Will the God of biomechanics be angry if we hedge our bets?

by Steve Cardon
(Aguada, Puerto Rico)

Pascal’s famous wager was a brilliant piece of work not from the narrow sense of taking it as a literal choice, but because it provided such a marvelous framework from which to explore the nature of beliefs (or non-beliefs) and the possible consequences of acting, or not acting upon them.

It is, in reality, a false choice as you are going to believe what you are going to believe regardless. Trying to convince yourself/fool yourself/program yourself into believing something that is against your natural inclination is of course ultimately futile. A god that would reward such dishonesty would be irrational and not someone to be trusted for an eternity in any event.

The God of the bibles old testament was a jealous god who would punish man for worshipping any other. In pantheistic cultures, however, one could hedge ones bets and worship many gods at the same time.

So it is, figuratively speaking, with Trans-humanistic ideas and efforts. Within the community of scientists and philosophers seeking to unravel the puzzles of self- continuity and advancement, ideas and theories are varied and abundant. With the vast array of conceptions and arguments about the nature of consciousness Vis a Vis technology, I think it is most heartening to bear in mind that going forward emerging technologies are likely to put us in a position of being able to hedge our bets regardless of who is right.

I believe that we have a reasonably good hope that some portion of our consciousness will survive our body’s expiration in any event. Therefore, I would posit any existential wager as win/win to the extent that science presses forward.

A God who expects us to ignore our reason, and pretend to believe in something with no conclusive proof or even convincing evidence is a non-starter. He/she doesn’t exist. If there is a God, he rewards our consciousness for honesty and integrity of intellect, not self-deception. He rewards us for showing respect, and living a productive life. Anything else is pretty much inconceivable for an advanced being/creator of any sort.

If our consciousness is nothing more than the sum of information contained in our neural circuitry, many now alive may well live to see new containers created in which that information can be effectively uploaded/backed up. Ideally to be placed within a prosthetic of some sort that allows movement and sensory feedback… if not in the “real” world, then perhaps in a virtual world while awaiting further advances. Cryonics may provide means of preservation for others who expire before sufficient technology exists.

If we do have an underlying awareness that survives the death of our human animal, it will do what is natural in any event. Probably seek the next host… and at some point that next host may well be something that humans beings have engineered.

If we die, and there is nothing else, then the only real loss is to those who are still living who have lost a unique individual in totality. In my opinion Pascal’s wager is rendered irrelevant in a coming age where we can simultaneously seek every avenue of self-perpetuation, and take comfort in doing so.

Now the real challenge is to persuade others to help provide the resources and incentives necessary to get us to first base. First base, in my opinion and others, is finding a way to Cryonically preserve our brains/bodies until such time as other technologies provide a reliable means of revival and transference.

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