X-Message-Number: 855
From: more% (Max More)
Subject: Re: cryonics: #853: Persuasion and belief
Date: Mon, 25 May 92 2:29:02 PDT

> " The path to success ... to first go after the 5%..." is a position
> of concern to me. I might very well be taking this out
> of context but to me it sounds like the "success" would be to be able
> to revive people from suspension someday.  The language used above
> reminds me of the people of a certain religion where there main focus
> is collecting money and getting others to join.  Why is it
> important to argue with others about cryonics in a way to make them
> conform?

Good question. Cryonics is not an uncontroversial or insignificant issue. 
While many issues involving scientific and philosophical assessments 
might be easily conducted in a dry, unpersuasive way, that would be
inappropriate for cryonics. The reason is that almost everyone has been
thoroughly indoctrinated with ideas like "Death is natural and should be
accepted," "Don't mess with Nature/God's plan." To get through to most people
with the ideas of cryonics, to get them to give the subject some real
thought and attention, it may be necessary for us to attend to methods
of persuasion. Presentation of facts, hypotheses and speculations must be 
foremost and conducted with rigorous honesty. In addition though, we need
to break through evasions and fears. This doesn't mean getting people to
*conform* to "our" views (whatever they are). Conformity requires that people
seek to be the same as others for the sake of being the same. By contrast,
what we seek is to encourage others to think critically and independently.

.  Is the whole
> concept of cryonics dependent on enough people joining because of
> financial reasons for the program?
This *is* a reason for pushing the idea of cryonics harder than, say, the idea
of punctuated equilibrium in evolutionary theory. Our lives may depend on
increasing our numbers. If you have been reading Cryonics or The Immortalist 
for any time, it will be obvious to you that cryonics runs into numerous
attacks by the state and statists. I don't think cryonics is *financially*
dependent on having large numbers (though more cryonicists means economies of
scale and more cryonics research). The real motivation for growth is

Max More				AMIX:MMORE
Publisher, Editor
EXTROPY: The Journal of Transhumanist Thought

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