StarDestroyer.Net BBS

Get your fill of sci-fi, science, and mockery of stupid people
Login  FAQ    Search

View unanswered posts | View active topics


It is currently 2014-04-18 09:20am (All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ])

Board index » Fiction » Science Fiction » Star Wars vs Star Trek


Quote of the Week: "In the United States, the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own." - Alexis de Tocqueville, French writer (1805-1859)

Tranporters, Atomic Level Murder

Moderator: Vympel

Post new topic Post a reply  Page 2 of 5
 [ 121 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
  Previous topic | Next topic 
Author Message

Korto
PostPosted: 2011-02-09 05:38pm 

Jedi Knight


Joined: 2007-12-19 08:31am
Posts: 819
Location: Newcastle, Aus
Hamstray wrote:
However in a just law system, where there is no evidence of a crime no persecution is possible.

I think you mean "prosecution". You'll find that absence of evidence is no bar to persecution, and oft-times seems mandatory :D

However, this is all a philosophical argument. From the "continuity of life" view, a person stops living, therefore they died. From the "Black Box" view, a person goes in, same person walks out. I bet I know which point a view a society with transporters would take.

Dr McCoy's dislike of transporters is perfectly adequately explained by their inherent unreliability. How often did those damn things malfunction?
   Profile |  

Batman
PostPosted: 2011-02-09 05:58pm 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2002-07-09 04:51am
Posts: 13161
Location: Looking for another drawer
Quite often. The thing is, those problems are a lot of the time what the series' focused on and often happened under unusual circumstances.
We simply never get to see the countless times the transporter functioned flawlessly in everyday situations and even from what we see the thing seems to be reasonably reliable under ordinary circumstances (compare the number of times the transporter malfunctioned/couldn't be used safely because of technobabble to the times it was used without a hitch).
   Profile |  

Korto
PostPosted: 2011-02-09 06:13pm 

Jedi Knight


Joined: 2007-12-19 08:31am
Posts: 819
Location: Newcastle, Aus
Conceded, but even once is enough for a few outlier people to decide "I don't want my damned atoms scattered all over the damned cosmos!"

And anyway, Darth Tedious and others, are we seriously using Dr McCoy as a cool, logical, expert opinion? :wtf:
   Profile |  

Darth Tedious
PostPosted: 2011-02-10 01:07am 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2011-01-16 09:48pm
Posts: 1067
General Schatten wrote:
Darth Tedious wrote:
The issue would appear to be about whether transporters kill at all. If they do, using one by choice would be a form of suicide. There have been examples of people being transported agaist their wishes and/or without warning, which would be murder.
Again, murder is an unlawful killing and who says suicide is always immoral? Is it even suicide or murder if you're alive at the end of it?

As I said, the real issue lies in whether on not transporters actually kill. You're not alive at the end of it if it's a clone of you that steps off the transporter pad.

Korto wrote:
However, this is all a philosophical argument. From the "continuity of life" view, a person stops living, therefore they died. From the "Black Box" view, a person goes in, same person walks out. I bet I know which point a view a society with transporters would take.

It would certainly appear to be the case in ST. For all the social questions the show raised, they never really addressed that one... would have made for an interesting episode.
Korto wrote:
And anyway, Darth Tedious and others, are we seriously using Dr McCoy as a cool, logical, expert opinion? :wtf:

I don't think McCoy is terribly logical (just ask Spock!), but ethics aren't always completely about logic. And Bones is an expert on ethics. Also, Dr. Pulaski shared the same opinion. I realise her character was based on McCoy's, but I'm using suspended disbelief. The point was that it seems some doctors (who think a lot about ethics) question the transporter. For a contrary engineering-based opinion, refer to Geordi "They're the safest way to travel" LaForge. But as you pointed out, that is the difference between continuity of life and 'Black-Box' views.
   Profile |  

Jawawithagun
PostPosted: 2011-02-10 01:17am 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2002-10-10 07:05pm
Posts: 1141
Location: Terra Secunda
Darth Tedious wrote:
As I said, the real issue lies in whether on not transporters actually kill. You're not alive at the end of it if it's a clone of you that steps off the transporter pad.


