X-Message-Number: 12675
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 1999 23:07:27 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: Cryonics Paradigm Shift, Feelings

I wrote (#12659):
>But beyond this, the development of demonstrated, reversible
>cryopreservation would, I think, trigger a paradigm shift in world thinking
>that is hard to imagine...The legal repercussions alone would be immense.
>Failing to
>cryopreserve preserve the dying could be recognized as a form of murder, as
>it would be.

And Alan Berg responded (#12661):
>No, it won't. Successful brain cryopreservation [what I was really
referring >to above, as opposed to whole body cryopreservation--MP]
>may just help somewhat in the 
>eyes of medical community. 
>Vitrification is really just the first step. Assuming some aged, likely 
>diseased brain cryopreserved even without  serious damage, the next steps are 
>FAR more daunting. The brain must be repaired/transplanted/downloaded.

And here I respond:
I don't have a crystal ball as to what the public's reaction would be to
"just successful brain cryopreservation." But it seems reasonable that, if a
strong case could be made that the *brain* is still living, which would
follow if there were ways of restoring it to function, even briefly, then it
would be hard to avoid the conclusion that the person whose brain it was,
was still living too. This is assuming the brain was in reasonably good
shape to begin with. Most of the time (or at least a significant part of the
time) I think it would be. There could well be cases of cryopreservation,
where the brain was still very healthy but some other terminal condition

Bob Ettinger (#12663) writes:
>Mike Perry (#12657) says, in effect, that there may be what you might call 
>"unfelt feeling" in our brains. I.e., we perform actions of which we are 
>unaware, or which are not accompanied by conscious feelings, but maybe in 
>some part of the brain some "other self" or other portion of yourself does 
>feel something. He uses the commisurotomy example.
>This area cannot be explored effectively in brevity, but I think it is fair 
>to say that, if "another me" or another part or aspect of my brain hosts 
>events that would-if in my primary consciousness-be called feeling, 
>nevertheless that is not MY feeling in any reasonable usage of the term. It 
>is the ESSENCE of feeling that you KNOW it. If somebody else knows it (even 
>"someone" housed in the same skull) then it is his feeling, not yours, if 
>indeed it is feeling at all.

No argument there, except I am inclined to think "yes, it is feeling." But
the point is worth making that what is "you" in a psychological sense may
differ from what common intuition says is "you" from a biological or
physiological standpoint. And, that just because "you" can do some
complicated, goal-directed things unconsciously, with no feeling as far as
you can tell, does not mean they happen in the absence of all feeling. 
>In any case, this does not really address the question of feelings as 
>separate phenomena, as opposed to feelings as merely metaphors for 
>goal-seeking activity.
Right, but I think there is a close connection between feeling and
goal-seeking activity or at least the propensity toward such. Must we then
say that every loaded spring "wants" to unload? While I don't have a
definitive answer, my feeling (!) is that simple systems that do practice
some goal-oriented behavior and seem, on the face of it, to have some
rudimentary feeling should be regarded as having a limited feeling, rather
than none at all. 

I also liked Thomas Donaldson's posting (#12660).

Mike Perry

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