X-Message-Number: 31246
From: Mark Plus <>
Subject: The lame Alienation Objection to cryonics.
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2008 17:44:36 -0800

The Arizona Republic ran an article about Alcor & cryonics the other day:
With medical advances, many put faith in freezing
It quotes bioethicist Arthur Caplan as saying:

>Proponents say cryonics is the one chance people have to live again, but Arthur
Caplan, a professor of bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, said those 
considering being frozen should think about what it would be like to come back. 
For example, a person revived in the future wouldn't have any relationships or 
ties to that time. "Who we are isn't just defined by what's in our heads; it's 
also by our relationships," Caplan said.

This sort of objection based on fears of capital-A Alienation shows up in 
response to the idea of cryonics surprisingly often. Caplan ignores the fact 
that cryonicist couples and even entire families have signed up, in addition to 
forming friendships with other cryonicists who could show up as familiar and 
benevolent sponsors to help one another in the future. But even in Caplan's less
desirable scenario (by his standards, not necessarily by some of ours), I can 
see how a revived cryonaut might find the lack of "relationships or ties" in a 
future society a challenge -- for, what? a month or two?

Many people have lost everything they had and everyone they knew because of a 
war, natural disaster or the misfortune of living in a country with an abusive 
government. They somehow manage to migrate to a more benign country like the 
U.S., Canada or Australia, owning only the clothes they stand in. Despite the 
misadvantages they face in their new environments, they proceed to learn a new 
language & customs, get jobs, start businesses, find spouses, rear families, and
usually build worthwhile lives without major regrets. 
In fact, we tend to admire such people. 

Cryonicists could find themselves in a similar situation yet consider such 
obstacles manageable given the standard human tool kit in our brains. As the 
survivalist businessman (sound like some cryonicists you know?) Anthony Hopkins 
says in "The Edge," "What one man can do, another man can do!" 

"Around 2010 the world will be at a new orbit in history. . .  Life expectancy 
will be indefinite. Disease and disability will nonexist. Death wll be rare and 
accidental -- but not permanent. We will continuously jettison our obsolescence 
and grow younger." F.M. Esfandiary, "Up-Wing Priorities" (1981). 

Mark Plus
Suspicious message? There's an alert for that. 


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