Re: [sl4] Is belief in immortality computable?

From: Matt Mahoney (
Date: Tue May 19 2009 - 09:03:57 MDT

--- On Tue, 5/19/09, Nick Tarleton <> wrote:

> On Sat, May 16, 2009 at 1:50 PM, Matt Mahoney <>
> wrote:
> > My question is whether belief in immortality is
> computable. The question is important because if not, then
> we could never arrive at a satisfactory solution to the
> problem of death. We would forever be trying to solve the
> problem even after we have solved it.
> This doesn't follow. You demonstrate, if anything, that outside
> observers cannot determine whether an agent believes it is immortal;
> that doesn't mean the agent can't know whether it believes it's
> immortal.

You might say you are immortal, but if you really believed it and were rational, you would choose a contract paying $1 per day forever over any one-time payment no matter how large. Belief doesn't mean anything unless it results in an observable change in behavior.

-- Matt Mahoney,

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