You have been chosen to go on a very important mission to Mars. You have no choice in this matter, you must go. But you can choose your means of transport.
One method is teletransportation. You will step into a scanner here on earth which will destroy your brain and body, while recording the exact states of all your cells. This information will then be transmitted to a replicator on Mars. Travelling at the speed of light, the message will take three minutes to reach its destination. The replicator will create, out of new matter, a brain and body exactly like yours. The person on Mars will look like you, think like you, in fact be indistinguishable from you. He or she will certainly feel as though they have merely fallen asleep on Earth and then woken up on Mars. This method is 100 per cent reliable.
The other choice is to go by spaceship. This is very risky and there is 50 per cent chance that the ship will not complete the journey and you will die in transit. But if you do successfully take the spaceship, then your body and brain won't at any stage have been destroyed.
Which do you choose?
Life on Mars turns out not to be a bed of roses! In fact, two strange viruses have evolved on the planet which are causing a lot of problems. The first destroys body parts. Fortunately, medical science is very evolved and people are simply given artificial limbs and organs as required. You've been hit pretty hard by this virus and, in fact, almost your entire body is now made up of artificial parts.
However, there unfortunately exists a second virus which attacks the brain. It is peculiarly nasty in that it doesn't destroy the brain, rather it messes up the neural pathways, leading to a loss of memory and also a change in personality traits. One person who had the virus had been a successful rock musician. Now he can't even remember what his own songs sound like, but he's become rather good at accounting. It is indeed an odd virus!
We're sad to say that you've caught the virus. Medics can get around the virus by replacing pieces of the brain with advanced forms of silicon chip. In your case, they would have to do this to almost all of your brain. But trials show that you can be sure that the result will be the total preservation of your memories, personality, plans, beliefs and so on, and a person as able to carry on living a normal life as is, well, normal.
The alternative is to succumb to the virus with its consequent loss of memory and change in character. You must make the choice which you think will give your self the biggest chance of surviving.
Which do you choose?
Strange as it may seem, it has been discovered that reincarnation of a sort does actually occur. It seems that there is some immaterial part - call it a soul - in all human beings. On death, it leaves the body and enters the body of a new-born animal or human. It does not take memory with it, of course, for if it did we'd have known this were true already! It is thought that it may have some effect in determining one's character, but given the evidence for the strong influence of genes and upbringing, this effect is thought to be relatively small.
Even stranger than the fact of reincarnation, it seems that our souls die if stored at below freezing point for longer than a week.
These facts are vital to the last choice you must make. You are very ill, but scientists have almost found a cure for the disease you have. Further, they have also developed a technique to 'deep freeze' humans, enabling them to be revived later with their memories and character intact. You have two choices:
The first choice is to let the disease take its toll. Your body will die, but your soul will live on. The second choice is to be deep frozen, then thawed and cured later. This will destroy your soul and only has a thirty per cent chance of success; that is, there is a 70 per cent chance that the thawing and curing won't work.
You must make the choice which you think will give your self the biggest chance of surviving.
Which do you choose?
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