And if the person steps off the transporter pad cannot be distinguished from the one that stepped onto the transporter pad is it a clone or is it still you?
   Profile |  

Franc28
PostPosted: 2011-02-10 02:27am 

Mindless worshipper of Ayn Rand


Joined: 2002-07-04 04:53pm
Posts: 88
Location: Montreal, Canada
Jawawithagun wrote:
And if the person steps off the transporter pad cannot be distinguished from the one that stepped onto the transporter pad is it a clone or is it still you?


What do you mean it "cannot be distinguished"? You are implicitly assuming that arrangement of form is what dictates identity ("cannot be distinguished" implies that they have the same identity). From a continuity point of view, they sure "can be distinguished"- one no longer exists and the other was just created! Not being able to distinguish these two is as someone unable to distinguish a dead body from a baby. The fact that the atoms happen to be, on purpose, reconstituted so that the arrangement of atoms is identical is not relevant to this fact. I think this is what is confusing the debate: people stop at the fact that both bodies look the same. But that is an assumption that identity is defined as arrangement of form, which, as I keep repeating, is not a viable position.

This is not merely a semantics debate. This is about what we mean when we identify units, whatever those units are. It is a fundamental cognitive issue of being able to make basic differences between things. The Ship of Theseus problem is one example of this. But the transporter is nothing like the Ship of Theseus. The analogy is more like if the Ship of Theseus was wrecked by a tornado, then people painstakingly reformed the Ship using the exact same bits that were wrecked, happening to put them in the exact same order. The fact that they put the Ship together in exactly the same way is incidental: they could have made it slightly narrower, or wider, or taller. But the fact remains that it's not the same ship.

If you don't agree with this fundamental premise, then I guess no debate is possible on the issue, and we're going to keep talking past each other. Again, this is a fundamental issue of how we differentiate objects: disagreeing on this means to disagree on the direct interpretation of what we observe.
   Profile |  

Jawawithagun
PostPosted: 2011-02-10 09:25am 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2002-10-10 07:05pm
Posts: 1141
Location: Terra Secunda
You have both of them in front of you. HOW do you tell the difference between them?
   Profile |  

Hamstray
PostPosted: 2011-02-10 03:27pm 

Padawan Learner


Joined: 2010-01-31 10:59pm
Posts: 214
Location: Vienna, Austria
Jawawithagun wrote:
You have both of them in front of you. HOW do you tell the difference between them?


If you are one of them, then you would know which one is not you. Knowing that your clone is in the place you wished to get teleported to you may now happily commit suicide. This process should result in the same outcome as getting disintegrated first and being rematerialized later.
   Profile |  

Franc28
PostPosted: 2011-02-10 05:40pm 

Mindless worshipper of Ayn Rand


Joined: 2002-07-04 04:53pm
Posts: 88
Location: Montreal, Canada
I also want to add, people here seem to think that people in Star Trek not batting an eye at transporters is somehow evidence that transporters are ethical and not murderous. And yet... it's been established that humans in Star Trek don't bat an eye at genocide or slavery, either, or at the military controlling basically everything, for that matter. So please don't bring up people in Star Trek as your ethical barometer, mmkay? They also seem extremely bad at understanding the logical or ethical consequences of their own technologies/abilities (such as the holodeck or telepathy, to name only those two).
   Profile |  

Franc28
PostPosted: 2011-02-10 05:54pm 

Mindless worshipper of Ayn Rand


Joined: 2002-07-04 04:53pm
Posts: 88
Location: Montreal, Canada
Jawawithagun wrote:
You have both of them in front of you. HOW do you tell the difference between them?


