Re: Doug -
Get a loan from a bank or set of banks for as much as you can. With $500k in hand and a reasonable financial situation, it should be possible to convince them that you can pay off a loan of $500k! Pay off the mafia with that; this is a near-guaranteed way of paying off the debt.
Then Smith's bankrupt and just defrauded a bank for $500k and will face the consequences of that, but he's still alive, with much higher probability than 50%.
Remember, Elizer, that what we're comparing this life to when saying 'hmm, it's not that bad' is
1) Current life, averaged over the entire human species including the poor regions of Africa. Definitely an improvement over that.
2) The paperclipping of the world, which was even mostly avoided.
It's not a successful utopia, because it could be better; significantly better. It's not a failed one, because people are still alive and going to be pretty happy after an adjustment period.
Much of what that you've been building up in many of your posts, especially before this latest Fun Theory sequence is "we have to do this damn right or else we're all dead or worse". This is not worse than death, and in fact might even be better than our current condition; hence the disagreement to characterizing this as a horrible horrible outcome.