X-Message-Number: 16378
Date: Tue, 29 May 2001 10:24:05 -0400
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #16369 - #16377

Hi everyone!

I note the long message of reply by Epstein. Much of it seems to try
to argue against a different sense of just who we are. That sense
may or may not be reasonable, but it looks to me like something that
no amount of argument will change. It should be sufficient for someone
to want to live indefinitely.

Whether they change their mind years or centuries later and decide on 
suicide is:
1. a theoretical issue entirely
2. raising as such an issue an abstract point: are there ANY circumstances
   in which we may decide on suicide.
When I think of the argument this way it seems to me hard to argue that
I or anyone would want to continue living in ANY CIRCUMSTANCES AT ALL.
But then those circumstances which would make ME decide on suicide
would have to be quite extreme. It would be interesting for the 
parties in this argument to look at it in this way.

Again, the argument also concerns what we may do to ourselves. This is
not so extreme if we look at it historically and ignore just who is 
making the choice. Natural selection will not cease to work, regardless.
Given that we'd inevitably want to test any change, it's not even obvious
that we would change faster than by "normal" evolution (sure, some people
will take up all kinds of design, but the issue of natural selection
remains. Fortunately, because we're doing it to ourselves, a change
which turns out to be BAD can be reversed). But then, after all,
we're likely to consider the results of such changes to be just as
human as we are. Different, but still human.

So the argument looks more and more as if it deals only with definitions
rather than any real changes. One person wants to consider whatever
he becomes as "human". Another wants some other name. Names are noises
and say nothing about choices and philosophy.

		Best wishes and long long life for all,

			Thomas Donaldson

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