I am 42 years old and wish to think that some part of me will live
forever. I have an even stronger wish to think that my loved ones will
live forever. This deep wish to believe in an afterlife is quite
common if not even universal. It contributed to the origin of religion
(ref. Max More's essay "Transhumanism: towards a futurist
I am reasonably confident that the first uploading experiments will be performed during my lifetime. At the same time I do not think that uploading will be an operational technology in useful time (that is, in time to live forever or at least a very long time by having my
"self" and memories transferred somewhere else).
Cryonics may be an answer: have yourself frozen up until uploading becomes an operational technology and that's it. But some of my loved ones would not accept it as it would go against their beliefs, and even worse some are dead already. So at least from my point of view uploading and cryonics are not an answer to the deep wish to believe in an afterlife.
Why not considering afterlife as a goal? Imagine a future thanshuman civilisation, spread over the galaxy, with a mastery of space-time sufficient to reach "somehow" into the past and record "somehow" selves and memories of human beings. Back to the future, these could be uploaded to whatever physical structure is used those days as a vehicle for human consciousness.
So the basic concepts of religion would become: God exists, we will evolve into it; Heaven exists, it is where God lives, A concept of
"Purgatorium" could also be formulated in this framework as some
personalities might need re-engineering before "Heaven". Even more interesting, the ethical/moral values of "God" are exactly the same that our own civilisation will develop.
I am sure these ideas have been explored by thinkers (Theilard?) and discussed on the Extropian list. Any good references? By the way this is my first posting to the list, I look forward to discussing interesting things.