Please read the short story here:Beam me up
First, I'd like to to know whether there is anything inherently inconsistent about this teletransportation idea? Is there fundamental reasons which say it's impossible in principle?
If not, what seems puzzling and absurd to me is this:
What matters to him is that, as far as he is concerned, he walks into the booth and wakes up on another planet. The physical mechanism is irrelevant... consider for a moment the possibility that one night, a few years ago, you were kidnapped in your sleep, processed by the teletransporter, and the resulting person returned, unknowing, to your bed. Had this happened, you would have no way of telling, because your conscious experience of your ongoing life as a continuing being would be exactly the same if it had not happened. The fact of teletransportation, in some sense, leaves your life and world exactly as it was. Perhaps then to ask whether Stelios is a clone or 'the same' person is the wrong question. Perhaps we should instead ask what matters about our past and future existence. And maybe the answer to that is psychological continuity, by whatever means necessary.
But presumably, whatever technology (or mechanism or whatever) that allows such a set of "cut+paste" operations shall also allow a less fatal "copy+paste" command, in which the target human is scanned but remains intact, and his exact copy reconstructed elsewhere as before. By the preceding paragraph, if it is true that by "cut+paste" the person "walks into the booth and wakes up on another planet", then if that person is told he's going to be cut+pasted, while in fact he's just momentarily rendered unconscious and copy+pasted, where should he find himself when he wakes up? The one on the earth, when he wakes up and discovers the truth, shouldn't he find the existence of his "paste" on a remote planet almost irrelevant? I mean, the two persons remain totally ignorant and detached of each other's thoughts and feelings. But the "paste" is exactly the same in the "cut" case as in the "copy" case. If it is irrelevant here, how could it possibly be relevant in the preceding paragraph? The paste will always have his thoughts, feelings and consciousness all inherited from the original, but that is totally irrelevant from the latter's perspective. Similarly, as soon as the paste springs into being, the original becomes sort of "external" to him, too.
Ask yourself if you are willing to undergo such a transportation! I am definitely not! But several people I spoke to say it doesn't matter if the machine can reconstruct them "100% correct".
I'm not sure if the above argument and conclusion are correct. Hope someone could help me straighten out my concept and logic.
Edit: Thank you for the answer and comments. With regard to @stoicfury's answer: What I want to know is what would such an experience look like from the first person perspective? To be specific, let's say when you are dismantled while in sleep and a duplicate reconstructed sleeping in your bed. Should it feel like (1)you sleep and never wake up (like dead) or (2)you sleep and wake up just as normal (like nothing happens)? Although it seems absurd to me, but by any reasons, could we expect (2) to be true? If we believe (as I almost do) that our thoughts and feelings and consciousness itself all emerge out of the physical activities of our brains in space and time, shouldn't we also accept (2) as true, because by definition of the process, the physical activities of the brain out there is the same in the same space-time in the case it has been dismantled and reconstructed as in the case nothing happens? The inconsistence to me is that by common sense and the reasoning before this edit, I will accept (1) instead.
Of course, one notice that by the dismantle-reconstruction process, one destroys the continuity of one's physical existence. I think this may hold the key why (1) instead of (2) is true.
2nd Edit: With regard to stoicfury: Yes, I use sleep as a metaphor for total unconsciousness.
...there would be no experience of anything between when you died and until you regained consciousness... your body was scanned into the machine, they killed you, and held onto you for a billion years before sending you to Mars, when you woke up it would feel to you as if no time passed at all...
It seems to me you already implicitly assumed that the person before death and the one later constructed is the same person (whatever that means), so when he's killed/dismantled, he's somehow still there, only devoid of consciousness and experience, waiting to "wake up" or "regain consciousness". It is true that for the duplicate later constructed (exactly how much time later is irrelevant, for the reasons you put forward in your answer), he will "wake up" and feel like a dreamless night has gone by and see nothing wrong. But for the original, my understanding is that the fact that a duplicate is constructed after his death is irrelevant. He should feel like he goes to sleep but never wake up (like dead). It is for this reason that I think (1) is right. For the duplicate, surely (2) is right.
My point was, could it be possible that (2) is right even for the original? And I gave my argument there.