If your body very slowly and steadily morphed into an atom-by-atom identical copy of my body, would you still be you?

Discuss the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes.

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LateefaStarks
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Re: If your body very slowly and steadily morphed into an atom-by-atom identical copy of my body, would you still be you

Post by LateefaStarks »

If atom by atom my body morphed into your body then how could remain myself if every atom was now you? Then there would now be 2 yous, atomically speaking by definition
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Re: If your body very slowly and steadily morphed into an atom-by-atom identical copy of my body, would you still be you

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

LateefaStarks wrote: January 29th, 2023, 9:54 pm If atom by atom my body morphed into your body then how could remain myself if every atom was now you? Then there would now be 2 yous, atomically speaking by definition
As the book explains, there are already two yous and two mes before the morphing even starts.
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Re: If your body very slowly and steadily morphed into an atom-by-atom identical copy of my body, would you still be you

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Scott wrote: November 16th, 2022, 1:57 pm The below question is in a way simply a variation of the opening question of the book, worded very differently.


If over the next 30 years, your body (including your brain) very slowly and steadily morphed into an atom-by-atom identical copy of my body (including my brain), would you still be you?

Would you also be me?
Pauline Parnell wrote: January 28th, 2023, 1:10 am If I somehow morphed into looking like you, that does not mean I am you. The outward appearance will look like you, but inwardly I am me. Being me isn't only physical, but also spiritual and mental. I am shaped by my own memories.
Pauline Parnell, thank you for your reply! :)

Your memories are stored in the brain, which is made of atoms. Once the atom-by-atom morphing is complete, you would have forgotten all of the memories you currently have now (in 2023), and you would then (in 2053) have all the memories that I currently have (in 2023).

So would you still be you?

Would you also be me?
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: If your body very slowly and steadily morphed into an atom-by-atom identical copy of my body, would you still be you

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Clara Alston wrote: January 27th, 2023, 10:27 pm Such a fun question! Absolutely, I would still be me because my atoms do not hold my consciousness. If I were to morph into you, it would be a drastic change, but it would not change who I am.
I agree, assuming of course you are using the word "I" in the sense of what the book calls "the real you".

So in that sense when the morphing is done you would still be you, but would you also be me?

I think so.

In fact, as the book discusses, I think there is no way to logically avoid the conclusion that the real you and the real me are one and the same.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: If your body very slowly and steadily morphed into an atom-by-atom identical copy of my body, would you still be you

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Shillah Andeso wrote: January 28th, 2023, 2:38 am From my perspective, if my body morphed atom by atom, I would still be me [...] In the same way, I would also be you since my body has formed something new.
I agree.

For that reason, and for the other reasons explained in detail in the book, I think there is no way to logically avoid the conclusion that the real you and the real me are one in the same. You already are also me, and I already am also you. That is, in the case of the real you and the real you.

It is not the case in terms of the other of the "Two Yous", at least in most senses of the words.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: If your body very slowly and steadily morphed into an atom-by-atom identical copy of my body, would you still be you

Post by Hubre De Klerk »

These questions really make one think!!
(1) If your body very slowly and steadily morphed into an atom-by-atom identical copy of my body, would you still be you?
If everything changed, mind, environment, memories, looks, etc. I don't think I would still be me, but I would be you. Unless there was something to trigger my original self like memories, flashbacks, dreams, Deja vu, etc.

(2) If over the next 30 years, your body (including your brain) very slowly and steadily morphed into an atom-by-atom identical copy of my body (including my brain), would you still be you?
I think the answer is the same as above. If everything changed including the brain into you, then I would basically be you. Your brain won't have my memories, emotions, etc., so I would run on your internal workings and growth, so I would be you. I don't think there would be me anymore.

