The intriguing but slightly scary idea that we may one day be able to upload our consciousness to a computer or similar system and "live" indefinietly. There are lots of subtleties to this: Will you be the same "person?" Is there any way to prove that it isn't just one death and another birth? Is this ethical? Still, I kind of like the idea of having a few billion humans with bodies, and a huge database of hundreds of billions of "post-corporeal" consciousnesses in a big data-net. When you get old and frail, you just upload and think forever. Oddly like the Old Ones in Stranger in a Strange Land.

After all the intelligent yet annoyigly BBS-like responses below, I've created some other nodes:

The problem I've always had with this (intriguing) idea is that the original container for consciousness, the brain, usually needs to be taken apart for consciousness to be transferred to a machine. So the original consciousness dies, and a carbon copy is set in the computer...While the 'new' consciousness wouldn't be able to tell the difference (seeing as it had all the memories throughout the transfer), the 'donor' would be dead. So it wouldn't be life after death, or eternal life, but mind storage instead. That's also my problem with the Star Trek implementation of transporters...but that's for a different node, I think...

update after inspiration from KitLo: That too. The body is not a receptacle for the brain; the mind doesn't control your arms and fingers with a system of pulleys or something. The brain and body make a person, who has a mind...Perhaps taking the body off of the brain is as damaging as taking the brain out of the body.

How about the concept that the corporeal parts of a person (the brain, hormones, etc.) having it's "say" for a person's mind? If a person is mentally ill (because of a chemical imbalance or somewhat), and has its consciousness transferred to some form of computer hardware, does that person feel better because of the lack of the body's interference to the mind? Would the person still be mentally ill even if it's mind is sent off to the hardware, wired to a machine not unlike an android?

There is not necessarily a need to take apart the brain to transfer a person (download) into a computer.

I've actually seen a description of how it could be done.

You'd need some artificial neurons - machines that can perform all the functions of a natural biological one. You'd slowly replace all of the neurons in the brain with the new mechanical ones. Since they would have to perfectly copy the functionality, there wouldn't be a change in consciousness (assuming that there isn't some mystical soul tied to the flesh that would prevent it). Once you've got that, you use either a direct connection, or some sort of other method of transmission to monitor the activites of these artificial neurons, and duplicate them in software versions.

You could then allow the person to live in flesh form with the replaced neurons, of if you find some fancy way of doing it, maybe you don't have to eliminate them to do it.

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