X-Message-Number: 9404
Date: Sat, 04 Apr 1998 11:04:12 +0300
From: "George A. Stathis" <>
Subject: Cryonics: Business or Religion (2)
References: <>

CryoNet wrote:

> Well, guess what! Cryonics IS like a religion! The only people who
> dispute this are the people who have signed up, who hate the idea that
> there could be any similarity between RATIONAL cryonics and IRRATIONAL
> religion. Well, I don't like the comparison either, but the similarities
> are unavoidable.
> --Charles Platt

Well, Mr. Platt, Cryonics in this case appears to have all
the advantages of religion without the... disadvantages.

What's wrong with religion anyway, if not the doctrinaire
and irrational part of it?

Religion has deep roots in our human helplessness in the face
of death." Meditating about death" refines and at the same time
strengthens life; will for life, both compassion AND survival.
Only much later does doctrine comes in to destroy these sublime
longings, which are the foundations of all religions.

An example:
When my father died, back in 1987, I wept a few hours, then raised
my fist in the air, and told God:  "This is unfair!  We must overcome
it some day".

Death of a loved one is worse (sometimes) than death of one's self.

It may turn out that there is a universe where time flows backwards
and some of us are time travellers, who came to our epoch with a
mission to help overcome death. I used to fantasize, as an adolescent,
that I am such a person. Now I am not so sure, and feel much more
humble. But I am even more sure that such fantasies are basically
_correct_, for any one of us. Such fantasies are indeed positive as
well as desirable. Much better to display pride on behalf our entire
species, realizing the value of life, than to display misplaced pride
in harming other sentient beings. The highest PRAYER is:  Lord
help us overcome death. Not just in the spiritual realm, whatever this
means, but also on the physical level. And remembering the value of
life, makes a person overcome death in a sense, wishing utopian dreams
to come true, and eventually participating in them:  This to me is the
_spiritual_ core of cryonics.

What is more precious than to overcome death?  (The supreme dream
of all religion)?  And we might get rebirth as a bonus too, at a time
in the future when the mysteries of existence would have been solved
and we would _know_ the answer to those questions which doctrine
tries to solve without scientific explanation.

For those cryonicists who doubt that the Mind and the Soul are
just functions of nerve cells, there is a book worth reading which
may open paths to other views: "Laws of Form" by George Spencer
Brown. There is a site which explaines very well these new principles
of Formal Logic through which we realize that Truth and Falsity are
reducible to boundaries between the Inner and the Outer World, and
that these boundaries can initially be drawn almost anywhere we please.
This site is <http://www.formal.com>. I also include links to other sites
about "Laws of Form" in my personal web-pages, but they need revision
at the moment, as new material was found recently.

Experience is Inner, material existence is Outer. The Mind is like Space
which cannot be completely destroyed. These are also Buddhist views.
They are compatible with "Laws of Form", and also with a non-mechanistic
view of the brain.
Each one of us IS the Universe trying to see itself, through the highly
imperfect "interface" of our brains and bodies. If any of this stuff appeals
to you, you will find a non-religious but spiritual account of it useful.

-If not, and if all this "mumbo jumbo" bothers you, I apologize for wasting
your time. However, this is my experience, of the Spiritual Core of
Cryonics as well... whatever one may happen to think or believe.

So Cryonics has religious aspects at least for _some_ people! ;-)


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