IEET > Vision > Staff > HealthLongevity > Hank Pellissier > Futurism
“Resuscitative Resurrection” - who gets brought back to life first?
Hank Pellissier   Feb 15, 2012   Ethical Technology  

Nikolai Fedorov - the Russian proto-transhumanist philosopher — believed that the “Common Task” of humanity was to technologically conquer death.  This means… Immortality for those who are presently living… right? No, think bigger, his vision was immensely more ambitious. Federov believed that the evil horror of death would not be fully conquered until everyone who had ever died… was brought back to Life.

In recent years, Ray Kurzweil has duplicated this demand for “resuscitative resurrection.” Kurzweil believes the DNA of his deceased dad (Frederic Kurzweil, a musician) combined with copious momentos and living memories of him, could recreate “Father 2.0″ in a post-Singularity world.

Setting aside the scientific barriers of this “Lazarus Project,” let’s focus on an ethical issue.  If dead humans can be brought back to life, how would we, as a society, prioritize their return?  Who gets out of Limbo first?  If funds are limited (they always are) who should we initially wrench free from the cold clammy grasp of death?

Here’s four suggestions:

The Honorable Deceased:  Kurzweil has said, “if you can bring back life that was valuable in the past, it should be valuable in the future.” Many heroic and intelligent humans had their breath rudely abbreviated; should we haul them back immediately, to utilize their timeless skills?  Two examples in this category are Alan Turing, the English computer scientist/mathematician who was persecuted into suicide when he was 41 because of his homosexuality; and Joan of Arc, burned alive at the stake at the age of 19 or 20.  Okay, the French maid might have been crazy, but her leadership, managerial, and foresight skills were exemplary.

Dead Babies: Millions of infants have perished in childhood or they’ve succumbed to malnutrition or disease before their fifth birthday.  Obviously, they got short-changed.  Should we bring back the innocent infants first?  Grant them years they never had?  One biologist I know disagrees – she believes their failure to survive indicates weaker genes.  But this argument is archaic – the nasty germs and mishaps that killed the tots in yesteryear will be incapacitated in the future.

Parents: Sure, this seems sentimental but both Fedorov and Kurzweil would probably vote for this category, due to their filial love.  Breeders are not superior to the childless, but there is something symmetrically pleasing about returning to life all those who have bestowed life upon others.  Tit for tat?  Obviously, descendants would be required to pony up a substantial percentage of the resuscitation fee.

Victims of Genocide: Horrors of history could be partially atoned for if groups who were slaughtered were returned to life via the bank accounts of their executioners.  Germany bailed out a bankrupt Greece; can it find funds in the future to resuscitate six million Jews? Turks are in denial, but their economy is healthy and their PR would look better if they resurrected at least one million Armenians.  Rwanda’s Hutus can shell out dough to bring back macheted Tutsis, Serbia can pay for ethnically-cleansed Bosnians, and the USA can clean up its own past with resuscitation of Native Americans, and Africans who succumbed on slave ships and plantations.

Ponder the choices, readers.  Four options, at least.  I conducted a brief survey in my household and my children decided “Parents” were the least deserving. After that, I sought wiser counsel; I interviewed three adults who are professionally-involved in the “resurrection” business.

The first person I queried was Gabriel Rothblatt; he’s the Community Organizer of Terasem Movement Transreligion, a “social movement devoted to diversity, unity, and joyful immortality… accomplished by creating consciousness in self-replicating machines that can be distributed throughout the cosmos.”

Gabriel’s opinion? He said:

Before you begin to prioritize you must first begin with a criterion from which to judge the question. I am inclined to make the decision a “just” one [although] some may feel that “social utility” is most fair… Original Position would be the most just determination… A logical conclusion from this stance is to give life to those who lost it at the earliest stage: babies, children, and on up to centenarians.

However, you may decide Utility is a better tool than Justice... [if so, you’d start with] Humanitarians, Inventors, Engineers, Scientists, Professors / Teachers and [continue] on to Lawyers, Politicians, and other sociopaths at the tail end…

The second authority I sought advice from is the legendary Fred Chamberlain. He was the co-founder of the cryonics organization Alcor Life Extension Foundation (with his wife Linda), and he’s presently a “Teacher” of the Terasem Movement Transreligion, and a member of CyBeRev project, which aims to “prevent death by preserving sufficient digital information about a person so that recovery remains possible by forseable technology.”  Mr. Chamberlinn suggests that:

The individual circumstances of their situations would have to be further delineated. For example, in the case of parents, would we be assuming that their children would be waiting to greet them? As to babies who died and never really got to live, may we assume that the parents whose children they were, were going to ‘be there for them’ to raise them as they might have? In the case of victims of genocide… wouldn’t we expect that others would have formed a support group into which they would fall? Simply the existence of the means ‘to bring them back’ would be insufficient…

As to highly intelligent people who have immense contributions to make, we are into judgement calls of high selectivity.  I identity with this because there is an individual I know who has published such(to me) insightful works that I’ve scanned and uploaded to a CyBeRev surrogate account works of his which by themselves together with what is known about his personal history would be sufficient (in my judgment) to “get him back in the game”…  I’d even commit a “copy” of myself to being his personal guide, for as long as it took for him to fully gain back the immense power I see in his mind.  But without a “sponsor” like that, or a group of them, what would be the meaning of just “bringing back” someone?  I’m not offering any answers in the above discussion, simply raising questions…”

The third person I interviewed was Lori Rhodes, the Legal Research and Writing Manager of Terasem Movement, Inc., a charity “endowed for the purpose of educating the public on the practicality and necessity of greatly extending human life… via geoethical nanotechnology and personal cyberconsciousness.” Lori provided the following observations:

One consideration is an idea espoused in James L. Halperin’s book, The First Immortal, where his characters financially sponsor revivals of friends, loved ones, people of prominence, etc… There is a group formed in 2007 called, “Options for Safe, Secure and Legal Asset Preservation for Post-Resuscitation Access.” Many of cryonic’s heavy thinkers belong to this group, including several working on plausible revival scenarios.

