What makes you, you?

Let’s go down a very theoretical path.

Suppose the technology exists. Suppose humankind has developed all the necessary tools to achieve it and everything we shall discuss here is possible. Ok?

You are cloned.

Is this clone you? Or is this clone a new person?

Is it correct to state: “We are the sum product of all our experiences, together with how our brains process the information we perceive”?

How about: “Free will is an illusion. A powerful enough computer is capable of simulating your brain, predict every decision and reaction you would have in any given situation”?

Taking the above statement as true. What would an artificial intelligence, that is a simulation of your own self, be? Such being thinks exactly like you, reacts and responds to inputs exactly like you. Behaves in the very same manner as you would. Given it has been generated, and it has, your memory and experiences. Is this you? If not, why not?

Is it a new, different person?

If you say this simulation is not you. Wouldn’t you be saying that just because of your ego? Your own sense of self that refuses to be anything other than singular? Unique?

Wouldn’t this very simulation be saying the exact thing about you? It certainly would. Both of you would be completely convinced that you are the original one and the other, the copy. As sure as you are right now that you exist and are yourself.

Would deleting this simulation against its will, be murder? Why?

Now, suppose you have been involved in an accident. You went into a coma for a period of time. You eventually wake up. But you have total and complete amnesia. Nothing comes back. No memories, no experiences, nothing. A blank slate. Are you, you?

Another scenario. You don’t wake up from the coma. You are declared brain dead. But, the simulation we have discussed earlier is given control of your body. Who is this?

You?