X-Message-Number: 26473
From: "David Pizer" <>
References: <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #26456 - #26462
Date: Sat, 2 Jul 2005 14:03:56 -0700

A while back I initiated a discussion here on Cryonet to try to seek out
constructive advice and evidence on whether to proceed with more thoughts
about how to end what I consider a large moral problem that involves
tradtional religions. (I have explained that already several times)

Some of the replies have been very helpfull.  I am printing them all out and
making a big book out of them and then going somewhere secluded for a few
days to study them.

If there are valid reason not for me not to try to force religions to
correct the mistake in how they present their message of their belief and
hope for eternal salvation, I want to hear  them.  It would help if
responders tried to present some probability calculations of the risks
versus the potential benefits.

Some of you have noticed that most of the replies seem like screams of
fright coming from the gut and not the brain.  Even those have opened my
eyes to how emotional the problem is and how hard it is going to be if I
were to take it to the religious community.  If Cryoncists, who are supposed
to be more calm, cool and logical, than regular people and they can't help
themselves from letting their emotions rule their tounges then how can I
posture this suit so that the religious leaders see that there is  no malace
intended.  Or -  How can this be done to get them to help themselves,
perhaps it will be impossible, I realize this, but the potential benefits
make it worth discussing.

In the spirit of only trying to gather info and advice and objective
evidence, I am responding to some posters below, hoping to elicit more ideas
from these posters or others.

What will be most helpful to me would be actual numbers, specific examples,
probability calculations, history examples, that are 1) on point, 2)
objective.  If no one can present these things, then I would say it is time
to end these discussions.



> From: Robin Helweg-Larsen <>

ROBIN > Religion is treated in a strangely different manner in the United
States, compared with the rest of the developed world.  Religion is a threat
to peace, reason and progress, but it is intimately connected with the
culture of the United States, and the US is a huge force for reason and
progress (if not peace), as demonstrated by the origins and strength of the
cryonics movement in the US.

DAVID:  I don't understand how religion is NOT intimately connected with the
culture of many other countries.  I would have thought that in a lot of them
it is even more connected with their culture.  Would you agree?

ROBIN:  > I agree that a vigilante response to a lawsuit could well
jeopardize the physical safety of cryonics institutions, personnel, and
suspended patients.  The United States is a tolerant society with many
extremely intolerant subcultures.  I think the proposed lawsuit itself is an
intolerant response to the existing situation.
> Our futures will be brighter when we are less reliant on the United States
for cryonic suspension.

DAVID;  A good point I had not considered is that timing might be better if
there were some other cryonics facilities in other countries.  But on the
other hand, millions of people are dying that are not getting suspended
because the believed they were going to Heaven; and they held these beliefs
because of the way the religions guaranteed them; and, If it turns out that
there is no Heaven and it turns out that cryonics works, this seems a great
harm now exists that should be fixed.  I don't want religions to stop
telling their followers they believe in Heaven, I just want them to stop
guaranteeing what can only be at this time - a hope and belief. No human can
know with certainty, what reality really is at this time.   I would like
religions to talk about their potential benefits the same way cryoncists do
about ours, as something we hope for but cannot prove at this time.  I think
people then can choose both.


Below are my replies to Ben Best.

BEN:  >    Speaking personally (not for CI), I want to voice my
> opposition to Dave Pizer's suggestion to sue religion
> over promises of immortality.
>     I have previously expressed the opinion that presenting
> "physical immortalism" as an alternative to religion is the
> equivalent to wearing a "Kill Me" sign. Now Dave wants a huge
> "Kill Me" sign with flashing neon lights that can be worn in
> the center of an al-Qaeda training camp. Worse, at the center
> of the bullseye is not Dave Pizer, but cryonics -- all of
> our patients, members and supporters.

DAVID:  Ben seems very emotional about this and I believe that has made a
lot of mistakes in what he thinks I have said or what he thinks are my
intentions.  He replies to a lot of things that I have never said and to
ideas that I do NOT hold.

First, I am not presenting physical immoralism as an alternative to
religions. Ben wrongfully assumes that I have done that and he also
wrongfull assumes that they are mutually exclusive.  They don't have to be.
An example of this is Alcor's president, Joe Waynick, a person who belives
in Christian teachings and also the possibility of cyronics.

