[ExI] Immortality, Absolute and Potential

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Tue May 20 23:57:23 UTC 2008

--- Max More <max at maxmore.com> wrote:

> 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.

Would then you be satisfied with being a prescient mayfly. Doomed to live but
24 hours but knowing everything that would ever happen and never "missing" an

> 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 
> and time-wasting.

So you think there might be some sort of gradual replacement of identity that
may occur in some potentially infinitely long-lived being? Something like V'ger
(the Voyager probe) from the first Star Trek movie? 

Stuart LaForge
alt email: stuart"AT"ucla.edu

"Fear is proof of a degenerate mind [...] Fortune favors the bold [...] Persevere and preserve yourselves for better circumstances [...] Love conquers all."- Virgil


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