Do transporters kill?

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Do transporters kill?

Post by Buritot » 2010-03-09 03:41pm

I was wondering what happens to a Force-User if he'd get transported via Star Trek transporters. I've read a previous thread (Effects of a transporter on a Jedi), but came to no satisfying conclusion. Darth Wongs arguments of the transporters working as a person annihilation clone assembly machine don't strike me as correct. I know of the Riker-clone quandry, and can't explain it, but neither would I expect the Federation to willingly ... substitute persons by perfect clones only for convenience sakes. Quite the opposite, actually, the various shows showed different phases in the development of the technology and human teleportation had to wait until it was deemed safe.

So... why the widespread belief of transporters killing transportees?
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Re: Do transporters kill?

Post by SapphireFox » 2010-03-09 04:07pm

This is because the transporter forcefuly converts the body into energy/data this causes a secation of the body. Even Barclay knew that the transporter literaly breaks down the body into data. It does it in a fasion that would be considered univeraly fatal by any non-ST individual the fact that there is a product at the end that looks and acts like what went in is the only reason that it isn't considered a creative form of capital punishment. This is in contrast with other (read safer) methods like shunting the mass through subspace/hyperspace/the force/whatever or using tesseracts, point to point wormholes or more magical methods.
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Re: Do transporters kill?

Post by Xess » 2010-03-09 09:10pm

Personally I say they don't kill. Since the person that goes in is the same as the person who goes out no one has died. As long as the information (memories and the like) is identical then the matter it is made out of is unimportant. The Stargate in SG1 works the same way, if Trek transporters kill then so does it.
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Re: Do transporters kill?

Post by Simon_Jester » 2010-03-09 09:45pm

Yeah.

The idea that you have a soul or identity tag of some sort that doesn't get transported with your body, given that the new you is identical to the old even down to the point of having (the perception of) continuity of awareness... that's pure philosophy, and the unfalsifiable kind at that.

I'd figure that you don't die as long as someone actually transports you somewhere because from the point of view of an outside observer, there still is a you for any measurable definition of "you."

Now, the interim period, after you dematerialize at the sending pad but before you materialize at the destination, that's tricky. You could make a case for being temporarily "dead" during that interval, because for a moment there is no 'you' to be found anywhere in the universe. But that doesn't mean that the new looks-like-Buritot isn't actually Buritot.

Instances where an individual gets multiple-copied, altered, switched with an alternate-universe counterpart, or (in really weird cases) "split" into two copies that manifest different sides of their own personality... again, tricky. I'd treat those cases as creating new people; there is no a priori reason why there can't be six of me if the transporter crew can spare the power to generate six copies of me from the pattern buffer.

Instances where an individual steps into the transporter but never steps out are very simple: that's death.
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Re: Do transporters kill?

Post by Stark » 2010-03-10 12:06am

Xess wrote:Personally I say they don't kill. Since the person that goes in is the same as the person who goes out no one has died. As long as the information (memories and the like) is identical then the matter it is made out of is unimportant. The Stargate in SG1 works the same way, if Trek transporters kill then so does it.
OK, I'm going to scan your body and tell you I made a functionally identical copy that will continue from that point as you would have done. Then I'm going to point a gun at your face.

Turns out the copy is a different individual and you're still going to get shot in the face and die. :lol: Let's see how 'no information is lost' reassures you when you are about to end your existence. The information isn't lost; someone else has it. Feel better? BANG you're dead.

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Re: Do transporters kill?

Post by Xess » 2010-03-10 01:05am

Stark wrote:
Xess wrote:Personally I say they don't kill. Since the person that goes in is the same as the person who goes out no one has died. As long as the information (memories and the like) is identical then the matter it is made out of is unimportant. The Stargate in SG1 works the same way, if Trek transporters kill then so does it.
OK, I'm going to scan your body and tell you I made a functionally identical copy that will continue from that point as you would have done. Then I'm going to point a gun at your face.

