Thursday, 29 January 2015


I do not believe that consciousness continues elsewhere somehow after physical death. See here. If it does happen, then I will be very surprised. If it does not, we will never know.

Those who do believe in survival have different ideas about how it works:

(i) resurrection of the body;
(ii) immortality of the soul;
(iii) both (the Christian synthesis);
(iv) absorption into something greater.

In the case of (iv), the question arises: how does absorption differ from cessation?

In Poul Anderson's Genesis, Christian Brannock seems to undergo technological equivalents of (i)-(iv), although not in that order.

(ii) Before death, his personality is copied/uploaded into an AI system that continues indefinitely after his death.
(iv) Much later, that upload is voluntarily uploaded into a greater AI.
(i) Later again, the upload is resurrected in an emulation.

In (iv), he has become merely one set of memories in a greater consciousness. In (i), he dimly remembers (iv). But there is a difference. Many copies have been made of (ii) and none of them is the original Christian Brannock who died. If there is a supernatural hereafter, then he is there.

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