Forever and Again

Journal of Ethics and Emerging Technologies 28 (1):31-56 (2018)
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This article explores theoretical conditions necessary for “quantum immortality” as well as its possible practical implications. It is demonstrated that QI is a particular case of “multiverse immortality”, which is based on two main assumptions: the very large size of the universe ; and a copy-friendly theory of personal identity. It is shown that a popular objection about lowering of the world-share of an observer in the case of QI does not succeed, as the world-share decline could be compensated by merging timelines for the simpler minds, and because some types of personal preferences are not dependent on such changes. Despite large uncertainty about the truth of MI, it has appreciable practical consequences for some important outcomes like suicide and aging. The article demonstrates that MI could be used to significantly increase the expected subjective probability of success of risky life extension technologies, such as cryonics, but that it makes euthanasia impractical because of the risk of eternal suffering. Euthanasia should be replaced with cryothanasia, i.e. cryopreservation after voluntary death. Another possible application of MI is as a last chance to survive a global catastrophe. MI could be considered a Plan D for reaching immortality, where Plan A consists of survival until the development of beneficial Artificial Intelligence capable of fighting aging, Plan B employs cryonics, and Plan C is digital immortality.



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Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
The Moving Spotlight Theory.Daniel Deasy - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2073-2089.
Are We Living in a Computer Simulation?Nick Bostrom - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):243-255.

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