X-Message-Number: 10984
Date: Mon, 28 Dec 1998 11:08:29 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: Self, Non-Self

George Smith (#10979) writes,

>I personally think the "experiencer" is a mental illusion and can be very
>successfully lived 
>WITHOUT.  In fact FAR more successfully! 

This sounds very much like the doctrine of "non-self" that is prevalent in
Eastern traditions such as Buddhism and Taoism. I don't know of any Buddhist
or Taoist who has signed up for cryonics (does anyone else?). Rejection of
cryonics is not hard to rationalize based on a doctrine of non-self. Maybe a
good many of the "no-brainers" who do so are really "non-selfers".

>For further excursions in this realm, I urge a careful re-read of the
thought >experiments 
>proposed by Professor Ettinger in THE PROSPECT OF IMMORTALITY, >chapter 8,
"The Problem of 
>Identity (pp 129-143), also available on line at the CI website.

I have studied these thought experiments, and they do show some of the
difficulties of arriving at a coherent notion of "self." But I don't think
it is impossible to do so. This is one of the aims in my book, *Forever for
All* which (as I keep saying) should *soon* be available for review for
those interested.  

>WHAT you believe "YOU" to BE seems pretty important if you are looking at
>life extension and 
>beating death.  On that I suspect we all agree.

I certainly agree.

Mike Perry

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