You didn't read anything I wrote, did you? Also see Hamstray's reply.
   Profile |  

Batman
PostPosted: 2011-02-10 08:38pm 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2002-07-09 04:51am
Posts: 13161
Location: Looking for another drawer
The sole difference between them is one remembers having gone through the transporting process, while the other was just about to. The same thing happens to every human being every night. It's called 'falling asleep'. There's zero physical difference between them. They're atom for atom the same. How do you know the you that wakes up around Thursday noon is the same that went to bed Thursday morning?
   Profile |  

Franc28
PostPosted: 2011-02-10 08:39pm 

Mindless worshipper of Ayn Rand


Joined: 2002-07-04 04:53pm
Posts: 88
Location: Montreal, Canada
:roll:

Gee Batman, I didn't know that falling asleep disintegrated you into your component atoms.

Again, if you say that's not a "difference," then you are assuming what you are trying to prove, as I already pointed out.
   Profile |  

Kamakazie Sith
PostPosted: 2011-02-10 08:47pm 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2002-07-03 05:00pm
Posts: 7102
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Franc28 wrote:
It is clear, given the nature of the transporter, that the action results in death and that operators ought to be aware of the substantial risks involved, which are of such a degree and nature that failure to perceive them constitutes a gross deviation over ordinary standards of care. After all, they know fully well, or should know, that they are destroying a person down to their most basic components, and then uses those components to put together a new person. That is the most basic description of what the transporter does.


Actually, it is not clear. Transporters are bizarre pieces of technology. In this thread the subject was discussed. In one episode we see a first person (Barclay) perspective of the entire transport sequence from start to finish including the perception of movement from creatures caught in the pattern buffer. However, even disregarding that bizarre piece of sci-fi you're still left with a philisophical question. If you're destroyed and then recreated using the same matter then is it you? I say yes.
   Profile |  

Kamakazie Sith
PostPosted: 2011-02-10 08:52pm 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2002-07-03 05:00pm
Posts: 7102
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Franc28 wrote:
I also want to add, people here seem to think that people in Star Trek not batting an eye at transporters is somehow evidence that transporters are ethical and not murderous. And yet... it's been established that humans in Star Trek don't bat an eye at genocide or slavery, either, or at the military controlling basically everything, for that matter. So please don't bring up people in Star Trek as your ethical barometer, mmkay? They also seem extremely bad at understanding the logical or ethical consequences of their own technologies/abilities (such as the holodeck or telepathy, to name only those two).


What examples of genocide and slavery are you talking about? In what way does the military "control everything"?

In the end though your opinion on the morality of Star Trek characters is irrelevant to the claim that the transporter kills you. When I say kill I mean no coming back. Or the other claim that it clones you. These claims are not supported by any canon statements.

What you need to demonstrate is that the person being assembled on the other end is not the same that went into the transporter. Good luck.
   Profile |  

Batman
PostPosted: 2011-02-10 08:54pm 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2002-07-09 04:51am
Posts: 13161
Location: Looking for another drawer
No you haven't. You've blithely assumed. Yeah, people transported get taken apart. The get reassembled using all the original bits too. The transported body is indistinguishable from the one before transportation. The only difference is one remembers having been transported while the other doesn't. Guess what-yesterday me didn't remember waking up today with a headache. Guess it must've been a different person and I'm a clone.

Why don't you go ahead and actually prove transporters kill people, instead of taking it as a given without ever showing they do so.
   Profile |  

Kamakazie Sith
PostPosted: 2011-02-10 08:58pm 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2002-07-03 05:00pm
Posts: 7102
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Patrick Degan wrote:
The Romulan Republic wrote:
I disagree that transporters kill though. It strikes me as fanwank to make Trek look bad.


Not quite. This issue has been raised in SF forums wholly independent of Trek or any consideration of its universe. Larry Niven, to name one example, examined the question on at least one form of mechanical teleportation for an article he penned back in the 60s or 70s. Hardly unique or particularly fashioned to "make Trek look bad".


