RE: Multiple Future Bens

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Mon Dec 23 2002 - 09:16:08 MST

Jef Allbright wrote:
> Something that concerns me about almost all futuristic scenarios is the
> emphasis on personal identity. It seems that even the most
> forward thinkers
> are limited to imagining the addition of advanced capabilities to our
> existing concept of self.
> The currently popular sense of self is an illusion, and will be upgraded
> along with the hardware that tends to maintain the illusion.

In my multiple-Bens scenario, Ben1-Ben3 would keep Ben's sense of personal
identity, Ben4 would keep a part of it, and Ben5 would jettison it entirely.

I agree that for posthuman digital minds, a humanlike sense of personal
identity will not exist.

Yet, I feel no need to completely leave humans behind. Just as I think it's
good that dogs and roaches and chimps still exist, I think it'll be good for
humans to still exist, post-Singularity. I believe that this is a moral and
aesthetic judgment, and that neither it nor its opposite have a rational

Ben5 will quickly cease to be "Ben" in any meaningful sense; it will become
a different sort of thing, that happens to have been seeded by Ben.
Probably the fact that it was me that seeded it will quickly become entirely
irrelevant to what it is.

-- Ben G

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