X-Message-Number: 26449
From: "David Pizer" <>
Subject: Fw: More on ethics in cryonics and religion
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 08:25:29 -0700

Some readers may be getting tired of this particular discussion.  They may not 
realize that the implications of this discussion may the most important that 
face mankind.

Or, they may not care much about morality.   Or they may not care about others 
enough to take risks to themselves.

Or, they may feel so strongly about their present beliefs on the subject that 
they are so aggrivated by any discussion that challanges their beliefs so that 
they only respond with name-calling and off-the-subject replies, or straw-man 

Or they may feel that my argument is sound, but that the risks or doing 
something at this time are too great.

Then there are the rest of you, those who care and want to see some changes in 
the world, for which this clearifying message is intended.

Before I get into the discussion further I want to present my argument one more 
time.  Those who have posted opposition to this argument seem to  have NOT read 
the argument clearly.  They call it names like "Strained logic" but don't seem 
to be able to show evidence to back up their claims.  I believe that 
name-calling of your position,  (rather than specifically showing where it is 
wrong),  is a good sign that your stated position is correct since opponets 
cannot find fault with your logic; all they have left is to call your position 
(and even more telling, call you), bad names.  

I am not 100% convinced to file this suit, but I am leaning on doing it.  The 
reason I am posting so much on this subject is to see if anyone out there can 
give me compelling reasons not to.  I want someone to post evidence on why it 
would be bad to file the suit - if there is evidence that it would be bad.  So 
far, I havn't see any.

Anyhow, here is the argument that exposes what I believe is probably the worst 
thing that mankind can do.  I believe this because the potential amount of 
people that might be being hurt is in the hundreds of millions, or billions.  
And, the potential harm being done (loss of the chance at very long extended 
life) is about the worst thing that can happen to a person.  Multipy the number 
of people affected by the possible magnitude of the harm and it is a lot of 

1.  Some religions present their beliefs in such a way so as to seem to 
guarantee their followers will have eternal (Heavenly) life under certain 

2.  Some followers believe these religions' claims about eternal salvation and 
eternal life in Heaven,  and so they might conclude that they don't need any 
other method of trying to obtain long life - for instance they would not think 
they *needed to sign up for cryonics.

3.  These  claims of eternal Heavenly life by religions may turn out to have 
been wrong.   There may not be any eternal Heavely life after biological death 
on Earth.  (I am NOT making any claim that they are lying on purpose, they may 
just be guilty of making an honest mistake - but either way, the critical 
results would be the same.)

4.  Cryonics may work and may lead to very long life perhaps virtual physical 

5.  Some followers of religion may reject signing up for cryonics only because 
they believe their religon's promises that  they are going to have eternal 
Heavenly life after biological death on Earth and therefore they don't need 

6.   a. If it turns out that there is no Heaven, and religious followers 
rejected cryonics thinking they WERE going to Heaven,

      b.  and, if it turns out that cryonics works and leads to very long life 
      or even virtual physical immortality, 

      c.  if this happens, then the conclusion must be that the religions have 
      hurt their followers in the worst way possible.  

AND, this situation can be easily fixed if religions would change the way they 
present their beliefs -as what they really are = presently unknowable, beliefs.

What ought we do about this, if anything:

1.   If we can cause religions to state their messages more realistically as 
benefits they hope for rather than as absolute truths,  then more people might 
opt to choose cryonics.  (There are people who are signed up for cryonics and 
also hope they are going to Heaven -- perhaps Alcor's president Joe Waynick is 
an example??)

2.  In some ways we are not in conflict with religions.  We have many of the 
same goals.  We have different ways of trying to obtain these goals and they are
not mutually exclusive. We will not be trying to hurt religions, just trying to
make them more realistic in the world as it can be known at the present time by
forcing them to take the "absolute" out of their messages.  We who also want to
do good towards mankind have every right to be concerned about what religions 
promise since we are in the same arena as they are.  We would be trying to level
the playing field by asking religions to play by the same rules (when it comes 
to talking about their possible benefits) that we cryonics now play by.  (We 
don't make absolute promises or guarantees and neither should they).

3..  We are NOT trying to get people to opt for cryonics so they will drop their
religious arrangements.  We just want people to be aware of the truth of the 
world at this time and that truth is that the results of either or both options 
are unknowable right now.

Why should we do this?

Chances are you who are reading this already have your cryonics arrangements in 
place.  You may think it good to get more people signed up for cryonics because 
you realize that there is safety in numbers, that the more people that opt for 
cryonics, the more resources cryonics will have and that will inprove the 
chances that you will be revived some day.  

But that should not be the only reason you want more people to sign up for 
cryonics.  You should want more people to sign up for cryonics because it might 
turn out to be the case that cryonics is the ONLY chance people living in these 
times have for extended life, and you should want your fellow humans to have 
*every* possible chance.

If cryonics works and we are reanimated in this world later in the future, we 
should want that world to be as good a place as possible.  So we should be doing
things now that will set standards for those who come after us and are in 
charge during the long time that we are helpless in suspension.

There may be some risks in confronting religions now, but we can minimize those 
risks in how we confront them. 

Conclusion:  At least at this time, I feel strongly that I ought to file a suit 
against major religions in the country (unless someone can give me a valid 
reason not to).  If I do, I will try to position it as a "friendly" lawsuit, as 
one that is trying to make the defendants better.  These Cryonet disscussions 
have helped me a lot --  thank you.

I don't believe I will completely win the suit at this time, if by "win" it  
means obtaining a judgement forcing religions to stop making guarantees and/or 
stating that their beliefs are absolutes truths.  But I do believe that I would 
win in another sense of the word  by raising the awareness of many people out 
there, and that this will lead to major growth in cryonics and it will allow 
people to have more choices.  I expect that public opinion will go against this 
suit in a big way at the first, and then over time it will go our way.

David Pizer

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