Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

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

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

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (28)

You are viewing a single comment's thread. Show more comments above.

Comment author: Tenoke 25 November 2012 01:00:49AM *  5 points [-]

The results of the process is effectively a copy of the old brain and personality, but with permanent brain damage in several regions - this manifests effectively as an extreme form of cerebral palsy, partial amnesia (retrograde and anteretrograde), bipolar disthymia, and a partial frontal lobotomy - in short, you'll get something that has recognizable facets of the original, but it's an utter mess.

It seems unlikely that any of those damages except retrograde amnesia can be TRULY permanent in a post-resurrection society. The bigger problem in most people's eyes (afaik) is that what you get back might have only a tiny overlap with the original and the resurrection might be more of a 'creating a new human being which shares something with the original' and less of a resurrection of the old person.

But to answer your questions if we assume that somehow things end up the way you are describing.

Q1: 1.0 if 1.0 is possible otherwise whatever they can do, I don't mind waiting while I am frozen.

Q2: I think this is at least partially addressed in the cryonics contact (That is what I was told on #lesswrong recently) so there are no ethical problems.

Q3 As far as I know cryonics operates under a last in, first out paradigm for obvious reasons.

Comment author: ialdabaoth 26 November 2012 08:09:07PM *  2 points [-]

It seems unlikely that any of those damages except retrograde amnesia can be TRULY permanent in a post-resurrection society. The bigger problem in most people's eyes (afaik) is that what you get back might have only a tiny overlap with the original and the resurrection might be more of a 'creating a new human being which shares something with the original' and less of a resurrection of the old person.

This is a good point, and a few others have touched on it as well. To me, retrograde amnesia isn't the only thing that risks permanent damage - there's also the set of basic emotional reactions and sensory preferences that we call "personality".

If someone remembered everyone that you remembered, but hated everything that you loved, would you really call that person "you"?

EDIT: It would be useful to me to know why this just got downvoted.

Comment author: Tenoke 26 November 2012 08:23:36PM 0 points [-]

If the only shared characteristic that we have is memories then probably not.

Comment author: shminux 26 November 2012 08:22:38PM 0 points [-]

If someone remembered everyone that you remembered, but hated everything that you loved, would you really call that person "you"?

Not sure about "everything", but people turn from love to hate quite often, yet no one questions that they are still the same person. Reminds me of the movie The Vow.

I have no clear definition of what constitutes the same person, once you don't take into account inhabiting the same body.

Comment author: ialdabaoth 26 November 2012 08:25:05PM *  2 points [-]

Personally, I don't think anyone does, but it does seem to be pretty deep at the bottom of this hypothetical.

EDIT: It would be useful to me to know why this just got downvoted.