Do transporters, transport your soul?
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Join Date: Dec 2007
02-10-2011, 02:22 AM
Originally Posted by
Setting aside the matter of souls, the real question would be 'am I still the
that stepped onto that transporter pad?'.
The fact that transporter duplicates like Thomas Riker can exist within Star Trek canon suggests otherwise; they cannot both be the single individual that was involved in that transporter accident. Furthermore, if a transporter is capable of making a copy, regardless of the circumstances in which it occurred, than this would imply that making copies is all it does; it simply wouldn't be possible otherwise.
If there are souls and humans generally have them, the creation of souls is possible. That happens whenever a new child is born (or maybe even earlier, whatever).
So maybe a transporter that has an accident just creates a second soul? No need for a copy.
It might be new to some or not, but our cells are constantly replaced, and even "deeper", the molecules and atoms that make them are replaced. I don't remember the exact time intervals, but it happens often enough. All the cells and atoms you have a decade ago might no longer be part of you now. If you are still the same person (if you'd argue that experience has changed you) or still have the same soul as before, then maybe something just speeding up the process of your body losing parts and reassembling them somewhere else won't change that either. Your soul doesn't seem to be deeply connected to specific material particles in the first place, so why would it care if they were reorganized a little and transported someplace else? The soul still seems to "know" which set of atoms it belongs to today... Or maybe it is even a "decision" of the soul... "Yes, I am Wiliam T.Riker. This is the body I like, and it's now 500km from where it was before, but still mine."
"Oh, shiny, two William T.Riker's body? I can't decide, quick create a duplicate of me and one of us go the one that just appeared a few kilometers away."
Or maybe there just is no soul and the question is meaningless. Your self is destroyed or sustained just as it is by the continous cell regeneration and atom recycling...