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?