Turns out the copy is a different individual and you're still going to get shot in the face and die. :lol: Let's see how 'no information is lost' reassures you when you are about to end your existence. The information isn't lost; someone else has it. Feel better? BANG you're dead.
Would I feel better? No, I would not. That does not mean however that any functionally identical copy of me is not functionally me. He would go on with his life as though nothing ever happened, and since he is functionally me that means I'm going on with my life. I find the idea disturbing but I can't honestly say that there's anything special about the matter I'm presently made of.

When I was put under general anesthetic to get my wisdom teeth removed I woke up in a different room than I started in with no knowledge of what happened in between. The dentist could have hacked me apart with a chainsaw, built an identical copy and put that copy in the recovery room and when it woke up it would think all it had done was a wisdom tooth removal never knowing it was a copy. Or he could have copied me the original, removed my wisdom teeth and put me in the recovery room while having killed the copy. From the perspective of the guy sitting in the recovery room either one is exactly as likely as the other since they're both running on pre-sedation information. What that tells me is that the copy is just as good as the original, in the short term at any rate. Should both survive and diverge with different experiences they become different people and should be treated as such.

This is of course my opinion on the matter. I am not an expert in this stuff, or even mildly educated in it for that matter.

EDIT: When I said just as good I meant functionally just as good, the idea still makes me feel uncomfortable.
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Re: Do transporters kill?

Post by Stark » 2010-03-10 03:11am

It's amazing that you can understand there's a personal difference but pretend to not care. Of course it's a functionally identical copy; nobody has ever disputed that. Turns out the original is all that affects YOU.

It'd be pretty funny to realise you were on a planet and the only way off was transport; you know you're a temporary individual created to traipse around and shoot Romulans, so that your experiences can be rebuilt somewhere else for the benefit of another you that doesn't exist yet.

Your example is asinine; of COURSE the copy continues unfazed. The point is that if the dentist hacked your body up, you wouldn't have woken up. The copy he built would have woken up and continued as if nothing untoward had happened. In the transporter example this is not the case; everyone KNOWS it's regularly happening.

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Re: Do transporters kill?

Post by Rama » 2010-03-10 06:08am

Of course you die.

Whilst the matter that composes your body, your memories, thoughts and every experience prior to the transportation process are perfectly recreated and at one point, it was a perfect copy of you; the instant it came into existence (and yours ceased), it started developing unique memories and experiences, separate from yours (which you can no longer perceive). After the process, it’s in the transporter room with the rest of the crew, experiencing life in a completely different way, interpreting the surroundings in a way that’s specific to it and that of every other transporter clone prior to it and following. After even a few seconds of being alive, it’s no longer your exact copy, it has new memories and experiences and opinions and everything else that informs someone’s unique personality. And whilst these traits are not drastically different on a noticeable level, and the clone will continue along a fairly linear path in a manner similar as how you would have experienced the world, they are far more than you've experienced at this point. It looks exactly like you, yes, and shares all of your previous memories, but it is not you, not anymore. Just another person.

All the available information is in place, and the clone is most likely following your "intended" pathway to a T, but the discontinuity of an active consciousness for eternity still represents death to the individual much in the same way that permanent brain death results in the termination of an organisms existence.

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Re: Do transporters kill?

Post by Solauren » 2010-03-10 07:45am

No.

We've seen people MOVE inside the transporter beam/pattern buffer.

Specifically, Barclay, during the episode he thought he had transporter-psychosis or whatever it was.

He used that ability to rescue someone that was trapped in the transporter. Then worf + 2 security guys repeated.

Sorry, that's not dead.
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Re: Do transporters kill?

Post by Rama » 2010-03-10 07:57am

Doesn't the transporter buffer keep a "copy" of the person from the last known use?

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Re: Do transporters kill?

Post by Xess » 2010-03-10 08:22am

As I have admitted that from the perspective of you the transporter does kill you, I'm conceding.
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Re: Do transporters kill?