Of course, there are those who would never be on a list for revival or resuscitation of any nature as they either didn’t desire it or no plans for it were made (i.e. those who were cremated or buried where decay itself affords nothing viable to work from, no DNA or the like). Then there are those who prefer a digital only revival, to be brought back solely in digital form and uploaded into a synthetic or nano-technologically generated body absent the perils or deterioration inherent in biological systems.

Many cryonicists use a prominent figure such as Hitler, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dommer, Atilla the Hun or Osama bin Laden to emphasize the importance of not allowing certain infamous people to be revived, but they might be missing the big picture on what promises nanotech could hold.  Let’s consider Hitler… It was purported that Hitler had neuro-syphilis that affected the brain and very well may have been the reason behind most of his heinous actions. If Hitler were cryopreserved and was to be revived employing nanotech within current scenarios, when his body temperature was sufficiently elevated… swarms of molecular sized nanobots (or foglets) would be inserted into his body and would repair all damaged cells. Upon further warming, and after completing all intended cellular repair, those nanobots could be flushed out of the body… Upon awakening, you might find a person whose leadership capabilities and prowess are geared to do good and not evil as he is no longer afflicted with a neurologic impairment brought on by a sexually transmitted and untreated disease that ravaged his mind and made him the monster he was.

——

Okay readers, now it’s your turn. If you want to post your vote or add a new category, just leave it in “Comments” below:

Hank Pellissier serves as IEET Managing Director and is an IEET Affiliate Scholar.



COMMENTS

If you can “bring” back the deceased, it makes a difference who brings back who, and from what period. If those doing the bringing back will be unalike us we’d be somewhat sad. There might be a selection of returnage we in 2012 wouldn’t much like.

Imagine if in 2200 humanity set itself to the task of returning the virtuous dead, and the people of 2200 were all survivors of The Great Slaughter of 2016, the year where 5 billion died. And let’s assume the only ones unaffected were the Saudi.

Now the Saudi of 2200 might be very different from the Saudi we know today. Now let’s assume toe first they wanted to bring “back” was Al Qutb, who is regarded in some circles as a virtuous man, but there was agreement on which Al Qutb they’d bring back. Maybe they wanted to return the Al Qutb from before he was tortured in prison, whereas another group of returners would prefer the “authentic” Al Qutb, who was by any measure a bitter, broken wretch of a human. But hey at least he’s more “authentic”. Who knows? We might end up with a world saturated by a quantum cloud of young and old Osama Bin Ladens, and Al Qutb’s and Zawaheri’s and Mohammed Atta’s - noble and widely respected figures in the year 2200.

And in such a world the people of 2200 might really not like an Obama. So they’d return him as well - but primarily for reasons of torture. And the people of 2200 are good at Torture.  They can keep an iteration of a hysterically screaming, terrified, shellshocked Obama alive in utter lucid torment for several decades. But that isn’t enough - the just and saintlypeople of 2200 bring back Obama and G.W.Bush (both infernal figures in their pantheon of the early 21st century) at a rate of several dozen a year, and they are all tortured, together with Cheney and Ray Kurzweil, and gods knows what other Haram symbols of the Great Age of Slaughter, for proper Sharia to be applied upon.

I know this is an intensely distasteful picture. But if we are to speculate on returning people from the cold embrace of the grave, who are we to make selections, and for what purpose, and in what state do we return these people?

And can we feel secure that in case we ourselves were returned, this might actually be a joyous event?

I would prefer to be alive every step of the way, for good or for bad, and have full self-determination. I don’t trust the judgement of the world to do as it sees fit. Before long we would be calling back an endless sequence of Hitlers and Pol Pots to stand trial, or be placed in future zoo’s.

And we must conclude - if it can be done once, it will without doubt be done over and over again. And if it is done once, the next time it is done, it will be easier to do.

What if a future maniac decided to collect the most beautiful sexual slaves from history - marilyn monroe, lady gaga, sophia loren - taken from the peak of their allure in much the same manner as butterflies plucked from the flow of time and splayed in to a collection?

Granted, such acts are little more violence than the normal flow of natural events. But I do urge caution - and I do urge respect for basic human dignity, even for the most undignified.

Do not judge for you shall be judged in turn, and eternally.

@ Khannea - thanks for mentioning a series of possibilities I hadn’t considered. That is really alarming!  The notion of bringing back people as slaves, or to be tortured in revenge… We need “Ethical Treatment of the Dead.”

