I had a profound thought this morning.
In my reality, I have a sense of self – a specific locus of conscious self-awareness, seemingly located somewhere in my brain, near center front, if I were to think about the exact location. I suppose that everyone has the same.
Suppose the technology existed to replicate a person, to the molecule. Perhaps simulated or for the sake of this thought experiment, through physical particle manipulation.
Now I’d assume that an exact molecular replica of me would be a replica down to my last memory, fear, preference and personality trait. But where, then, would be my self? Where would be that essence that I naturally and unquestionably call Me? I cannot imagine that it would escape the original me. But would the replica have the same concept of me? The same self?
If the replication mechanism destroyed my original particles before immediately creating my replica, would it be like closing my eyes facing one direction and opening them facing the opposite? Would it be like falling into a dream and waking as though nothing happened? Would my self transfer to the replica?