X-Message-Number: 5924
From:  (Thomas Donaldson)
Subject: Well, to Mr. Sharman
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 1996 23:35:34 -0800 (PST)


My response was not directed only at you but at many comments from others
on uk.legal. Every one of the points made was directed at one or another
negative comment about cryonics. And as I recall my posting, I did not 
specifically mention your name. If you are the only UK lawyer who has posted
on cryonics, then I apologize.

I will add, though, that calling a posting "evangelical" does not constitute
any kind of argument about its truth or falsity. The only way to deal with
truth or falsity is to examine what was said. If you like big brouhahas with
lots of name-calling, then you miss my purpose entirely.

I will however make some specific comments.

If you believe that any cryonics group is fraudulent, then you are welcome to
investigate them. In fact, they will probably provide you will whatever
information you ask, on their procedures, their recruitment, and documentation
of freezing, their agreements with members for suspension, and on and on. In
fact, every group I know has willingly taken visitors on tours of their 
facility. Have you ever actually READ a cryonic suspension agreement? 

As for your frequent statements of disbelief, I will say this. First, I do not
believe that people have a right to their own opinion on any matter at all.
What they have a right to is not to be FORCIBLY required to change their 
opinion. Physical or police force is not argument about truth and falsity.
Laws forbidding a belief and its promulgation are not arguments, they are 
force; and to those devoted to seeing truth, they suggest most of all that
the forbidden belief must have many merits for its opponents to be reduced
to using force against it.

Nor for that matter does the fact that we are in a (very small minority) and
you are in the BIG majority with your belief mean anything at all for the
truth of what you believe. Truth cannot be decided by majority vote. It
can only be decided by carefully weighing the arguments involved. I do 
not remember whether it was you or someone else who mentioned the opinions of
the British cryobiologist Pegg: you should remember that truth is not a 
matter of authority, either.  

If you state that you do not believe that revival of those suspended now can
ever become possible, you should be prepared to argue for your belief and
consider the arguments of those who argue against it. Every time you simply
repeat your disbelief, you step down one more rung on the ladder of
intelligence. In doing so, you present no arguments for our consideration
but merely show that you do not understand. Have you ever read any biological
science at all? Any biochemistry? Any chemistry? Have you ever read any
physics? Astronomy? How can you believe that we will be convinced at all by 
YOUR disbelief when we are not bothered that Pegg also disbelieves? 

				Long long life,

					Thomas Donaldson

PS: Yes, we lost the case. Ironically, I survived. I remain glad that the 
case was brought, and glad that I survived.

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