X-Message-Number: 6352
Date:  Sat, 15 Jun 96 11:15:33 
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: Stadler, "soul"

Eric James Stadler, #6346, writes:

>I have a good question for anyone who cares to answere it.  Lets say you 
>freeze the brain or body or whatever so you can preserve it to revive the 
>person later.  If the person can be revived will it be the person 
>themselves or a shell of a person?  Your body may be active but wouldnt 
>your soul be long gone??  You may have the body but not what makes a 
>person a person, only a zombie.  Please correct me if I am wrong because 
>I am just learning about all this stuff.

Most of us in cryonics are scientific materialists. To us the person 
is basically a machine, a device that, with sufficient repair, should 
be restorable to a full functioning state, which means you would 
recover "the" original person, not some "shell" only. Persons who 
don't subscribe to this "reductionist" view seem to have the idea 
that it necessarily implies something demeaning about what a person 
is. Frank Tipler in his recent book, "The Physics of 
Immortality' (preface, p. xi), has this to say:

"Many people find this extreme 
reductionist approach to life not only wrong but repulsive. I think, 
however, that their hostility is not to reductionism as such but to 
what they mistakenly believe to be the consequences of reductionism. 
They are convinced that regarding people as machines would mean that 
people have no 'free will,' that there is no hope of individual life 
after death, that life itself is a totally insignificant part of 'an 
overwhelmingly hostile universe.'

"In fact, the exact opposite is true. ..."

To go further would get into a long discussion. However, we in 
cryonics are not much worried that a good recovery of function 
(including mental function) after freezing would restore the person. 
The question is whether such a recovery itself will be possible.
Mike Perry


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