Re: [sl4] Uploading (was : goals of AI)

From: Stathis Papaioannou (
Date: Fri Dec 04 2009 - 06:32:22 MST

2009/12/4 John McNamara <>:

>> If you know that destructive uploading will not damage your soul any more than
>> ordinary life will, but are still afraid of it, then that is an
>> irrational fear.
> actually, my reasoning more along the lines of ....
> why risk the unknown philosophical possibilities in big-bang instant
> destructive copy when I can try a much more strategically familiar
> (slow incremental migratory upload)  way to achieve the exact same end
> result ?
> It's like abseiling down the skyscraper instead of taking the lift.
> Sure it's _exciting_ but obviously more risky.

I don't understand your point. What if we all agree that the
destructive copying will be at least as reliable as walking across the
room is. Is still possible that you might die or lose your identity
through the process? If so, what evidence is there that walking
doesn't have the same bad effect, and we just don't realise it?

> I'm claiming 2 things really
> It's rational to choose the lower risk option if the rewards are
> equal. No soul required. Even a non-sentient algorithm could make the
> same choice.
> and entirely separately
> if your upload machine in any way performs a "copy" operation then by
> definition it has created a universe where there are 2 of that thing,
> any subsequent events such as destruction cannot reach back in time
> and alter that fact regardless of the details.

But we can arrange it so that the two things do not exist
simultaneously. It's the same with walking: you vanish from the
universe at one point and reappear at another point.

> it's a matter for culture to debate the value of anything destroyed .
> Logic cannot prove what was destroyed had no value outside of a
> cultural context. Culture is obviously subjective.

Well, conceivably there might be people who mourn the death of their
former selves when they realise that over the course of a year almost
all the original matter in their body has been replaced.

Stathis Papaioannou

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