The year is 2317 C.E.

Assume all existing humans were bitten by radioactive "water-bears" or tardigrades. Ignore statistics and disregard murphy's law. Every human can live forever, unless due to bad luck and accidents. There already existed a technology that could allow a human mind to be mapped digitally and then be uploaded into a secured internet servers. The device could also allow anyone to download a partial or full digital mind from the internet without severe side-effects. The worst thing is still that there is also software available which can allow us to manipulate the digital mind stored in the server. There is no way to distinguish which is the original copy. Every nation soon starts banning the use of mind uploading and any violation will be prosecuted/terminated.

Why would the government be eager to ban such a thing?


closed as primarily opinion-based by Aify, ZioByte, L.Dutch, Separatrix, sphennings Aug 21 '17 at 11:55

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ I know how the penalty system works... I must be missing a backstory! aha!!! so here it goes... Chinese gov wants to brain-wash the west and accidentally released a lot of "water bears" into the world, these "water-bears" must be holding grudges against humanity since people kept dropping nuclear bomb on them to test their immunity to radiation... $\endgroup$ – user6760 Aug 21 '17 at 6:17
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ It might be me, but I cannot understand what you are really asking. Situation is also not clear: why being immortal is relevant? What's with mind modification? What can you modify? Why should it be relevant? ... and, above all, what are you going to do with the "uploaded minds"? It is just a store (minds inactive, "sleeping")? Do they actually "live" in a virtual reality? Where do you "download" the internet minds? into your own brain? in some robot? on an iPod (just to chat)? on a classroom set, so Einstein can still give lectures? Please clarify. $\endgroup$ – ZioByte Aug 21 '17 at 6:42
  • $\begingroup$ I feel like the chief problem with this question is that it is disorganized. While it's not a run-on sentence, it reads like "pressured speech" to me. I can sort it out, but it took a few passes. $\endgroup$ – SudoSedWinifred Aug 21 '17 at 6:45
  • $\begingroup$ Why characters in your story act the way they do is your job as the author. This looks opinion-based and not to be about WorldBuilding. Can you please edit it to focus on aspects that we can rate somewhat objectively? $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Aug 21 '17 at 9:11
  • $\begingroup$ Have you considered the obvious? Virtual crime, money spend on this (some European countries have banned surrogate parenthood because it is such a financial burden for society that they do not consider it worth it), limited disk space, not tested enough/not fulfilling certain software standards, the legal status of this operation might be dubious (even considered murder since the body dies) - I think it is desired that the OP (that's you!) tells us why he excluded the super obvious solutions to the problem via question so that potential answers don't have to mention all of them. $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Aug 21 '17 at 9:26

(Former) Human Rights

In one of Greg Egan's books (Permutation City, I think) the tale of the first mind uploaded in that universe is related, and apparently it reported that being inside the computer felt "like being buried alive" and immediately demanded to be deactivated. In fact, most non-terminally ill people who are uploaded in that book react in a similar way and deactivate themselves via an in-similation switch that is required by international agreement. In Egan's novel, this is not motivated by human rights since simulations have none (though I cannot now remember what did motivate the rule in the novel), but a human rights justification is certainly available. If uploaded minds universally or widely report hating their simulated lives, it's easy to imagine an adequately benevolent government banning the upload of human minds.


The same way random things like coffee and salvia get banned.

Moral Panic

The first group of people to upload were the ultra wealthy.

Their status re: legal death was unclear which led to countless lawsuits from the extended families of those individuals.

To help build public support there was an extensive PR campaign by the heirs to smear the uploaded. After all it's easier to have someone stripped of legal personhood if they're already wildly unpopular with the voters.

They appealed to the religious by declaring the uploaded as soulless abominations against gods law.

They appealed to the soccer moms with rumors of the uploaded inhabiting depraved hedonistic simulations.

They appealed to the Luddites convincing them that copies of the uploaded would take their jobs.

Popular TV shows had plotlines revolving around sex offenders fleeing justice by means of uploading.

Murder mysteries liberally use the concept of an uploaded villain pulling the strings of a murder.

Which all sets the stage for the final nail in the coffin.

Fleeing war criminals

Some time later somewhere in the world a war is fought against genocidal essentially-Nazis. As the coalition troops close in on the bunker rather than taking cyanide pills the entire upper echelons of the regime upload themselves escaping.

In the following wave of outrage the concepts associated with uploading become synonymous with the essentially-Nazis.

Governments ,already resentful of having to deal with individuals who can move country between one clock cycle and the next and faced with voters who think upload is just a way for nazis, pedophiles and murderers to escape justice, take advantage of the growing public sentiment to push through countless anti-upload laws.


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