X-Message-Number: 12319
From: "George Smith" <>
References: <>
Subject: Adam's Questions
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 1999 16:35:50 -0700

In message #12311, Adam Hunter wrote:

> I have a couple of questions for the people on this list who plan to be
> frozen:
> 1.  In any way does cryonics provide the same sort of psychological
> comfort that religion provides for some people?  Have you just replaced
> heaven with the future?

Cryonics did provide a profound psychological shift for members of my family
some ten years ago when we all signed up.  There is a difference between
realistic hope and religious faith similar to having your church pray for
your recovery from cancer as opposed to having the oncologist pronounce you
cured based on your last lab tests.  Faith is very good, but fact is even
better on some issues... like breathing.

Most of those religions which propose an afterlife are ALSO offering a
future as they usually expect that you must die first and then (in the
future) you will go to heaven (or purgatory or hell).

Cryonics definitely appeals to the same desire which traditional religious
faiths tap into in the desire to live again after dying and being reunited
with loved ones in a "better place".  Actually, that doesn't sound bad at
all, does it?  Consider if one would prefer the opposite: to die knowing you
were being permanently destroyed and that anytime anyone else you care for
dies you will never see them again.

My point being that dismissing cryonics because humans find hope there for
many of the same reasons they find hope in religion is to miss the point.
Same motivations, different approachs and not at all necessarily exclusive
of each other.  If you believe in an afterlife, you will have many
cryonicists who will be quick to tell you why they don't believe we will
live forever, only a damn sight longer.  Maybe long enough to get some good
answers to the really Big Quesions.

> 2.  Since you plan to live forever, what are your long term goals?  How
> do you look at life differently than somebody who expects to live a
> short life span?

I intend as my first long-term goal to not stop breathing.  Beyond that, I
suspect I will come to think of something.  So far this has worked for the
first half-century!  The only difference I can see between those who sign up
for cryonics and those who don't is that those who do have decided to
challenge the cultural death wish instead of making excuses for why they
choose death over life.  It isn't expensive (Usually less than buying two
pizzas a month for most people).  It certainly makes for a different view of
the importance of life!

> 3.  Are any of you afraid of your bodies falling into the wrong hands
> after your frozen?  It is possible that you might be reanimated as some
> kind of lab animal.

So, you saw the second Austin Powers film too!

YES!  I am desperately afraid that I will be revived in a world in which
most people make their decisions not based upon what makes sense but what
others think about them, a world in which people have a problem
understanding the value of breathing over not-breathing. (Just stop right
now and hold your breath.  Keep holding it.  KEEEEP HOOOLDING IT!  Go at
least a minute now.  Okay.  Breathe!  Understand yet?  Good!).

Oops!  I just realized I am already in that world right now.  Well maybe
things will improve later.  It is certainly better today than 50 years ago.
Hmmm.  Guess I'll wait and see if this trend continues.  Time will tell.

Finally, I believe it was the Greek Stoic philosopher Epictitus who said
about living, "Never complain.  The door is always open to leave".

Maybe I will end up as a lab animal in some future world (Slaughterhouse
5?).  I'll just take my chances and jump off that bridge when I get there
(or not).

Actually the answers to ALL of these questions is really answered as

What do you prefer:  Being alive or dead?

Cryonics is just another attempt to promote the "alive" side of this

Now keep breathing.

George Smith

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