Sunday, August 03, 2008

One year

Since my birth mum passed, it saved her from the agony of the cancer inadequately treated and misdiagnosed, it was relatively quick and she was 56. It is death that challenges my atheism, that makes me wish more than anything that I'll see her again, but I have joy of the time we did have and the memories that will be with me till my final breath. Nine wonderful years for which I will always be grateful.

4 comments:

ZenTiger said...

It's not just death that challenges atheism, but some of the circumstances that unfold in our lives to give us another experience that helps us to grow.

My condolences on your loss and my admiration for your attitude to appreciate what you gained.

Ruth said...

Those we love live on Scott. They never really leave us. Religious belief has nothing to do with that.

My sympathy to you and yours. We were arguing the same thing a few weeks ago when a member of the family passed away. It's an eternal question I guess.

libertyscott said...

Thank you Zen and Ruth.

Brian S said...

Scott,

Death is actually a much more complicated thing than most people realize. The reason is that reality has a branching structure. When you are faced with a choice between, say, tea and coffee, there are versions of yourself that choose tea and other versions of yourself that choose coffee. This is Many Worlds physics.

Taking Many Worlds seriously means that you should recognise that all the versions of yourself branching off from your present moment are real and that you should act in a way that maximises your chances of life, wealth, and happiness. For when you do this, you maximize the chances that each future version of yourself will have a good life. Acting recklessly means more versions of yourself will die early.

Death, then, in Many Worlds means a reduction in "measure": the proportion of versions of yourself that are alive becomes thinner. What you should want is to ensure that your measure is not just "noise" when life extension technologies really start taking off. Take whatever steps are necessary now to ensure versions of yourself will survive into this time. Consider cryonics. Promote libertarianism. Support AI research etc.

Many Worlds is controversial. It shouldn't be. As Elizer Yudhowsky says here:

The debate should already be over. It should have been over fifty years ago. The state of evidence is too lopsided to justify further argument. There is no balance in this issue. There is no rational controversy to teach. ... Our children will look back at the fact that we were STILL ARGUING about this in the early 21st-century, and correctly deduce that we were nuts.

Unfortunately, all the Objectivists I know are in a state of denial about Many Worlds. Sigh.