I’ve been having weird dreams lately. Part of my dream last night involved the singularity and a word called “ultrapunishment.” Needless to say, it was more of a nightmare.
It was pretty abstract, but the jist of the dream was that the “Mariani family secrets” were stolen by a fellow in his pre-singularity mortal life, and an apparently Mariani-related woman who looked like Camille Paglia (who is actually pretty cool) was now a powerful posthuman being who had the power to torture the thief’s consciousness.
There are no Mariani family secrets, and nobdy knows what the singularity holds for us – a fact that is baked right into the etymology of the word. Maybe perfect moral enlightenment will come with merging with a superintelligence. Maybe they will inherit their human pettiness, or maybe such pettiness will magnified yet. The point is that even a chance of the extreme disutility scenario of being punished forever is worthy of consideration.
Even someone who is originally a dick to you could be a vengeful post-human god – maybe it’s unlikely, but it’s possible. So, it’s in your interest to follow the teachings of Jesus and love your worst enemy. Any utility lost from self-denial for the good of another in this mortal life is inconsequential compared to a potential eternal punishment or reward.
This is all textbook example of imperfect contrition, where someone behaves morally out of something such as fear of punishment rather than the love of God and his laws. So my advice is to try to show charity and kindness even to the least deserving assholes on the planet, since you don’t know who is going to be in a privileged position of processing power. Maybe it’s the best reason, but if you believe in the singularity, you might as well follow God’s greatest commandments.
For reasons that should now be obvious, I don’t view the singularity as a necessarily good thing. As Zager and Evans said, “If God’s a-coming, he oughta make it by then.”