That might not be the reason the idea was initially formed, however, TRR is absolutely correct that this argument is brought up usually when discussing the morality of the Federation. During the ST vs. SW debates it was often brought up by fanatical pro-SW supporters to make themselves feel better about supporting the Empire. I remember one poster using them as an example that the use of transporters in ST was worse than the destruction of Alderaan.
   Profile |  

Batman
PostPosted: 2011-02-10 09:12pm 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2002-07-09 04:51am
Posts: 13161
Location: Looking for another drawer
So the Wars side has morons too. That shouldn't come as much of a surprise by now.
   Profile |  

Sela
PostPosted: 2011-02-10 09:27pm 

Padawan Learner


Joined: 2009-01-04 11:01pm
Posts: 248
Franc28 wrote:
*snip* The fact that the atoms happen to be, on purpose, reconstituted so that the arrangement of atoms is identical is not relevant to this fact. I think this is what is confusing the debate: people stop at the fact that both bodies look the same. But that is an assumption that identity is defined as arrangement of form, which, as I keep repeating, is not a viable position.

*snip*

If you don't agree with this fundamental premise, then I guess no debate is possible on the issue, and we're going to keep talking past each other. Again, this is a fundamental issue of how we differentiate objects: disagreeing on this means to disagree on the direct interpretation of what we observe.



Let me ask you to clarify your premise. What is death? At what point is someone dead? My gut feeling is that to qualify the transporter as "killing" someone (and thus making them dead) you must define death in so broad a way as to make it a useless word.

You mention the Ship of Theseus, and I think it's an excellent example.
1.) Say I used near-magical technology to remove live skin precursor cells from your body each night rather than letting you "slough off" your skin. Over the course of 31 days I'd have acquired a full epidermis. . . but it'd still be you in that bed, right?
2.) Say I hacked off your arms and legs, sample them, then sugically re-attach them. Still you, right?
3.) Say I yanked your heart out and gave you a transplant. . . grown from a synthetic clone so it's an allograft. . . still you right?
4.) Say I forced your new heart to stop beating for thirty minutes ala open-heart-surgery and then re-started it. . .still you, right?
5.) Say I now removed your brain to take some fancy 3D holography pictures and microanatomical structural analyses (again with my magic future-tech) then put it back in again. Still you, right?

Have I at any point actually *killed* you? Have you ever died? The old-England definition of death was that you weren't able to fog up a piece of glass by breathing out. . . so by that definition you've died repeatedly. A hundred years ago Step '4' woulda been considered "dead for a half hour". In modern times, cessation of brain function in Step '5' should qualify. And yet at no point are you "dead" in the sense we use the word on a day-to-day basis. As our ability to restore the body from injury increases, our definition of what qualifies as "dead" narrows. At least it has in common parlance in real life. . . and I see no reason why the same shouldn't hold true in science fiction.

If I understand your issue with the transporter, you're saying the person who walks in dies, and the person who walks out is a different, identical, person. But that's just as ludicrous as saying that if you go in for a heart transplant, the person we put under and cause a cease in his heart function "dies", and the person who walks out (with a new heart) is a new, different person.
   Profile |  

Franc28
PostPosted: 2011-02-11 03:08am 

Mindless worshipper of Ayn Rand


Joined: 2002-07-04 04:53pm
Posts: 88
Location: Montreal, Canada
In my little list, I also forgot murder (Tuvix's murder, at least). Once again, no one batted an eye except the holographic doctor, who was himself treated as little more than garbage even though he was the only qualified doctor on the ship.
   Profile |  

Franc28
PostPosted: 2011-02-11 03:17am 

Mindless worshipper of Ayn Rand


Joined: 2002-07-04 04:53pm
Posts: 88
Location: Montreal, Canada
Kamakazie Sith wrote:
What examples of genocide and slavery are you talking about?


