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Attitudes to life extension via genetic engineering

Perry E. Metzger perry at snark.imsi.com
Mon Feb 20 21:27:43 EST 1995

In article <Pine.SOL.3.91.950217144858.608A-100000 at corona> Patrick O'Neil <patrick at corona> writes:

>On Fri, 17 Feb 1995, Eugen Leitl 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. (I bother to mention this
individuals other opinions because they must never be forgotten -- he
is the sworn enemy of those who would like to live their lives in
peace, and he may someday become an actual threat to our very lives.)

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.

>You ARE inseperable from your biochemistry and evolution.

That is statement made baldly and without evidence. 

>You are NOT a movable entity or program that only coincidently
>presently occupies your biological body...you ARE your body.

Obviously you are not your body. I can remove large fractions of your
body without your consciousness noticing a thing. Perhaps, you then
claim, that you are a brain? But you are obviously not just the brain
-- were I to take the brain and freeze it, you would no longer be
conscious. To me, it is fairly obvious that your mind is an emergent
property of your biological neural substrate -- but that this same
emergent phenomenon could just as easily operate on another substrate,
and that, if you care to, you can manage to maintain perfect
continutity in the transition.

Perry Metzger		perry at imsi.com
"Just another selfish, me first kind of guy."

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