Home » News & Blogs » If I Teleport from Mars, Does the Original Me Get Destroyed?
Bookmark and Share
The Wire

If I Teleport from Mars, Does the Original Me Get Destroyed?

6 Aug 2017, 03:15 UTC
If I Teleport from Mars, Does the Original Me Get Destroyed?
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

A philosopher debates the hypothetical ethical dilemma to destroy his original self if he teleported from Mars and grapples with the concept of human identity.
What would you do if you were stuck on Mars? Credit: Courtesy Space X/Wikimedia via Aeon
I am stranded on Mars. The fuel tanks on my return vessel ruptured, and no rescue team can possibly reach me before I run out of food. (And, unlike Matt Damon, I have no potatoes.) Luckily, my ship features a teleporter. It is an advanced bit of gadgetry, to be sure, but the underlying idea is simplicity itself: the machine scans my body and produces an amazingly detailed blueprint, a clear picture of each cell and neuron. That blueprint file is then beamed back to Earth, where a ‘new me’ is constructed using raw materials available at the destination site. All I have to do is step in, close my eyes, and press the red button…
But there’s a complication: a toggle switch allows me to decide whether the ‘old me’ on Mars is preserved or destroyed after I teleport back home. It’s this decision that is causing me to hesitate.
On the one hand, it seems like what ...

Latest Vodcast

Latest Podcast

Advertise PTTU

NASA Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

astronomy_pod