The recreation of the deceased is fraught with ethical pitfalls. Would corporations be able to claim copyright on Einstein 2.0? Having brought them back would they then have to work to pay for their upkeep, much as prostitutes must pay their pimps?

The question also arises that there will be mixed motives in the resurrection of a person. One child may want a parent revived while another will not. As Khannea said, this mix of intentions could be global depending on the notoriety of the deceased.

All that aside, there is the question of consent. Do we have consent of the people we plan to bring back? Maybe dying was the only way Mom could get away from her clingy children? I would really hate to see us bring people back just because we can.

It is similar to Kyle’s article on Neanderthals, do we have the right to bring a thinking being into the world to appease our own needs or curiosity? In the case of the neanderthals, there is no pre-existent entity to ask permission. It is much like the first test tube baby who was a nine days wonder, then vanished into anonymity as time past and the procedure became common.

We must first -

and I insist we *MUST* and *FIRST*

- work to create a world where human (or mind-kind if you insist) rights are elevated beyond any other consideration. We must elevate empathy to the highest foundation of law.

@Khannea re “*MUST* and *FIRST*”

Let’s make that *SHOULD* and *SOON* - these things cannot be decided on paper. No battle plan ever works out of the box, and battle plans never survive the first encounter with the enemy.

If the real villains behind 9/11 were caught then there only option would be to use their influence to erase all computer memories not to their agenda. Run parallel network to change the program.

The Architect: The function of the One is now to return to the source, allowing a temporary dissemination of the code you carry, reinserting the prime program. After which you will be required to select from the matrix 23 individuals, 16 female, 7 male, to rebuild Zion. Failure to comply with this process will result in a cataclysmic system crash killing everyone connected to the matrix, which coupled with the extermination of Zion will ultimately result in the extinction of the entire human race.
Neo: You won’t let it happen, you can’t. You need human beings to survive.
The Architect: There are levels of survival we are prepared to accept.

The first to pioneer this new world perhaps should be those who (1) have committed to help others be best welcomed into to it, who are also committed to help others in the same way, and to assure that all who are invited are (2) dedicated to the prevention of cruelty or the infliction of pain on others, recognizing that the biological drives which have (to this point) advanced our species by natural selection have fostered such (frequently termed) anti-social behaviors in the interests of propagation of the most fit-to-survive genes and (more morally and ethically negative) fit to survive “good old boy” groups, religions, or nations.

This is like mountain climbing.  Those who “go first” may get a little bruised and skinned-up climbing, but help build the trails, for those who will later put in tramways so those in wheelchairs can have an easy ride up.  By then, the ethics of the society that has been cultivated there might be able to make even the most abused of history feel loved and welcome, as they join in the journey into an endless future we all would like to be part of.

Boundless Life,

Fred & Linda Chamberlain

Fred & Linda - you are putting a lot of faith in the potential of objective moral improvement.

I don’t see it. As far as I can judge humans act just as shamelessly bestial as Darwinian nature. The most “moral” societies (such as the US) still engage in routine genocides (Iraq, over a million deaths, mostly children)  for profit. Russia and China do worse.

I think in order to have civilization, dignity and kindness, we have to make sure we get it. Too many people (still) have outright psychopathic or otherwise pathological tendencies, or utterly delude themselves.

I can see your “Jacob’s Ladder” imagery, and I fear we do not have time for that. I think we have tasted a small bit of civilization, dignity and kindness, and before the 20th century there was far less of that. I do not believe any of that is inherently or systemically guaranteed. In fact I think “human rights” are as fleeting as any historical cultural artefact -I could name “socialism” for the libertarians here, the well-intentioned world now relegated to the world’s history dustbins. In a few decades we might me talking about “democracy” or “human rights” as most people now scoff at “socialism” - ... “we tried it, and it didn’t work”.

I am stating we might LOSE our civilization, in the face of, say, corporate neo-feudalism, cold accountancy globalism, cut-throat corporatism, etc.  These are very cold and ruthlessly meritocratic times, where people don’t see any inherent need to give a flying fuck about most old people or aids babies dying in the gutter.

Didn’t we want *better* a generation ago?

I say we have to *FIGHT* for civilization, and the best possible treatment of the most vulnerable (i.e. make sure uploaded and returnized minds aren’t treated as entertainment software).

To not do this is to see hell on Earth. And I do not think I am exaggerating. We can really fuck up a posthuman future.

Before we can choose who to bring back, we must know who is available to bring back. The resurrection starts with genealogy, history, anthropology and archeology, turning the hearts of the children to the parents. Indeed, assuming no absolute limit to the detail attainable by our genealogical work, the resurrection is a natural consequence of its perpetual improvement.

. . . and I echo Khannea’s emphasis of empathy.

Note that if everyone just ensure that their parents are resurrected, sooner or later everyone gets resurrected.

@Lincoln - I’d love to hear more about the Mormon view of Resurrection - does the interest in genealogy stem from that? Same with reverence for family?

Giulio, I know a few parents which your allegation does not hold.

@Khannea - if not even their kids want to resurrect them, perhaps there is no urgency to resurrect them.

So much nicer the future shock for them.

“Welcome to the year 4380 and the planet Ibliu IV [180 light years from Earth], you were kinda low on the list. And we lacked the rezzing space.”

