We have invented a new method of transportation, a teleporter that records your body down to the quantum level of resolution, transmits that information to another teleporter pad that then transmutes that information into a exact physical copy of the being that stepped onto the other pad. Same memories, same scars, everything. The pattern is preserved, although different atoms, electrons et cetera constitute the being’s matter.
William T. Riker intends to travel from his home on Earth to the Mars colony via the teleporter. Because Mars is so far away, there is a relay station halfway between the planets. It collects information from the teleporter pad on Earth and beams it to Mars and vice versa.
When William T. Riker steps onto the pad, his five aggregates are recorded and burned way in the process by the teleporter. His information profile is beamed to the relay station, a process which takes four minutes. After two minutes of processing, the profile is beamed to the teleporter on Mars, which takes four more minutes to arrive. At that point, a being steps off the pad who is identical to the being that stepped onto the pad on Earth.
Did William T. Riker survive the trip or did he die and a clone stepped off the pad on Mars?
Same situation as before. Only this time, there is a malfunction in the relay station and Riker’s profile is duplicated on accident and the exact same profile is sent to Mars and back to Earth.
At the exact same moment beings step off of the pads on Earth and Mars, both of which are physically and mentally identical to William T. Riker. Let’s call the being on Mars Will Riker and the being who stepped off the pad on Earth Thomas Riker. The second after they step off the pads, they start to have new and divergent memories, thoughts, et cetera.
What is the relationship between the being we named William T. Riker at Time 1 and the beings we called Thomas Riker and Will Riker at Time 1?
What is the relationship between Thomas and Will Riker? Are they the same person, clones, twins, brothers, two heads of the time-hydra that is William T. Riker?
- The Buddha teaches in the Pali Canon the five aggregates as follows:
- form: material form of a being
- Current sensations: sensory experience of an object.
- Current perceptions: sensory and mental process
- Mental formations: all types of mental imprints and conditioning
- Consciousness: "discrimination" or "discernment". Awareness, that which discerns, a series of rapidly changing interconnected discrete acts of cognizance.