We are all very comfortable with the concept of backing up the
software on our computers and considering it as a totally separate
entity to the hardware. We can then, in the event of a hardware crash,
restore that software to new hardware and perhaps better hardware, and
carry on as if nothing happened.

This concept could also be applied to the data stored in the computer
hardware called the brain, all our consciousness really consists of is
the data stored, plus data accessed through our senses, processed in
the biological computer called the brain.

It is therefore a natural logical progression to believe that some time in the
future, given the advances being made in these fields, that our
human "software" could be "backed up" and then "restored" to
another biological brain or quantum computer, in the event of the
death of our bodies. To be later restored, including continued awareness and memories to a cloned body.

Because they are all scientifically possible these technologies, and other related technologies are currently being worked on. And if it can happen, logically it ultimately will happen.


That being the case, and if we are spiritual beings as theists claim,
what happens to the soul? Is it transferred with our "software" or
does it remain within the rotting hardware ? Does it go to God and
leave the "new" cloned you soulless? If the soul is transferred with
the "software" and if you then create multiple clones of your new body and
download copies of your "software" into each, does each have a
separate soul, or if there is only one soul are the others soulless
versions of you? Or does the soul and therefor God not exist?

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Replies to This Discussion

Tell that to a rock
Assuming a computer is capable of producing such a realistic simulation, right down to the floaters in my eye ball, I suppose I don't know. But it does seem pretty unlikely.
Its as unlikely today as it was to the caveman that his ancestors would ever walk on the moon.

The main thing I have learned over the years is that the only thing you can be sure of is that you can't be sure of anything.

Hate those floaters, its a sign of old age.
Is this a mind-body dichotomy question? My PC is my software, at least for that much of my brain as is ideated by the content of the PC. It is the ultimate interactive technology. I never consider the software as a "totally separate entity" for the simple reason that some technological advancements cause user-technological symbiosis just as happens to many when they drive a car. This is what led to the idea that some men are made for their cars: an urban legend has it that Corvette drivers have big weenies. I only "back-up" the details; drop-menus light up my mental menu board so that I then retrieve most thoughts connected to the file.

May I ask, are you the ghost of Phil Dick? He envisioned just such scenarios as you do when you wonder if we will evolve -- yes! evolve! -- to a marriage of brain software and technological software. I think this may be closer than you think. No one is letter-writing nowadays; the art of letter writing is passe, and the words "dot com" are more on most peoples' lips than Jebus or the Booble. There is an immediacy to the interactive (as adverse to telepassive) nature of the medium, such that a poorly worded email or bot-post can offend most egregiously, whereas, in the old days, people took a long time to compose their thoughts: it was harder to put them down with pen and paper, so they were cautious about what they wrote.

I must say, you sound downright (Mary) Shelleyan in your suggestion that we clone people or plant brainware into a clone. James Whale showed the folly of this in his old movie, but that sort of thinking belongs to ancient history. We are, as you know, closer to this than most think. Perhaps the ultimate development will be the brain's easy access to all scientific information and, as a possible result, learn how to heal herself.

The concept of soul is one of fascination for me. I wrestled with this one longer than with any theory in arriving at my atheism. It is a shame that so many Americans simply capitulate to the religion a la mode, which is of course Christeranity, when they might learn something of Hinduism and, even better, Buddhism. Yes, these faiths do require dogmatic and superstitious adherence to the twin concepts of karma and reincarnation, but that is the point. Christeranity, with its either-or eternal reward or punishment makes absolutely no more sense than the notion that a good soul will be reborn in a prince, while a bad one will become a snake. None of the adherents of either religion knows what becomes of us after we've died.

It is also true that Buddhism makes metta and compassion the most important traits to cultivate just as the Christer believes if he paints a poor man's house, he can rack up points upstairs. But there is in Buddhism (and Sam Harris caught onto it) a flexibility that even allows for atheism. In the first place, Buddhism is more in keeping with contemporary psycho-sociology. It does not push the concept of "sin," with all its connotations of a little guy with a pitchfork who dresses up in red now and then. Rather, in Buddhism we find, simply, "error." I have seen enough of those on my PC I could write a book about it. But this points up Buddhism's values system and its use as a moral code.

Buddhism's concept of the soul is so byzantine and elaborate I would not reach so far to discuss it but only say that I for one can completely understand the Buddhist idea that the personal soul is a myth; all that passes to a new host is a set of aggregates of personality, inclinations, as atheist writer Dalton Trumbo has a master asking his slave in the Kubrick film, Spartacus, "Do you like oysters or snails?"

One suspects that the Christers cling to their notion of a personal "soul" because it illustrates the degree to which they fear death. They would never make good Stoics.
Everything that performs a separate function is a separate entity. And software in a computer is no different, it can be moved from suitable computer to suitable computer just like any other part of the computer and still function equally as well. Such is the hardware of the body a body part can be moved to another suitable body and function equally as well, granted we are just at the start of such transplants but give it a few 100 years and then see what they can do. The same applies to the brain data, and with a few 1000 years of research and experimentation who can say where we will be. I simply extrapolate.

I am glad to meet with one who seems to understand the potential that man has to control his environment, including himself, and his body given enough time of course.

Herein lies true immortality and the destruction of Gods.

To the best of my knowledge we eventually revert to our individual atoms after we die, and unless the atom can think for itself then there is not much "awareness" going on. But it is possible we may be part of a snake etc. But just because I probably have some of Attila the Hun's atoms in me, does not make me Attila, I'm still plain old Bob (mores the pity I hear some say)

The Christians personal soul and other similar concepts is simply a measure of man's arrogance in thinking that they are mini Gods and somehow special in a vast Universe, despite the fact that logic dictates the opposite.
tiz in the ether mang
It rocks bro
All your soul are belong to me.

Are we still in the same discussion or have we entered another virtual reality?
And that's the truth. I find the best deception is to be totally honest in what you say, that's the one they don't expect.



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