Re: advantages of uploading (was Re: re [2]: What is "New Age"? )

Brent Allsop (
Fri, 13 Jun 1997 09:58:18 -0600

Hagbard Celine <> asked in a personal letter,

> > (I prefer to call it spiritual stuff)
> Why do you prefer this?

Thank you for asking. I hope you don't mind if I reply to
this publicly since I would love to have much more discussion about
this topic.

There are many reason. First and foremost it seems to me to
be the most natural. This is a vast "cartoon world" inside our mind
that is everything we know. At the center of this "cartoon world" is
a representation of ourselves. It is isomorphically very identical to
our real physical selves and mirrors our physical selves via data
collected by our senses. Calling this our spiritual selves certainly
sounds much better than calling it a "cartoon" rendition of ourselves.
I've always had troubles with words like "qualia" and such. People
have no idea what you are talking about when you use those kinds of
words. A quality is something that is not real, but ideas are very
real and have qualities. Green is something real that has qualities.
It is these real qualities that give us our ability to consciously
represent information.

"Idea" is another word that is used a lot but people confuse
this with more cognitive representations and thoughts or memories than
with something more tangible like color itself. Too many people
mistakenly think the color green is something beyond your eye on the
surface of a tree and an idea is something in your mind. They are
both spiritual stuff and everything we consciously know is constructed
of various forms of this stuff inside our heads.

Calling it a virtual reality world is also incorrect. A
virtual reality world is abstract. It doesn't matter what is doing
the representation. But in our spirit world red abstractly represents
other things but it itself is not abstract. It most definitely
matters how it is represented. In a virtual reality world you can
swap the meaning of one's and zeros (or whatever is doing the actual
physical representation of such) and everything will still act the
same. But if you swap red and blue you have a very different
conscious spirit world.

Further, scientists and philosophers have been avoiding this
"S" word for years now. I ask why? This is what has caused the great
divide between scientific thinking and religious thinking. To me, the
most important goal of science today is to discover what this
substance of ideas is. What is consciousness made of? I believe we
are about to discover precisely what this mirracusouls phenomenal
stuff is as Crick argues in his book: "The Astonishing Hypothesis".
This will be the most significant discovery made to date by man. This
discovery is what will make uploading possible. For me, it is
precisely the discovery of the spiritual.

Realizing that this spirit world exists inside our mind
rationally explains all the "spiritual" phenomenon religious people
claim proves we have a spirit. Of course it is possible for our
spiritual selves to have an out of body experience in this cartoon
world. Of course there is phantom limb pain after an amputation. It
is the spiritual self in our brain which hasn't had it's spirit limb
amputated feeling the phantom pain. This is real stuff that really
exists just as our physical body exists. We must call it something.
What is more natural than calling it the spiritual self inside the
spiritual world inside our brain?

Anything is possible in this dream world and that is why so
many people have so many experiences that they think are "spiritually
supper natural". They are spiritual but they are not supper natural.
If people realized that all this was simply occuring in the natural
fantasy spirit world inside our brain and not beyond our brain people
could more rationally think about and understand the significance of
all such occurrences.

Also, most people reject the notion of abstract uploading
because deep down they know there is something spiritual inside of us.
What an abstract machine uses to represent red is very different than
what we use to represent red. True, we will be able to make an
abstract copy of ourselves that has no spirit at all, but this is not
uploading. It is only abstract simulation. There is no feeling
involved. Such would be a zombie that would be lying when it was
trying to describe what the color blue is really like since none of
what it knew would be represented with real blue. Blue is not some
abstract representation of a particular wavelength of light. It is
something very phenomenal and real. It is like something and not
merely abstract. We must accept the fact that an upload must be to a
similar spiritual platform which uses the same emotional or phenomenal
stuff to consciously represent this particular wavelength of light not
merely any old abstract representation.

These are my thoughs on this subject, what do you think? Do
you fear or wince at the idea of calling it "spiritual" stuff? If so
then why?

Brent Allsop