Post by Azron_Stoma » 2010-03-10 09:20am

Personally I don't feel it's so much a matter of it being like the Prestige, since vulcans believe in eternal souls and routinely use transporter technology, I feel the soul does in fact go with you, as it is also energy.

Call it a form of using the original writer's intent to fill in the blanks of what is inadequately explained, but it seems to me that the "neural data" or whatever is just a cold line word (like non-corporeal residual energy = ghost) for the soul, and that the other person isn't just a copy with all the memories etc, but does, in fact, carry the same consciousness.

in general though, transporters were never explained very well, the more detail they go into on them, the more questions are raised.

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Re: Do transporters kill?

Post by Simon_Jester » 2010-03-10 10:56am

Stark wrote:Turns out the copy is a different individual and you're still going to get shot in the face and die. :lol: Let's see how 'no information is lost' reassures you when you are about to end your existence. The information isn't lost; someone else has it. Feel better? BANG you're dead.
See, that's the trouble. You're assuming the conclusion to a philosophical argument. Disintegrate me and I'm dead, but reintegrate something indistinguishable from me five seconds later and am I still dead?

In real life, death is completely irreversible, and we've had to come up with increasingly rigorous definitions of "death" to keep from having to say that CPR or defibrillators can raise the dead. But if I have the ability to make a copy of you, disintegrate you, then reintegrate something no one can tell from you, including you, somewhere else five seconds later? At that point, claiming that you're capital-D Dead because of the five seconds during which no "you" existed is a bit extreme, I'd say.
Rama wrote:Whilst the matter that composes your body, your memories, thoughts and every experience prior to the transportation process are perfectly recreated and at one point, it was a perfect copy of you; the instant it came into existence (and yours ceased), it started developing unique memories and experiences, separate from yours (which you can no longer perceive). After the process, it’s in the transporter room with the rest of the crew, experiencing life in a completely different way, interpreting the surroundings in a way that’s specific to it and that of every other transporter clone prior to it and following. After even a few seconds of being alive, it’s no longer your exact copy, it has new memories and experiences and opinions and everything else that informs someone’s unique personality.
By the same argument, though, future-you is not you. At this instant in time that you read this, Rama has had a particular set of experiences. Tomorrow, Rama will have had a different set of experiences that will have slightly changed Rama's personality and attitudes. For that matter, Rama may even fall unconscious at some point in between, suffering a discontinuity in his awareness of the universe. Hell, Rama could fall unconscious and wake up somewhere with no idea how he got there!

And yet in real life, there is no doubt that you are still you, not a new and different person, no matter what you experience. Rama does not need to be an identical clone of past-Rama in order to be Rama.
All the available information is in place, and the clone is most likely following your "intended" pathway to a T, but the discontinuity of an active consciousness for eternity still represents death to the individual much in the same way that permanent brain death results in the termination of an organisms existence.
But in that case, how do we know that you're the same person every day when you get up in the morning? How do we rule out the idea that there are actually a string of 6000+ Ramas, each of which only lived roughly sixteen hours before falling asleep, dying, and being replaced?
Azron_Stoma wrote:Personally I don't feel it's so much a matter of it being like the Prestige, since vulcans believe in eternal souls and routinely use transporter technology, I feel the soul does in fact go with you, as it is also energy.
Alternatively, the soul is somehow attached to your physical body, such that if your physical body is reintegrated elsewhere, your soul normally goes to it.
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Re: Do transporters kill?

Post by SapphireFox » 2010-03-10 12:31pm

Simon_Jester wrote:See, that's the trouble. You're assuming the conclusion to a philosophical argument. Disintegrate me and I'm dead, but reintegrate something indistinguishable from me five seconds later and am I still dead?

