If energising was practicable it would still not be practical or indeed ethical because no one would step into the energiser booths...
|(What does this sentence mean: especially practicable and practical)|
It is a principal part of the Star Trek stories that people energise, that is teleport, from one place to another, instantly. This means that their molecules are transferred into energy, this then moves at the speed of light, and the remembered pattern is precisely reconstituted at the destination. Because of the precision of the reconstitution, people reappear with all their body parts and memories in exactly the right places and orders as when they were energised.
Yet would you step into an energiser or teleporter? I would not.
Let us suppose it is practicable. Let us suppose that the molecules can be transferred into the huge amounts of energy that Einstein told us - E=MC2 - would be generated. This massive amount of energy would need producing, containing and transmitting, and then, elsewhere, safely gathered and reconverted into molecules. I doubt this is possible, except inside, let us say, two sets of massive lead-lined, concrete and steel, reinforced containers. But let us suppose that scientists find a way to energise, in nice walk in booths, and in open space.
To be practicable, we also have to suppose that the molecules can be patterned and reconstituted in space exactly and correctly. I suspect the molecular level is too high in terms of matter, that these would have to be reconstituted at a subatomic level, the level of quarks and gluons and who knows, even strings, if they exist. It must be the case anyway that the new environment has an effect on the quarks and atoms and molecules that need putting together so precisely. And, even so, how do we turn energy precisely into the correct molecules and substances? Yet, let us suppose that in many hundreds of years this can be done too.
So we have the matter to energy back to matter transfer contained, and we have the patterning without error. Whoopee, we have the ability to energise.
Actually, if you think about it, there is no need to convert the molecules into energy. Energy can be generated by any means. This is actually the theory of the holodeck, in Star Trek: that place where a fantasy environment is created that looks completely real. The holodeck uses huge amounts of energy to create matter in the form of a surrounding environment and its performing highly realistic persons yet are computer controlled robots. It furthermore shifts the matter around, recreating it and changing it as human actors walk through a limited space so that it becomes expansive space. The artificial environment is made to move and be infinite, and do this from every human actor's point of view. Now, no matter needed to be destroyed for this purpose; all that happened was that huge quantities of energy were generated and converted into the right molecules to produce the robots that look like persons of any planet and the chosen surrounding environment. So what matters is the precision of the patterning, because energy can be generated regardless, and any energy can then be converted into the necessary molecules.
So what of the people that are energised? We know that those who come out at the other end, who are reconstituted according to the patterning, have precisely the body, the ailments and the memories of those who went in to be energised elsewhere. But are they the same people?
We know that nothing has to be destroyed and turned into energy at the front end of energising (though the people may be a source of energy). The holodeck tells us this. Yet they do walk in. And I think that they are actually killed, there and then.
Whilst those who come out at the other end are clones of who went in to the energiser, and may feel continuous with those who went in (their last memory being walking into the energiser), what of those who went in? The people who walk in reach a dead end. They are destroyed. These are not the people who come out at the other end. It is copies who are recreated at the other end, even if an energy beam is sent down from the originals. The originals are not in that energy beam, it is just energy, and that source of generation is not even needed. Energy is needed, but only actually at the apparent reconstitution.
Clones come out at the other end. The people who go in are killed. If I went into an energiser, I, that is me with my self, would cease to be. A carbon copy would come out at the other end, disconnected from me, but that copy would not be me. I would be dead. Further more, the moment that carbon copy, with all its existence, energises back again, it would become dead, with another carbon copy emerging say back at the ship, if that was the point of origin.
So energising is completely unethical. People would be dying. We know it is unethical because of the possibility of malfunctioning, and I am not here talking about molecules not reconstituting properly. I am assuming, and it remains a huge assumption, that molecules can be perfectly rearranged in the new location.
Let us suppose that there is a malfunction, and that the perfect patterning produces two versions of the captain of the ship, or anyone else. What is to be done with either of them? In the Star Trek fantasy, they usually have some personality defect one related to the other, and they go back in to recombine. But if the molecules etc. are perfectly arranged, they cannot have a personality defect. Any defect would be crucially destructive. But there can be copies, certainly.
Of course the answer is that one of them at least could go back into the energiser. That would finish him or her. But this is my argument. Going into the energiser always finishes, kills, him or her. Whether there is one clone at the other end, or two, or twenty two, the incident is always the same. No matter what memories and physicality the clone has of the person who went in, the person who went in was destroyed. You would not go in and neither would I.
Therefore, just as the Einsteinian laws of relativity are rendered nonsense by Star Trek, never mind just rewriting them or updating them - for example, travelling well beyond the speed of light and finding worlds have aged as fast as the people on the light speed plus ship - so it here Star Trek ignores the practical and ethical block to energising.
Wherever we travel, we must take our physical bodies with us. We must take our self consciousness with us, even if we sleep or are knocked into some form of hibernation. We are corporeal: any spirit is in the body, if you like, and always the body is the key. The mind needs the brain. The fantasy that people have, that somehow Star Trek represents a real future, is a nonsense, and I certainly would not, and I suggest you would not, be energised anywhere. If you did, then someone or something else will be parading around in effect impersonating you, but you would be dead.
Good and bad points about this talk:
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