetting about analyzing the control unit correctly.

Edited by Golan, 20 May 2010 - 07:29.

Now go out and procreate. IN THE NAME OF DOOM!

#8 Shirou

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 09:56

View PostAllStarZ, on 20 May 2010, 4:56, said:

Yes.

You'd encounter the same dilemma if you tried to transfer your memories.

Existence is consciousness. If you cease to exist, you cease to be conscious, even if this is for a brief moment.

Your consciousness is the everlasting process of neurons firing in your brain. There is no difference between our and an animals brain there, its only that we have additional complexity which enables what we call 'consciousness'. However its still the same basic principle. The teleportation device would essentially have to 'rebuild' you like in Star Trek perhaps. The difference between teleporting matter and energy is very important. If you can teleport matter and energy on the very same way and keep them in the very same state when 'inputting' and 'outputting' and not taking more than the slightest moments, then neuron charges who were 'on the way' when the teleportation initiated, may reach their destination when the teleportation ends, and thus your consciousness would continue. Teleportation would have to be instant. There is my problem with Star Trek transporters. The states of the first 'energized' parts of your body are different than those of the last, so I don't see how they can be combined back into a working individual without creating some ''out of sync'' problems.

This may make teleportation even more difficult, but I actually think that even IF it is possible, then transporting energy wouldn't have to be so much of a problem. After all, the electronic pulses in your nerve system are just the raised energy state of electrons in your body. They should technically be transported without losing that energy. The device will anyway have to make sure any teleported object/organism retains its molecular energy (heat) to keep it alive (or shall I say in one piece) or it will end up at the output at the absolute minimum temperature. I'm not sure what would happen then.

Teleportation in the form as seen in The Prestige, is a higher dilemma. That movie puts it down on luck if your consciousness gets transported into the clone or not.

Edited by Trivmvirate, 20 May 2010 - 10:01.

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#9 SquigPie

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 15:55

View PostAlias, on 20 May 2010, 5:16, said:

The problems mentioned in the OP are also the reasons why I'm completly against any form of transhumanism.


What exactly is transhumanism?

Please don't wikipedia link, I don't wanna be drowned in philosobabble wall-of-texts.

Ontopic: Hmm, teleportation, I guess the person on the other side wouldn't be you, or maybee it would, can't really decide. Kinda like "The 6th Day" eh?

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As long as the dark foundation of our nature, grim in its all-encompassing egoism, mad in its drive to make that egoism into reality, to devour everything and to define everything by itself, as long as that foundation is visible, as long as this truly original sin exists within us, we have no business here and there is no logical answer to our existence.
Imagine a group of people who are all blind, deaf and slightly demented and suddenly someone in the crowd asks, "What are we to do?"... The only possible answer is, "Look for a cure". Until you are cured, there is nothing you can do.
And since you don't believe you are sick, there can be no cure.
- Vladimir Solovyov

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#10 Alias

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 16:06

View PostSquigPie, on 21 May 2010, 1:55, said:

View PostAlias, on 20 May 2010, 5:16, said:

The problems mentioned in the OP are also the reasons why I'm completly against any form of transhumanism.


What exactly is transhumanism?
On the minor level: insert chips into everyone because computers make us better.
On the major level: we don't need bodies, let's live in computers.
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#11 Shirou

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 17:26

On the major level I agree, however I don't agree with your minor level with not being able to enhance ourselves with technology.

Because we are so good at saving each other when nature would have let us die/not procreate, Human evolution isn't what it used to be. Instead, we will rely on technology and perhaps genetic modification in order to actually keep up to for example viruses and bacteria (a form of life of which we enhanced evolution, so theres a double timer on it)
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#12 Chyros

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 21:00

It is very possible that if teleportation were to become possible, you'd end up on the other side as a complete vegetable, or even that you'd immediately suffer from a heart attack or something comparable.
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#13 Golan

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 21:47

Eh, the same can happen when going by car. Or walking, if you're unlucky.
Now go out and procreate. IN THE NAME OF DOOM!

#14 Jinzor

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 22:25

Skip to 1:49

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=pPND-I2_1dk

Edited by Jinzor, 20 May 2010 - 22:26.

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#15 Chyros

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 06:32

View PostGolan, on 20 May 2010, 23:47, said:

Eh, the same can happen when going by car. Or walking, if you're unlucky.
Overlooking relatively chances of it happening 8| .
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Our Master has no need of money. But still he sits and counts it. As a meditation.
-The Book of Cataclysm


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#16 Sgt. Rho

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 14:11

I guess there is more chance to come out with fucked up DNA than with your toes on your forehead tbh.

#17 Alias

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 14:11

Of course, but the problem is more whether you'll come out the other end as DNA at all.
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#18 Dr. Strangelove

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 22:36

We're all the same person anyways.
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#19 Slevered

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 19:08

We are already in the stage of minor trans-humanism then. Pacemakers, Internal defibrillators, artificial organs, even external aid such as exoskeletons. Upon further development of this, the variables of the growth of this technology relies mainly on, greed, governmental use, and military use (most likely more). Personally minor "adjustments" are not morally or ethically wrong if it pertains to survival or physical assistants for ailments. But beyond that it is a moral gray.

Teleportation is completely based off risk/reward and cost/benefit anaylsis. Almost all commercial products were once invented by or for the military. And a military runs like a business, there is a research department that works on improving the quality and/or speed of the main employees work. If they do not come up with good results after a period of time, or the risk is greater than the reward, the company will can or postpone the project. We are no where near teleportation (to my sarcastically vast knowledge).
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