How We Exist Everywhere At Once
The Ship of Theseus is a conundrum regarding identity through time.
In honor of Apollo, the Greeks sailed a shipped named “Theseus,” to a town called “Delos,” annually for a long, long time (hundreds of years). Each year, before they would set sail, maintenance and repairs would be done to the boat to ensure its sustainability and “god-like” appearance. Old Planks would be replaced bunch by bunch and year after year.
With a modest amount of new parts on the ship, workers would debate wether or not they were still sailing the same boat, since many original parts were replaced with new ones.
It was Thomas Hobbes who added an interesting twist to the puzzle that really got many philosophers attention: What if, the boats old parts became completely replaced with new ones, so that no original part would be left on the ship? Then say, we went down to the scrapyard and found all the old pieces of the original boat and built the Ship of Theseus back up from all the old parts. There would then be two Ships of Theseus, the repaired ship and the restored ship. The ship they’re sailing and the ship we’ve built. Which one would be the real Ship of Theseus?
The same ship would exist twice.
Lets use the same logic but regarding our physical bodies rather than the ship.
As humans, our bodies regenerate themselves every 7 years. This means you do not have a single physical molecule in you now, that you had 7 years ago. Your body compared to then is made up of entirely different matter.
Through breathing, we grow with intake of new elements and we exhale elements of what we were. New oxygen fuels our hearts, while we supply new carbon dioxide for our atmosphere. This is just one example of regeneration.
But matter does not disappear. Matter is energy and energy is a constant. Its “amount” does not fluctuate. Our old matter still exists. It exists in nature. We just dress the matter up in human concepts, similar to Plato’s shadows dancing on the wall of a cave.
Hypothetically, our “original ship” can be built back up. Its form is different but its pieces are still the same, like the old ship parts in the junkyard. The pieces are the old matter that once helped build us, an almost infinite number of molecules that once resided in our bodies and are now residing in the junkyard that is our physical world.
We may not have the intelligence or technology to find these molecules and build ourselves back up, but that doesn’t mean these “particles” of ourselves are not all around us.They may even be inside someone else!
We Are Everywhere
Physically speaking we are existing everywhere at once. It’s our subjective consciousness that stays constant. It’s the physical matter tied to our consciousness, for a given instant of time, that is always changing. Our physical identity, the matter that shapes our form, is infinitely many all at once. You could technically rebuild our physical selves countless times over.