(3) Would you also be me?
I would only be you if everything changed.
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Re: If your body very slowly and steadily morphed into an atom-by-atom identical copy of my body, would you still be you

Post by Leasa Ana Maria »

If every part of me, including my brain (I retain my memories), is duplicated in a copy called you, wouldn't you have been me from the beginning? Then I am you, and you are me, but only at that point when we first meet. From there, each of us can make different choices in life that can affect us differently, so we become two very similar individuals but not the same as in the beginning.
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Re: If your body very slowly and steadily morphed into an atom-by-atom identical copy of my body, would you still be you

Post by Knitkat »

Leasa Ana Maria wrote: February 1st, 2023, 3:38 pm If every part of me, including my brain (I retain my memories), is duplicated in a copy called you, wouldn't you have been me from the beginning? Then I am you, and you are me, but only at that point when we first meet. From there, each of us can make different choices in life that can affect us differently, so we become two very similar individuals but not the same as in the beginning.
I would think if your brain was changed into different atoms then you wouldn't retain your memories. Memory is stored in pathways in the brain after all.
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Re: If your body very slowly and steadily morphed into an atom-by-atom identical copy of my body, would you still be you

Post by Mounce574 »

In terms of slowly morphing, eventually you and I would be one and the same- 2 individual spirits of the same understanding and perception of the world in reality and in the mind's eye.
"Facts don't care about your feelings." Ben Shapiro
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Re: If your body very slowly and steadily morphed into an atom-by-atom identical copy of my body, would you still be you

Post by Olga_Markova »

As I am reading the discussion in this forum thread, and thinking about the question, I am thinking of my niece and nephew who are twins. Scientifically, their DNA is 99% the same. But physically they look different and have different gender, and mentally they have absolutely different tastes, interests, and abilities. Now these twins of mine are not identical. But some of my classmates and friends are identical twins - they look the same, so much so that it is hard to tell one from another, but mentally again they are entirely different personalities with totally different life paths. On a like matter, any litter of puppies are twins. But again each of them - since birth and onwards - is a different personality, even when they stay together. With these observations of how twins function, I am inclined to contend that if I were to morph "atom-by-atom" into Scott's body and brain, I would remain me because my consciousness would be mine. For the same reason, I do not think that I would become an identical clone of Scott or a "combo" version of both. Any thoughts?
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Re: If your body very slowly and steadily morphed into an atom-by-atom identical copy of my body, would you still be you

Post by Donna Walker 1 »

I do believe so; after all,  your consciousness (soul) remains the same. Having said that, if you very slowly morphed, wouldn't you just blend together and just become one? This is a very interesting question that will probably keep me up all night! :lol:
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Re: If your body very slowly and steadily morphed into an atom-by-atom identical copy of my body, would you still be you

Post by abstactlemon »

This is an interesting take on the Ship of Theseus debate, and like that debate, it’s hard to answer.
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Re: If your body very slowly and steadily morphed into an atom-by-atom identical copy of my body, would you still be you

Post by mrlefty0706 »

This is a concept that requires time to absorb the possibilities. I believe that my body morphed atom-by-atom into an identical copy of your body that would mean all physical traits would be the same including our brains. The only difference would be our souls since our souls are intangible. So depending on how our souls differed would probably determine if I would still be me or have totally changed to you. If one does not believe in souls then the answer would be a complete transformation from me to you.
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Re: If your body very slowly and steadily morphed into an atom-by-atom identical copy of my body, would you still be you

Post by Chiwelite Obioma Mgbeoji »

I do not think I would still be you neither would I still be me. Ideally, it may seem impracticable to morph slowly or in a fast pace into someone else. Then the question is, what makes me me? Is it my body which comprises of my physical attributes? I think we are more complex than just the physical parts of us and even if I woke up one day to an older body of me while the present me inhabits it, I won't be the older version of myself neither will I still be the present. I would be a new person with new features of an older body with a younger mind.
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Re: If your body very slowly and steadily morphed into an atom-by-atom identical copy of my body, would you still be you

Post by Blessing Chi Peculiar »

For example, the brain needs a particular percentage of certain cells to function properly. Although I am not an expert in science, I believe that all of these cells interact and exchange "information." Consequently, atom A will interact with my remaining atoms, bringing in new qualities while also absorbing new ones from his new surroundings, if atom A in me is replaced with atom B from someone else. They will eventually have replaced all of my cells, and in the new ones they will have left a duplicate of their characteristics. The new cells will also have inherited characteristics from their prior host at this time. As a result, I believe it is conceivable for me to continue being both you and me, but only if the cells were morphed gradually.
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