X-Message-Number: 19105
From: "mike99" <>
Subject: RE: #19093 winning arguments with Tibetan Buddhists
Date: Fri, 17 May 2002 21:45:26 -0600

"Toby Christensen" <> asked on Cryonet:
Also, how do I win arguments against people who are opposed to life
extension due to religion (e.g. Tibetan Buddhists)?

Here are some possible claims you could assert in defending life extension
to Buddhists of any sect (Tibetan, Theravadin, Zen, etc). Number 3 below
should be especially effective with Tibetan Buddhist, though.

1. REINCARNATION: If you believe in reincarnation, then you also believe
that it takes many lifetimes to get off the wheel of rebirth due to the
effects of karma. Life extension could speed up the process by allowing a
person to work on his or her karma during an extended single lifetime
without the wasteful process of reincarnation. This would advance the day
when Enlightenment dawns.

2. MATERIALISM: The Buddha taught that there is no soul. He said that our
karmic energy moves from one incarnation to another like fire moving from
torch to torch. So there is every reason for a Buddhist to believe that a
cryonically preserved body can be reanimated by purely material means and
the person would be the same as before.

3. AUTHORITY: In a book of conversations between Western scientists and the
Dalai Lama titled GENTLE BRIDGES, the Dalai Lama indicated that, according
to his understanding of his own tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, there is
reason to believe that a human being could reincarnate into a sufficiently
complex computer some day. Although he does not say that this has happened
yet, the Dalai Lama says that we should consider it to be a real
possibility. If the Dalai Lama asserts the possibility of (in essence)
uploading a human mind into a machine embodiment, then does cryonics seem so

Michael LaTorra

Extropy Institute: www.extropy.org
World Transhumanist Association: www.transhumanism.org
Alcor Life Extension Foundation: www.alcor.org
Society for Technical Communication: www.stc.org

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