X-Message-Number: 24833
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2004 12:21:22 -0500
From: "Bruce J. Klein" <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #24821 - #24825
References: <>

In reply to Ben Best's #24825

Thanks for your kind words, Ben.  You are a great mind.

> I believe that it is self-defeating to attempt to live forever by 
> presenting one's position as an alternative to religion. 

I see your "attempting to live forever" and "presenting one's position" 
as separate.  One can focus on living forever as a personal goal, and 
then work to build friendly relations with religion - at the same time. 

> I also think that one can never know that one can live forever and 
> that the belief that one has acheived immortality is likely to reduce 
> vigilance and hasten death.

Agree.  Immortality is not a state, it's a process - immortality is a 
way of life.  We could be immortal now, unless we succumb to unwanted 
forces(aging) or kill ourselves.  However, saying that one wants to be 
immortal doesn't mean there is reduced vigilance.  On the contrary, with 
more life, there is more reason to live, more experiences on how to 
avoid death and more incentive to preserve knowledge gained. 

> How impactful would it be to be told that you could only live a 
> million years rather than a trillion years?

Limited lifespan, living 10 more years, or 10 million more years, is 
irrelevant if death=oblivion.  The pursuit  of infinite lifespan is the 
best way to overcome this problem.

> No, my problems with immortalism have nothing to do with my being
> too mentally weak to be "thinking about 'forever'" . People who spend
> their time trying to understand "forever" are far less likely to live 200
> years than people who spend their time trying to solve the practical
> problems of cryonics and anti-aging medicine. A computer that cannot
> survive 200 years can hardly be said to be executing "infinite loops"
> -- except from the point of view of computer jargon. 

Everyone can't be a philosopher. Practical work needs to be done, and is 
being done.  However, without a clear reason to live forever, there is 
left to much wiggle room for us to copout on life.  Rather than water 
things down or leave the unanswered questions about afterlife to 
religion, physical immortality needs be the main goal.


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