X-Message-Number: 14830
Date: Thu, 02 Nov 2000 22:54:26 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: Death Penalty

James Swayze, #14814:

>Might I suggest that in the future someone that willingly takes another
life does not deserve not only life but any chance at immortality.

This could cover a lot of ground, ranging from people who just got careless
and really didn't intend to kill to those who planned it carefully and long
in advance. (And the example he cites is of people who killed innocent
bystanders clearly by accident not by intent, though of course it would have
been possible and far better to have avoided this.) My feeling, though, is
that everyone, even the most heinous and evil, very probably has some
potential worth, and on the other hand, there are comprehensible reasons why
people sometimes do bad things and not something mysterious like "free
will." (I am a determinist, that is; many-worlds offers one elegant
resolution to the problem of determinism in the face of apparent,
inscrutable randomness.) If a "mold" growing in your brain (I am speaking
figuratively here) makes you go bad, isn't it better to get rid of the mold
than kill the patient? Potentially, I think every bad person is curable in
this way; that is, perhaps there are people who simply "are" the mold, but I
doubt it, for reasons that would be hard to go into here but are discussed
at some length in my book. And I think everyone who isn't bad or who can be
cured of badness, and who will accept rescue, ought to be immortalized, just
as you would save a person trapped in quicksand. It is unfortunate that with
the limited resources available today cryonics is expensive and difficult to
arrange for. Often unhappy choices are made in this area by caring people
who are trying to find the lesser evil.

Mike Perry

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