Cryonics Threatens

Cryonics Threatens

Joined: May 17th, 2009, 5:13 pm

September 4th, 2010, 6:01 pm #1

This is the only explanation that makes sense as far as why we haven't already, as a society, replaced burial and cremation traditions with cryonics. People are just plain threatened by the idea.

It threatens their sense of certainty. The sense that the person has been "laid to rest" and that the final chapter of their life story has been concluded is given a cliffhanger of an ending.

Further it threatens social status. Families gain social status by having a dignified mortician carefully doll up grandpa's corpse for a viewing at the funeral. To go against the common tradition on such a matter makes the family look less wonderful to shallow outsiders. It's an inertia thing though -- if everyone did it, the monsters would be those who don't. This apparently ends up being reflected back, out of sheer defensive reflex.

For example Jill apparently sees Matthew as some kind of monster. The same goes for Saul Kent's famous preservation of Dora Kent, or John Henry Williams' preservation of Ted Williams. These people are heroes in fact, but are widely looked upon by clueless outsiders as monsters. The terms "murder" and "scam" logically should be associated not with Dora Kent or Ted Williams, but with Marce Johnson and Orville Richardson, whose family members intervened to prevent their suspension for monetary (and doubtless also social) reasons.

Somehow, shallow surface impressions of cryogenic dewars do not strike people as being more dignified than being laid to rest in a square box of wood under six feet of earth in specially marked lots. If they did, perhaps we would see more use of cryonics. But again perhaps not, as part of the attraction of the grave is its permanent and certain nature.

I do wonder though, if family members were to paint flowers and other symbolic things on the outside of CI's giant featureless white dewars, if it would bring a greater sense of respectability to the enterprise. Another idea would be for individuals to have a memory tree planted in their honor in a nice protected park-like setting, to not only scrub CO2 in their absence, but to be something they can later look at to get a sense of the time of their absence.

The fact is that permanent or not, cryonics represents a long term separation and of "rest" for the soul in question. At the very least, we need to have traditions and formulas in place to "properly" wish them a Bon Voyage -- if only to replace the sad, empty equivalents that exist in funeral culture.
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Joined: August 31st, 2007, 2:14 pm

September 5th, 2010, 2:52 am #2

Luke is right of course in saying that a large element in rejection of cryonics is fear--fear of betraying their heritage or one or more institutions, fear of the future and radical change, fear of losing one's place in the world, fear of work or effort and responsibility, fear of a negative impact on business or personal relationships if their cryonics involvement became known, and so on.

All this has been documented by numerous writers, especially in recent years but going back to ancient times. A quotation I like is from Dostoyevsky, who wrote in the 19th Century but whose understanding of human psychology holds up well in the 21st--"Men prefer peace, even death, to freedom of choice in the knowledge of good and evil."

As usual, the question is what's to be done about it. My favorite answer is that, while we can't rule out big results from new approaches or new blood, the main thing we (all of us) can do is keep on doing what has worked. Nothing hss worked as well as we would like, but what we have been doing has worked to some extent and at a better rate in recent years. In particular, the record shows that, while friends and relatives will mostly not be converted, still they are better prospects for recruitment than strangers. A close relative or friend of a member is more likely to join than a random individual. Just keep working on them, with patience and tact. Don't wait for some new brilliant idea or some charismatic leader, but do yourself what is in your power.

Robert Ettinger
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Joined: April 30th, 2006, 1:38 am

September 5th, 2010, 1:22 pm #3

This is the only explanation that makes sense as far as why we haven't already, as a society, replaced burial and cremation traditions with cryonics. People are just plain threatened by the idea.

It threatens their sense of certainty. The sense that the person has been "laid to rest" and that the final chapter of their life story has been concluded is given a cliffhanger of an ending.

Further it threatens social status. Families gain social status by having a dignified mortician carefully doll up grandpa's corpse for a viewing at the funeral. To go against the common tradition on such a matter makes the family look less wonderful to shallow outsiders. It's an inertia thing though -- if everyone did it, the monsters would be those who don't. This apparently ends up being reflected back, out of sheer defensive reflex.

For example Jill apparently sees Matthew as some kind of monster. The same goes for Saul Kent's famous preservation of Dora Kent, or John Henry Williams' preservation of Ted Williams. These people are heroes in fact, but are widely looked upon by clueless outsiders as monsters. The terms "murder" and "scam" logically should be associated not with Dora Kent or Ted Williams, but with Marce Johnson and Orville Richardson, whose family members intervened to prevent their suspension for monetary (and doubtless also social) reasons.

