X-Message-Number: 9413
Date: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 10:34:26 -0400
From: Rafi Haftka <>
Subject: religion and immortality

Are we shooting ourselves in the foot?

I have read with interest, some but not all of the posts on Cryonics and
religion, and so I apologize if I am repeating or ignoring someone's

One may argue that a key component of religion is to supply believers with
prospects of immortality, and so Cryonics fills the role of religion when
it focuses on immortality. This focus, therefore, brings us into conflict
with most religions.

It may be prudent on our part to play down immortality and focus instead on
extending life by cryonic suspension. For myself, I find that estimating
the prospects of TRUE immortality (say beyond the expected lifespan of the
universe) is such a daunting task, that I would rather concentrate on the
next thousand years.

In a recent interview with the local paper, I focused on the opportunity
that Cryonics may provide to be young again and live in some wonderfully
interesting future, and conceded that sooner or later I am likely to die.
The interview turned out much more friendly than I expected, and the
different focus may have contributed.

        Raphael(Rafi) T. Haftka                      <  >
      University of Florida                  Phone: (352)-392-9595
 Department of Aerospace Engineering,         Fax: (352)-392-7303
  Mechanics and Engineering Science         http://www.aero.ufl.edu/~haftka/
     Gainesville, FL 32611-6250               (beware, a lot of graphics!)
Check the web page of the International Society of Structural and
Multidisciplinary Optimization (ISSMO) at  http://www.aero.ufl.edu/~issmo/
for details about the MicroAV competition!

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