In real life, death is completely irreversible, and we've had to come up with increasingly rigorous definitions of "death" to keep from having to say that CPR or defibrillators can raise the dead. But if I have the ability to make a copy of you, disintegrate you, then reintegrate something no one can tell from you, including you, somewhere else five seconds later? At that point, claiming that you're capital-D Dead because of the five seconds during which no "you" existed is a bit extreme, I'd say.
The problem with that argument is that you seem to see a continus line of exsistance between the clone and the original, that they are infact the same being. The fact that there is a clone at the end is just that a CLONE. Wether the clone sees itself as the original is immaterial because it is not the original. The original is crisped on the transporter pad, and what in the patern buffer is only data and energy. Is the clone functionaly like the original, yes. Is it actualy the original, no. Unfortuantely arguments based on the soul of the individual cannot be proven or disproven based on what little we actualy know about such things.
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Re: Do transporters kill?

Post by Buritot » 2010-03-10 03:25pm

SapphireFox wrote:The fact that there is a clone at the end is just that a CLONE. Wether the clone sees itself as the original is immaterial because it is not the original. The original is crisped on the transporter pad, and what in the patern buffer is only data and energy. Is the clone functionaly like the original, yes. Is it actualy the original, no. Unfortuantely arguments based on the soul of the individual cannot be proven or disproven based on what little we actualy know about such things.
I suppose I'm missing some vital information since I don't get why you keep referring to a clone. I may be mistaken, but isn't a clone an organism sharing the same genetic make-up? In the sense as (enzygotic) twins are clones? Or do you mean copies, as in originate and deviate from a specific consciousness which they happen to share every physical detail with at the point of deviation?
If it is the latter... who says the soul isn't transferred as well? Since this seems to be what the argument is boiling down to. The soul is indestructible, bestowed upon conception (christian interpretation) to the person and returned to sender by death. Why, that concludes there are soulless creatures roaming the Earth already!
Unless you choose an arbitrary value of "death". Is death the loss of consciousness, except for the case of losing ones consciousness during sleep or some derivative thereof? Happens death when you body ceases certain functions such as heartbeat, brainwaves or such? Death is largely defined by the technology and knowledge at hand, or is it not? Nowadays a person might be resuscitated if certain conditions are met. I suppose in the future these conditions may change and in the fictional universe of Star Trek do include "death by transporter" in the sense of disassembly->transport->reassembly->resuscitation. This doesn't necessarily exclude the loss of soul/life essence/non-corporeal spaghetti monster eggs int the process, of course.
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Re: Do transporters kill?

Post by Dave » 2010-03-10 03:44pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Alternatively, the soul is somehow attached to your physical body, such that if your physical body is reintegrated elsewhere, your soul normally goes to it.
So is movement of the soul restricted by c, or what? :lol:

But seriously, assuming that soul exists, and assuming it tries to go to your body because it isn't taken along by the transporter, how long does it take to get there?

What happens if you have an accident and you get transporter duplicates? Does each duplicate only get half a soul?

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Re: Do transporters kill?

Post by SCRawl » 2010-03-10 03:56pm

I fall on the "yes" side of the question posed by the thread title, though I will concede that it is an unprovable assertion. I can't imagine a test that would differentiate between a machine that would disassemble and reassemble a conscious being over a real physical discontinuity with transferal of that consciousness and one that do so without said transferal.
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Re: Do transporters kill?

Post by Buritot » 2010-03-10 04:10pm

Dave wrote:assuming that soul exists, and assuming it tries to go to your body because it isn't taken along by the transporter, how long does it take to get there?

What happens if you have an accident and you get transporter duplicates? Does each duplicate only get half a soul?
Who says the soul doesn't move instantaneous? Why should something intangible unprovable be limited by things tangible or provable?

Also, since souls are arbitrarily assigned, lets say, at conception - or in other words realisation of creation - the instant the soul flips into one body a new one is assigned to the other body. Alternately, each soul is infinite and splitting it in two results in the same soul existing twice. It's really up to your belief since facts were left yonder.
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Re: Do transporters kill?

