[extropy-chat] How to be copied into the future?

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Thu Apr 26 00:12:22 UTC 2007

On 4/26/07, Heartland <velvethum at hotmail.com> wrote:
> Heartland:
> > First of all, there's no such thing as a resurrection. Things can only
> be
> >> destroyed
> >> or created.
> Stathis:
> > Yes, but an arbitrarily close to perfect copy is indistinguishable from
> a
> > resurrection, and indistinguishable from ordinary continuous life.
> It's an illusion of resurrection, not an actual resurrection.
> Stathis:
> > For all
> > you know, you might be dying all the time.
> A living thing can die at most once. It is wrong to think that death
> behaves just
> like sleep. If you're sleeping, you can wake up. If you die, you're never
> coming
> back.

But suppose science discovers tomorrow evidence that you die during sleep,
according to some definition of death you agree to, eg. your EEG goes flat
for a few seconds between REM and non-REM sleep every night. Most people
would say, "Oh, that's interesting" and get on with their lives (or "their"
lives, or their "lives"). You might still claim that this is a very bad
thing, but the point is it doesn't make any difference; a perfect illusion
of continuous life is just as good as continuous life. I could further claim
that you die and are pseudo-resurrected every instant because there is
nothing "between" quantum intervals of existence. You might disagree,
arguing that it isn't really complete and permanent cessation of physical
activity. I could counter that it *is* complete and permanent cessation of
physical activity, and the person in the next quantum interval isn't really
you, he just thinks he is you.

The point is, you can define death the way you do, but then death wouldn't
matter to anyone (other than you). We would need a new definition of death
which did not involve any pseudo-resurrection to take the place of what
people normally worry about when they worry about dying.

Stathis Papaioannou
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