Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel

One of the White Guys of the Future over at IEET, Alex McGilvery ponders whether techno-immortalized Robot Cultists uploaded into cyber-heaven should worry about being excluded from, you know, Heaven heaven. Needless to say, I’m a crusty atheist who doesn’t believe either in Sky Daddies or Robot Daddies (or more fanciful daddies of the Nicolas Flamel, Santa Claus varieties) myself, and cannot claim to get the appeal of immortalization magicks involving incantations, prayers, nano-daydreams, and so on. I must sat, I am relieved to hear that McGilvery thinks even thawed cryonauts in shiny robot bodies may still be able to arrive at Nirvana or Ascendance before the heat death of the universe if they manage to direct their techno-superintelligence in properly super-meditative super-good-deed-doing directions.


Chad Lott said...

I'm pretty sure erotic vampire fiction addresses this dilemma.

As soon as you become non-human and immortal your soul is tied to the undead/robotic form and then you're damned.

This is definitive, right?

Dale Carrico said...

It remains for Very Serious Futurologists to weigh in on the damned if you do damned if you don't dilemma however.

jimf said...

> I'm pretty sure erotic vampire fiction addresses this dilemma.

Anne Rice has it **all** figured out.

She's into werewolves now.

But seriously, techno-immortalization isn't looking good
from the point of view of Heaven heaven, at least
according to C. S. Lewis:

"Death . . . is a safety-device because, once Man
has fallen, natural immortality would be the one utterly
hopeless destiny for him. Aided to the surrender
that he must make by no external necessity of
Death, free (if you call it freedom) to rivet faster
and faster about himself through unending centuries
the chains of his own pride and lust and of the
nightmare civilizations which these build up in
ever-increasing power and complication, he
would progress from being merely a fallen man
to being a fiend, possibly beyond all modes of

C. S. Lewis, _Miracles_,
Chapter 14 "The Grand Miracle", p. 210

Chad Lott said...

How about a new literary mashup?

The Robot Lestat

Interview with the AI

Queen of the Download

jimf said...

> The Robot Lestat
> Interview with the AI
> Queen of the Download

Hey, I'd spend a Saturday afternoon with 'em at
Barnes & Noble!

Remember when bookstore personnel used to **yell at you**
if you spent too much time "browsing" without paying?
I'll bet you don't. I sure do!

In fact -- story time -- a couple of decadess ago I visited,
one afternoon, an independent SF bookstore in Manhattan
(I seem to recall it actually being called the "Science
Fiction Bookstore" and I also seem to recall it being
somewhere near St. Vincent's Hospital on 7th Ave. downtown).
Anyway, I was the only person in the store that afternoon,
and the manager was next to the cash register reading,
and I was having a leisurely browse. There was a hardcover
I was contemplating actually buying, and I picked it up
and looked at it several times. Finally, I picked it up
with the intention of taking it to the register and buying
it, and that very moment, the manager (if that's who he
was) looked up and snarled "You gonna buy something or are
you going to spend all day here?" I put the book back,
left, and never went back there.

I put a curse on them, believe you me! That's why they
went out of business. ;->

(I do actually occasionally buy books at Barnes & Noble.
In fact, I bought one there last weekend -- Robert L. Trivers'
_The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life_
I was also looking for Scotty Bowers'
_Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars_
but I couldn't find that.

I even have a Barnes & Noble membership card. I'd spend money
at the cafe, too, but it's hard to find a place to sit
down there.)

Chad Lott said...

One of my first grudges was against a man with a ponytail who gave me the move along order in Waldenbooks.

The book was the AD&D 1st Edition Player's Guide.