Somehow, shallow surface impressions of cryogenic dewars do not strike people as being more dignified than being laid to rest in a square box of wood under six feet of earth in specially marked lots. If they did, perhaps we would see more use of cryonics. But again perhaps not, as part of the attraction of the grave is its permanent and certain nature.

I do wonder though, if family members were to paint flowers and other symbolic things on the outside of CI's giant featureless white dewars, if it would bring a greater sense of respectability to the enterprise. Another idea would be for individuals to have a memory tree planted in their honor in a nice protected park-like setting, to not only scrub CO2 in their absence, but to be something they can later look at to get a sense of the time of their absence.

The fact is that permanent or not, cryonics represents a long term separation and of "rest" for the soul in question. At the very least, we need to have traditions and formulas in place to "properly" wish them a Bon Voyage -- if only to replace the sad, empty equivalents that exist in funeral culture.
...I don't know about the rest of the world, but it is the incompetence and corruption that keeps me away. To work in heart surgery, and actually play a roll in "suspending" people, (albeit for relatively short periods of time), and then to see people selling a promise of the future, while offering something significantly more primitive than what existed in conventional hypothermic medicine, decades ago, is a "no brainer," to me.

I've been in both worlds, (conventional medicine and cryonics), and I've read many of the cryonics case reports and understand them...sometimes better than the people who did the cases and wrote the reports. As was clear in SA's CI-81 case report, the authors simply did not know what they were writing, because they did not fully understand the medical procedures involved.

I'm not buying that people can be resuscitated after being dead and buried, (ala Orville Richardson); subjected to long periods of relatively warm ischemia, (Curtis Henderson, Mary Robbins and probably a large percentage of all cryo-preservees); subjected to high perfusion pressures (CI-81 and, no doubt, many others); filled with a precipitating solution that clogs off the perfusion circuit, (again, Mr. Henderson); pumped full of solutions known to be highly toxic; or the various other insults inflicted by cryonics "care providers."

I'm not "threatened," I'm "dumbfounded and appalled," and I'm sure my opinions of the situation are shared by many. It's the people within the organizations, who have created this image of cryonics.

(Don't expect me to have a back-and-forth with Luke. My lack of participation will save a lot of headaches, for the moderator.)
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Joined: October 2nd, 2004, 8:27 pm

September 5th, 2010, 2:58 pm #4

Luke is talking at a different level on acceptance/rejection of the idea cryonics by people in general, than anything having to do with the quality or lack of in the procedures currently and previously employed. Melody just loves to try to turn any conversation into a platform for her supposed cryonics-"reform" crusade, and has yet again here attempted to so hijack a thread.

Cryonics is indeed a threat to those whose culture has brainwashed them into thinking we all must die. I never accepted that, never drank that flavor of Koolaid. I think there may indeed be a future wherein one's death could be continually postponed by scientific advances. I am becoming increasingly convinced that no one currently living will see such a time, due to sluggishness and incompetence. Nonetheless, a small probability exists (and folks such as Bob E. think mathematically that it is larger than that) that resuscitation from cryopreservation (however crudely done) could occur - it is a better than zero probability, which to me makes choosing embalming or burial unthinkable.

Choosing embalming or burial is the equivalent of saying "No, thanks, I don't want to ever live any longer."

Morbidly yours,

FD
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Joined: October 6th, 2004, 6:46 pm

September 5th, 2010, 3:23 pm #5

This is the only explanation that makes sense as far as why we haven't already, as a society, replaced burial and cremation traditions with cryonics. People are just plain threatened by the idea.

It threatens their sense of certainty. The sense that the person has been "laid to rest" and that the final chapter of their life story has been concluded is given a cliffhanger of an ending.

Further it threatens social status. Families gain social status by having a dignified mortician carefully doll up grandpa's corpse for a viewing at the funeral. To go against the common tradition on such a matter makes the family look less wonderful to shallow outsiders. It's an inertia thing though -- if everyone did it, the monsters would be those who don't. This apparently ends up being reflected back, out of sheer defensive reflex.

For example Jill apparently sees Matthew as some kind of monster. The same goes for Saul Kent's famous preservation of Dora Kent, or John Henry Williams' preservation of Ted Williams. These people are heroes in fact, but are widely looked upon by clueless outsiders as monsters. The terms "murder" and "scam" logically should be associated not with Dora Kent or Ted Williams, but with Marce Johnson and Orville Richardson, whose family members intervened to prevent their suspension for monetary (and doubtless also social) reasons.

