Re: Real Decisions based on QTI

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 1999 10:50:54 +1000 (EST)

> Russell Standish wrote (last week):
> >The second issue is in relation to euthanasia. I used to be in favour
> >of this, on the basis that I grew up on a farm, and understood the
> >phrase "putting it out of its misery". However, the process of
> >attempting to kill someone is only likely to increase their suffering
> >in those worlds where they survive. So now I'm against euthanasia, at
> >least until someone can convince me they can control the outcome of
> >the "merciful death" well enough to ensure that the patient is almost
> >always in a better world because of it.
> >
> >On the same vein, it would take a lot of convincing to get me to ge
> >through one of Bruno Marchal's teleportation devices.
> It would take a lot of convincing me either. I guess you know this
> doesn't change the conclusion of the thought experiments.
> Russell Standish wrote also:
> >I agree that QTI seems to imply both heaven and hell are in the here
> >and now, and which version of eternity you experience depends on how
> >you conduct you life (maybe Christians have got it half right!).
> >> [BM] QTI justifies a "death" as smooth as possible. It is natural
> >> to think that, in a society where Quantum (or comp) immortality
> >> will be believed by the general public (if ever), euthanasia
> >> will be the rule (after all, [cf Russell Standish]).
> >>
> >
> >Except that I think I was implying the opposite conclusion (Euthanasia
> >is a form of torture).
> I know. But I'm still astonished. By definition "eu-thanasia" is supposed
> to
> mean "soft-death". With comp/MWI there are reasons to think that it is
> the very
> way we die wich could influence the immediate quality of the
> "continuation".
> So, in case you are dying+suffering, euthanasia could perhaps
> prevent your going in hell.

I should qualify this by saying that I'm thinking in terms of
euthanasia as practised today (ie under the concept that there really
is death, and that this would end suffering). If, instead, euthanasia
could be developed so as to produce a positive outcome for the
"continuation", then this is a different story.

> And for the same reason, when you say the version of eternity you
> experience depends on how you conduct your life, I really would like you
> to be true, but I'm afraid that with comp/MWI only the quality of the
> last instants will determine the quality of, let us say a significant
> initial segment of that *eternity*.

There is a very long memory in the world we exist. For example, if I
chose to go around murdering people, I should expect to experience
many years of confinement, and possibly attempts on my own life, which
would quite possibly put me in crippled state for a long time, if not

On the other hand, if I go around being nice to others, and being
generous, then other peoples actions tend to be positive towards
you. This "law" goes by many different name - Judeo-Christian ideas of
justice and the "Golden Rule" of Christianity; the principle of
humanism; Bhuddist karma and so on. Evolutionary Biologists use this
principle to explain the existence of altruism in the natural world
(otherwise altruism is rather hard to explain). Whatever you call it, it is
roughly true (perhaps in a statistical sense, rather than an absolute
sense), and the time constant of that memory is at least several
generations, although presumably one can outlive bad deeds
eventually. The time constant could not be described as an "instant".

> (Note that some taoist seems to have similar believes).
> I have no definite opinion on these matters, I would be very glad if
> you are correct, but at this stage, it seems to me that your saying
> is not justified neither by comp nor MWI, and may even be in
> contradiction with it.
> Bruno

Dr. Russell Standish Director
High Performance Computing Support Unit,
University of NSW Phone 9385 6967
Sydney 2052 Fax 9385 7123
Room 2075, Red Centre
Received on Mon Jun 28 1999 - 17:49:22 PDT

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