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  #21  
Old 07-10-2009, 11:00 AM
Star Trek Viewer Star Trek Viewer is offline
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Gas doesnt have a conciousness. Why does the source of the gas change your perception of the whole process?
But gas isn't human. Human beings are human. Human beings are composed of atoms that give rise to a continuity of awareness that we term consciousness.

Let's say that someone tells you that, Heaven forbid, you will die this evening. However, they've arranged for an exact duplicate to fulfill your role in life, which was eventually to be a rock star worth billions. How much satisfaction would you have right this moment that your exact copy will be enjoying the fruits of superstardom in a few years?

Very little, I would think. That's because your consciousness goes away when you die. Why should you take personal satisfaction over what your exact duplicate will accomplish or experience? He might as well be from the Moon.

Whether the mere atoms that compose you contain consciousness or not is completely irrelevant, if, we know, as we do know, that they are essential for the consciousness you do enjoy now.

------- In other words, those atoms are necessary but not sufficient.

------------- Consciousness is composed of both unique atoms and the patterns of thoughts (memories and awareness) they are inextricably associated with. The loss of the patterns of thoughts to any extent diminishes that consciousness (which is why those afflicted with Alzheimers seem to lose much of themselves).

-------------------- (It is my position that the pattern of thoughts cannot be extricated from the exact physical atoms that give rise to them, without leading to fatal contradictions.)

------- It matters not if some other being has those memories: The point is that the original possessor can no longer access them, either through Alzheimers or through disintegration through a non-matter stream transporting process.

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So, if I vaporize you and make a copy of yours out of that gas cloud, then its not a copy, but the real you, eventhough the conciousness was gone for a moment?
The consciousness isn't gone "for a moment." Unless the matter stream is beamed, the consciousness is gone forever. What appears at the other end has a different consciousness that only to others seems the same. But it isn't the same, because it cannot be (reference the dual-perception argument, above).

Last edited by Star Trek Viewer : 07-10-2009 at 11:15 AM.
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  #22  
Old 07-10-2009, 11:22 AM
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Botany Bay Botany Bay is offline
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Originally Posted by Star Trek Viewer View Post
But gas isn't human. Human beings are human. Human beings are composed of atoms that give rise to a continuity of awareness that we term consciousness.
Exactly, a jar full of goo has no conciousness. A functioning human brain with a functioning lifesupport system providing oxygen, nutrition and hormones though can have a conciousness. A gas cloud is not a brain. And a matter stream is also just that, a gas cloud.

Let me give you an example where your reasoning a matter stream would equal uncorrupted and continued conciousness is leading:

You are offered two ways of beaming.

a) Be vaporized into gas and have different gas from the athmosphere in the laboratory get used to recreate you. In your perception this is copying you and you decline.

b) Be vaporized, have the gas be liquified, and have this liquid get used to recreate you again. In your reasoning thats a matter stream and not copying you because for some reasons you seem to believe that gas or goo can sustain your conciousness just becasue the goo was made from your body.

Lets say you subscribe to method b). Unfortionatly, a man who has a grudge against you breaks into the lab at night and destroys all mashinery, burns all documents and lets furthermore say no one will ever again be able to rebuild the mashinery (for the sake of the argument).

Now, did the man murder you or not? In your own reasoning he did not murder you, because the jar of goo made from your body is still there as it was the whole time.

Do you see why I am saying that matter stream or no matter stream is unimportant? You are destroyed and recreated, the one or the other way.


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Whether the mere atoms that compose you contain consciousness or not is completely irrelevant, if, we know, as we do know, that they are essential for the consciousness you do enjoy now.
Exactly. And thats why I dont understand how a matter stream solves the problem. A matter stream is nothing more then gas. Thats it. The matter stream doesnt solve the copying problem at all.

And to your example, if I am to die anyway, then yes, why should I not agree to have an exact copy of mine replace me after my death.

Would I agree to let myself get vapourized and recreated at another planet? That depends heavily on wether I live in a society that sees this as dying or wether I grew up in a society where this process is seen as a teleportation or a transfer of conciousness. When I experienced as a child that my parents got beamed forth and back and returned alive and well, then I may easily see no problem in the process.

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Originally Posted by Star Trek Viewer View Post
------- Consciousness is composed of both unique atoms and the patterns of thoughts (memories and awareness) they are inextricably associated with. The loss of the patterns of thoughts to any extent diminishes that consciousness (which is why those afflicted with Alzheimers seem to lose much of themselves). It matters not if some other being has those memories: The point is that the original possessor can no longer access them, either through Alzheimers or through disintegration through a non-matter stream transporting process.
Thats why everything depends on wether we identify ourselves as the body, the material processor and generator of conciousness or as the conciousness itself, independent of the material processor inducing it. If we identify ourselves as our body, then transporting is creepy. But when we identify ourselves as our conciousness then that changes a great deal. Then we merely exchange our body without consequences.