My suit would not make any claims of supperiority of one over the other.  It
would only ask that religions, (as cryonics already does) would present
their beliefs as what they are at this time, beliefs.  It would ask them not
to present what are unknowable results as being for certain.  Certainly no
one in this forum can quibble with this???

In the past, this was not a mistake with consequences because before
cryonics was available, even if religions were wrong, (as Pascal pointed
out) there was no harm in believing in Heaven, and it even took away the
pain of thinking otherwise.  But NOW that there is another option, we don't
want either one (religion or cyronics) making claims that are beyond what we
can know as being certain, and would (perhaps in error)  make people think
they only need one and not the other.  This is so, because the results of
either one (cryoncics or religion) cannot be known at this time.  It is the
ultimate moral duty of cryonics and religion to make this clear.

Further, lots of people are dying everyday, (people like your family members
and mine) who are not considering cryonics because they believe they are
going to live forever in Heaven.  They believe this because their religion
has guaranteed it to them.  Every reasonable cryonicists would grant this is
a wrongfull situation.  I am not claiming they are doing this wrongful act
on purpose.  I think it is an honest mistake.  But even if I am right and
their intentions are good as I believe they are, if there is no Heaven and
if cryonics works, and if their guarantees have caused some people to reject
cryonics before they die, then the horrible results are still the same.

BEN:  >     Cryonics has recently avoided a brush with death at the
> hands of the governments of Arizona and Michigan. We are a
> tiny minority struggling to survive. We desperately need
> friends & allies, not more enemies. Our best chance of survival
> at this time may well be to remain unworthy of serious
> attention. Where would a cryonicist with a death wish look
> to find the fiercest potential enemies?

DAVID:  There was no brush with death - It was always a managable problem.
I believe panic in our  ranks made it worse than it really was.  When I was
more involved with cryonics we faced much more critical things that these
and handled them with great success.  It is a general lack of courage in
cryonics that sometimes leads to the biggest troubles.   Your
unsubstantiated fears are not a justifiable excuse to abandon the millions
of innocent persons who should be given correct evidence about what we can
know and what we cannot know about the future at this time, and thereby
might consider cryonics.
I ask you Ben, what about them?

BEN: >     Do most cryonicists not know from personal experience
> that the most vehement opposition and hostility we face
> comes from people who imagine that cryonics is in conflict
> with God's will? Should we not make efforts to convince
> these potential opponents that there are no real grounds
> for this presumed conflict -- or at minimum not to
> inflame them? Does a chipmunk improve its chances of
> survival by attacking a bear and biting it on the leg?

DAVID:  If you think you are a chipmunk, then you might be one.  We have a
lot of things on our side.  I have found that I was able to defeat many
powerful opponets in the past with just one thing - being in the right!

 I feel that there is a lot at stake involving present non-cryonicists and
we cryoncists have a moral obligation to think about ways that we might
correct the problem.  Ben, you are the president of a company that has a
great product and you are afraid to even think about ways that might make
the world more receptive to it.

BEN >     There are certain experiments which prudent people
> do not perform. I will not drive a long nail through my
> head in order to study the effect.   If Dave were totally
> dissociated from cryonics he could bear the full
> responsibility for his actions. But instead he presents
> himself as a spokesperson for cryonics, despite the fact
> that CryoNetters have overwhelmingly repudiated his
> spokesmanship. To so recklessly endanger the lives of
> our members and patients is criminal negligence.

DAVID:  This is a falsehood.  I am not presenting myself a spokesperson for
cryonics.  I am presenting myself as a spokesperson for logic, reason, truth
and understanding.  It just happens that cryonics is a part of the
particular problem I am working on at this time.  And not the main part.
But the availability of cryonics now, has made the long-standing mistake of
how religions present their beliefs now become a problem with consequences.
The problem is with religions.  If cryonics were not available, the problem
would be one with no potential harm, since even if religions were wrong
there would be nothing you could do about it anyway.

BEN>      Dave, if you've got money to blow on a lawsuit,
> why not use it for something constructive like a hospice
> or retirement community for cryonicists. Those were great
> ideas for which you had our admiration and support. I
> cannot think of a way to convince you that the risks of
> your lawsuit are great and the probability of a positive
> result is minuscule.

DAVID:  Because the results of the lawsuit could do much more benefit to
much more people if they are successful and that is why I am conducting this
discussion, for the present time ONLY  to try to gather enough evidence and
ideas to make a decision on what to do from here.


>        -- Ben Best, speaking for
> himself
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