Boston Review | Cheating death: philosophers ponder the afterlife

February 1, 2012

Source: Boston Review — February 1, 2012 | Alex Byrne

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For the futurist Ray Kurzweil, hope lies in the possibility that he will be uploaded to new and shiny hardware—as pictures are transferred to Facebook’s servers—leaving his outmoded biological container behind.

Isn’t all this a pipe dream? Why isn’t “uploading” merely a way of producing a perfect Kurzweil-impersonator, rather than the real thing? Cryogenic storage might help if I am still alive when frozen, but what good is it after I am dead? And is the religious line any more plausible? “Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust” hardly sounds like the dawn of a new day. [...]