In this article for NPR, astrophysics professor Adam Frank tells us the relevance of having conversations about death. He says that death is a great mystery that can open essential doorways for humanity to think about and reflect on the essential questions of our existence.
Implications for AI
The ultimate goal of transhumanism is to make death obsolete. For after all, what is there beyond death? Our inability to talk about death has fostered fear of it in our societies. And the promise of technological immortality has led us to live our lives haphazardly, for immortality assures us that we can always start fresh tomorrow. But how does this affect our sense of purpose? How does the promise of an everlasting life lead to a meaningful life?
What makes our physical existence beautiful is the fact that it can end anytime. It is what pushes us to become better people, everyday. It is what makes us take advantage of, and be grateful for every moment we spend on this earth.
This acknowledgement and acceptance of death is not a romantic gesture. For death has a purpose, and only when we truly contemplate on its meaning, will we truly appreciate it [Our consciousness does not truly end with death. To understand this better, read Gary Schwartz: Consciousness Continues After Death].
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