Afterlife / Immortality

Blending Light
Image from John B

While many sentients choose to stay in a physical body and experience physical immortality, others like to explore various - usually technologically mediated - afterlife options. There are a great many alternatives, and the question of toposophic ascent makes things even more unpredictable.

Some options:

Wild, feral and ruderal clades may live in much the way as their ancient ancestors, (i.e. fate unknown after death).

Some sects and clades choose to die, and have children in the normal way to continue eir bloodline (cf the selfish gene). These may or may not have extended lives, but more than a few hundred years in a nearbaseline body is sometimes considered tiresome.

Augmented humans and superbrights may extend eir lives but choose to ascend at some point, or upload into the Cybercosm and Noosphere.

Some nearbaselines and augmented sophonts have virtual backups or copies which have to be updated fairly frequently; if ey are killed or die the reconstruction will be made from the last backup so the continuity of experience is lost...

Some copies also have lives of eir own in the Cybercosm, and are of little use as replacements for the dead individual.

When an individual in a Sephirotic empire chooses to die and is uploaded in any way into the databanks e may be:

* stored inactive for a time , choosing to come back at a particular time, or at the whim of the local Power
* run as an active copy in the cybercosm- this allows for rapid change in the individual, or even multicopying into a dividual and in a relatively short time, possibly ascension of toposophic levels)
* storage or reconstitution by the local AI in some more abstract form, as part of a group mind, deconstructed into character traits as per Derrida modeling, partial emulation, etc
* reincarnation in a different body at some point, perhaps with part of the memory removed or disabled
* judged and found wanting and punished.
 
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  • Amortalist - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A person who opposes death, and who lives their life in such a way to continue their physical (or virtual) existence indefinitely. Many of the early cyborgs and transhumanists were amortalists.
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    A sophont who aspires to attain physical immortality through indefinite perpetuation of a biological, technological or cyborg body, or software equivalent. This involves various preservation and renewal measures, including intelligence modification such as life-memory archiving. Most immortalists end up losing their personal identity after a few thousand years at most.
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    While literal physical immortality remains a contentious point in a universe that, although vast, is still finite, the wonders of modern medical nano mean that all citizens of the Civilized Galaxy, to say nothing of the higher toposophic ai, are potentially immortal; at least on angelnetted worlds. See also life-extension, afterlife.
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  • Universal Immortalism - Text by M. Alan Kazlev after R. Michael Perry in Anders Sandberg's Transhuman Terminology
    The belief that death can be overcome completely, even for people already dead (including bringing back those "dead" who were not placed into biostasis) through a rational, scientific approach. Although popular with some religions and eschatologists, and even a few cliologists, it is not a widely held memeticity.
 
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Development Notes
Text by Steve Bowers

Initially published on 31 December 2007.