Is the transporter suicide?

Okay, Trekkies, you’re sent forward to the 24th ?] century aboard the Enterprise (whichever one) and the Captain is going to let you beam down to a new planet. But should you?

The transporter will dematerialize you, i.e., destroy your body as matter, turn you into an energy pattern, then rematerialize you down on the planet. It is safe to assume that your soul will separate from your body upon dematerializtion and the act of reassembling the body will not bring the soul back. I don’t know what to call the new, soulless you, especially since no one who experiences the transporter seems to be aware that they have lost their soul (which makes sense, actually).

Note as well that the transporter could be used as a copier. Chekhov got killed down on Planet X? No problem, we have his energy pattern stored in the transporter, we’ll make another hard copy.

If it REmaterializes you then that implies it reconstructs you from the same materials that your body was initially constructed from, not that it destroys those materials and builds a replica body from others. :shrug:

Besides which, physical matter means little if anything to your existence as a human.

There isn’t a single cell in your body that was there when you were born - every one of your original cells has died and been replaced by others. What links it all is that all the cells have the same DNA as the originals. If the transporter does the same, then it would seem that there’s no difference.

God bless you, Lily, for a great answer!

LOL, this is geeky! :D:p

Here’s something I don’t get about the transporter:

  1. Like Lily said, you don’t have any of your original cells as a baby, so, assuming the transporter creates new cells for you, how could it create new ones?

  2. If, though, the transporter just reasembles your cells, than this would require a superhuman intelligence.

  3. You’d most likely die in the transporter, since you are dead while being transported.

Not to nitpick, but your body means almost everything to your existence as a human. We are body and soul–carnal and divine–animal and angelic–if the two are separated, it means you’re dead!

This is why I say that popular literature and entertainment, such as ST, makes for poor theology.

In any case, you’re not intending to kill yourself, but simply to go from one place to another.

Bzzt! Wrong. We are body and soul, physical and spiritual. It has been speculated that it is just such grotesque hybridisation is what Satan rebelled against.

There isn’t a single cell in your body that was there when you were born - every one of your original cells has died and been replaced by others.

First of all, I’m not sure that’s true but irrelevant in any case. You, your body, has a continuous physical existence.
Being “dematerialised” interrupts that continuity.

Anyway, being turned into an energy pattern separates soul from body more thoroughly than a bullet to the brain. Some miracle, divine or medical might bring one back from shooting but once you’re an energy pattern you have no body for the soul to animate. The soul can’t know that a copy will be ready for it in a minute and just to hold on.

“Suspension of Disbelief” - It’s fiction, after all.

I feel a lot better about going into the transporter room now.

(but I still hate it when the machine breaks down halfway through the dematerialization.)

Matter and energy are inter-related. You can convert matter into energy. The transporter does this then it does the opposite, it converts the energy back into matter.

I do not agree that it is “safe to assume your soul will separate” as it would still be attached to the energy that was the matter before dematerialized.

Then you go too far as the transporter was never used in such a fashion to create a new copy of a dead person. The energy patterns are just stored during transport and if they are kept too long they begin to degrade and the person eventually is unable to be rematerialized.

Being “beamed” does not kill you, per se. If you think waaaay back to Star Trek: The Motion Picture death occured when there was a malfunction and the “reassembled” person could not be stabilized. Also, in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation Scotty was held in stasis in a transporter pattern. This would suggest that neither the body nor the soul was destroyed, mut merely in an alternate form for a temporary period. More importantly, I will have to aggree with a previous poster that it is science FICTION, as in its not real. IMHO, the OP needs to lighten up a bit about this

Well, it can be fun to apply serious principles to fictional situations. The other week on CA Radio Jimmy Akin was discussing the ethics of employing zombies labor.

Someday there may actually be a real transporter-type device and we’ll see what the Church says.

Just so you know, there will NEVER be a transporter, The human body is way too complex. The computing power required for such a device is that if a Cray XMP supercomputer were utilized, it would take roughly 5 billion years to record the position of every single atom in every single molecule. The memory rquired would be such that if you stacked a 100Gb hard drives, one on top of the other, the stack would reach the moon. I don’t even want to think about power requirements. There are different things in comic books, Star Trek and Star Wars which are actually plausible. Transporters are not among them. IEven the most die-hard Trekkie will admit this simple fact.

Ther you go, destroy everyones fun.:smiley: But seriously, would anyone here consider the soul to already be energy and if it is wouldn’t it be transmitted with the other energy in the transporter beam?

I think the point being made is that, while the transport is occurring, the body and soul would be disconnected from each other - which is a pretty fundamental definition of death.

However, as far as the Star Trek universe is concerned (and keep in mind, we are dealing in fiction, here) it works and it’s at least reasonably safe. I don’t think any of the writers of Star Trek were thinking very much about the Catholic belief system when they wrote the thing - they seem actually to be proceeding from Gnostic assumptions about the universe.

Just recently, some physicists or something “transported” either an electron or proton or something. Had to do w/ quantum physics I believe. 'course that’s a LONG way from Star Trek.

I don’t know that the soul is “energy”. Someone else posted energy is related to matter (or mass - just ask Einstein). That’d lead me to believe that since the soul isn’t material, it couldn’t be energy.

But let’s just say that the one day we have transporter technology - since people have ‘near death’ experiences where they leave their body and come back, I’d say that your body being transported to somewhere else would be inconsequential to your soul. It’s would “be” there.

Yes, there have been a few instance of teleportation using different methods. In one method, the matter isn’t really transported, just the information, and the particles are exactly rebuilt at the receiving end.

Every particle in your body has a probability wave function such that the probability of it (and you) being right here in front of the computer is 99.99999% and the probability of it being located at some distant point is .00000000000001% or worse, so the chances of your spontaneously disappearing from in front of your PC and reappearing on Mars–with no space suit yet!–is rather remote. But not, strictly speaking, impossible.

Now, if there were some way to make the probability waves of every particle in your body coherent with each other, and tweak the percentages in a way that you wanted, the airlines might be in even more trouble.

But that’s just science fiction. At least until it’s invented.

Your soul is not either matter or energy. I think it will remain with your body.

And how many protons are in the human body??? Tranporter technology on the Startrek scale is an impossibility.

So when I can’t remember an important fact or appointment – I can blame it on the fact that that particular memory cell was accidentally transported to Mars? :smiley:

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