Gennady Stolyarov II
On Sunday, December 18, 2022, watch this stream of classic presentations by Gennady Stolyarov II from 2011-2013 on the ethics of pursuing indefinite life extension, the forms this pursuit may take, and the implications of this pursuit for the future of human beings and their outlooks on life and the world.
0:48 – Steve Jobs on Death: A Critique – October 9, 2011
Mr. Stolyarov critiques the remarks Steve Jobs made regarding the desirability of death. Jobs’s own tragic death underscores the horrible and irreparable harms that death brings to humans. Mr. Stolyarov argues against the idea that death is somehow teleologically beneficial.
31:02 – Life is Always Preferable to Death – Even in Emergencies – January 1, 2012
Mr. Stolyarov holds that the continued life of an innocent individual is always more desirable than that individual’s death. Here, he applies this understanding even to emergency situations, akin to the World Trade Center attacks, where the victims do not have a high probability of survival. It is still better to hold out for hope and try one’s best to escape from the perilous situation, than it would be to sacrifice oneself in the hopes of avoiding a “worse” death.
41:13 – The Real War – and Why Inter-Human Wars Are a Distraction – March 15, 2012
Other than the unjust killing of innocents, there is a further reason to oppose wars among human beings: they distract us from the real war that we should all be fighting, against the real enemy that threatens us all. Mr. Stolyarov explains the urgent war on ruin that we should all be fighting.
52:21 – Life Extension and Risk Aversion – April 29, 2013
Mr. Stolyarov explains that living longer renders people more hesitant to risk their lives, for the simple reason that they have many more years to lose than their less technologically endowed ancestors.
1:02:13 – How Can I Live Forever?: What Does and Does Not Preserve the Self – May 22, 2013
When we seek indefinite life, what is it that we are fundamentally seeking to preserve? Mr. Stolyarov discusses what is necessary for the preservation of “I-ness” – an individual’s direct vantage point: the thoughts and sensations of a person as that person experiences them directly.
1:26:12 – Transhumanism and Mind Uploading Are Not the Same – August 19, 2013
Mr. Stolyarov refutes the equation of transhumanism with destructive mind uploading and explains that advocacy of mind uploading is neither a necessary nor a sufficient component of transhumanism.
1:36:58 – Evolution Has No Moral Value; Life Extension Does – October 14, 2013
Mr. Stolyarov makes the case that evolution should not be pursued as a moral goal in itself; rather, the survival and increased longevity of every individual should be pursued, since our rationality, technology, and moral compass allow us to transcend the cruelty of primeval natural selection.
Mr. Stolyarov also refutes the allegation that older people somehow necessarily become resigned to or accepting of their own death. He presents counterexamples of individuals who lived past the age of 80 and who wished to continue living indefinitely.
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