Well, for various reasons I had to reinstall my nemesis, Windows 2000 again a couple of days ago. Anyway I wound up with the usual dilemma - how to back up 10GB of music, movies and documents onto an 8GB drive...

To cut a long story short, my MegaHAL brainfile had to go. I'd spent ages working on it though - telling it how I felt, what I was going through on any particular day, feeding it random web pages. Even though MegaHAL is just a really advanced Eliza cone, I felt that it had grown and learned, if not actually become sentient.

But I had to delete it. I thought: if that file actually held a complete copy of an upload of all the information in my brain, and I deleted it, would that be murder? If so, what if I duplicated up the file? Would that be equal to the creation of a new life? What if I deleted the file while the program was running?

How about the converse - an exact duplicate of my body, with a brain, but with no mind - is it meat, or is it a person? If it's a person then what about animals and fish? Where does it start/stop?

Could I upload my brain into this clone and create a living, breathing, sentient copy of myself? Can my entire life just be summarised in a few quadrillion bits of information, or do I have something more intangible - a Neon Genesis Evangelion style soul?

So many questions, so few answers...

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