For most of my life I have read on average about one book a day, but I must confess that a large number of these have been Science Fiction books. A surprisingly large number of these books have concerned not just aliens from other worlds, but humans or aliens who have transcended any form of physical bodies.
In many of such books the transcendent beings are like what we call spirits, capable of interacting with ordinary humans in terrifying or enlightening ways. In more realistic books these transcendent beings are supported in some kind of computer system or systems. A dimly recall one in which the entire surface of a planet, down to a depth of one mile, was a computer filled with human beings.
My own novels, which are much too large and elaborate to have any published form other than as files on the Internet, have a science fiction element as well, and also includes human beings living in transcendent form in a computer. But I describe quite explicitly how this is possible, and try to demonstrate how realworld humans can have their entire personality and identity tranfered into a computer, so that the being in the computer is not just a copy of the person, but the actual person. For this to happen the realworld body must either die or be placed in a coma, so that the being in the computer is most definitely the one and only person, not any kind of copy or simulation.
I view this as an entirely practical solution to the problem of immortality, and believe we should work for it.
A related issue is that of resurrection. As I describe in my books, there can be a time delay between the person’s personality and identity being transcribed, after which the physical body dies or is placed in a coma, and the actual reappearance of that person in the computer’s virtual world. There is no clear limit on that delay, so this can be form of resurrection of the dead. Indeed, where sufficient information is elsewhere available, a dead person whose personality and identity where never intentially transcribed may be resurrected.
Though written in fictional form, I believe all of this is possible and practical. It is something we should work towards.
Copyright © 2009, Douglas Pardoe Wilson