Re: Uploading, AI, and Philosophy

Sean Hastings (
Wed, 18 Dec 1996 21:53:33 -0600

Max More wrote:
> ...
> I found this an interesting experience. It seemed that by the end of the
> class (we discussed uploading late on the second day) most of the students
> were open to the possibility of uploading a human mind into a machine.
> Considering that many of the students are Catholic, that was surprising.
> ...

I came up with an interesting argument the other day at a party. I was
discussing the reasons that people are swayed by religious beliefs, and
the man I was speaking to (a catholic) became somewhat uncomfortable. I
pointed out to him that his belief in God was irrelevant to the
discussion because the question of Godís existence was irrelevant to the
discussion. Given that God requires that man except God on faith, one
must have other reasons than proof to believe. What these reasons for
belief might be then would seem to be a legitimate line of inquiry
regardless of the truth or falsehood of Gods existence.

I said to him, "For the purposes of this discussion, I will grant you
that God exists. Now, is that truth then enough to fully explain peoples
belief in god? Or must there be other reasons? What might they be?"

His eyes got kind of wide.

It may have been the first time I actually got a religious person to
question the reasons for their beliefs. I think it was due to the fact
that I started from a position of "Ok, god exists, now what?" That let
me sneak behind his defenses.

--Sean H.
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