The concept of Self - as explored in speculative fiction

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by DaveC426913, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I've always been fascinated with the concept of identity - of self. Spec fiction is rife with explorations.

    ST:TNG explored this in several episodes, one where Riker got caught in a storm while teleporting and a second signal bounced back to the planet, creating two of him. The one on the planet lived for many years cut off from the rest of the world.


    A short story by James Patrick Kelly called "Think Like a Dinosaur" explored a type of pseudo-teleportation where the subject was recreated from data at the far end while the source was destroyed. Is the subject that arrive the same one that left?


    In Robert Sawyer's The Terminal Man, a scientist uploaded his own mind into a computer. The flesh-and-blood scientist knew which was which - but imagine waking up, deaf and blind, and being told that, not only were you now trapped inside a computer, but you are not you; you are a copy. I imagine the mind would cry 'there's been a terrible mistake! I wasn't supposed to end up inside a computer!'


    And Agents of Shield has a time travel story arc. It was all going along tickety-boo until Fitz found out that he had followed a completely different path through time than Simmons. She had gotten married to Fitz in her timeline. That Fitz was gone but now this one was here.

    She told him about her life with him - but this Fitz was not there for it; he'd missed out on marrying her and going on their honeymoon.

    And he was jealous. Of himself.


    That's an angle of time travel I've never seen explored before.


    I thought about posting this in the Sci-Fi Fantasy forum, but it's really more about the philosophy of self-identity.
     
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  3. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

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    If an identical copy of a human was created… they woud both remain identical as long as ther invironments were identical.!!!
     
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I doubt that's true.
    It suggests a hard deterministic universe, wherein the very next thought you have is pre-determined by your environment alone. (Otherwise it couldn't be certain that both copies would have the same net thought.)
     
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  7. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

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    Yes... thats what makes my statment true.!!!
     
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I knew you were going to say that.

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  9. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    No they wouldn't.
    The first chance they get they will fight each other to gain independance, self identity and self determination.
    Human nature 101.
    Hee hee...
     
  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Their environments would only remain the same if they occupied the same space. But they wouldn't.

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  11. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    You mention ST:TNG but surely within that Data is the most obvious example of the question of what the self is, what identity is.
    Then you have The Bicentennial Man, along the same lines.
    Heck, even Short Circuit plays to that crowd in a way.

    With regard the specifics of a person’s identity, Ghost in the Shell is a good one, with people so augmented and reliant on tech that personality basically becomes just a computer program that people can hack etc.
    And then there’s Dark City, where personality and identity are changed frequently (without anyone realising).
     
  12. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

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    That means you got into my head... spooky... wasnt it

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    Much like twins do

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    For this science fiction exploration they woud each have to be isolated in identical areas... then when they were observed by way of hidden camera they woud both be doin the same thang... forever... yes???

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    However... if they both awoke at the same time in mirror opposite positions in the same isolated sphere they woud then mimic each other forever??? yes

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    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  13. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I suppose. Though these seem a bit tangential.

    Those seem to explore the question 'How do I choose to define myself'? I know my identity is mine alone - even if I'm not sure what my identity is.

    I have a blank slate, but at least I have one.

    I was expressing a fascination with the question 'Am I really me? Or is someone else me?' In each example of mine, there is another real person, competing for my identity.

    Someone is taking my slate away from me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  14. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

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    Yes you are really you/a unique individual... but wit diferent experiences the duplicate is also a unique individual.!!!

    That duplicate story is just soap-opera wit a sci-fi twist on jealousy.!!!
     
  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Is it though?
    She gave her heart to him. She really did. Not someone else.

    Yet he could be jealous, because he didn't experience it.

    That's pretty unique.
     
  16. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

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    it seems many to most get this point quite wrong.

    if you are a copy, and you have consciousness of the event of the other, then you are a hive mind clone.
    this is cloning.
    cloning of a consciousness so 2 exist regardless of one being killed or dying.

    psychologically one should explore how this might effect the sanity of the cloned consciousness.
    it may turn it into a serial killer or psychopath or virus like cannibalistic mentality.
     
  17. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

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    Well i didnt see the show... but was it clear that he was jealous of himself (if so he prolly needs help to get his mind right)... or was he just upset that he missed out on a wonderful experience.???
    Did she go on an on about how wonderful it was... an he resented her for havin the experience that he didnt share.???
    She shoud have glossed over the details an suggested that they have a do-over so they can both have memories.!!!

    It does sound like a perty unique story... an fun to watch unless it dwells to long on the sadness of it all insted of workin toghther to make it beter.!!!
     
  18. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    Ah, okay.
    In that arena, then:

    Moon is a good film that explores an aspect of that.
    Well recommended.
    In fact most films about cloning generally have an element of exploring identity.

    A bit left-field: The Man Who Haunted Himself.
    Starring Roger Moore, no less.
    Psychological thriller about a guy with a doppelgänger, or he’s going insane, the viewer is never entirely sure.

    Or am I still off base?

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  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Hey, I've seen that, now that you mention it!
    That's the one where there's just this one guy who's a maintenance tech, and he has an accident, right?
     
  20. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    Yep, that’s the one.
    Helium-3 mining on the moon.
    Great film with only a handful of cast members.

    Predestination is one you should definitely watch, as it really is all about identity.
    Seriously great story, and will have you thinking for a looong time.
    Don’t want to say too much, or indeed anything at all, in case it ruins it for people who have yet to see it.
    Just check it out.

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