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Michaelos comments on Cryonic resurrection - an ethical hypothetical - Less Wrong Discussion

10 Post author: ialdabaoth 25 November 2012 12:44AM

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Comment author: Michaelos 26 November 2012 03:26:35PM 5 points [-]

If I am frozen, I should volunteer to be revived first/early at any number>0, the moment they get to the point where they need practice to boost the results. It seems quite likely that the net benefit of me doing this to society (which by then will likely include many related descendants of mine.) is much greater than any personal gains I'm likely to achieve. This also neatly avoids the "Well, what if NOONE volunteers to be revived early? How does the technology advance?" conundrum that might stall the technology. Because frankly, the thought of that scenario, of being on the cusp of a scientific revolution that stalls because noone volunteers for the dangerous job, and I could have, and I did not, is just horrible.

I also volunteer to be the old man who goes through the teleporter for human testing, and/or the old man to do some kind of destructive uploading, and/or the old man on a one way trip to Mars, once I actually am an old man. As a corpse, I'm even more willing to sacrifice myself for society then I would be as an old man.

Admittedly, I say this as neither a corpse nor an old man, but it doesn't seem likely for me to change my mind, although I can see circumstances where I might: Here is one of them:

"Well, you got shot in the heart this instant, and Alcor miraculously preserves you even though you aren't even signed up for cryonics, and don't live near an Alcor facility, and someone comes up with a possibly quackish revival technique in 2020, but a very reliable scientific paper indicates a much more reliable technique will be available in 5 years."

In THAT kind of case I would probably wait. But that seems like a strawman of the hypothetical. If I steelman the hypothetical, volunteering to be early seems to be the right choice.