[ExI] Immortality, Absolute and Potential
max at maxmore.com
Tue May 20 16:33:37 UTC 2008
What Lee Corbin said.
I would only add two points that I didn't see made. First, even for
someone who will live a (potential) infinity of years, the sense of
"wasting time" will often be perfectly reasonable for another reason:
Many particular events in their specific circumstances will be
*unique*. If that person misses any of these events, that would be a
real loss (for the events the person cares about).
True, it may be possible to simulate those missed events in the
future. However, you might be missing other such events while doing
so. In addition, the person might care about *actually* experiencing
those events and situations, rather than simulations of them.
The second point I would make is this: According to the view of
personal identity that I favor, one individual can exist over very
long periods of time (from a human perspective), even over a
potential infinity. At the same time, that individual can undergo
enormous change (so long as it is continuous rather than disrupting
the essential continuity of self). What interests and matters to an
earlier stage of a person may not interest and matter to a later
stage of the same person. The person may exist throughout a potential
infinity but the person-stage not. That introduces another reason for
a potentially infinitely-long lived person to have a sense of urgency
I detailed my view--informed by that of Derek Parfit--of continuity
and person-stages here: http://www.maxmore.com/chapter1.htm
P.S. Last night I wrote a blog piece on the ethics and
anti-immortalism of Doctor Who (in the third season). The Doctor is
very long lived but not immortal. However, he can travel to any point
in time, making it possible to experience events well beyond his life
span if confined to the regular timestream.
Max More, Ph.D.
max at maxmore.com
More information about the extropy-chat