X-Message-Number: 18079
Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2001 11:49:26 -0800 (PST)
From: Scott Badger <>
Subject: Re:  wow [William Henderson]

> I'm very much aware that science
> is a religion and its fundamental adherents can be
> as fanatical as any
> religious zealot seeing alternative ideas as
> blasphemy, 'burn those
> heathens!'

First of all, I m not prepared to argue for or against
the validity of Kirlian photography, but I ve decided
that I AM going to speak up every time I hear someone
say that science is a religion. It is most definitely
NOT a religion.  In fact, the more dedicated one
becomes to the tenets of science, the less dogmatic
and fanatical one is likely to be.  I won t belabor
this point since there are many resources online and
elsewhere that make the differences between science
and religion quite clear. But I will advise against
trying to legitimize the argument you seem to be
making that the claims of scientists are no more valid
than those of the paranormalists and therefore the
enlightened approach is to be equally open-minded to
both.  On the contrary, there is good reason to be
more skeptical of the poorly substantiated claims of
religious and paranormal systems of belief.  Those who
are excessively open-minded end up with their brains
falling out.  Healthy skepticism, reason, and
evidentiary support, is a more epistemologically sound
approach, AIMALTHO (all in my admittedly less than
humble opinion).

By the way   I was discussing this issue with a couple
of colleagues just yesterday, saying how I might be
interested in developing a course on the topic when
they said,  Well aren t you into that cryonics thing
and aren t they making pretty outlandish claims? 

I pointed out that at I, at least, certainly make no
claims that cryonics will work. I simply believe that
(1) it is the 2nd worst thing that can happen to you
(death = #1), and (2) that my chances for reanimation
decline precipitously if I am buried and allowed to
decompose, and (3) that the cost is miniscule compared
to the potential rewards of an indefinitely extended
lifespan.  They admitted they could not argue with the
logic, but they also did not express any interest in
getting more information or signing up.  

It s another topic really, but deathist memes seem to
be equally intractable regardless of cultural,
vocational, or educational background.  I realize that
several cryonicists are theists but, as I understand
it, there are considerably more non-theists than
theists among us. Doesn t this suggest that overcoming
religious memes is an important precursor to
overcoming deathist memes for most of the people that
we can expect to become interested in signing up (once
again, not in every case)?  Is it safe to assume that
marketing efforts targeted at non-theists will be more
effective than other target groups?

**Update - I just got off the phone with a marketing
professor who has agreed to include cryonics among his
suggestions to his students next semester for
marketing projects. He will also bring it up with the
other profs in his department. Others on this list may
want to contact a marketing professor in your local
area and run this idea by him or her.  We could have
bright young minds with marketing expertise supervised
by professors developing innovative and effective
marketing plans for us ... for free!

Scott Badger

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