Why are we addicted to Religion?• Fear of death.• Wish to see our dead loved ones again.• Other reasons are much less important.• Radical life extension and mind uploading offer immortality (in the sense of indefinite lifespan) but this is not enough.• A memetically strong religion needs to offer resurrection besides immortality.• Of course, we want to offer hope in resurrection based on science and technology.• How?
A meta research project• Develop some ideas on how future scientists might resurrect the dead.• I mean dead dead, no frozen bodies, no preserved brains, no mindfiles.• Quantum Archaeology, entanglement across time, future-to- past wormholes and this kind of things.• This is far-future science and tech, but I am persuaded that contemplating the possibility of future resurrection can make people happier here and now.• Turing Church Online Workshop 3, Winter 2012.
Some convictions (by ?)• It’s highly plausible that in the universe there are God-like creatures.• There are very probably alien civilizations that are superhuman, to the point of being god-like in ways that exceed anything a theologian could possibly imagine.• Their technical achievements would seem as supernatural to us as ours would seem to a Dark Age peasant transported to the twenty-first century. Imagine his response to a laptop computer, a mobile telephone, a hydrogen bomb or a jumbo jet. As Arthur C Clarke put it, in his Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.’• In what sense, then, would the most advanced SETI aliens not be gods?
Some convictions (by Richard Dawkins)• Science-fiction authors . . . have even suggested (and I cannot think how to disprove it) that we live in a computer simulation, set up by some vastly superior civilization. But the simulators themselves would have to come from somewhere. The laws of probability forbid all notions of their spontaneously appearing without simpler antecedents. They probably owe their existence to a (perhaps unfamiliar) version of Darwinian evolution...”• By Richard Dawkins, in The God Delusion
Two principles• Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. - Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law• There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. - William Shakespeare, Hamlet
The right attitude• "So will the Universe end in a big crunch, or in an infinite expansion of dead stars, or in some other manner? In my view, the primary issue is not the mass of the Universe, or the possible existence of antigravity, or of Einsteins so-called cosmological constant. Rather, the fate of the Universe is a decision yet to be made, one which we will intelligently consider when the time is right.” - Ray Kurzweil, The Age of Spiritual Machines
Three cornerstones of a transhumanist religion• Mind uploading - someday it will be possible to transfer entire personalities from their original biological brain to more durable and powerful engineered substrates.• Time-scanning (aka “Quantum Archaeology”) - someday it will be possible to acquire very detailed information from the past. Once time-scanning is available, we will be able to resurrect people from the past by “copying them to the future” via mind uploading.• Synthetic realities - someday it will be possible to build artificial realities inhabited by sentient life. Perhaps future humans will live in synthetic realities. Perhaps we will wake up in a synthetic reality after having been copied to the future. Or… perhaps we are already there.
Uploading, Resurrection, Synthetic Realities• Following the Turing-Church conjecture, a human mind can be transferred from a biological brain to another computational substrate (Mind Uploading).• Mind Uploading research is ongoing and may achieve practical results in this century, perhaps in only a few decades.• Once Mind Uploading technology is available, humans will be able to live indefinitely in non biological bodies and make backup copies of themselves.• Future civilizations of uploads will colonize the galaxy and the universe, and perhaps they will be able to resurrect the dead by "copying them to the future".• Perhaps they will be able to create synthetic realities inhabited by sentient minds, and perhaps we ourselves are sentient minds in a synthetic, computationally generated reality.
‘Supernatural’ and ‘miracles’ in simulations• We believe reality is fully understandable and explainable by science.• If our reality is a simulation, everything in our universe can be understood in terms of the physical laws of the higher level reality in which it is simulated.• But not necessarily in terms of our reality: The reality engineer up there, the Transcendent Mind, may choose to violate the rules of the game.• The reality engineers cannot violate the laws of their physics, but they can violate the laws of our physics.• According to our best scientific understanding, it seems that the dead stay dead. But if we live in a simulation, the Mind can copy us to new simulation.
Quantum Archeology• Quantum Archaeology is a set of hypothetical far future technologies that, presumably through the application of yet undiscovered quantum effects, will permit reconstructing past events up to any desired resolution in space and time.• In particular, Quantum Archaeology will permit reconstructing the life, thoughts, memories and feelings of any person in the past, up to any desired level of detail, and thus resurrecting the original person via "copying to the future."
Three starting points (?)• According to Deutsch, other times are special cases of other universes (other branches of the MWI multiverse). If quantum entanglement extends across time, then it should be possible to find present systems entangled to past systems.• In the MWI there is no collapse of the state vector that irreversibly discards information. This should imply that information is preserved in the multiverse.• Reversible computing is the most energy-efficient form of computing, because only destroying information requires energy. If reversible computing is the most energy-efficient form of computing, it makes sense to think that the universe does reversible computing, and all information lost is available in "hidden output registers" that we could eventually find and read.
Moravec’s resurrection• “Is robotics researcher Hans Moravec serious about the possibility of reconstructing a human being from "clues" left behind on an atomic level? The answer is "yes.”… Assuming the artificial intelligences now have truly overwhelming processing power, they should be able to reconstruct human society in every detail by tracing atomic events backward in time. "It will cost them very little to preserve us this way," he points out.” - Hans Moravec, interviewed by Charles Platt, 1995• “Perhaps we are most likely to find ourselves reconstituted in the minds of superintelligent successors.” - Hans Moravec, Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind• Note: A processor able to run simulated persons is not a computer, but a person. Not a mere machine, but a Transcendent Mind.
Tipler’s Omega Point• Intelligent beings of a far future epoch develop the capability to steer the dynamics of the universe in such a way as to make unlimited subjective time, energy, and computational power available to them before reaching a final singularity (Omega Point).• They restore to consciousness all sentient beings of the past, perhaps through a “brute force” computational emulation of the past history of the universe.• Our successors may be able to engineer conditions suitable for the emergence of an Omega Point.• After death we may wake up in a simulated environment with many of the features assigned to the afterlife world by the major religions.
Clarke-Baxter’s time scanning• In “The Light of Other Days” by Sir Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter:• The fabric of space-time is full of micro-wormholes connecting every point of space-time with every other point of space-time.• Scientists develop the capability to resurrect the dead by time scanning, copying them from their past (our present) and uploading them to their present (our future).• Idea: if there are not micro wormholes suitable for time scanning, perhaps we can make some.• ‘Quantum Archaeology’ may be able to reconstruct the past via quantum entanglement across time, or similar weird ideas.
Bainbridge-Rothblatt soft uploading• We can write a lot of high-level information out of the brain as diaries, blogs, pictures, videos, answers to personality tests, etc. to create over the years a large database of personal information (mindfile, see CybeRev and Lifenaut).• The hope is that some future technology may be able to bring the information in the mindfile to life as a valid continuation (from both objective and subjective points of view) of the original person.• Future revival tech may include AI and generic models of human minds (“me-program” that can act as a lower level layer of firmware and system software for the higher-level personal information in a mindfile.