X-Message-Number: 17131
From: "Michael LaTorra" <>
Subject: Re: #17120 - Infinite Self-Worth
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 16:51:16 -0600

Mike Perry wrote:

>In fact, I think people can be assigned an infinite *potential* self-worth,
>based on ideas and hopes I have about immortality. If things go as they
>should, their "worth" (however you reasonably define it), though always
>finite, should go to infinity over infinite time, as they develop and
>progress to ever higher levels. This should avoid the problem that somehow
>a person could be rated or feel "worthless". Having a basic sense of
>self-worth I do not see as a detriment, properly handled, but really a
>benefit and something essential. People who, like the devout Buddhists,
>point to their physical housing and say, "there's no person in here," may
>feel great bliss. But how many of them are signed up? As far as I can tell,
>they simply are not interested.

I my opinion, there are at least two significant issues here, one of
personal growth and the other about the nature of identity. Regarding the
latter, I have generally avoided participating in discussions of identity
because I am one of those people who accept the Buddhist claim that there is
no self, or irreducible entity, soul or whatever you want to call it. I
share this belief with psychologist Susan Blackmore, who is a skeptic,
author of the excellent book "The Meme Machine" and also a Zen Buddhist. Yet
at the same time, I do not deny that "I" exist in some form, or as some
form, and I want to continue indefinitely. But I don't want to continue
forever *unchanged.* I want to grow, improve, become much more than I am
now. Which is what Mike has suggested here.

That's why I am signed up for cryonics. And that's why I find much to admire
in Mike Perry's immortalist philosophy as expounded in his thorough and
carefully written book "Forever for All."  In addition to being the premier
philosopher of immortalism, I consider Mike to be also one of the most
civil, kind and readable posters to CryoNet. If I had to pick an interesting
companion to spend a long future with, I can think of few who would be
better company than Mike Perry.


Michael LaTorra

Extropy Institute: www.extropy.org
Alcor Life Extension Foundation: www.alcor.org
Society for Technical Communication: www.stc.org

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