X-Message-Number: 11044
From: "Scott Badger" <>
Subject: Self-Efficacy
Date: Thu, 7 Jan 1999 00:13:17 -0600

To George:

Thanks for trying to clarify your position.  I think that you're correct
when you say that language is a difficult medium for these ideas.  I
continue to respectfully disagree with what I believe is the primary gist of
your arguments, but I will attempt to elaborate on the reasons why through a
personal e-mail rather than prolong the identity debate on Cryonet.

To Everyone Else:

I will say that I came away from my doctoral studies endorsing the notion
that one of the healthiest psychological attributes to nurture in one's self
and in others is "self-efficacy" (as conceptualized by Albert Bandura).
Those with a strong sense of self-efficacy tend to be resilient (adaptive)
when faced with personal challenges, and Natural Selection tends to reward
the adaptive.

Low self-confidence invites normal fears to develop into a host of
pathological anxieties.  Low self-confidence also opens the doors to
feelings of helplessness and hopelessness so typical of depressive

I admire cryonicists precisely because they have taken the construct of
self-efficacy to the next level.  They take action rather than submit to the
fears provoked by death.   They refuse to be helpless, and most of all, they
refuse to give up hope.

When I first encountered the Humanist movement, I was attracted to their
tenets, but when people of faith asked, "But how can you have any hope in
your life?  How can you find any true meaning?"  . . . the Humanists
basically replied, "We find meaning in the lives we experience and the
people we share those lives with." which is a pretty good answer but I
didn't really find it to be very consoling.  Life still appeared to be a
relatively brief and hopeless journey.  There are so many more people I want
to meet, so many more subjects I want to study, so many places I want to
see.  All this information and I only get a few lousy decades?  C'mon . . .
I could spend dozens of lifetimes and not get my fill!

Sometimes I wonder if one of the reasons people don't sign up in greater
numbers is because they don't have a real lust for life.  In fact, I wonder
if there is a positive correlation between longevity and the amount of value
we tend to place on life.  For example, would people be less likely to take
signifcant chances with their lives (e.g. riding in a car, skydiving, etc.)
if they had already lived for hundreds of years and had hundreds/thousands
more to possibly lose?  Would our grief be greater for someone who died at
the age of 1000 vs. someone who died at 75?  I guess we'll find out.

I just want to add that I'm grateful to cryonicists for offering a
profoundly hopeful and meaningful message to us all.

Best wishes to all for the new year,

Scott Badger

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