X-Message-Number: 13016
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 00:57:01 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: Once Again, DAF

When I said, in response to Keith Rene Dugue's response to my previous
posting on
the Death Avoidance Fallacy (DAF):

" Would you rather be trapped in a lake of lava 
or totally oblivious? Or closer to home, suppose an evil terrorist has
kidnapped you, who is very good at excruciating, utterly unbearable,
horrifying torture. And he is going to kill you, but you have a choice. (1)
You can elect to take a painless, lethal injection that will end your life
after 6 hours of total unconsciousness. (2) You can be wide awake but
tortured for 6 hours first, then killed. These are your only two choices.
Which would you choose? If it is (1), how do you justify this? Being 
unconscious, it would seem you cannot appreciate the benefit. So would you
then choose torture, or not care one way or the other?"

He replied,
"These questions are outside the scope of the DAF."

And I'm sure he sees it that way, but I don't think most persons facing
severe trials/traumas etc. will. However, I have my own version of the DAF,
which is that you can't be sure of nonexistence, or of what the future will
have in store. If you opt for suicide you could be reconstructed many years
later, by some process or other, and all that period of nonexistence would
not be perceived as any time at all (since you don't perceive time in such a
state), therefore you will have accomplished nothing by way of avoidance of
misery *during the time of nonexistence*. After this, well, what can you
say? If you weren't happy before, you won't necessarily find happiness in
such a future. You should consider sticking around here. However, the
deathist mentality of most people amazes me, even though I've spent decades
(really) trying to understand it. I can't believe that it's just a simple
matter of people thinking life's not worth living, and that they can
"escape" this bad state only through death. True, I've heard people say this
sort of thing before, but one way it seems to ring hollow is that a person
who feels that way ought to want to opt out of the loop immediately. Yet
most deathists do not want that either. The logic of both not wanting the
chance of a future life through cryonics, and not wanting to die right this
minute, and not having some overriding religious reason for this attitude,
escapes me.

Mike Perry

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