Let's set up a scenario; You are rich and powerful. Important to the government for one reason or another, may be 20 or 100. Age doesn't matter because when you die you will be reborn, as a clone. Every thought backed up until the exact second of death then loaded into a cloned body. You awake, intact, 17 years old again and after a brief period are allowed to go on with your life. Assume in this scenario souls exist or are believed to.

To who this option was allowed what would the theoretical psychological effects be?


closed as primarily opinion-based by Renan, Giter, Starfish Prime, Dewi Morgan, Cyn May 31 at 23:24

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ And what are the properties of said soul? That's going to drive a lot of the answer of getting it back into the body, if that's how it works. $\endgroup$ – kleer001 May 31 at 17:02
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    $\begingroup$ Since every person will have a different opinion about this, and I doubt there are many scientific studies about it, your question is both very broad and entirely opinion based. It seems like it would depend entirely on what the soul in your world is like, i.e. whether people in your world consider the soul to be what a 'person' is, and whether they believe the soul also dies or if it gets tossed into the clone along with the memories. $\endgroup$ – Giter May 31 at 17:02
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    $\begingroup$ "Assume in this scenario souls exist" - but soul is NOT backed up/restored? imho this is going to be very opinion-based. $\endgroup$ – Alexander May 31 at 17:03
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    $\begingroup$ As a side note, personally I'd want some delay to my memory back up, just in case the last seconds of my life were particularly traumatic or embarrassing... $\endgroup$ – Giter May 31 at 17:04
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    $\begingroup$ You're still unique, though, right? Not "clone" in the sense that there are several of me's running around at any given moment, but "clone" in the sense that my unique soul is inhabiting a new body that was grown from either my old body or someone else's body. $\endgroup$ – Xplodotron May 31 at 17:22

A very broad question. Perhaps too broad, but I'm answering so it would be silly to vote to close.

  • There are many science fiction novels and settings exploring this concept, e.g. Pandora's Star, Cyteen, Transhuman Space, Altered Carbon. (Disclaimer: I know one of the authors, but I wouldn't personally benefit from any purchases.)
  • The "restart at 17" in particular is covered by Misspent Youth by Hamilton.
  • You mentioned to assume that souls exist. You did not mention if people know or believe that souls exist, and also if they know and believe that souls move on.
    • People might believe in souls and not believe that souls move, so many people might refuse this "reincarnation" for themselves. More extreme people might even fight against "soulless revenants."
    • Others would scoff at this "superstitious nonsense" and go get a new body. How will they deal with the resulting hostility from believers?
  • $\begingroup$ Another novel option is Mur Lafferty's "Six Wakes" which explores not only the psychological effects of cloning but the social and legal ramifications. $\endgroup$ – Henry Taylor May 31 at 16:52
  • $\begingroup$ On last point - it's not even known to us, the answerers what souls are. Since almost ever piece of fiction that has souls tends to treat them at least slightly differently, I really don't know what I should make of "souls exist". Is the soul "the will to live"? Does it hold the consciousness of the body but in immaterial form? Does it animate the body and without it, it would just stay in one place until it withers and dies? What about reincarnation? Are there a finite number of souls in the world which are recycled? Are there infinite souls? $\endgroup$ – VLAZ May 31 at 18:07

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