X-Message-Number: 32103
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2009 11:04:04 EDT
Subject: Caspar Hare

Mark Plus provided a citation about a book by Caspar Hare offering a  
defense of "solipsism" and egocentricity. Like most other writers, past and  
present,  Hare seems confused.
(The relation to cryonics is a bit thin, but Mark points out that many  
people have castigated cryonics as "selfish" and therefore "bad.")
First, although it's not terribly important, Hare shouldn't invent a  new 
meaning for solipsism. The accepted definition is that we don't and can't  
know whether another "person" exists or has an inner life.
More importantly, he confuses "morality"--ethics-- with individual  

motivation. In YOUNIVERSE I have demonstrated, at least to my own satisfaction,
that self interest (properly understood) is not only the only conscious  

motivation of everyone, but the only possible motivation, no exceptions. Anyone
claiming otherwise is simply confused about the nature of satisfaction and 
its  complexities. In extreme brevity--which requires a book to flesh out--if 
you are  consciously motivated (moved) to choose this rather than that, it 
is because (no  exceptions) you believe at the moment that you will enjoy 
this more than that,  or will suffer less with this than with that. (Note the 
word "consciously"--not  all choices are conscious, and unconscious choices 
can arise in several ways,  not necessarily to your or anyone else's 
It is also important to remember that, to a considerable extent and in  
many circumstances, owing to evolution and indoctrination, the welfare of 
others  is tied to your own in various ways and degrees. The influence of 

cryonics is  certainly ethical from almost any point of view, and in particular
from the  standpoint of the Golden Rule. Those who expect to live long and 
encounter their  neighbors repeatedly are more motivated to earn the regard of 
others  and not to foul the nest. Those who anticipate a short or/and unhappy 
life are  the ones who are reckless and short-sighted.
Robert Ettinger 

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