A weird thought just hit me

Teleportation, a machine de-constructs our molecules and re-constructs them somewhere else. You teleported to that somewhere else.

So what if the machine delays the de-construction but still re-constructs somewhere else. Or even doesn’t de-construct at all. Will you be two people at the same time?

Or what if that machine does de-construct you, but re-constructs you in two different places, would you be two people?

Let’s say that you are about to be teleported in an hour. You will be re-constructed in heaven and in hell. Should you be excited or sad?

How do you define yourself?

Are you defined as the actual atoms in your body? But then teleportations means you are dead. Plus, atoms flow in and out of your body all the time.

Rather are you defined as the formation of atoms in your body, but not the actual atoms themselves? But this poses another serious problem. Who is to say that you are the same person each day? Every moment and second there are chemical reactions and molecules moving around in your body. If you are not defined as the actual atoms in your body, but the formation of them, aren’t you a different person every moment of your life? Because the molecules in your body keep shifting.

After thinking about this for some time, the most enlightening, yet un-reassuring thought occurred to me:

Evolution made us think of ourselves as the same person all throughout our lives so that it can protect the same genes all throughout our lives.

… the definition of self is an illusion…

After this thought, all I could think of was… What The Fuck


~ by The Existential Nihilist on August 5, 2010.

6 Responses to “A weird thought just hit me”

  1. Excentally put. But yes, the self is very much an illusion. if you shut of parts of the brain we actually start to forget where our body ends.

    • If you shut off parts of the brain we forget where our body ends? I’m not sure what you mean, expand.

      • I think he means the superior parietal lobe. It’s been shown that deep meditative states reduce activity in this brain region (also known as “orientation association area”). It controls the perception of one’s body in relation to its surroundings. Hypoactivity in the superior parietal lobe can cause the brain to become unable to perceive where the body ends and where the environment begins. This has been used to explain the feeling of “oneness” or “union with the universe” that is often described as an effect of meditation or prayer.

  2. “Let’s say that you are about to be teleported in an hour. You will be re-constructed in heaven and in hell. Should you be excited or sad?”

    If neither exist in this world where do you end up?

  3. atoms in us are constantly moving in and out, but are always replaced for the most part. otherwise we’d be atomizing into nothing our entire lifes, but of those atoms being replaced we’re made from the old one’s. our cells reproducing themselves, making replicas of themselves, and what not. so to speak, we’re clones of our old bodies, and clones by deffinition are the same as the original. so we’re them same and different by two different deffinitions.
    just some of my thoughts while reading this.

  4. You should check my blog post on this issue – I found the video on YouTube a while back – the quote is from the movie American Psycho:


    by the way – I noticed that we coincidentally use the same wordpress theme – how about that for chaos theory? 😉

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