Saturday, April 28, 2018

Heavens

In my Optihumanist Principles, I wrote:
We build heavens for ourselves and our beloved in the here and now.
I think human-made heavens should have all of the good things that the supernaturalists have been promising us.  I see in this list a sort of compressed version of Maslow's hierarchy of needs:
  • Immortality and optimal health
  • A perfect environment of comfort, beauty, and bounty
  • Happiness and satisfaction
Recently I have been listening to science fiction with an immortality theme.  In one story, a man with a terminal illness uploads his mind into a virtual reality multiplayer role playing game.  Another transfers his consciousness from his old body into a much younger genetically enhanced clone.  The personality of a cryonaut is copied multiple times to different computers to control  spaceships.

All of these represent a special kind of mind-body separation which I call substrate-independent dualism.  By this I mean that the physical implementation of our soul is irrelevant so long as the functions are faithfully reproduced.  I tried to represent this in the Optihumanist symbol by putting a gap between the circle representing mind and the rest of the symbol representing body.

Whether described as the Elysian Fields or the Happy Hunting Ground, heaven is usually described as the kind of place where you would want to settle permanently.  I remember hearing one news story where a pastor was reported to have informed his congregation that the temperature in heaven was a perfect seventy degrees Fahrenheit.  My elderly parents have informed me repeatedly when I visit that seventy degrees is too cold.

I imagine that for us to be happy, there must be challenges to overcome.  Certainly there must be goals to achieve and progress to be made for us to maintain long-term satisfaction.  Toward this end, it is said that the immortal Einherjar of Valhalla pair off in combat daily for sport.

Speaking of the Vikings, it appears that the closest thing to heaven on Earth these days is Scandinavia.  Certainly it seems that the residents are the happiest and healthiest in the world today.  I plan to write about the Nordic Model after I do more research.