Re: Cryo-suspension for death row

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Tue Oct 10 2000 - 12:20:06 MDT

Eugene Leitl wrote:
> Alex Future Bokov writes:
> > from being unconscious though, I'd rather suffer continuously than be
> > unconscious.
> Alex, we're not just talking about a bad tooth here. Or just what
> people in concentration camps and gulags went through, nasty enough as
> it was. We're talking about what diverse secret services all over the
> world have been doing.

Maybe you should start talking in generalities before this argument gets any
more stomach-wrenching than it already is. Regardless of whether or not the
Christian Hell will (A) fail after a couple of thousand years due to cognitive
aging making the brain go kaput or (B) become ignorable after a few thousand
years of accumulation of cognitive complexity resulting in transhumanity; and
regardless of whether cognitive tampering (rather than just environmental
tampering) could ensure a genuine eternal hell, with no possibility of it ever
getting better...

I think you may be arguing over a Fifth Postulate of ethics: Whether eternal
hell is preferable to complete nonexistence. I, myself, would take
nonexistence, and I suspect that nonexistence may be the "correct" answer in
the sense that any really and truly fully informed human would probably choose
nonexistence, but it's nonetheless possible to imagine an ethical system where
any life at all is preferable to nonlife, even in the complete absence of

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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