If we photocopy a human (not genetically but atom by atom) the new individual will have the same
characters and memories (memories are chemical compounds in the brain) but still he will not have
the same consciousness...why?
If we make a copy of a man (by cloning or by another way), the new creature will be a duplicate of the
parent creature both in character and in other qualities. So, what is individual? — That is the question
you mean. Is there any thing (character, experience, talent, outlook, style...) which can help us to
differentiate one person from another. If you suppose that memory is a chemical compound in the
brain, we should therefore conclude that our experience and ability to perceive any things and ideas
and deny the others are the results of bio-chemical reaction in our brain too. Characters, addictions
and talents are the effects of chemical activity of the human brain. Answering you question, I can say:
yes, copied man will have the same consciousness, and the same way of thinking, and the same
experience. Because all of these phenomena belong to our brain and there is nothing, which cannot
be described by bio-chemical laws.
Moreover, love and faith, in this paradigm, are chemical effects too. If we consider that our choice of
partner is determined by concrete scientific bio-chemical laws, we should agree that there is no
mystery and enigma in love, as well as that there is no superior impulse which galvanizes the poets
into rhyme. If you think that character and memories could be copied, so you should agree that
predilections and habits could be copied too. That is why copied man will love the same things (and
prefer the same partners) and believe the same gods, as the original man.
I understand that this answer cannot satisfy many inquiring minds. It is very heavy to agree that
someone else can feel the same emotions, see the world by the same eyes, and write the poems by
the same words, and it is impossible to agree that we are animals with identical minds, senses and
souls. If so, this is the question about soul. If you believe that soul exists, you should agree that
nobody could copy the soul.
Christians, Jews and Muslims believe that there is only one soul, therefore we cannot make a copy of
soul. That is why the Pope declares that cloning contradicts to the ideas of ethics and religion. To
believe that my soul is only mine and nobody can see my own world, nobody can feel the same
emotions and nobody can write the same poem seems to be the more optimistic position. But it is the
question of beliefs.
If we consider that all of us have our own (inner) worlds, we should agree that there could not be
accordance between people. If we have different world outlooks, we never learn and never
understand each other, and we doomed on permanent conflicts. If we have different (and endless)
inner worlds, we can never understand even our beloved and very familiar friends and we can never
reach accordance and consensus. We never even learn about or understand ourselves. I we consider
that if all of us have endless inner worlds, we should agree that we can not describe and cognize it as
well as we can not control and explain our behavior.
On the other hand, it could be argued that this independence of our soul from the power of mind is
the basis of our permanent interest in communication, to meet and to love. If one see in his partner
the permanent secret and permanent seduction, they can live together for a many years. Because if
we can not cognize the other, we have an interest to the other, because s/he keeps to be dangle (and
danger) unknown universe. We can never learn the soul of other man, but, according to Levinas, in
dialogue we can see the face of the Other. We love (wo)man, because we do not know her(his) soul.
PhiloSophos.com postcard 9
What do you mean by "same"? For a few moments, at least, before the two people's experiences
diverge, they willhave the "same" consciousness, in the sense that their memories, feelings,
sensations (if they're both looking at the same object), and so forth will be identical to each other; and
they will also have the "same" body, in just that sense. As their experiences diverge, of course, they
will have divergent sensations, feelings, and memories... so they will not have the same
consciousnesses, in that sense of "same", after a short time interval... nor the same body. If you
mean, "will there be one consciousness sharing two bodies?", i.e., one self, one "center", one unified
field of consciousness spread between two bodies, why should that happen, and how could it
possibly happen, since their brains are not neurally united? Since you take the position (which I agree
with) that consciousness is materially generated, then it follows that two separate bodies (brains) will
generate two separate consciousnesses. If those brains are identical, then the contentsof those
consciousnesses, i.e., their potentials, their dynamics, their biases, etc., will be identical. But that's
just saying that there will exist two identical neural (and bodily, to generalize) dynamics... for a while,
at least. So answering this question depends on what you mean by "same".
Steven Ravett Brown