Post by SapphireFox » 2010-03-10 04:34pm

Buritot wrote:
SapphireFox wrote:The fact that there is a clone at the end is just that a CLONE. Wether the clone sees itself as the original is immaterial because it is not the original. The original is crisped on the transporter pad, and what in the patern buffer is only data and energy. Is the clone functionaly like the original, yes. Is it actualy the original, no. Unfortuantely arguments based on the soul of the individual cannot be proven or disproven based on what little we actualy know about such things.
I suppose I'm missing some vital information since I don't get why you keep referring to a clone. I may be mistaken, but isn't a clone an organism sharing the same genetic make-up? In the sense as (enzygotic) twins are clones? Or do you mean copies, as in originate and deviate from a specific consciousness which they happen to share every physical detail with at the point of deviation?
If it is the latter... who says the soul isn't transferred as well? Since this seems to be what the argument is boiling down to. The soul is indestructible, bestowed upon conception (christian interpretation) to the person and returned to sender by death. Why, that concludes there are soulless creatures roaming the Earth already!
Unless you choose an arbitrary value of "death". Is death the loss of consciousness, except for the case of losing ones consciousness during sleep or some derivative thereof? Happens death when you body ceases certain functions such as heartbeat, brainwaves or such? Death is largely defined by the technology and knowledge at hand, or is it not? Nowadays a person might be resuscitated if certain conditions are met. I suppose in the future these conditions may change and in the fictional universe of Star Trek do include "death by transporter" in the sense of disassembly->transport->reassembly->resuscitation. This doesn't necessarily exclude the loss of soul/life essence/non-corporeal spaghetti monster eggs int the process, of course.
In this case it would be both form the discripions you gave. The reason I personaly refer to the procses as cloneing is beacause the product on the other end is NOT the origanal matter that went in the transporter to begin with. What would come out would be considered a "perfect clone" in that for the most part it is indistinguishable from the original physicaly. The clone shares all of the originals DNA and it is phyicaly identical up until the point of deviation.

Soul physics on the other hand is not a topic that can be quantified with our current understanding so what hapens to the soul that transports (if it even exists for starters) is left in the realm of phylosophy, faith, and opinion. So in the spirit of anwsering your question to the best of my ability I will give my opinion on the matter. Since there is a time frame that the body does not exist the soul (assuming it exists) would be drawn to it's final reward based on it's denomanation since a body forms for its specific habitation it would be drawn in more than one direction it would be subject to the phenmanon known a "soul fragmention". In this case the clone or clones would each draw a fragment to it gradualy wakening the spirit by repeted framentation. Eventualy this may lead to a collective loss of soul across the socitiy and cause socity to weaken from that loss. This may have helped to lead the federation to it's passive collective communism wuss state found in especialy in early TNG. A varient of the same phenomanon may have helped lead the klingons toward a more agessive less balenced path as seen in Enterprise.(klingon socity was not always like it is today we were told in one episode. cant remenber witch tho) So you can understand if it causes a chunck of soul to go on to the final reward(if it exists) and the body is only a clone, you can understand why I would say it kills a person who uses transporter and copies them.
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Re: Do transporters kill?

Post by Crazedwraith » 2010-03-10 05:09pm

I'm sorry, did you just claim that Star Trek is communist because transporters kill their soul? :lol:

And is anyone going to actually attempt to refute the Barclay example?

Personally, I like to err on the 'not-dead' aspect, sure you get disintegrated but you do get Reintergrated again, from the same energy no less. (Baring transporter problem of the week complications of course)
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Re: Do transporters kill?