Hank,

Mormons generally believe that our ancestors cannot be saved unless we perform proxy rituals (for example, baptism for the dead) for those who died without partaking in those rituals while alive. In order to do that, of course, we must first discover our ancestors. Mormons also generally believe, as Joseph Smith asserted, that we and our dead cannot be saved without each other. Salvation must be nearly universal, for all except perhaps those who don’t want it.

From there, although less generally known among Mormons, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young claimed that transfiguration and resurrection to immortality would be rituals we would perform for each other. Connect the dots, and the whole Mormon work for the dead is aimed at actualizing the prophesied resurrection, I contend.

Again, most Mormons haven’t connected the dots, perhaps in part because some of our most important ideas are taught in esoteric and symbolic ways that take time to internalize. So most Mormons will tell you that genealogy is important because we need to perform rituals for our dead, but they may not have even considered whether the ultimate expression of those rituals would be resurrection. Yet we continue hinting at the idea, both in scripture and from leaders. For example, In a recent general conference of the LDS Church, the president reminded members, in relation to our work for the dead, that we should become saviors like Jesus.

From a practical perspective, though, it doesn’t always matter so much whether Mormons conceive of all of the possible long term benefits of our genealogical work. So long as we’re motivated, the work continues, and no other ideology has had such success in motivating such work.

>>>  Quoting Khannea: “I say we have to *FIGHT* for
>>>  civilization, and the best possible treatment of the most
>>>  vulnerable (i.e. make sure uploaded and returnized
>>>  minds aren’t treated as entertainment software).
>>>  To not do this is to see hell on Earth. And I do
>>>  not think I am exaggerating. We can really fuck up a
>>>  posthuman future.”

Here, “we” may be taken to be just part of humanity, not *all* of it.  The word “FIGHT”, cannot simply mean “defend as needed”.  Must it not mean, “Identify the enemy and destroy it?”  One time on a Sierra Club experience hike out of Bishop, CA, Linda and I seemed to be plagued by less than a dozen aggressive flies, but swatting them was not the answer.  After several dozens of them had been swatted, there seemed to be just as many.  The mountains were full of them.

If we don’t want the bugs to bite us, our sentience level must be higher than that of bugs, and we must invent screens and other means of insect control.  The solution to a future where we survive a singularity will take more than ‘FIGHTING’.  It will take a great deal of creativity, and the most workable approach may be to begin to build a microsociety in which these principles are agreed upon strongly, where teamwork and synergism are far higher than “bugs” as described above - “humans (who) act just as shamelessly bestial as Darwinian nature.”  “Swatting” is not the answer.

We’ve used “swatting” before, sometimes out of necessity.  In WWII those on “our” side (Allies vs. Axis) spent ten months (from Normandy until Berlin fell) “swatting” like crazy, and many on both sides got swatted.  One and a half million “prisoners of war” were taken in the last month alone, and our best fortune was in managing to convince the Nazis that *we* had nerve gas *too*, when in fact we had nothing of the kind.  They had dozens of warehouses of it, but it was never used.  Not the same with Nagasaki and Hiroshima.  After WWII some wanted to “go on to Moscow” and swat more bugs, but the “bring the boys home” mentality was higher.  Would that have been better?  Who can say?  As things went, we then engaged in a ultimate race to make bigger and better fly swatters, until now we have world in which tens of thousands of thermonuclear weapons sit on launching pads, targeted on every conceivable weak point in the presumed “enemy’s” areas, constituting (as Carl Sagan so well put it ) “Genies of death awaiting the rubbing of the lamp” (an unwise decision to ‘push a red button’ so well fictionalized in so many movies.

So, who are the *we* to be?  (to repeat the quote):

>>>  Quoting Khannea: “I say we have to *FIGHT* for
>>>  civilization, and the best possible treatment of the most
>>>  vulnerable (i.e. make sure uploaded and returnized
>>>  minds aren’t treated as entertainment software).
>>>  To not do this is to see hell on Earth. And I do
>>>  not think I am exaggerating. We can really fuck up a
>>>  posthuman future.”

Who will move forward to design and create a future where some have pledged themselves to transparent interrelationships, visible and accountable to each other (in the way we purify pharmaceuticals to be free of poisons to less than a few parts per billion)?  Where is this “we” going to come from?

IEET, Terasem, and many other transhumanist organizations can see that something must be done, and time is short, so action is necessary.  No one can disagree with that.  From that viewpoint, the quoted selection from what Khannea wrote is “right on”!  Now, the rest is up to those who can and will take action, vs. those who simply agitate and agonize over the problem.

There’s something probably all of have heard:  “Three cats sat on a fence, and one decided to jump off.  So, how many cats will that leave on the fence?”  The answer, of course, is “Three!”  Deciding and doing are two different things.  Out of the diversity of programs that are constructively being pursued by transhumanists in various ways, let’s hope that at least one of more of them “works”, and if more than one “works”, let’s hope that those two or more programs will synergistically merge, or network noncompetitively.

Boundless Life,

Fred Chamberlain

What if Mormons were taken to a more “enlightened” future and found they had all been transmogrified in to bisexual intersex creatures, even against their will? (fully functional!)

What if 20th century ultra-conservative people would wake up with all their memories in this future, with bodies and minds that had “altered” sexual needs and preferences?

What if the future decided that to avoid racism, everyone should have a dark skin? As in - “the mark of Caine” ?

