X-Message-Number: 11378
Date: Sat, 06 Mar 1999 15:30:42 +0100
From:  (John de Rivaz)
Subject: Re: Let them rot?

In article: <>  writes:
> Chrissie Walton (#11360) seems to believe we should not impose
> resurrection on those who have not expressed a desire for it. This view
> has a degree of merit, but (as Mike Perry has pointed out) this is far
> from the whole story or a balanced assessment. And this moral dilemma
> applies not only to far-fetched conjectures about revival of remote
> ancestors in the distant future, but also in many cases to our own
> relatives here and now.

I see problems with this dilemma.

One is that the boot could be on the other foot - relatives may impose their 
views on us, ie that rotting and buring is the correct way to go because God 
will look after you or maybe even punish you for doing otherwise. Although I 
suggest that cryopreservation is an act of gratitude for the prescious gift 
of life, a burning or rotting enthusiast could also argue that it is a sign 
of a lack of blind faith. (Blind faith is usually considered a virtue by all 
religions that have at some time been coopted as a tool of subjugation and 
authority. It is usually less promoted as a virtue in new religions that 
claim their adherents are "thinking for themsleves" and are more intelligent 
than the rest.)

"Do as you would be done by" has a hollow ring, if you would want to call 
down wrath and revenge on anyone who thwarted your plans of cryopreservation 
yet you plan to thwart anyone else's plans of fire or bacteria and worms.

On the other hand, if you have the chance of cryopreserving someone who has 
not expressed a wish for this process, then there is a parallel with the way 
that most parents treat their children. 

Most children would rather have fun than go for dental treatment or 
education. Yet a parent will take a child kicking and screaming to a dental 
surgeon on the basis that his adult life will be better if he has good 
teeth. Dr R.O. Nara, DDS, of the People's Dental Association, for example, 
says that bad teeth can knock 10 years off your life. 

Yet there is a hollow ring to this - it is now known that the excessive use 
of fillings in children applied during the 1950s and early 1960s was 
unneccessary and in fact may lead to less healthy teeth in later life. 
Decisions for other people are not easy.

Anyone who cannot read and write would be lost in todays world, yet many 
children object to being taught.

Another difficulty I see is that most people have two parents (some may not 
know their father, but I would expect this is not that common). One may 
already be dead. Or one may die under the control of the other, leaving just 
one still alive. A cryonicist may have full control over what happens to the 
"remains" of the other. But to cryopreserve that one knowing that (s)he will 
be reanimated to discover that cryopreservation was the right course and the 
partner was annihilated for ever?

Hopefully these matters will be debated in detail over the comming weeks. 

Sincerely, John de Rivaz
Homepage:         http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/JohndeR
Longevity Report: http://www.geocities.com/HotSprings/Sauna/3748/lr.htm
Fractal Report:   http://www.longevb.demon.co.uk/fr.htm 
PCS - a  Singles listing sheet for people in Cornwall

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=11378