Post by Buritot » 2010-03-10 05:17pm

SapphireFox wrote:Soul physics on the other hand is not a topic that can be quantified with our current understanding so what happens to the soul that transports (if it even exists for starters) is left in the realms of philosophy, faith, and opinion. So in the spirit of answering your question to the best of my ability I will give my opinion on the matter. Since there is a time frame that the body does not exist the soul (assuming it exists) would be drawn to it's final reward based on it's denomination since a body forms for its specific habitation it would be drawn in more than one direction it would be subject to the phenomenon known a "soul fragmentation". In this case the clone or clones would each draw a fragment to it gradual wakening the spirit by repeated fragmentation. Eventually this may lead to a collective loss of soul across the society and cause society to weaken from that loss. This may have helped to lead the federation to it's passive collective communism wuss state found in especially in early TNG. A variant of the same phenomenon may have helped lead the klingons toward a more aggressive less balanced path as seen in Enterprise.(klingon society was not always like it is today we were told in one episode. cant remember wich though) So you can understand if it causes a chunk of soul to go on to the final reward(if it exists) and the body is only a clone, you can understand why I would say it kills a person who uses transporter and copies them.
...*scratches his head*... so you're proposing communism is a form of society striving in life-force weakened societies? That is... I can't follow that logic in any reasonable manner. I get your stated belief in a finite fragmentation of souls but I can't fathom your deduction of this weakening the society as a whole. The whole argument makes my head ache - I see what flow of sub-points, but it seems illogical (in whatever soul dynamics are expected to be logical) to me.

But like you said, the answer to my question lies in the realms of philosophy, faith, and opinion, not causality, reason and logic.
Crazedwraith wrote:And is anyone going to actually attempt to refute the Barclay example?
How do you suppose one should refute it? The tech behind it is shady at best and it wouldn't be the first canon fact to be made discanonical in hindsight ("Threshold" is a blaring example for that), though that opens the door to the dangerous field of specialized canon...
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Re: Do transporters kill?

Post by SapphireFox » 2010-03-10 05:38pm

I'm sorry, did you just claim that Star Trek is communist because transporters kill their soul?
...*scratches his head*... so you're proposing communism is a form of society striving in life-force weakened societies? That is... I can't follow that logic in any reasonable manner. I get your stated belief in a finite fragmentation of souls but I can't fathom your deduction of this weakening the society as a whole. The whole argument makes my head ache - I see what flow of sub-points, but it seems illogical (in whatever soul dynamics are expected to be logical) to me.

But like you said, the answer to my question lies in the realms of philosophy, faith, and opinion, not causality, reason and logic.
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I SAID MAY OF HELPED IT BECOME THAT WAY! Not forced to become that way OR that communisim is the form of society a soul weak society has to become. Only that it MAY be a factor in the weakness of the society as a whole. I apologize if this did not seem clear or that one had to result into another.

At least you understood what I meant about it being a philosophy/opinion type of consept.
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Re: Do transporters kill?

Post by Havok » 2010-03-10 05:48pm

Haven't there been multiple instances of people doing things while in transport? (Along with the Barclay instances)
Also, I was always under the impression that your body was converted into matter/energy and then that matter/energy itself was transported and reassembled, not that some new supply of matter/energy was reassembled to become you.
Also, why would you have memory of being transported? Or the feeling itself if you came out not really the same person?
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Re: Do transporters kill?

Post by Stark » 2010-03-10 05:53pm

Simon_Jester wrote:See, that's the trouble. You're assuming the conclusion to a philosophical argument. Disintegrate me and I'm dead, but reintegrate something indistinguishable from me five seconds later and am I still dead?
Yes.

It's not 'philosophy' to say that when you die, you're dead. No, building something identical will not make your dead self suddenly be alive; someone else who thinks he's you will continue. Individuals are not information.

If you get scanned and twenty five trillion years later, after every part of you is gone, if someone rebuilds a functionally identical copy of you, are you saying that will be the same 'self' and the original you will now be aware again? Of course not. The original you grew old and died trillions of years ago.

I'm sad Starglider hasn't shown up in this thread. :)

Hav, by definition if you aren't whole at any point, you won't be aware of it, as Simon has said earlier with his dentist example. To the user, it will always appear to be a constant uninterrupted event (because the guy that steps out the end never experienced a break in consciousness).

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Re: Do transporters kill?

Post by Havok » 2010-03-10 06:07pm

I get that. But that isn't what is shown to happen. Events can transpire in the transporter and you are aware of your surroundings along with having memory and feelings of the transport itself.
Hell, I think there are even thing that can live in the transporter beam or some such weirdness. That all leads me to believe you don't die.
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