The genocide of the Valakians in Dear Doctor (ENT), for one. Not to mention the countless times TNG has flirted with the idea, based solely on the Prime Directive, and no one could come up with anything better than legalistic counter-arguments, which clearly shows a completely oblivious attitude towards ethics and values.

Quote:
In what way does the military "control everything"?


In Star Trek? What does the military NOT control? We see them boss around pretty much every organization they encounter, civilian or not. We've also seen on Homefront (DS9) how ridiculously easy it was for this military organization to basically occupy planet Earth without resistance.
   Profile |  

Franc28
PostPosted: 2011-02-11 03:23am 

Mindless worshipper of Ayn Rand


Joined: 2002-07-04 04:53pm
Posts: 88
Location: Montreal, Canada
Quote:
Let me ask you to clarify your premise. What is death? At what point is someone dead? My gut feeling is that to qualify the transporter as "killing" someone (and thus making them dead) you must define death in so broad a way as to make it a useless word.


If you seriously believe that utterly disintegrating someone is not killing them, then what can I say? Again, no further discussion is possible on these premises.


Quote:
You mention the Ship of Theseus, and I think it's an excellent example.


No... my whole point is that it would be a good example of ambiguity as regards to identity, but that the transporter is many orders of magnitude beyond it.


Quote:
1.) Say I used near-magical technology to remove live skin precursor cells from your body each night rather than letting you "slough off" your skin. Over the course of 31 days I'd have acquired a full epidermis. . . but it'd still be you in that bed, right?


Yes, because I believe in the continuity of form as being the self... therefore my position is not affected. The position of arrangement of form, which you may or may not believe in but which more or less represents your position, however, is plunged into paradox.

Quote:
2.) Say I hacked off your arms and legs, sample them, then sugically re-attach them. Still you, right?
3.) Say I yanked your heart out and gave you a transplant. . . grown from a synthetic clone so it's an allograft. . . still you right?
4.) Say I forced your new heart to stop beating for thirty minutes ala open-heart-surgery and then re-started it. . .still you, right?
5.) Say I now removed your brain to take some fancy 3D holography pictures and microanatomical structural analyses (again with my magic future-tech) then put it back in again. Still you, right?


Again, you are using Ship of Theseus argumentation. As I said, I agree that Ship of Theseus is a good argument for ambiguity... but the transporter is nothing like the Ship of Theseus. It is not a gradual process, nor is it a partial process. It is a process of near-immediate and complete destruction. Again, and I have to repeat myself, if you blow up the Ship of Theseus, and then reconstitute it in a way which happens to match the original Ship (only one option amongst many), you have not brought the Ship back to life. It is not the same Ship.
   Profile |  

Franc28
PostPosted: 2011-02-11 04:03am 

Mindless worshipper of Ayn Rand


Joined: 2002-07-04 04:53pm
Posts: 88
Location: Montreal, Canada
Sorry, my point about the occupation of Earth was not technically correct. It was the president of the UFP who ordered it, not Starfleet. However, it was shown as being the result of direct pressure from Starfleet.
   Profile |  

Kamakazie Sith
PostPosted: 2011-02-11 04:49pm 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2002-07-03 05:00pm
Posts: 7102
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Franc28 wrote:
Kamakazie Sith wrote:
What examples of genocide and slavery are you talking about?


The genocide of the Valakians in Dear Doctor (ENT), for one.


The Genocide of the Valakians? They were dying off due to a natural flaw in their genetics. Phlox did have the cure but choosing to let nature take its course is not genocide. Firing on their cities and actively killing them is genocide.

Quote:
Not to mention the countless times TNG has flirted with the idea, based solely on the Prime Directive, and no one could come up with anything better than legalistic counter-arguments, which clearly shows a completely oblivious attitude towards ethics and values.


