Re: Can I kill the original?

Date: Sun May 07 2000 - 13:36:02 MDT

Dan writes:
> I happen to be willing to "die" (or whatever) so long as a pretty recent
> copy of me lives on. (By pretty recent, I mean on the order of months,
> maybe a year under extreme circumstances.)
> Why would a person be willing to do that? Well, it's because the
> continued existence of this consciousness stream is not an intrinsic end
> of mine.

IMO the only relevant question is whether minds which adopt this position
will come to outnumber those which are more conservative about letting
themselves die under such circumstances.

The real reason we don't want to die is because our ancestors who feared
death tended to survive better than those who didn't. However dying
in such a way as to leave enough genetic copies (as a bee who dies for
a hive, or the mother cat dying to defend her chickens) was generally
positive for genetic survival. We aren't descendants of bees, so we don't
think much of their ideas, but dying to defend children or relatives is
a trait admired by most people.

If direct mental reproduction becomes possible, then dying in such a way
as to save near-copies of the mind will probably be a rewarded trait.
It will come to dominate morality, whether we like it or not.


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