X-Message-Number: 32122
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 2009 07:13:13 -0700
Subject: Re: once more, with feeling [Ettinger]
From: Keith Henson <>

On Sun, Nov 1, 2009 at 3:00 AM, Robert Ettenger wrote:

> DSS seems to purport to refute my claim that all conscious motivation is
> self centered, in part by saying that self sacrifice is common and in part by
>  noting that we have and cherish social connections.
> This is just confusion. What I say is not "amateur social science" but
> rigorous philosophy and logic.
> There is never any conscious self sacrifice, only the sacrifice of one want
>  in favor of another. You may sacrifice your life for someone or something
> you  hold dear, but if the choice is a conscious one that simply means that,
> at that  time and place, you calculate more pain or less satisfaction in
> making the  superficially "selfish" choice.

With the emergence of the "selfish gene" model, those who study this
matter make the case that there are no altruistic acts (except by
accident).  Statistically speaking people make choices that are "self
sacrifice" at the individual level, but are in the self interest of
their genes (or were in the stone age).

Of course I can also find fault with the term "conscious" since there
often isn't time for conscious reflection to take place when people
make what looks like self sacrifice choices.  Robert's "rigorous
philosophy and logic" becomes obvious when viewed through the eyes of
evolutionary psychology (and biology).

> Incidentally, if DSS is as devoted to "evidence" in the literature or the
> weight of expert opinion as he appears to be, how can he be favorable to
> cryonics? After all, the "experts" are heavily biased against  it.

I think DSS is applying the leading edge meme shifts that happened
from the mid 70s with nanotechnology to cryonics and not looking at
the equivalent shifts in evolutionary biology and evolutionary
psychology that started about the same time.


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