RE: The inevitability of death, or the death of inevitability?

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sat Dec 08 2001 - 15:36:35 MST

> Perhaps. Understand that I do not have "faith" that immortality is
> possible. I am simply stating that before we get all emotional about this
> issue - that is, before we begin making value judgements or philosophical
> assumptions based on it - we should remember that the model the prediction
> is based on is a model which historically has often changed and currently
> is still in flux.

For what it's worth, my intuition agrees with Eli's on this. We have yet
explored only a very small part of the "known universe", and there are big
aspects of particle physics that we don't yet come close to understanding
(e.g. quantum gravity, quantum measurement -- yes, there are claims of
understanding, but nothing well-substantiated). To assume that the Big Bang
/Big Crunch model or any other fragment of modern science is going to
survive untouched 1000 years from now is just plain silly.

The same intuition leads me to believe that the notion of "designing
Friendly AI" is only slightly relevant to the final outcome of the grand
"superhuman AI engineering" experiment. I agree that it's a worthwhile
pursuit, because it has a clearly > 0 chance of making a difference. But as
with fundamental physics, there's a hell of a lot we don't understand about


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