Sunday, July 11, 2010

Ethics of historical revivification

Thought experiment: Assuming a world or worlds without basic resource constraints, if technologically possible, would it be more humane or less human humane to revive dead persons from history? Even those recently dead could be out of sync with the current milieu. Obviously, there would need to be rehab programs as contemplated in science fiction, for example,

"Life 101: Introducing Genghis Khan to the iPhone"
If is arguable that some large percent of dead persons would find enjoyment and utility in revivification.

The interpretation of the core rights of the individual could be different in the future. “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” seems immutable, even when considered in the possible farther future context of many worlds, uploaded mindfiles, and human/AI hybrid intelligences. However, how these principles are applied in practice could seem strange from different historical viewpoints.

Attributes that might be important to an individual now, for example embodiment or corporeality (being physically instantiated in a body), could well be moot in the future. On-demand instantiation could be a norm to complement digital mindfiles.

It could be queried whether revived historical persons should have the option to re-die? Dying and suicide could be much different conceptually in a digital upload culture. Choosing not to run your mindfile could be legal, but deleting it (and all backups) could be the equivalent of suicide, which is generally illegal in contemporary society.

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