X-Message-Number: 6354
From: Peter Merel <>
Subject: SCI.CRYONICS cryonics and souls
Date: Sun, 16 Jun 1996 09:37:02 +1000 (EST)

Eric Stadler 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.

The practice of cryonics is founded on the idea that your soul (which
some around here also refer to as your self, or your consciousness) is
something that emerges naturally from the physical processes of your
body. If it is possible to reconstruct and restart your body, and if 
none of the information that your body represents is lost in the 
process of freezing, reconstrucing and restarting, then it is assumed
that whatever your soul/self/consciousness might be, it will still 
emerge from the revived body.

This is not the only possible view of what constitutes a soul. Some folks
consider souls to be the gift of one or another deity, and I guess it'd
be a matter of mystical or theological inquiry as to whether those deities
would be kind enough to gift a body revived from cyronic suspension with
a soul. Other folks consider souls to inhere in the relationship between
a body and its hobbies, job, finances, friends and/or family, all of which 
are vulnerable to extinction over the course of a cryonic suspension. It's
a matter for you to decide for yourself - if you accept the assumption in
the previous paragraph, then cryonics might be something you'd pursue. If 
you don't, it probably isn't.


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