Re: [sl4] Is belief in immortality computable?

From: Stuart Armstrong (
Date: Mon May 18 2009 - 08:40:18 MDT

> An agent might not know that the universe is finite or that it is mortal. It might still believe itself to be immortal, which we could detect if we observe it making decisions that postpone gratification arbitrarily far into the future. But I don't think such a test exists. (That is my question). I think that for any test, there is a sufficiently large T such that the two rational agents (one believing it will die at time T and the other believing itself to be immortal) will both give the same response.

A continuous sliding scales of investments, returning t^2 at time t.
Add another investement option: give it the t=1 investement, and gives
it the option of incrementing t by one, at any time before the
investement comes due, for a cost of one (the cost will be paid only
once the investement comes due).

Get it to pick a best investement.

> The question is important to us because it means that regardless of any life prolonging mind or body enhancement, we will always have some doubt about our immortality even if we achieve it.

Of course. Quantum fluctuations, and simple uncertainty, guarantee we
can never be certain of immortality, even if entropy is overcome.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:01:04 MDT