In other terms: Do we see ourselves as the hard- and software or do we see ourselves as the software only. Now get back to the youtube clip I posted and you will see again how easily people identify themselves as a puppet of a different gender. Thats a hint why transporters could indeed be accepted one day.

Oh, and the beginning of above quote is exactly what I am saying, matter stream or not, the integrity of the processor is corupted during the matter stream. By your interpretation this is as much death as without a matter stream.

Last edited by Botany Bay : 07-10-2009 at 11:30 AM.
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  #23  
Old 07-10-2009, 11:35 AM
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Now, did the man murder you or not? In your own reasoning he did not murder you, because the jar of goo made from your body is still there as it was the whole time.
No, he did commit murder, because he made it impossible for the person to be reconstituted.

You're mistaking my position: As I said, both the physical atoms and the patterns must be present for consciousness to be maintained.
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  #24  
Old 07-10-2009, 11:49 AM
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No, he did commit murder, because he made it impossible for the person to be reconstituted.
I think so too.

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You're mistaking my position: As I said, both the physical atoms and the patterns must be present for consciousness to be maintained.
Then you are saying that the gasious matter stream would have to sustain your consciousness and work like your brain does, somehow. That means the transporter must create thinking and concsious gas.

And that doesnt solve the issue either. If you are not your copy, that thinks like you and even looks like you, then why are you your gas, that thinks like you but looks nothing like you?

I mean, with the matter stream you die and a copy of your conciousness is created, contained by a gas. And out of that gas a copy of your body is made that then contains a copy of the conciousness formerly contained by the gas of the matter stream.

That makes everything even more complicated.
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  #25  
Old 07-10-2009, 11:54 AM
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Then you are saying that the gasious matter stream would have to sustain your consciousness and work like your brain does, somehow. That means the transporter must create thinking and concsious gas.
That's close, but not quite, and the difference is critical. I'm saying that the transmitter must send the matter stream to the destination, but that isn't enough in and of itself. I never claimed that it was. The actual atoms are the prerequisite, but not the entire requirement, for recomposition.

Naturally, if the atoms are reconstituted in a way that is not accurate to the original pattern, that wouldn't result in the continuation of consciousness. But the terms have always been that the pattern transmission is accurate.

As I've noted, the transmission of the atoms is a necessary, but not sufficient, precondition for the preservation of the original consciousness.

------ This does not mean that the consciousness continues to exist as a gaseous or nonconstituted form. In fact, I have argued against any such mystical idea.

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And that doesnt solve the issue either. If you are not your copy, that thinks like you and even looks like you, then why are you your gas, that thinks like you but looks nothing like you?
Please see above, as your question departs from an erroneous premise (i.e., the belief that I believe that mere atoms can contain consciousness without the imposition of patterns upon them).
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  #26  
Old 07-10-2009, 12:00 PM
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------ This does not mean that the consciousness continues to exist as a gaseous or nonconstituted form. In fact, I have argued against any such mystical idea.
Okay, but then I dont understand where we actually diasgree at all.

Our conciousness needs a physical working and healthy brain with ALL the characteristics of our brain, doesnt that include the physical memory patterns, the chemical compositions thingies and all that stuff?

So in your version all information needed to perfectly recreate you is transmitted and in my version too. But during the transportation process you are not you anymore, there is just gas, atoms and bits and bytes and there is no conciousness.

Or what else do you mean with the matter stream and what are those ominous patterns any other then bits and bytes?

Last edited by Botany Bay : 07-10-2009 at 12:04 PM.
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  #27  
Old 07-10-2009, 12:08 PM
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But when we identify ourselves as our conciousness then that changes a great deal. Then we merely exchange our body without consequences.
It doesn't really matter whether we identify with our consciousness or not. Consciousness adheres to the same physical substrate regardless of what we would like.

If, however, by "we identify ourselves as our consciousness" you mean that only our consciousness matters and not the physical substrate, then that cannot makes sense. Let me reiterate the contradiction and the entire argument containing it:

1. Continuity of consciousness exists.

2. From what we know, consciousness cannot exist without a physical substrate.

----- 2.a. It follows from our experience that the continuity of the physical substrate is required for the continuity of consciousness, since there is no evidence that our consciousness can ever appear anywhere other than where our bodies are.

3. For what is strongly indicated as this reason (2.a.), the same consciousness cannot be present in two places at the same time.

4. If, in case of transporter error, an original and a copy both exist after the process of transport, then for consciousness to be independent of the continuity of physicality, it must be in two places at the same time, thereby contradicting (3). (This is the contradiction referred to above.)

