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I Pose A Question

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by IndigoSensor, Nov 21, 2008.

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  1. IndigoSensor

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    I am taking a course called "PHIL120 Reason & Reality" as an elective this semester. Needless to say I love this class, it is so interesting. Even more so that I am thrown for a loop when my opinion falls in a very small minority. So we were talking about personal identity today, and the scenerio posed to the group I was in (although I worked on my own, I detest working in groups) was this (it isn't word for word because I had to turn in the paper):

    ----------------------

    "A women by the name of Alma is diagnosed with terminal cancer, and has 3-6 months to live. She is determined not to give up and will do anything to live on.

    3 weeks after the diagnosis, a person comes up to her offering the chance to live. A new medical advancement had been made, and a company called 'eternity' had been formed. The company would produce an exact clone of her in a few months time without the cancer. Including all of her past memories, personality features, likes, dislikes, ect. All the things in her brain that formed her outside of her appearance. She agrees to this procedure so that she can live on with her family.

    The clone is sussceful and has no problems what so ever. The day the clone is finished, Alma dies in the hospital, sorta. The old alma with cancer dies, but the clone lives on. The cloned alma remembers having cancer and goes on to live her life with her family and friends with no problems.

    However, her brother claims that it is not Alma and that it is an imposter, despite being exactly the same in every way. He sues the company because of this."


    ----------------------

    So that is the scenerio. Once I fit it together in my head, I had a million questions and ideas. There are three theroies to personal identiy in philosphy that we have learned. The body theory; which says that a person is who they are by the body they are in and what the body is made of. The memory theory; which says that a person is who they are by the memories they have. and the soul theory; that a person is who they are by the soul inhabiting that person.

    Most of the class follows the memory theory, or peices of it. I believe that the soul theory makes the most sense out of all of them, which brings me to my questions that I have. Even so you could just ignore the theories, and form your own idea from what natrually makes sense to you, which is what I did. In this case Alma dies and lives at the same time for a moment. So I would believe that Alma's soul would transfer to the other body, and continoue on because she is exactly the same. But since in her old body, which has no connection to her new body, she died. Would the new Alma suddenly remeber the experience of dying? I really am not sure what to make of this but it really got my gears turning and I have been thinking of it all day. It is diffucalt for me to explain how I feel about most of this because words don't exsist for it, and I am not very good with written word.

    Take this other scenerio. What if there is a non-exsistant period. Where alma doesnt exsist because she had died and the clone was not finished yet. How would this fall over. Would Alma remember having spiritual experiences to this? or not? I am not sure of this because the way I see it, it could go either way. The first thing is, what is the point of Alma dying then reliving. A situation this rare and profound has had to have been planned and layed out beyond control, so it would come down to who was to gain from this experience. If Alma was ment to transcend this reality then she would retain it. But what if her family and people around her where the olny ones who are ment to experience the effects of this odd situation, then mabye Alma would not be able to remember what happned, nor be allowed.

    Then there is the strangest situation. What if both alma's exsist at the same time. This is nearly impossible for me to explain to myself. The olny thing that fits is her spirit would split into two to fill these bodys, but then would there be some kind of psysic link between them? This is different from twins, and I find it very very odd for another "soul" to inhabit the new alma who has the same memories feelings personality aspects and everything as the original did. A different soul would not fit right, there would be visiable changes. Yet, for this something has to fill the gap. what would happen if they were to meet.

    I've partly run out of steam, and I fear that I am rambaling very badly at this point so I will stop. Take what you want from this, it is just what I was thinking, and I am curious to everyone elses takes on this, and if everyone else finds this as facenating as I do.
     
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  2. Quinlan

    Quinlan Right the First Time!

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    New body = new person.

    The clone would be just like Alma in every way but that still doesn't make it Alma.
     
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  3. ZenCat

    ZenCat Waving Sage

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    My take on it is that the only person who could possibly (but not definitely) know if Alma's clone is really Alma, is Alma's Clone.

