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Atheist immortality: Uploading one’s mind to a computer

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From Shivali Best at Daily Mail:

Professor Cox said that he found ‘no reason at all’ why human intelligence couldn’t be simulated by computers – although he did not express a timeline for this to happen.

Classic. Last we heard, the mind doesn’t really exist and our perceptions are hallucinations. funny, all that stuff disappears when these immortality-through-AI ideas hold the floor instead.

In a recent article for The Conversation, Professor Richard Jones, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Sheffield outlined some ‘serious problems’ with the idea.

He said: ‘To replicate the mind digitally we would have to map each of these connections, something that is far beyond our current capabilities.

Even if we could create such a “wiring diagram” for a living brain, that wouldn’t be enough to understand how it operates. More.

One senses, however, that the problems don’t matter. The idea has a life of its own.

See also: “Many worlds” multiverse now explains problem of evil? Brian Cox

Physicist Brian Cox on how to think about the multiverse I think we can take it as a given that Cox will get his multiverse whether it has anything to do with science, as we presently understand it, or not. And that “thinking” will gradually become acquiescence in whatever the multiversers imagine. Some day there will be science again.

Post-modern science: The illusion of consciousness sees through itself

Dan Brown: AI Collective consciousness will replace God: ‘Our need for that exterior god, that sits up there and judges us … will diminish and eventually disappear,’ he added.

Postmodernism in science 101: You think outside your brain and the world thinks for you Unlike octopuses, of course, people face environments in which some people (cf Marx and Adorno) would use neuroscience to control and shape human beings. Post-modernism is always about giving post-modernists power that they could not gain in a thought structure that depends on rationality and objectivity.

20 Replies to “Atheist immortality: Uploading one’s mind to a computer

  1. 1
    Axel says:

    There are estimated to be 10 to the power of 15 synapses in the brain of a three-year-old. Presumably few would be necessary, since a relatively minuscule number of such connections would be needed by the most sophisticated computer the above experts could envisage.

  2. 2
    Mark from CO says:

    I’ve never understand this idea of ‘uploading your mind to a computer.’ It seems to me that you are not uploading what constitutes ‘you.’ Assuming it is possible, isn’t what is happening is that a copy of ‘you’ is being made? Like a clone. But in no one’s world is that clone really, really you. It is someone else.

    Mark from CO

  3. 3
    Mung says:

    Axel,

    My plan is to wait until older to upload my brain, after most of it is gone. Along with my liver.

    Cheers!

  4. 4
    Mung says:

    I also plan to stick around after uploading my brain so that my computer mind will have someone interesting to talk to.

  5. 5
    J-Mac says:

    Until the essential ingredient of consciousness or what makes us having the experience being conscious is identified or explained, all, not only atheists, can only dream about this kind of immortality…

    Unless biologists copy the immortal jellyfish’s mechanism… lol

  6. 6
    Sebestyen says:

    The idea of emulating a brain with a computer seems to me kinda like trying to build a modern day computer with mechanical components. Theoretically possible to some degree at least, but hugely impractical and with limitations due to the different nature of the components.

    So far it’s not even clear how a brain actually works in detail, so how can anyone say it could be possible to emulate it? It’s like chrysopoeia all over again…

    Sebestyen

  7. 7
    polistra says:

    Even before you get to the obvious questions about soul and awareness, there’s a basic mechanical problem. A digital system CANNOT emulate an analog organism. The organism depends on a practically infinite and constantly changing network of SIMULTANEOUS feedback loops. No digital system can ever emulate SIMULTANEOUS feedback.

    It might be possible to build an analog system with precise electrical equivalents of neurons and glial cells and so on, but it would still lack the ability to re-form and adjust its connections.

    The only functional replacement of an organism is another organism, ie a clone. That’s the only practical route.

  8. 8
    EricMH says:

    If consciousness is software, then the same software is the same consciousness. Run EricMH 2.0 on two computers at the same time and I’ll become conscious of both instantaneously, violating the rule that information does not transfer faster than the speed of light.

  9. 9
    EricMH says:

    If consciousness is software, then any Turing complete system is potentially conscious. Pebbles on a beach can be used to instantiate Conway’s Game of Life, which is Turing complete.

    Therefore, pebbles on a beach in the right configuration become conscious.

  10. 10
    EricMH says:

    If someone believes the mind can be uploaded, offer them this condition: their mind will be uploaded into a computational world that fulfills their every desire, but only on condition of a bullet to the brain.

    Most believe their mind is fundamentally different than computation, and will not accept the offer regardless of any evidence and assurance the scheme really works.

  11. 11
    Dionisio says:

    Shouldn’t the OP headline read “Atheist immorality” instead?

    🙂

  12. 12
    Dionisio says:

    It has been demonstrated that the amount of nonsense and hogwash that can be presented online is practically unlimited. The information referenced in this OP is an example of that.

  13. 13
    Latemarch says:

    Given the number of hardware failures I’ve had in my short life, I think that immortality by computer will be rather fleeting.

  14. 14
    rvb8 says:

    Reading the religiously inclined here, it is impossible not to quote from Darwin:

    “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”

    Ring any bells?

  15. 15

    Ring any bells?

    Yes it does. It sounds just like you – an abusive horse’s ass who runs from the scientific evidence in his opponent’s arguments while simultaneously spitting at them and being proud of it. Damn if it don’t fit you to a tee.

  16. 16
    Dionisio says:

    Quoting the guy who grossly extrapolated the embedded variability framework (EVF) orchestrated within the biological systems onto his archaic pseudoscientific macroevolutionary fairytale seems like a joke here. Oh, well. What else is new?

  17. 17
    Dionisio says:

    First they should try to resolve this:

    https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs11245-017-9459-7.pdf

    which doesn’t seem near resolution yet.

    Otherwise they won’t know what to upload to their immortal computers.

    Stop daydreaming and get to work!

    Il tempo vola!

    🙂

  18. 18
    johnnyb says:

    EricMH –

    A great example of your idea in pop culture is in Marvel’s “Agents of Shield”. I have to believe that at least one writer of that series is a strong ID proponent.

    Basically, there is a guy (Radcliffe) who is putting people in a place called “The Framework” which is a simulated reality. He build an android to protect both himself and the framework. However, the AI was conflicted because she thought that Radcliffe was a threat to the framework itself, thus creating a contradictory program.

    To solve the problem, she asked Radcliffe if being in the framework was just as alive as being alive in the real world. Radcliffe assured her that it was. So, the AI attacked Radcliffe, uploaded his consciousness into The Framework, and then killed his body.

    I think the goal of that was to show people the ridiculousness of this idea.

  19. 19
    J-Mac says:

    rvb8,

    Ignorance you say?

    What would you upload to a computer exactly? Mind is a broad term and no many people can even define it… not to mention find it…which I’d suggest you do first… 😉

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    A case of it must be, as in the mind must be an artifact of computation on the evolutionary materialistic view.

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