A philosophical poll
The plot point in question is a teleporting machine –and at this point those philosophically savvy amoing you might guess already what the discussion is about, because it is a question popular among many philosophers since Derek Parfit gave it a prominent role in Reasons and Persons. (It is also something of a staple trope in science fiction.) Suppose there existed a “teleporting” machine that worked by scanning your body and creating an exact duplicate of you, atom by atom. Assume that the replica would have the same personality and memories that you have (that is, don’t consider the possibility of your selfhood residing in an inmaterial soul) and that the procedure is instantaneous, so from the point of view of the replica it has just been teleported, having a continuous experience from being at one place to being at another. Then, is there any reason to consider “you” to be the version of you that remains at the same place, instead of the replica? If the machine works by killing the original “you” at the same time that creating the replica, is stepping in the machine a form of suicide or just a convenient way of transportation?
My belief is that there is no reason to say “you” are “the you that remains at the same place”. If both “versions of you” have the same personality, memories, etc (and let’s not forget, also bodily appearance, though I am unsure of the relevance of this) then both have equal call to be called “the future you”. There is simply no answer to the question of which is you: both are to the same extent. My friend disagrees, and says that he is sure he would be the same person that remains at the same place: the other one is just a copy (as he puts it: “the one that is under this skin is me; I want my skin not to die”.)
Who do you agree with? To make things clear, forget about the movie if you saw it, and suppose you are just given the following choice: a) stay where you are, and be subjected to horrible torture (not so horrible that makes you prefer to die, but pretty horrible), or b) step in the machine and have it create a copy and destroy at the same time the original, knowing that the copy (who, in my reading of this scenario, is “you”) will live a blissful life afterwards. I said I would choose b) without a doubt (assuming that the machine is perfectly reliable, etc.) This is the opinion that my friend considers crazy. Who do you agree with?