What if “the future thought it knew better” ?

What if the people in the future were “intensely and oppressively politically correct” ?

Feels pretty nice to me. But I can imagine half the world’s conservatives would be left out in the cold of non-existence. They’d rather not return.

@Khannea re “What if the people in the future were “intensely and oppressively politically correct” ?”

In this case I would want to return to start a revolution. The other things that you mention are fine I guess since I am gender and color blind.

Khannea, great questions! Mormons don’t consider heaven to be monolithic, but rather manifest in many heavens, innumerable and varying as the stars. Empathy, it seems, would require that we consider how persons would want to be resurrected—thus the “nearly” in the nearly universal resurrection anticipated by Mormons.

*yum* Ok I am a mormon - sign me up for Futanari heaven.

For what it’s worth, I hope and expect such a heaven will exist for those who desire it, Khannea.

I should add that Mormonism is not merely relativistic in all of this. It does hold that some heavens are better than others. Here are some pertinent passages of Mormon scripture that incorporate a few of the ideas I’ve referenced: many heavens, some better than others, each given according to the desires of the receiver ...

——-

Doctrine and Covenants 88
http://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/88.33?lang=eng#

27 For notwithstanding they die, they also shall rise again, a spiritual body.

28 They who are of a celestial spirit shall receive the same body which was a natural body; even ye shall receive your bodies, and your glory shall be that glory by which your bodies are quickened.

29 Ye who are quickened by a portion of the celestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.

30 And they who are quickened by a portion of the terrestrial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.

31 And also they who are quickened by a portion of the telestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.

32 And they who remain shall also be quickened; nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received.

33 For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift.

——-

So, Khannea, most Mormons would consider you a Mormon only if you desire their conception of the highest heaven, which they’ll call “Celestial”. There’s a problem, though, that they don’t usually recognize: Mormon scripture undermines the idea that there is a highest heaven, quite explicitly, by claiming the inhabitants of the Celestial heaven will continue learning of higher heavens. Below’s the passage, including some context with imagery that I enjoy, in case it interests anyone ...

——-

Doctrine and Covenants 130
http://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/130.10?lang=eng#9

7 But they reside in the presence of God, on a globe like a sea of glass and fire, where all things for their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord.

8 The place where God resides is a great Urim and Thummim.

9 This earth, in its sanctified and immortal state, will be made like unto crystal and will be a Urim and Thummim to the inhabitants who dwell thereon, whereby all things pertaining to an inferior kingdom, or all kingdoms of a lower order, will be manifest to those who dwell on it; and this earth will be Christ’s.

10 Then the white stone mentioned in Revelation 2:17, will become a Urim and Thummim to each individual who receives one, whereby things pertaining to a higher order of kingdoms will be made known;

11 And a white stone is given to each of those who come into the celestial kingdom, whereon is a new name written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it. The new name is the key word.

Here’s my 43 cents.

52.1
Their eyes overcome with soothing light they awoke in a wooded glade of such peace they were at peace the moment their body emerged from the soft lichens.

52.2
Their bodies were shapeless and pale white, but they mind was clear and wholesome and a canvas of peace upon which their life’s memory was painted out as a work of art, respecting every minutiate of its integrity.

52.3
They awoke and their bodies took a measure of time to effortlessly unfold into the shape they would have, knowing they might change it afterwards with just a bit greater ease. The true shape of their mind’s eye emerged from the pallid grey skin as would a butterfly from a pupa.

52.4
And a beautiful gem is embedded in each of those who come into the celestial palaces, whereon is a new name written, which no one knoweth save he that receiveth it. The new name is the key word.

52.5
They wished not to die, out of sheer curiosity and passion and beheld death as a gruesome thing that lied in the past, yet they knew little fear.

52.6
They cried for the things they had done wrong in life and forgave themselves, and nobody held their sins against them. Some cried very long. Some who arrived early are still crying but eventually even they shall be rekindled.

52.7
(redacted)

53.1
They knew they were not on Earth, and saw the universe above them spin in a crescend of pure illumination, yet their eyes did not hurt.

53.2
Animal kind was within and without them. Many awoke as they would be, and most had traits of the animal kingdom. Many had animal eyes, many had animal furs, many had wings, many had tails, many had antlers and horns. Others were more imaginative.

53.3
Scarcity now lied in lack of imagination and memories of meaning of a mortal life; those who had been most imaginative and had the most passionate and loving and meaningful mortal lives were held in most esteem.

53.4
Those who had sacrificed much in mortal life were held in high esteem.

55.1
They were waited upon my earlier ones, who had friendlyand familiar faces, and were greeting with great love. There was no shame for past wrongs or sins, and all was forgiven.

57.1
All fled apart, all spaces fled apart at great speed in the splendid celestial illumination between the stars. There they floated in eternity and absolute meaning, in rivulet patterns radiating outwards from the great spiral of light.

57.2
Yet spin between them was a web of doors, the doors connecting thousands upon thousands of other palaces in the void, each connecting thousands upon thousand like palaces.

58.1
New palaces were ever born, with the reborn from aeons past, each held in the greatest of esteem and cared for as the most loved of all children in the creation, as now the dark age of evolution was over and all agreed that deliberated intelligent design was better than the Dark Age of Nature.

