RE: Sadness on voluntary death (was: Singularity Memetics)

From: Gwen Goertzel (
Date: Thu Jan 31 2002 - 09:47:52 MST

Seriously, though, it is. Ask someone to explain the idea. The
response goes something like this:

ME: Why do things die?
VER: Because it's natural. It's the Circle of Life!
ME: What is natural? What is the key to the Circle of Life?
VER: Death.

Ah, yes, that explains it. :-P

This is just a silly caricature. Most real belief systems are vastly
more complex and deep than this. For instance, my wife is a
Buddhist and there is an awful lot of depth to the Buddhist view
of death. It's tied in with the idea that physical existence
is illusory, for instance. This list is not the place for an
exposition of Buddhist philosophy, however....

I stress that I am not myself a Buddhist or a believer in
death as a good thing. I hope my kids retain their current
intense interest in uploading, cryonics, and so forth, once
they grow up. I'll be happy if my wife changes her mind about
wanting to die, but
I'm not betting on it, and I muchly appreciate many other aspects of her
world-view that are bound up with her (unpalatable to me) views
on death...

I guess that as uploading becomes a real possibility, fewer and
fewer people will be scared by it, and the Diaspora vision of a small
population of "fleshers" will be largely accurate. However as I said,
I think the Diaspora vision of uploads as so closely human-like will not
hold for long. Without the human body to anchor us, we will drift into
very different, and probably very interesting, experiential spaces.

-- Ben G

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:37 MDT