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#1 2012-10-19 10:21:55

Kenan
Pilgrim
From: Gothenburg, Sweden
Registered: 2005-06-19
Posts: 8755
Website

Philosophical question (SPOILER)

The process by which the Grail Brotherhood is to become gods on the network (through becoming entirely net-living beings) is by creating a copy of their entire mind/thought processes, and then switching that entity on when they kill their physical bodies.

Does anyone else have a problem with this? It's like giving up your own life in favour of a perfect clone of your mind. There might be a life after you that would make the exact same choices and live the exact same life as yourself. But it would not be you, just a copy!

I don't know why Tad decided to go with this formula. He even points out how this is different from other sci fi where conciousness is simply "uploaded" to the net in the dialogue during the ceremony.

Well I'm 200 pages into Sea of Silver Light (re-read) and I don't remember if they come back to this topic later...

Your thoughts?


Wouldn't the plural form of Olaf be Olaves? ;) - Firsfron of Ronchester

 

#2 2012-11-13 10:23:46

Kenan
Pilgrim
From: Gothenburg, Sweden
Registered: 2005-06-19
Posts: 8755
Website

Re: Philosophical question (SPOILER)

I finished my re-read, and I would like to add a couple of things to this topic (no takers, really??)

1. Paul. He found out that he had gone through the grail process, and considered himself a copy, nothing more. This re-enforces the point I wanted to make. His body was still alive though, and the original woke up in the body with no memories of the events after the grail process.

2. Orlando. His body died... and his mind too, as far as we can understand. But he was resurrected via the grail process with the conclusion that the Other must have taken such an interest in him that it made a copy. Orlando said he "felt like himself"

So it feels a bit inconclusive... I don't know, I would love some input and ideas from others!


Wouldn't the plural form of Olaf be Olaves? ;) - Firsfron of Ronchester

 

#3 2012-11-13 15:40:00

xavie
Pilgrim
From: The Netherlands
Registered: 2006-01-22
Posts: 1566
Website

Re: Philosophical question (SPOILER)

I think it's not only a perfect clone of yourself. It's a perfect clone that has your history, your traumas, your dreams and hopes, all the way down to your favourite type of ice cream and your secret, long forgotten crush on the exchange student in fifth grade.

So I wonder: What is the difference between you and your identical clone? What makes you say it's not the same?

The example of Paul Jonas shows that the "lives" of the real person and the clone diverge from the moment of activation. I compare this with the way identical twins develope into two completely different people, even though they have been genetically identical in the beginning. I think you see a similar divergence in character between Jongleur and his younger copy, Azador. But ideally, during the Grail project the original dies and only one version of the person, namely the copy, exists, so no such divergence exists, therefore the clone would be the continuous personality of the grail guy.

I wonder (and it's been quite a while since I've read the books, so I don't remember if it's ever explained) if the copy has any memory of the grail proces. If they don't, that would be quite a relevant memory gap, I think. To be fully aware of itself the clone should know that it is a clone and how it came into existance.

 

#4 2012-11-14 11:48:15

Kenan
Pilgrim
From: Gothenburg, Sweden
Registered: 2005-06-19
Posts: 8755
Website

Re: Philosophical question (SPOILER)

xavie wrote:

What is the difference between you and your identical clone? What makes you say it's not the same?

From the outside world, perhaps nothing. But I still see it as one conciousness extinguished and a new one awakened. It's still like someone else living out the exact life that you yourself would have had, but not you.

Do you believe in the soul? In that case you could believe that your soul would automatically transfer to the new persona that is identical to your own, at the moment when you kill your physical body. But for me that solution is a bit Deus ex machina...

I wonder (and it's been quite a while since I've read the books, so I don't remember if it's ever explained) if the copy has any memory of the grail proces. If they don't, that would be quite a relevant memory gap, I think. To be fully aware of itself the clone should know that it is a clone and how it came into existance.

My only answer to that is that Orlando was aware of his death, and because of that he was aware of the grail process having taken place.

After the grail process, the world could view the copy/clone as the same as the original. The clone could even see itself as the original. But still, first there was one, and then there was a copy.

Let's play with the idea of the grail process taking just a little time: First you have to wake the clone, then you can kill yourself. Perhaps that shows more clearly how I think of it. At one point there would be two, and one is clearly not "you".


Wouldn't the plural form of Olaf be Olaves? ;) - Firsfron of Ronchester

 

#5 2012-11-14 14:16:25

ylvs
Mantis
From: Art Central
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 13270

Re: Philosophical question (SPOILER)

xavie wrote:

I think it's not only a perfect clone of yourself. It's a perfect clone that has your history, your traumas, your dreams and hopes, all the way down to your favourite type of ice cream and your secret, long forgotten crush on the exchange student in fifth grade.

Exactly. And that is the difference between Paul and Orlando. Paul woke up in WWI and it took him most of the story to get his memories back. He felt hollow and lost haunted by strange dreams. The Grail process malfunctioned. It did not with Orlando. He took all Xavie so eloquently summed up over ... and he died in RL that makes a difference as well.


To meet an old friend is like the finding of a welcoming campfire in the dark. Qanuc saying
Scrollbearer
Titan of fact-checking and priceless source of Osten-Ard-iana
Arsonist of the probably most spectacular Mint burning ever

 

#6 2012-11-15 07:55:11

xavie
Pilgrim
From: The Netherlands
Registered: 2006-01-22
Posts: 1566
Website

Re: Philosophical question (SPOILER)

Kenan wrote:

Do you believe in the soul? In that case you could believe that your soul would automatically transfer to the new persona that is identical to your own, at the moment when you kill your physical body. But for me that solution is a bit Deus ex machina...

I don't believe in the soul. I can imagine that, if you believe in a soul as a third component besides body and mind, the copy is indeed only a hollow copy of the original person, since it only carries the mind.
But I also don't think that the grail people thought about their souls much, or at least I don't remember it being mentioned. I assume they were a bunch of non-believers and were happy to save their minds and get rid of their mortal bodies, since they could take on new, virtual bodies on the net.

 

#7 2012-11-17 01:44:07

Kenan
Pilgrim
From: Gothenburg, Sweden
Registered: 2005-06-19
Posts: 8755
Website

Re: Philosophical question (SPOILER)

ylvs and xavie, thanks for participating in the discussion.
I can see I'm not convincing you of my ideas, but I haven't been convinced that I'm wrong either. That's fine of course, the discussion is the fun part!


Wouldn't the plural form of Olaf be Olaves? ;) - Firsfron of Ronchester

 

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