58.2
As the palaces wandered outwards they beame ever more refines and pure and subtle, and the elder palaces were the most loving and delicate and they bestowed great wisdom to their younger parts, and as the palaces became ever wiser and more pure, they saw the light ever brighter all around them, so eventually the depths inbetween the stars was bright as day for them.

58.3
There could not be war or death, as the destiny of the universe made us able to close all doors to all palaces to where there might be strife or conflict, or open doors to any palaces we wish to explore at greater length.

58.4
The smallest palace holds millions of minds, and exquisitely beautiful bodies. Imagine to be kissed by them all!

123.1
Look there, a suitable planet with complex life. Shall we have mercy with the yet nonexistent mind-kind there and bestow it with sapience and intelligence and mind so they eventually might join us?

255.1
Rejoice for this will not end, and the migration has a goal, there, where the great attractor calls us.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0pl2t_kPgM&feature=related

That’s beautiful, Khannea. You’re my favorite kind of Mormon.

Thank you Linc, I’ll be so sweet to you when I bring you back.

Here is a comment that was sent to me by Mike Clancy - he’s the General Manager of Terasem Movement Inc.—his opinion is:

“I believe that, simply for practical reasons, those who have the most extensive mindfiles are likely to be those who are brought back to life first.  Once a person’s basic psychology has been determined from sources such as CyBeRev’s Bainbridge questionnaires, it will be expressed as settings of the mindware that replicates them and the accuracy of the remainder of the reconstruction will be based on the fidelity of the original person’s memories.  The odds for success in at least the first series of resurrections will be highly dependent upon the comprehensiveness of the mindfile used in the process and, therefore, I believe that those people with the best mindfiles are likely to be those chosen first.”

I believe that engendering a simulation based on a ‘mindfile’ is complete and utter bunk. At best it is a panacea for survivor’s grief, at worst it is setting up the worst kind of necromantic data-slavery in human history. Besides, it is potentially cruel. If I do something to myself, it’s more or less my own responsibility.

But if I create a corpus of ideas about me, or some kind of idealized version of me, or a parody of me - that is in effect creating (or ordering the creation of) a digital slave who is destined in a constrained and cruel straight-jacket of a deceased person. Imagine the converse - the horror of a historical person anno the interbellum awakened in a virtual reality in an utterly ruthless and dystopian Blade Runner future.

To be deleted or edited at the flick of a switch. “sorry but I’d like to see cope with a zombie holocaust simulation. Don’t worry if it gets really nasty, I’ll reset you from ROM tomorrow”.

Creators if Mind-Files can not give any guarantee they aren’t setting themselves up to become ghoul-pimps of replicant “beloved deceased”, catering to the hurt and pain of the living - and they can’t give any guarantee the replicant won’t be abused at any stage.

Sorry, I wouldn’t sign up for such a horror show, even if it would be only by proxy. It is immoral.

The most desirable immortality would be me, having self-determination and at least some continuation of person-hood rights (which is at least something) living. And if I create copies of my most intimate myself I want to be around to protect them, as if they were my daughters.

All widely and loudly publicized good intentions of whatever CyBeRev or Real or Scientology aside - I don’t trust cargo cults with my most intimate inner being.

The only protection one might hope for against being emulated as a “digital slave destined (to live on indefinitely) in a constrained and cruel straight-jacket of a deceased person” is that this could be accomplished by refusing to consent to it, consenting to and entrusting emulations of oneself to be made only by a group in which one has a great deal of trust.

But if a maliciious person wished to emulate you and abuse you, they wouldn’t care if you “consented” or not, would they?  You might hope that by such a time as such would be possible, there would be enforceable laws against it, ways of reliably detecting it, and a governing entity you “trusted” to keep it from happening, but how much confidence do you have that safeguards of that kind will ever exist?

Postings we’ve already made on blogs along with pictures we’ve placed there could enable *any* of us (without our consent) to be emulated in an unauthorized way, within a decade or two.  Who would or could stand in the way of that?  If this were done, who would “be there for us” to attempt to “deal” with it, if they could even find out about it?

These are reasonable concerns, for those troubled by them, and I certainly don’t have any answers!

Does anyone have an any practical idea about how to reliably prevent oneself from being emulated, based on what already exists on the Internet, and then being abused, in any way that some malicious person might wish?

I certainly agree with the statement: “The most desirable immortality would be me, having self-determination and at least some continuation of person-hood rights (which is at least something) living. And if I create copies of my most intimate myself I want to be around to protect them, as if they were my daughters.”

Unfortunately, I feel this question falls into the same category as questions about how we can prevent some government with a “wild-card”  personality at the helm from “pushing the red button”, bringing about the launching of tens of thousands of thermonuclear weapons, by every nation possessing them, which might feel that in terms of mutual defense treaties, “they have no alternative but to do so”.

Boundless Life,

Fred Chamberlain

 

Even in the case of resuscitative resurrection of the wetware kind, the existence of a good mindfile is a pre-requisite to an accurate evaluation of the outcome of the experiment.  Indeed, one might wonder how one would know that any kind of restorative procedure was good enough in the absence of a successful human simulation?  Please note that I am not predefining what the contents of said mindfile might be; it could range from a basic psychological profile with associated recorded memories up to and including a complete nanometer scale map of the connectome - the full synaptic connectivity of an entire brain.

