[extropy-chat] How to be copied into the future?
austriaaugust at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 23 21:55:22 UTC 2007
..."Anyone who is not acquaited with Mother Teresa's
multitudinous sins must read Christopher Hitchens.
But does this mean that Mother Teresa should stay
dead for *all* time if the power existed to bring her
back to life? I am reminded of Calvinist
I use a simple thought experiment when thinking about
things like this, although I admit that it betrays my
personal beliefs about personal identity and free
Imagine that a perfect brain scan exists of some truly
horrible, awful person, say Adolf Hitler. Imagine that
the scan was made one minute before Adolf died, and
that it is so detailed that a true Adolf would be
resurrected if the brain scan was ever implemented.
The question I consider is: If some future human chose
to resurrect Adolf in this particular way, would it be
"right" or "just" to punish this Adolf with
imprisonment or execution. After all, from a
subjective point of view, he *IS* Adolf Hitler. He
*IS* a truly monstrous and evil person. And he
remembers doing all those horrible things he has done.
And if he were placed in a similar context, he himself
would almost certainly continue to do evil and
horrible things to people; because he is still evil.
In other words, he is entirely indistinguishable from
the original Adolf. He *is* Adolf Hitler.
But the question arises: Is *he*, evil Adolf, actually
entirely responsible for this situation. Because in
this case it was the future human who chose to give
him life, as evil as he is. Similarly, none among us
humans, even the evil ones, had the choice to come
into existence. No-one first asked me whether or not
I'd like to awaken within this particular Universe.
And no-one asked any of us. Just as we might put the
blame on the above-mentioned future human for the
existence of evil Adolf; we might be just as justified
in placing the blame on this (currently) unintelligent
Universe for having created any evil person to begin
with. What I'm trying to get at is that perhaps we
should place blame precisely where it is justified...
nowhere. In my opinion, we shouldn't punish solely for
the sake of punishing.
As others have said, that doesn't mean we shouldn't
take practical measures to promote and protect our
human and transhuman values. We can all, *all of us*,
still become truly great people with more kindness and
nobility and virtue than anything this world has ever
seen. If we make that choice when the choice becomes
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
More information about the extropy-chat