I'm sure this question has been asked somewhere before, but I don't know the name of this type of question, and so I've been unable to find it. Any pointer to literature written on the topic would be appreciated.
Say scientists made two completely identical rooms, put you in one of them, and then proceeded to make an exact replica of you, atom by atom, in the other room.
This person in the other room would presumably have identical consciousness, believe themselves to be you, and value their own life just as much as you value yours.
If the scientist announced that they would come into your room in 5 minutes and kill you, I would not think that people would gain comfort by thinking "oh they have an exact replica of me in the other room anyway".
The heart of the question is if the value (appreciation?) of one's own consciousness is justified:
If I do not take comfort in my clone living on when I am gone, why should I care for the person that is going to be me in the next moment? Why is it different?
Question closed as being unclear, and I understand why. I have two assumptions, than I think, but do not know, are correct:
- Consciousness is a matter of information processing - thus ones own consciousness can, atleast in theory, be replicated on a clone.
- Upon building such a clone, no information is shared between them. What happens to your clone somewhere else, does not affect you in any way.
Imagine then 3 scenarios:
- You have no clone, and someone says he is now going to kill you.
- You have a clone, and someone says he is now going to kill you.
- You have a clone and someone says he is going to kill the clone.
Personally, and I assume for everyone else, the first scenario is terrifying, and its not mitigated much, if at all, in the second. The third one however, is a bit better. Sure we would not like our clone to die, just as we wouldent like anyone else to die, but if its him or me, I would be more comfortable with him going.
If no cells in our body will be the same in 20 years, could it be said that it is the equavilent of a clone, and in that case, how can one justify caring for that clone, more than the clone in the above example?