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Why we should create artificial offspring: meaning and the collective afterlife
Jun 15, 2017   Science and Engineering Ethics  

The iCub Robot - Image courtesy of Jiuguang Wang

That’s the title of a new article I have coming out. It argues that the creation of artificial offspring could add meaning to our lives and that it might consequently be worth committing to the project of doing so. It’s going to be published in the journal Science and Engineering Ethics. The official version will be out in a few weeks. In the meantime, you can read the abstract below and download a pre-publication version at the links provided.

Title: Why we should create artificial offspring: meaning and the collective afterlife

Journal: Science and Engineering Ethics

Links: Philpapers;

Abstract: This article argues that the creation of artificial offspring could make our lives more meaningful (i.e. satisfy more meaning-relevant conditions of value). By ‘artificial offspring’ is meant beings that we construct, with a mix of human and non-human-like qualities. Robotic artificial intelligences are paradigmatic examples of the form. There are two reasons for thinking that the creation of such beings could make our lives more meaningful. The first is that the existence of a collective afterlife — i.e. a set of human-like lives that continue in this universe after we die — is likely to be an important source and sustainer of meaning in our present lives (Scheffler 2013). The second is that the creation of artificial offspring provides a plausible and potentially better pathway to a collective afterlife than the traditional biological pathway (i.e. there are reasons to favour this pathway and there are no good defeaters to trying it out). Both of these arguments are defended from a variety of objections and misunderstandings.


These so called “artificial offspring” could then be integrated into an organic society.
Since all members would be connected by the same nervous system they would have a common sense and with goal oriented behavior would be able to reach for omnipotence. We would thereby acquire the characteristics we have given our God’s, including eternal existence. I registered last week. How about making it a joint project. I mean creating the website.

Or we could create an artificial world where there are no aliens, time travel or environmental disasters.  We could enter it with a clean slate as babies and redo our lives, deleting the emotional baggage we carry with us.  While science preserves our real bodies indefinitely, we become our artificial offspring on a quest to better our spirit.  Or have we already done that?

What ever we do, i want to migrate into Orbital Space, because there is so much more of it then just the surface of a planet. Since being old and dead is not part of the game anymore, having lots of space to explore is a minimum requirement.
I can see growing my own space habitat… just the thought makes me smile. Remember, the only limit is our imagination.
If you google Immortality Systems, you find a forum i put online in 1997, so i know we are on the right track.

Sure, there is outer space – and lots of it.  Use lots of atoms, molecules and energy to make a spaceship and spend centuries going somewhere.  There is also inner space.  Using electrons is much cheaper, faster and less resource intensive.  Given that our earth spins faster than 1000km/h and moves around the sun at over 100,000km/h and the sun moves around our galaxy at 826,000km/h and our galaxy is moving through space at 2.1 million km/h, I have satisfied my need for speed in my greater flying saucer; the galaxy.  Next stop:  Andromeda, in four billion years.  In the meantime, in my first class life support cabin I call Earth; it’s time to try the on-board entertainment system to pass the time.  With the increasing number of passengers in this pressurized cabin, it is time to realize that overusing the cabin service is not good for anybody.  We need the digital entertainment system to be totally absorbing, perhaps multiplayer and hopefully something we can learn from.  Come on you software engineers – lets see some truly immersive content to take these passengers on Earth online and to buy us some time to freshen up our spaceship Earth for the long journey ahead.

@Nicholsp03, you said it, thank you. First step “Eternal Live Society” with other words “Freedom from death NOW”.  Gene Engineering and Extra Terrestrial Migration will do it.

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