X-Message-Number: 13002
From: Keith Rene Dugue <>
Subject: It is a DAFy world
Date: Sat, 25 Dec 1999 22:26:39 -0800

To George Smith

Unfortunately, fallacies exist independently of how well the individuals that 
they affect understand them or are able to understand them.

So , yes the arguments of those who claim they can escape suffering through 
death are Death Advantage Fallacious (DAFy)

To Robert Ettinger

You wrote
" It is not a question of how your future self 
would feel (there would be no future self), but how you feel now and how you 
would feel in the future if you chose to continue." 

When we decide  between one of two mutually exclusive options we extrapolate 
into the future how we would feel if we had taken each of the options. Next ,we 
compare them to our goals to determine which option would bring us closer to our
goals. This process is repeated as new information becomes available. The 
problem arises in being able to extrapolate into a state of nonexistence. It is 
impossible. So with nothing to compare to the state that you would be in if you 
"choose to continue"  you can not say which option would be better or worse for 
that matter.  You simply can not say anything. But escaping suffering through 
death relies on nonexistence as being the superior option.

As a sidelight , we extrapolate our states of mind into the future during our 
entire existences even when we run out something to extrapolate to. This 
extrapolation is an evolved survival mechanism and does not shut off. It does 
not know when to shut off because nature  does not act to optimize our 
happiness. It would always benefit an organism to think about it's future no 
matter how unpleasant  just in case it might survive. Our basic problem is that 
we have a tendency to extrapolate off into the water where we have run out of 
firm ground for our arguments. Once we become aware of our impending inescapable
undesirable future, we might avoid thinking about it. 

I am not just arguing that there are not things to be gained. I am also saying 
that one would be unable to realize any gain.

To Mike Perry 

You wrote

"On the face of it, it doesn't seem intuitive that a state of
non-existence should be considered "worse" than any state of existence
however horrible."

I did not say that a state of non-existence should be considered , or actually 
is, "worse" than any state of existence. What I did say was that "There can be 
no death advantage simply because once one does not exist one can no longer 
appreciate the purported advantage. Moreover ,one can not even appreciate that 
there is a difference. In fact, one can not appreciate anything at all."

"If Jones is non-existent it
seems reasonable to regard S as "not true," for the simple reason that S can
be *true* only if Jones exists."

The instant Jones ceases to exist he will from thereon never be able to 
appreciate that he is not suffering or that suffering should even matter. 
Nothing  matters in the least to someone who is buried and decayed and 
non-existent. For Jones, when he dies, can not change the only thing that 
matters to him which is that he will suffer for the rest of his life. He may 
feel ,however erroneously, that his death will end his suffering. But this is 
not due to his actual death but his anticipation of his death. The benefit comes
from anticipation regardless of what actually happens to him. So the real and 
only advantage comes from anticipation and not death. This would be true for 
*any* scenario we could construct.

"Another way to look at it is that S is
really equivalent to the longer statement, "There exists a conscious being
named Jones and that being is suffering inconceivable amounts of intolerable
pain." So to say "it is not the case that S is true" it is not necessary to
presuppose that Jones exists or is conscious in any sense, including that of
an afterlife."

You seem to be saying that suffering is dependant on existence. But so is one's 
ability to comprehend ,be aware and appreciate that one is not suffering. What  
one can not be aware of is irrelevant to that individual. My garbage can is not 
suffering (for reasons other than Szsw8Dx1Yw5Uk8CGuN8RR1iiRUygw3lIa7tsIxdbW

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=13002