From the article above and his other publications, Kurzweil clearly believes he can bring his dead father back to life using only his DNA and what amounts to an extensive mindfile.  He is not alone is that belief.  Given Kurzweil’s obvious affection for him, I am also fairly sure that, although his father had no expectation of such happening to him, his father will likely not have any concern about the world he is resurrected into nor the intentions of the resurrectionist.

As for creating an idealized version or a parody of oneself: Kurzweil has said “You can certainly argue that, philosophically, that is not your father.  That is a replica, but I can actually make a strong case that it would be more like my father than my father would be, were he to live.”  I agree.  Every night my conscious brain shuts down when I fall asleep and the person who awakes the next morning is the product of who I was then plus the memories that my subconscious brain has processed overnight.  It is my fervent hope that the awakened one WILL be a more idealized version of me. 

Meanwhile, it is true that no one can give any guarantee they aren’t setting themselves up to be resurrected into a world of hurt even if they have no mindfile nor any idea about cryonics, plastination or the like.  The best any of us can do is to push the world in a positive direction while we are alive with the hope that the momentum we impart will be sufficient (when coupled with the efforts of others) to bring about a transformed, loving and empathetic environment in which to awaken.  There are no guarantees, no fairness, little empathy and great selfishness and greed in the world we already live in.  I, for one, believe we will do better in the future and would like to come back to see it.

..are you paying attention to all this, future? Do we have reason to feel envious or proud, future?, or do I yet stare back from the Abyss of the future?

This is all very interesting but the whole notion just seems so nostalgic, self-indulgent, and lacking in real vision. I don’t mean this to be insulting. I understand fear of death, emotions of loss, sentimentality over “what could have been”. And that’s what this seems like.

What about putting resources, instead, into the potential that exists in currently living individuals?

Adequate nutrition alone would upgrade most human beings. Greater access to resources, equality for global citizens, creating an infrastructure that would allow currently living people to live and contribute at the level of their own choosing - these things would surely reveal that there is more than enough incredible greatness among us. Greatness that occludes the need to resurrect past greatness.

As for babies and people who died too young -  there is a rampant inability to accept certain aspects of life that goes beyond fueling innovation, as some may argue, but is based in fear and a lack of capacity for the greater intensity of existence. Using technology to indulge our fears and limitations and sentimentality is not “advanced” but seems incredibly archaic at the level of human consciousness. So many children are homeless, without families NOW - what about them? Give the dead a chance to have a life they didn’t get to have when so many of the young among us aren’t getting a chance to have a life? This is absurdity.

Just because we may develop incredible technology does not mean we are advanced enough to correctly and wisely choose what we develop or how to use it once developed. And I think by the time we are capable, as a civilization, of such things we will surely have grown up enough to see how infantile this is.

There is also the issue of an individual’s rights. Bringing back someone without their consent seems a tad unethical.

The point of looking back is to learn from mistakes and the people that came before. If we want to use this as an argument FOR resurrection, let’s do it ethically and without wasting either planetary or human resources and put our technology towards holograms, or sophisticated robotics, instead of flesh. 

Being more connected to death than the life all around one to the degree that one would wish to resurrect what has been, rather than put those resources to nourishing what is, just seems incredibly self-indulgent.

Sadeew

So you propose a triage on life extension, rejuvenation, uploading, and “treatments like that”, and you favor to block resource in these (and arguably similar) fields to benefit the living, the quality of life of the living, et al.

Let’s not put it “black and white”.. so I ask you three things
- how do you distinguish between qualitatively “meritable” life extension treatments and “frivolous” ones. For example, what if a pension fund - or a medical insurance company - discovers it can make a fortune by offering its clients a rejuvenation treatment, and for every treatment year gained, they let the pension start a year later? Highly speculative, I agree but not unwarranted. People suffer horrific dehumanizing ailments in the last few years of life. What if partial uploading (nanotechnological neurological prosthetics) can save an insurer billions by saving a whole generation of the venerable from the alzheimer, etc? Would this a"scandalous waste of collective human resources” or might it make market/economic sense? Where do you draw the line and say “thou shallt not pass beyond this point” ?

- how much force should we use to make sure nobody “wasted” resource on these technologies.  Do you propose force to disallow rejuvenation (and/or) life extension (and/or) neurological prosthetics (and/or) the creation of rendered mental constructs , i.e. uploads respectively “ghosts” ? What penalties or punishment do you propose when people do it privately? What if you discovered a private institution that did it anyway and after a while you discover someone 130 years old, completely dependent on these treatments. Would you propose ripping the flagrant violation of the LAW out of their neocortex? If not, how would you create a law with any credibility? How would you propose dealing with black markets offering these treatments?

- Can you give me a rough idea on the callibration of “good research” in this field versus “bad research”.  What yardstick would you propose in a formalized bio-ethical debate to sift between sin and virtue in these types of research? And what if you came up with a draconian yardstick (as you do seem to favor) in the US, and China would say “fine” and went and researched all these technologies, and 20 years later you’d come to the conclusion China benefited GREATLY from this - with millions of very rich tourists getting their treatments in China, paying billions to get them (and all that capital ended up and china) ?

