X-Message-Number: 12027
From: "George Smith" <>
References: <>
Subject: Why Most Choose Death
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 14:11:23 -0700

It isn't that cryonics needs to be "proven".  It's just that death is and
remains more popular.

I believe this is due to four reasons:

(1) Unhappiness.
(2) Guilt.
(3) Pain.
(4) Peer Pressure.

(1) I would submit that most people are not happy with their lives.  When
confronted with an option to extend that life they are rejecting the sense
of unhappiness.

In this sense, death is popular because it offers an end to unhappiness.
("Put him out of his misery, Gabby!")

(Most people will fight like crazy to stay alive when the chips are down,
but since cryonics is a cool intellectual decision made in advance of need,
the will to survive seems to seldom kick in).

(2) As most people age and lose loved ones to death, they feel it somehow
wrong to selfishly choose to live when they buried or cremated others.
Avoiding guilt is the name of this cause for death's popularity.

And (returning to #1) death ends grieving, a form of unhappiness.  It is not
common for one to die within 6 months of the loss of a significant other.

(3) Additionally, as one ages and the body becomes less comfortable (various
physical aches and pains), death offers an end to the unhappiness caused by
chronic discomfort.  ("Shoot him again, Gabby!  He's still not out of his

(4) Six billion lemmings can't be wrong.  The incredible peer pressure of
every culture planning for and dealing with death as an "expected part of
life" (!) makes death popular because it is "natural".

Peer pressure runs this planet.  An excellent perspective on this is found
in the book THE LUCIFER PRINCIPLE.  The urge to conform is not only
popular - it is popularity itself!

Additionally, what is not "natural" is easily seen as "unnatural".  This
quickly causes many minds to equate cryonics with defiance of God.  While
theologians don't have a problem with cryonics (it's just another medical
alternative), the popular mind seldom thinks deeply about these issues.
("You shoot him, too, Oprah!  Gabby's run out of ammo!")

I do not believe that reason nor scientific evidence (or future proof) are
nearly as important as the above observations.

Proof is the booby prize compared to popularity.  Death is popular.  To
"sell" cryonics so that it becomes more popular requires addressing the fact
that death is our compeditor!  Death is Hertz.  We are not even Avis ...yet.

While to you and I within cryonics, it seems like a no-brainer ("Shall I
choose death or cryonics?  Hmmmm.") the fact is that the world still prefers
death as the more desirable alternative.

In summary, the choice of death over cryonics is an emotional choice.
Popularity is not an issue of reason or logic.  You can amass all the
"reasons" and "proofs" you wish, but the emotions are where the battle is
won or lost.

-George Smith
-CI member

I helped Gabby look for his dropped keys for an hour under the streetlight
until he told me he dropped them a block away.  He told me it was easier to
look where the light was better.  Too bad I was out of ammo.

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