Immortal Souls (Was: Space and Spirituality)

Eliezer Yudkowsky (
Thu, 19 Dec 1996 17:37:41 -0600

> Going through CNN-News web site today, I found something rather
> interesting. Two discoveries this year (the discovery of planets outside
> our solar system and the finding of what may have been primitive life on
> Mars) this week, NASA scientists, religious thinkers, and the vice
> president all sat down in Washington to talk about the future of space
> exploration--and the spiritual implications of life on other planets. If
> the religious community and people in general are shaken by these two
> findings, what will happen when uploading starts to occur? Or when the
> line between man and machine starts to get blurry?

Try turning it around: What would happen if it turns out that uploading
won't work because people DO have immortal souls, and a scientific proof
to that effect is found? What would that do to the Extropian community
and people in general?

I have a feeling that if the line between man and machine started
blurring, most religions would just ignore it or refuse to believe.
It's confirming evidence that would cause all hell to break loose...

--       Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.