[ExI] Human extinction

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Wed Aug 20 05:41:41 UTC 2008

Stefano writes

> Lee wrote:
> > While I'd never phrase it that way, yes, I do agree
> > that people should have "the right" to decide, much
> > in the way that people ought to be free to kill
> > themselves (under suitable protocols) if they wish.
> Once more, what harm exactly a non-destructive
> "upload" would inflict on them or their freedom to
> self-determination, suicide included?

One's freedom of self-decision should include have a
veto over all circumstances under which one would be

I fully understand those here who would go so far as
to refuse to upload someone without their express
permission, even if it was the only way to save their
lives. While I respect and understand their ethical
touchiness on this, quite clearly to me there are obvious
exceptions that you and I agree about:  namely, billions
of people have never heard of uploading, and many
would completely fail to understand it if they did hear
about it. In those cases, we'd upload them in a flash,
if, say we knew that a Gamma Ray burst was imminent
and this was the only way to save their lives, right?

> This would not prevent them in the least to go out and
> shoot themselves in the head. Would we be denying
> them a hypothetical "right to oblivion"?

I hate this kind of use of the word "right"  :-)

To me, saying that X has "the right" to commit Y means
only that the speaker approves of X having the legal
right or moral sanction by his lights to commit Y. Using
the phrase "has a right to" attempts to make this more
objective than it actually is, and strikes me as close to

But anyway, I do approve of people having the choice
of total oblivion or not. If that's the way they *really*
want it, then so be it. (On the other hand, beings 
infinitely more judicious than we are may someday
decide to resurrect a *close* version of that person
who is identical in every way except that he or she
wants to live. I wouldn't have a problem with that
at all!)


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