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Thread: Who am I?

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    In Soviet Russia, Editor is protected from YOU!! The Editor's Avatar
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    Default Who am I?

    This morning while having my daily shower I was thinking about something I read a few years back in a book called The Philosophy Files by Stephen Law. The chapter was titled "Who am I?" and it was about what defines a person. For the first part of the chapter you follow the idea that a person is a pattern, a shifting mixture of memories and personality traits that are not dependent on the physical medium they are kept in. For example, you can transfer the pattern from one brain to another, and the person in the new brain would be the person from the old one. However, what happens when you clone someone? Which person is them? Are they both the same person, or two different people, and is either of them the original person?

    In my opinion the original is still themselves, and the clone is someone new created from the same pattern. Almost instantly their pattern will become different to the original's. But let's complicate things further. Let's say that after the person is cloned they are then killed, just before the clone's pattern begins to change. Again I think that the clone is not the person, but you may disagree.

    Now let us say that a body is cloned without a pattern, then the pattern is removed from the original and placed inside the new body. Now I would say the new body is the person, as the pattern has been transferred. But what is the difference between transferring the pattern and copying it before it is deleted?

    Finally, let's say that instead of one body, two are created, both without patterns. Then the pattern from the original body is extracted and given to both bodies. Which one is the person? Both? Neither? I don't know. I feel that one of them should be the person and the other not, but I have no way of saying which would be the original pattern and which the copy. In fact I don't think there's any way of telling. Perhaps they are both the person, but I'm not sure if that's possible. What do you think?

  2. #2
    is good for you
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    I saw a thread that said you were a rapist.

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    princeso Kirby's Avatar
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    A person is a person no matter how...

    many times the have been cloned and downloaded.

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    *wink* leo33wii's Avatar
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    think about hardrives and software/files. that should clear if up for you.
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    princeso Kirby's Avatar
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    I think if something can come uo to me and have an active conversation with me they are intelligent and are a person.

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    define "intelligent"
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    Defenestration is imminent pichubro's Avatar
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    This morning while having my daily shower I was pretending that I was in a submarine that had crashed and spawned a leak and I was yelling that I was going to drown.

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    what about .. eyebrows God's Avatar
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    i would say that sentience defines a person; by which i mean, every person, or even copy of a person, will perceive the world uniquely. i don't mean they will know different things, or believe different things, or anything like that, but that only ONE person, or incarnation of a person, can experience and perceive their own reality at once. even if there are two different people with the exact same genetic information, knowledge, and beliefs, they will both be experiencing their world individually and independently of each other, thus they are both full persons.

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    This pic is definitely of me!! Solly's Avatar
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    External stimuli will almost immediately differentiate the patterns of the neural connections, thereby making them a different person.

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    I didn't mean that only one of them is a person and the other isn't. What I meant was that one of them is the same person as the original - is in fact THE original person, just in a new body - and the other is a new, different person.

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    The other Cylons call me Triclops. ShadowRaven's Avatar
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    What about two clones of the same person who are exposed to the same external stimuli?

    From:
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    "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."
    Albert Einstein

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    princeso Kirby's Avatar
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    What if your dealing with colony intellegence. Like lets say we found in outerspace gaint super ants. The ants could build ships and stuff but alone they where as dumb as a door bell. Is there entire soeciety considered one person?

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    For me it would depend on what point sentience is achieved. If the individual creatures had sentience I'd consider each one a person. If not, the colony would be the person, although I'd have my doubts. It reminds of the Borg in Star Trek, each of which I'd consider a separate person.

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    princeso Kirby's Avatar
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    So what would that mean ethically? So does that mean all the ant people are really just one person? Does that mean that lets say we make a treaty with the any people that they only vote once because there one person? Or that they have amost no representation becuase they are one person even though they may inhabit a whole planet or a series of planets? There are cereal questions ed for future dipomacy.

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    I don't think democracy would apply in the usual sense. "One person one vote" only makes sense in the context of a large population of individuals. Theoretically a hive mind is a single unified population, so any decision it makes is automatically agreed upon by the whole. I'd be inclined to treat a hive mind as a political body on whatever scale it acts, i.e. planetary, system or greater.

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    This pic is definitely of me!! Solly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowRaven View Post
    What about two clones of the same person who are exposed to the same external stimuli?

    From:
    ShadowRaven
    That would mean cloning the universe

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    *wink* leo33wii's Avatar
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    kirby, the concept of your question can be applied to humans as well. Consider our cells, they can survive externally from the human body, but we cannot communicate with our cells nor do we consider single cells to have an intelligence advance enough to have self awareness.
    When we define a person, it's all of their organs, their bones, hair, and mind. We group them into one.

    so is it fair?
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    This pic is definitely of me!! Solly's Avatar
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    Here's a mindfuck: Almost all of the atoms in your body are not the ones that were in your body yesterday.

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    The other Cylons call me Triclops. ShadowRaven's Avatar
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    But the body makes almost identical copies of these atoms (well not MAKE them, since atoms can't be made but you get my point).

    Also, cloning the universe sounds super-fun.

    From:
    ShadowRaven

    "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."
    Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by leo33wii View Post
    kirby, the concept of your question can be applied to humans as well. Consider our cells, they can survive externally from the human body, but we cannot communicate with our cells nor do we consider single cells to have an intelligence advance enough to have self awareness.
    When we define a person, it's all of their organs, their bones, hair, and mind. We group them into one.

    so is it fair?
    The liver cells shall rise again!

  21. #21
    *wink* leo33wii's Avatar
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    there is a belief that atoms can hold memories and experiences. Also, the atoms in our bodies are ancient (since the beginning of the big bang)... so really, we are ancient beings (alien even) with atoms who have lots of information stored on to them...
    with this concept, some people believe that they can tap into these memories and make themselves a more powerful being.
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    ... What.

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    princeso Kirby's Avatar
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    even I must say wtf

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    Quote Originally Posted by leo33wii View Post
    there is a belief that atoms can hold memories and experiences. Also, the atoms in our bodies are ancient (since the beginning of the big bang)... so really, we are ancient beings (alien even) with atoms who have lots of information stored on to them...
    with this concept, some people believe that they can tap into these memories and make themselves a more powerful being.
    That wouldn't work seeing as how cellular respiration would dictate that any atom you were trying to collect memories from would be switched before you could ever do anything with it.

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    The other Cylons call me Triclops. ShadowRaven's Avatar
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    leo that makes no sense.

    From:
    ShadowRaven

    "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."
    Albert Einstein

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