    Whether or not anyone believes her is the real question.

    I don't think it's an answerable philosophical question unless we know whether Alma's brother is the beneficiary of Alma's life insurance policy? In which case he'd have a motive to deny Alma's Clone's Almaness.

    p.s. I'm against cloning.
     
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  4. OP
    IndigoSensor

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    I think he was, I don't remember exactly in the paper, like I said I had to turn it in.

    Oh of course this question is not answerable! I just put it up so we could talk about it. I am not looking for an end all be all answer to this! :p

    I am agients cloning as well. I don't think we should prevent that technology from advancing. But the idea of clones bothers me...
     
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    #4 IndigoSensor, Nov 21, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  5. Wyote

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    It's very easy to point out that they are two separate individuals. The first experienced her memories, the second only has the memories inserted into her brain.

    Experience defines existence. True experience defines true existence.

    If there is such a thing as a soul, and the soul can definitively be identified and transferred from one host to another then it is the soul which truly experiences existence.
     
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  6. NaeturVindur

    NaeturVindur Cuddlemaster
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    From my perspective of the soul, Alma’s soul definitely would not transfer to Alma 2.0. A soul is defined by 1. The spirit that inhabits it at birth, which is determined by the Goddess and God (yes, I’m Wiccan), 2. The energies of the bodies/thing that made the body, and 3. The energies the spirit encounters through its inhabitation. In this regard the spirit, regardless of the physical body and memories, is completely different. With this in mind, I would have to say Alma and Alma 2.0 are not the same.
     
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  7. Wyote

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    This one... I have no idea.
    (second part)

    [YOUTUBE]pGTleaTCXq8&feature=related[/YOUTUBE]
     
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  8. Seeker

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    Awsome :D
     
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  9. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    And then we freeze you, suspending any animation in your body.


    Don't worry, ahah, you can't. heee
     
  10. Thoth

    Thoth Regular Poster

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    The following is my opinion, and isn't "right" by any standards but my own.

    The spiritual component known commonly as a "soul" (the spirit stuff that is able to influence a body of matter) is simply the formation and imprint of a person's experiences, thoughts, and emotions on the spectrum of vibrations that the whole being exists on. Like building a sandcastle on the beach. You could say the sandcastle is it's own thing, but it's really just the same sand as the unformed stuff next to it. In this case, Alma's "soul" is quite intact in the clone, provided the thought patterns and memories are actually the same and not "pretty close."

    As for the true soul (Or Higher Self, Holy Guardian Angel, etc.), it is the point of view of each person. The "Observer." A person's Soul is not a thing that can be quantified, nor is it your memories or thoughts. It is your point of view, detached and observing the thoughts, emotions, and actions of a spirit and body. In regards to that, Alma is absolutely unique and cannot be replicated.

    But if we look even further out/in/up/at the bigger picture, we have the sandcastle metaphor again. Each single Observer is simply one finite expression of the Infinite (N)One, therefore is wholly unique and uniform simultaneously. So it not being the same Soul in Alma 2 is irrelevant.

    From a legal standpoint...

    [​IMG]

    I couldn't tell you... I'm not really a lawyer, just play one on the DS.
     
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  11. OP
    IndigoSensor

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    *nod* that is more or less how I look at it. It is a circular pathway, each definition has its own reason to it. That is why I find this so facenating, because it can not be answered, and it can be answered in any way imaginable at the same time.
     
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  12. Wyote

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    That's missing the point entirely. The concept is an elaboration on the original question, posing the theory of splitting the body into two. Each of the bodies is composed of half of the original person, and half of a clone. So does that split the soul or create a new one, or does it stay in one body or another and if so which one? Or more complicated still, can two souls exist in each body, simultaneously.
     
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  13. Shai Gar

    Shai Gar Guest

    I didn't miss the point, I just found that part amusing.
     
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