If your "countless" other examples are like the ENT example then I disagree. Do you feel that National Geographic observers are monsters because they allow nature to take its course?

Quote:
In Star Trek? What does the military NOT control? We see them boss around pretty much every organization they encounter, civilian or not. We've also seen on Homefront (DS9) how ridiculously easy it was for this military organization to basically occupy planet Earth without resistance.

...Sorry, my point about the occupation of Earth was not technically correct. It was the president of the UFP who ordered it, not Starfleet. However, it was shown as being the result of direct pressure from Starfleet.


The military does not control civilian organizations. In certain situations, due to law, Starfleet is able to take command. However, they do not naturally control civilian organizations. For example, Dr. Carol Marcus was in charge of the USS Reliant...not the other way around.

Regarding Homefront. It is a result of direct pressure from Starfleet at the command of the elected civilian president during an emergency situation.
   Profile |  

Franc28
PostPosted: 2011-02-11 07:04pm 

Mindless worshipper of Ayn Rand


Joined: 2002-07-04 04:53pm
Posts: 88
Location: Montreal, Canada
Kamakazie Sith wrote:
The Genocide of the Valakians? They were dying off due to a natural flaw in their genetics. Phlox did have the cure but choosing to let nature take its course is not genocide.


What do you mean, "let nature take its course"? What do you mean? If a doctor had in his possession a cure to administrate for someone's fatal disease, and explicitly refused to give the cure to someone on the basis that we should "let nature take its course," we would call him a murderer. Wouldn't you?


Quote:
If your "countless" other examples are like the ENT example then I disagree. Do you feel that National Geographic observers are monsters because they allow nature to take its course?


National Geographic observers are not trained doctors with easy access to cures, neither would they have the ability to explain to foreign doctors how to cure diseases.


Quote:
The military does not control civilian organizations. In certain situations, due to law, Starfleet is able to take command. However, they do not naturally control civilian organizations. For example, Dr. Carol Marcus was in charge of the USS Reliant...not the other way around.


Quote:
CHEKOV

The orders came from Admiral James

T. Kirk.

Sensation in the lab.

DAVID

I knew it! I knew it! All along

the military's wanted to get

their hands on this -

He starts to press a button; Carol pushes his hand

away and communicates herself.

CAROL

This is completely improper,

Commander Chekov. I have no

intention of allowing Reliant or

any other unauthorized personnel

access to our work or materials.

CHEKOV

(pauses; listens)

I'm sorry you feel that way, Doctor.

Admiral Kirk's orders are confirmed.

Please prepare to deliver Genesis

to us upon our arrival. Reliant out.




Thank you for making my point...


Quote:
Regarding Homefront. It is a result of direct pressure from Starfleet at the command of the elected civilian president during an emergency situation.


That's what I said.
   Profile |  

Batman
PostPosted: 2011-02-11 07:21pm 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2002-07-09 04:51am
Posts: 13161
Location: Looking for another drawer
Kindly point out to me where it was stated that Kirk actually had the authority to do that please? A mind controlled Chekov instructed by a guy whose information on the Feds was 15 years out of date and likely spotty at best assuming or pretending he did is not the same as it actually being true.
Quote:
What do you mean, "let nature take its course"? What do you mean? If a doctor had in his possession a cure to administrate for someone's fatal disease, and explicitly refused to give the cure to someone on the basis that we should "let nature take its course," we would call him a murderer. Wouldn't you?

Absolutely not? And neither would the nebulous 'we', by the way. We'd call him a miserable bastard, and a heartless piece of shit, and any other derogatory terms you care to name, and depending on the laws of the society he lives in he could be charged with refusing to render aid on countless accounts, but he would not be a murderer.
   Profile |  

Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Post a reply  Page 2 of 5
 [ 121 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

It is currently 2014-04-18 09:20am (All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ])

Board index » Fiction » Science Fiction » Star Wars vs Star Trek

Who is online: Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum
Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group