Before I get onto this post properly this post contains spoilers for the last episode of Star Trek Picard. If you read this and haven’t seen the end I will have ruined it for you.

You have been warned.

Star Trek Picard – Credit to CBS

For those of you who saw it and for those who don’t care and wonder what I’m going on about the last episode in the first series of Star Trek Picard was a bit of a shock and also for a while very confusing.

Seeing the great Admiral Picard in his final moments after being rescued from taking on an entire Romulan fleet single handed (with the Star Fleet cavalry arriving before the end) we were then taken to a scene where Picard was sat in an armchair conversing with Data, ‘killed’ some 18 year before (if an android can be killed of course). After a brief conversation Picard wakes up again, his brain had been scanned and stored and put into a new old body that had been created for him.

He was now an organic android supposedly with this mind, memories and consciousness essentially copied into a new body or golem as he called it. This means (at least in the fictional story) has an artificially created body with a copy of his mind and memories put in like a program. Let’s forget the logistics of this being possible I was wondering about a different thing:

Where is his consciousness and has that been copied?

What I mean by this is that every person looks out of the same eyes every day and exists in the same body and for argument’s sake if there’s an afterlife that consciousness in some way of other moves on, call it spirit if you will. So if your mind is copied is there now two separate consciousnesses, one in the afterlife and one not? Are they aware of each other?

I’m aware I’m maybe over thinking this and it’s ‘just’ a story but in a way it kind of makes me think about what we are as humans. Are we just an electrochemical robot or are we the physical vessel for an infinite soul?

The kind of thing I’m thinking here that might have happened is the Picard that’s dead nad in the afterlife and the Picard that is ‘alive’ would be aware of each other… either that or the re-created one is merely an automaton.

Maybe he is.




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9 thoughts on “Sci-fi Concepts – Where does Consciousness reside and can it be cloned?

  1. Very thought provoking Simon and one which there might never be a definitive answer. There is a body of scientific thought which suggests we will never truly understand our minds because we are our minds and cannot thus look that far inwards.
    An interesting scenario with Picard.
    Marvel’s Iron Man has something very broadly similar. Tony Stark in recent stories lines has died (yet again- Marvel heroes do it all the time)…. but has come back (having backed up his mind through computer gizmos) but has a suspicion he has come back ‘wrong’.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you right and perhaps the most exciting thing is we can only understand ourselves if / when we transcend our existence.
      I know they’ve talked a lot about stark coming back I didn’t know he had…

      Like

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