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24th Century Ethics

10 May 2011

So, as I was driving across the country last week, my thoughts of course turned to teleportation (as they do on a long drive — at least, they do if you’re a huge dork like I am). I was thinking about how easy it would be to drive the car into a transporter, beam to a transporter station in Dallas, and drive 15 minutes home. Moving would be so easy if we mastered the transporter.

Then I started thinking about how the transporter works — how it essentially creates a duplicate of whatever it’s transporting and then destroys the original. Star Trek: TNG even admitted it does this, in the episode where they find Riker’s transporter double stranded on a crappy planet from years ago. His original (which was a copy of a copy of a copy of a you get the idea with as many times as Riker had gone through a transporter before that) wasn’t destroyed when the copy was uploaded to his ship.

This creates a bit of a problem, as I see it. The copy and the original are both obviously living, intelligent beings, as proven by Riker and Riker-2. So, basically, every time the Federation uses the transporter, they commit murder in a very quiet, clean way. That’s kind of fucked up, innit?

Or am I wrong there? Let me know in the comments!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Sir Geek permalink
    10 May 2011 1100

    That sounds about right. Reminds me of an outer limits episode (with sentient intelligent dinosaurs).

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0667991/

    There it is even MORE blatent, What do you do when you don’t get confirmation that the person made it to the destination ? Then after you revive the original, you find out they did make it to their destination and then you have to kill the original..

    • 10 May 2011 1232

      Interesting. Any idea where I can get some of these sentient, intelligent dinosaurs? For nefarious purposes only, I assure you.

      • Sir Geek permalink
        10 May 2011 1349

        The US Senate and Congress ?

      • Sir Geek permalink
        11 May 2011 1247

        Oh wait.. you said intelligent. My Bad !

  2. Nate permalink
    16 May 2011 0900

    It was also effed up that they could never find a more interesting plot for the Thomas Riker/Riker-2 character than to have him join the lame-ass Maquis.

    • 16 May 2011 0912

      I thought that, too. And his disguise in that episode was pretty lame, too — side-beard stick-ons? Really? Because someone would have thought he was a different Riker if he just had a goatee?

      • Nate permalink
        16 May 2011 1331

        Well, they probably would’ve thought he was from the Mirror, Mirror universe if it was just the goatee.

  3. 19 May 2011 0425

    Annnd…this post reminds me of “The Prestige”, actually, now that I think about it….

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