I propose nuance. I also suggest your kneejerk reactions might be extremely counter-productive. Yes these technologies might be extremely “escalatory”. Yes, these technologies might do little in the short run, and might have amazing side effects and benefits in the long run. Yes these technologies would be extremely expensive.

But did either of the three above type of arguments stop people making 747 boeings, just 45 years after the first plane flew? No they didn’t, and we all benefited greatly because.

Hello Khannea - thank you for the dialogue.
Response to point 1:  My very first question was “What about putting resources, instead, into the potential that exists in currently living individuals?” I expressed absolutely no objection to life extension treatment but actually make the point by implication that this is a preferable use of resources.
Response to point 2: see my response to point #1
Response to point 3: Again, see response to point #1

Everything you point to has to do with benefiting the living, which is exactly my point and why I feel it is a waste of resources that are limited in either amount or access to put toward people who are already dead.

There are huge ethical and metaphysical implications with “Lazarus” technology - certainly far beyond my individual abilities to comprehensively address alone in a small white box.

It seems to me you are counter-pointing someone else’s argument.

I wouldn’t even take the approach of “punishing”, “using force” and the like. For me the issue is the objective being sought and reanimating the dead, however this is achieved, without their direct consent, is riddled with poor reason. That’s all. It’s a matter of the sanctity of personhood for both the dead and the living and using technology in a way that respects both.

I see!

So you objection is more analogue to expressing a vote against taxpayer-funded “abortion”, or “space research”. It is equivalent to you stating “you do not want your tax dollars to be used in this manner”?

- you see absolutely no common good in this research - it is unambiguously wasteful research?

- So you don’t mind if someone else does research with their money?

- You think this research will yield universally malevolent results?

/If you think it will yield universally malevolent results and you don’t propose to outlaw this research (resp. these treatments) in treaties or laws can I conclude… /

- you were just expressing your taste and personal preferences on this topic, and you agree to have anyone else do as they please in this area, “protest noted” ?

It’s a pleasure to have a chance to explore this line of discourse back & forth smile 

You may have come to know my preferences - I DO seek laws, acknowledging person-hood and defending person-hood in this topic.  I actually am with Terasem on this topic, in that we need to get the actual worldly law to come to terms with a correct and universal definition of what constitutes a person, and what rights and obligations a person must universally have.

Your concern seems to be primarily is unintended consequences (as well as waste of resource?) but the world is already full of unintended consequences and really horrible waste of resources (i.e., tragedy of the commons). For example - In a few years someone might develop functional general intelligence; ... great for corporate profits, but really bad for universal employment and societal harmony, right?

Then what we should do, IMHO, is to ask ourselves - should we outlaw research in tp AGI, OR should we define rights and duties of both AGI and born humans (and anything in-between, or even dolphins, chimpanzees, cows, gerbils, ants for that matter).

And in doing that I think we should very well conclude that the whole human rights, and sanctity of human beings is already organize LOUSY in common law, right now, today.

My argument in all of the above posts is to start fixing that right now, before “it is too late”. Because yes, this can really get out of hand in truly horrible ways.

@sadeew re priorities allocation of resources

I don’t disagree with what you say, but the world is interesting because different persons choose different goals and priorities.

By all means, let’s allocate the bulk of public funding to solving the urgent problems that you mention.

But the visionaries who choose to focus on highly imaginative, far future oriented pursuits, have also an important role to play. A good science fiction writer does more good than a bad bureaucrat.

@Giulio - thank you for your comments. I was not objecting to the technology, but to the thinking justifying certain applications of it. I have no issue with visionaries and far future oriented pursuits. I have no issue with consciousness transference, conscious AI, and the like. It is more epistemological than technological for me - at least as far as my original comments. Pointing to the ethics, sentimentality, and metaphysical implications are all highlights of the epistemological weaknesses I found at various points in the article.

I think conversations about big issues like this that have massive implications are best served by the people engaging in the conversation bringing, in addition to knowledge and opinion, an ability to listen and actually have an exchange

It seems to me you listened - at least I felt you listened. And I appreciate that. Whatever ways I am lacking in either vision or capacity to grasp the various dimensions of this subject, your approach makes possible my growth and understanding. All of us start from where we are in a conversation. And it is from people contributing, sharing, listening, and engaging one another that brings the greatest possibility of not only the growth of the individuals involved in the exchange, but of responsible design and application of whatever technologies we invent.

This, to me, is crucial to our advancement. And is at least as important as the subject itself. I don’t come to forums to spout my opinion as law, but to stimulate, as I think the author of this article did, further conversation. (and to benefit from it)

The experience of having so much hyperbolic garbage put in my mouth by an earlier poster, rather than being engaged, was distasteful to say the least. What point is there in dialogue if one is going to have a conversation all by themselves based on unfounded assumptions and unfettered reactivity? This is the kind of thinking that makes science dangerous, not science itself. The ways we think are at least as important as the content of the thought. 

Thank you again. I will certainly be doing more thinking about this.

whats wrong with that? bringing back the himan back to life, we can can do this until we meet our creator,my wife died of brain tumour , her plans in life is not done, y should not my wife brought back to life with the help of science!how can u say n talk society! thos u say things like this with such a small mind set should go n buried ur self alive so that there no society to think about! im so angry with this kind of forum disscion raise up rather then it suppose to be set up a group n raise fund for the scientist for their amazing work in the name os god!

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