X-Message-Number: 10026
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 08:25:53 -0700
From: Peter Merel <>
Subject: Mars, Lourdes, Reputation.

George Smith writes,

>Are you suggesting that we must BELIEVE those who proclaimed WITHOUT 
>LOOKING CLOSER that the anomaly on Mars CAN'T be artifical? 

He's suggesting that by associating cryonics, a fringe movement whose 
practice suffers greatly from public incredulity, with belief in 
artificiality of the "face" on Mars, another fringe movement, you must
make it that much harder for cryonics to achieve practical acceptance. 

Most people in this forum take little or nothing on faith - they're as 
open-minded about the "face" on Mars as about the "virgin" at Lourdes and 
"Elvis" at the 7-11. There's plentiful evidence and no shortage of true 
believers for all of these, but that's not what's at issue. The issue is 
that conflating them with cryonics will be unproductive.

Such association must be unproductive because it implies that, rather than
accepting cryonics because we're rational, we accept it because we're
credulous. Sure, logically this only makes us vulnerable to ad-hominem 
arguments, but in a broader sense it impugns our already coal-black reputation 
as charlatans and fools - and reputation is one of the biggest problems here.

Peter Merel.

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