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Attitudes to life extension via genetic engineering

Patrick O'Neil patrick at corona
Mon Feb 20 23:53:20 EST 1995

On 21 Feb 1995, Perry E. Metzger wrote:

> >> There can't be any crash since the hardware is very special and has only
> >> a "Virtual Machine"/Soft Circuit layer: no software, it's all 
> >> architecture, running a special data structure (me).
> >No, it would NOT be you.  It would be a machine programed to simulate 
> >you.  You would be dead and a poor "copy" of you would be used to animate 
> >a machine.
> Ah, I see the Neonazi Ecologist (remember that this gentleman has
> proposed the genetic engineering of diseases to kill off most of us on
> the planet) rears his ugly head again. 

Ah, well I need not even address the personal nature of your attack 
here.  It is very telling, however, to equate those who actually DO 
biological research and, therefore, care about all biological organisms 
as a result, to NAZIs at all.

> Well, Mr. O'Nazi, if you were transfered slowly enough -- say each of
> your neurons was replaced with an electronic equivalent one by one --
> the result would be at least as much "you" as your self six weeks from
> now is the same "you" as "you" are today -- after all, braincells
> die with time, constituent materials of the cells are replaced, etc.

Irrelevant.  If I cloned you, even though the person that resulted would 
be genetically and biologically identical to you in practically every way 
(with allowances made for different environmental influences), it would 
NOT be you any more than identical twins are the same person.  They are 
seperate individuals, period.  The clone I made would be nothing more 
than your identical twin and an entirely seperate entity from you.  There 
is no possibility of tranfering you into this organism.  The same goes 
for transfer into devices such as computers.  You transfer an imprint of 
information, translated down into digital format.  Just as the best 
picture of the Grand Canyon is NOT the Grand Canyon, so too the replica 
of your mental data would not be you.  Your consciousness terminates with 
your biological termination.  Star Trek is NOT reality, herr Metzger.


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