5. Therefore, it cannot be true that both an original and a copy can have the same consciousness.

------ 5.a. What they must have, regardless of who observes them, is a different consciousness.

---------- 5.a.a. Therefore, in the case of a non-matter streaming transporter, if the original is successfully disintegrated, what survives at the other end of the transportation process must be someone with a different consciousness from the original.

6. Thus, pure consciousness cannot be all that matters. It must be identified with the unique atoms that make up its substrate.

Last edited by Star Trek Viewer : 07-10-2009 at 01:34 PM.
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  #28  
Old 07-10-2009, 12:14 PM
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Isnt using a transporter in a way killing someone? If so, why doesnt consciousness or the spirit go to the light and the afterlife? Surely there must be something that keeps it from doing so.
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  #29  
Old 07-10-2009, 12:16 PM
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Isnt using a transporter in a way killing someone? If so, why doesnt consciousness or the spirit go to the light and the afterlife? Surely there must be something that keeps it from doing so.
Alternatives:

1. There is no afterlife and therefore no light.

2. It does but no one has talked about it.

3. See matter-stream method above.

I prefer the third.
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  #30  
Old 07-10-2009, 01:02 PM
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It doesn't really matter whether we identify with our consciousness or not. Consciousness adheres to the same physical substrate regardless of what we would like.

If, however, by "we identify ourselves as our consciousness" you mean that only our consciousness matters and not the physical substrate, then that cannot makes sense. Let me reiterate the contradiction and the entire argument containing it:

1. Continuity of consciousness exists.

2. From what we know, consciousness cannot exist without a physical substrate.

----- 2.a. It follows from our experience that the continuity of the physical substrate is required for the continuity of consciousness, since is no evidence that our consciousness can ever appear anywhere other than where our bodies are.

3. For what is strongly indicated as this reason (2.a.), the same consciousness cannot be present in two places at the same time.

4. If, in case of transporter error, an original and a copy both exist after the process of transport, then for consciousness to be independent of the continuity of physicality, it must be in two places at the same time, thereby contradicting (3). (This is the contradiction referred to above.)

5. Therefore, it cannot be true that both an original and a copy can have the same consciousness.

------ 5.a. What they must have, regardless of who observes them, is a different consciousness.
I agree with all of the above. Furthermore I would like to refine and extend:

A: A specific conciousness is sustained by an according specific physical substrate with specific
physical attributes (a brain sustained by a body).

B: The transportation process as shown in Star Trek heavily alters the specific characteristics of the physical substrate sustaining conciousness.

AB: It follows from A and B that the continuity of the specific conciousness is interrupted by the transportation process because the specific physical substrate is heavily altered and thus it must be concluded that the original conciousness will disappear.

C: If the specific physical attributes of the according physical substrate are perfectly recreated, then it is conceivable that the same or at least an indistinguishable equal conciousness is immediatly induced by the specific attributes of the subsrate.

D: As experience teaches, human being confronted with indistinguishable objects or enteties will relate to those as one and the same untill both are seen and experienced together at the same time.

CD: It follows from C and D that no human would relate to a transported conciousness any different then when it would not have been transported, for both would be indistinguishable from another untill seen and experienced together (that is ignoring culture or dogma).

ABCD: From CD and AB it follows that the original conciousness disappears and another equal and indistinguishable conciousness is induced and no human being would treat this conciousness any other then the original conciousness because seeing both at the same time is impossible due to AB.

Further (and building on your argumentation):

1. Continuity of consciousness exists.

2. From what we know, consciousness cannot exist without a specific physical substrate with specific physical attributes.

----- 2.a. It follows from our experience that the continuity of the specific physical substrate with its specific physical attributes is required for the continuity of a specific consciousness, since [there] is no evidence that the same specific consciousness can ever appear anywhere other than where the according physical substrate is located that is necessitated by the conciousness to exist.

3. However it is conceivable that an equal indistinguishable consciousness could be sustained by another physical substrate having the same specific physical attributes as the original.

4. If, in case of transporter error, two equal indistinguishable physical substrates exist at two different locations at the same time, then it follows from 3, that it is conceivable that both sustain two indistinguishable conciousnesses.

5. Following from ABCD any human being would relate to those two indistinguishable conciousnesses as two different conciousnesses if both are experienced at the same time, at the same place or it is known that both exist.




From all of that follows that matter stream or no matter stream, transporting is copying and as long as it works there would only be you and Jack and no one else.

And I told you I am not a philosopher, so I dont know why you use theses formal philosophical forms of formal logic thingy argumentations... whatever... how was my attempt, Mr. Professor?

So, I still dont understand how your matter stream is supposed to guarantee the continued and undisrupted existence of an unaltered conciousness. Appears quite impossible to me.

Last edited by Botany Bay : 07-10-2009 at 01:07 PM.
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