X-Message-Number: 14179
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2000 17:04:54 -0400
From: "J. Hughes" <>
Subject: Personal Identity Debate

Those of you interested in this topic may enjoy reading (and ruthlessly
dissecting) the paper I wrote for the recent Alcor conference, "The Future
of Death." I discuss the debate over brain death, and the impacts of what I
call the "telos of liberal individualism" on the definition of personhood. 

Like Parfit and the the Buddhists, and Ettinger circa 1965, I don't believe
in a "knower" and propose that the neuronanotech we discuss will in fact
finally erode the idea of the autonomous self which is the bedrock of
Western ethics, law and politics. 

The essay is at:


Although the self is an illusion, and its continuity boundaries arbitrary,
I don't think this invalidates the effort to continuing existing. As the
Buddhists say, form is emptiness, but empitness is also form. 

But a profound realization of the illusion of self may make us much more
relaxed about our lack of success in our efforts.

Dr. J. Hughes
Changesurfer Radio

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=14179