X-Message-Number: 24912
From: "Michael C Price" <>
References: <>
Subject: Hell; biological brains
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2004 05:45:33 +0100

Mike Perry wrote:
>> I think the prospect of such resurrections is realistic due to
>> certain other possibilities I consider likely, such as parallel
>> universes. It's important to me that a pathway to the renewal
>> of life exist--so the dead will have not died in vain, and all will,
>> one hopes, eventually enjoy eternal bliss. Overall it suggests that
>> life, not death, is the ultimate fate of any individual, even those
>> who are sure they don't want immortality--you will just have to
>> learn to live with it, whether you like it or not. (You will like it
>> in the end, however, I feel reasonably sure.) In the scientifically
>> engineered heaven that I imagine
> Mike Price answered:
>>In the infinity diverse multiverse which you & I believe in there must
>>be scientifically engineered hells full of boiling pitch and demons with
>>pitchforks, "creepy-crawly things or lakes of lava".  Of course we
>>can find shaky super-rationalist based arguments, to say that the
>>heavens must outnumber the hells (just many modern Christians
>>prefer to believe in heaven but not hell), but hells must exist
>>*somewhere* in this paradigm.  This is one reason *not* rely on
>>universal resurrection, but to try to live in *this* reality, forever.
> And now I respond:
> I can envision a scientifically engineered "Heaven" as a place of both
> eternal life and eternal happiness, which future advanced beings
> (including continuers of ourselves, I hope) might engineer, assuming
> cosmology permits. (Whether it will, of course, is unknown at present;
> we don't know it will not, however.) There may be other tricky ways
> of engineering a Heaven, even if our own universe is doomed. We can
> also imagine an engineered "Hell" as a place of eternal torment for
> beings trapped therein and wanting to escape, but this runs very
> counter to the way I imagine beings will develop who would have the
> power to engineer either Heaven or Hell.

Why not?  Doesn't power corrupt?  Surely the Actonian lesson of
history is that with great power comes great abuse.  Only Spiderman
thinks differently :-)

> Such beings should understand that supreme benevolence will best
> further their enlightened self-interest, and thus would be strongly
> opposed  to places of eternal retribution and suffering. [.....]

This is an example of what I meant by "shaky super-rationalist
based arguments".  Unfortunately the existence of arrational sadistic
values will (in some circumstances) outweigh any nebulous super-
rationalist "enlightened self-interest".  This, and the expected infinite
diversity in infinite multiverse(s), implies there will be some infinite-
durations hells for saints as well as sinners.  Sorry!

> Even though I discount the likelihood of anyone winding up in a state
> of eternal punishment,

I afraid this is probably an example of wishfulfillment that Ben complains
of in immortalists:  you construct complex (and valid, IMO) arguments
for the existence of techo-heavens and yet ignore the obvious inevitability
of techno-hells.  It doesn't matter what plausibility arguments you
construct against the existence of virtual hells, infinite diversity
*demands* their existence.

Michael C Price

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