X-Message-Number: 13606
From: "George Smith" <>
References: <>
Subject: How important is someone's life?
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000 11:36:58 -0700

Recently there has been discussion of the statistics for surviving at
"younger" ages and what the "odds" are that someone might die at this or
that age.  All of this in the context of whether we might be perceived as
being "overzealous" in suggesting that someone ought to sign up for cryonics

Let me turn this around for a moment.

Do we give a damn about whether other people live or die?

That is exactly the issue here as I see it.

There is a powerful denial of the reality of death in our culture yet every
member is facing death. The cultural pressure is to do nothing different
from the "norm".  And cryonics is very different.  It is NOT the norm.

When someone does consider cryonics, even tentatively, should we care?

Well, here is what I think.

If it's no big deal to you that this particular person sign up, you probably
won't become overzealous.  You will be easygoing, relaxed, not pushy at all.
You will be calm, perhaps even a little apologetic that you are involved
with this somewhat strange thing.

And guess what?  If YOU don't feel strongly about this issue, I'll bet OTHER
PEOPLE WILL PICK UP ON THIS.  If you don't believe that cryonics is likely
to work, other people will probably (1) wonder why you are wasting money on
it and (2) not consider it any further for themselves.

(Come to think of it, if you really don't think it is likely to work, why
ARE you still signed up?  Don't you have better things to do with your money
than waste it on something you think is likely to FAIL?  You've got me
confused about your reasons too).

But, on the other hand, if you DO feel that cryonics makes sense, that it is
a "worthwhile gamble", and someone asks you about it, how will you react?

Do you honestly recognize that if your reaction is one of cool to lukewarm
advocacy that you are probably not only undermining your own credibility but
failing to help save someone's life?

If you are concerned that the other person might think you a fanatic, IS

This is a personal judgement, of course.  Maybe the person you're talking to
really isn't important to you.  Maybe you really don't care if he lives or
dies.  That's sometimes true.

But from what I read here by some other people who are already signed up for
cryonics, I really have to wonder just how clearly some of you understand
the full implications and impact of your attitudes.

When someone you know AND CARE ABOUT asks you about cryonics and suggests
that the odds are that they will not need it yet (if ever), would you
consider taking them to a local funeral home where (odds are) they can see
someone as young or younger lying in a casket?

Would you be willing to dramatically show them the reality of being wrong or
too late?

Is that too extreme?

Would you risk sounding like a religious zealot who is a "true believer" by
expressing your feelings about the consequences of NOT choosing to sign up
for cryonics?  for THAT PERSON?

Of course, if you do NOT think this is an issue of life or death, I doubt I
can convince you otherwise with words on a computer monitor, like these.
There is very little impact.  Just words.

But if you truly care about someone, how will you feel if they DIE and you
did not do everything you COULD have done to save their life?

Is it more important for you to avoid possible embarrassment or ridicule,
than to try and save someone's life you care for?

That's how I see the actual issue here.

If you are more afraid of being labeled a "true believer" than to forcefully
tell the truth as you see it, that is your choice.

Just try and understand the consequences for the other person too.

And for you, too, if they die without cryonics.

Regret is an ugly word.

That's all.

George Smith

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=13606