Somehow, shallow surface impressions of cryogenic dewars do not strike people as being more dignified than being laid to rest in a square box of wood under six feet of earth in specially marked lots. If they did, perhaps we would see more use of cryonics. But again perhaps not, as part of the attraction of the grave is its permanent and certain nature.

I do wonder though, if family members were to paint flowers and other symbolic things on the outside of CI's giant featureless white dewars, if it would bring a greater sense of respectability to the enterprise. Another idea would be for individuals to have a memory tree planted in their honor in a nice protected park-like setting, to not only scrub CO2 in their absence, but to be something they can later look at to get a sense of the time of their absence.

The fact is that permanent or not, cryonics represents a long term separation and of "rest" for the soul in question. At the very least, we need to have traditions and formulas in place to "properly" wish them a Bon Voyage -- if only to replace the sad, empty equivalents that exist in funeral culture.
is being financially ripped off and processed by amateurs.

Bring some frozen corpses back to life and cryonics will have more customers than they can possibly handle.
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Joined: August 31st, 2007, 2:14 pm

September 5th, 2010, 6:50 pm #6

TWrelated is wrong on both counts. Just look at the record and use common sense.

It is rather easily shown that fear of ripoff is not a major factor in rejection, and that lack of success so far in reviving frozen animals isn't either.

First, there are millions of millionaires in this country, for whom the cost of cryonics would not be a msjor consideration. If they somehow got the impression that all the existing organizations were dishonest or incompetent, but still thought the basic idea has merit, some of them would either start new organizations or work to improve the existing ones.

Secondly, a considerable number of people already believe that dogs have been revived after freezing, yet this has not seemed to increase demand.

Third, just ask the refuseniks why they reject cryonics. You can't always rely on answers to questions, but in this case the problems come across rather clearly, and it does indeed boil down to fear, which they will usually call ethical objections, often phrased as betrayal of God or betrayal of posterity or betrayal of the natural order.

In the early days I had some correspondlence with leading lights of the Society for Cryobiology, including Harold Meryman, then the top man, now deceased. He and others admitted that their real objection to cryonics was religious, and their stance was not that it couldn't work but that the goal was immoral. It's fear, my dear.

Robert Ettinger

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Joined: November 1st, 2007, 4:06 am

September 6th, 2010, 2:35 am #7

This is the only explanation that makes sense as far as why we haven't already, as a society, replaced burial and cremation traditions with cryonics. People are just plain threatened by the idea.

It threatens their sense of certainty. The sense that the person has been "laid to rest" and that the final chapter of their life story has been concluded is given a cliffhanger of an ending.

Further it threatens social status. Families gain social status by having a dignified mortician carefully doll up grandpa's corpse for a viewing at the funeral. To go against the common tradition on such a matter makes the family look less wonderful to shallow outsiders. It's an inertia thing though -- if everyone did it, the monsters would be those who don't. This apparently ends up being reflected back, out of sheer defensive reflex.

For example Jill apparently sees Matthew as some kind of monster. The same goes for Saul Kent's famous preservation of Dora Kent, or John Henry Williams' preservation of Ted Williams. These people are heroes in fact, but are widely looked upon by clueless outsiders as monsters. The terms "murder" and "scam" logically should be associated not with Dora Kent or Ted Williams, but with Marce Johnson and Orville Richardson, whose family members intervened to prevent their suspension for monetary (and doubtless also social) reasons.

Somehow, shallow surface impressions of cryogenic dewars do not strike people as being more dignified than being laid to rest in a square box of wood under six feet of earth in specially marked lots. If they did, perhaps we would see more use of cryonics. But again perhaps not, as part of the attraction of the grave is its permanent and certain nature.

I do wonder though, if family members were to paint flowers and other symbolic things on the outside of CI's giant featureless white dewars, if it would bring a greater sense of respectability to the enterprise. Another idea would be for individuals to have a memory tree planted in their honor in a nice protected park-like setting, to not only scrub CO2 in their absence, but to be something they can later look at to get a sense of the time of their absence.

The fact is that permanent or not, cryonics represents a long term separation and of "rest" for the soul in question. At the very least, we need to have traditions and formulas in place to "properly" wish them a Bon Voyage -- if only to replace the sad, empty equivalents that exist in funeral culture.
It is my opinion people have a gut feeling about cryonics. That is: They don't like it. Their gut feeling goes beyond logic. Only when death is imminent do they give it serious thought. But then it is to late.

Basie
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Joined: November 30th, 2005, 4:41 am

September 6th, 2010, 5:48 am #8

Luke is talking at a different level on acceptance/rejection of the idea cryonics by people in general, than anything having to do with the quality or lack of in the procedures currently and previously employed. Melody just loves to try to turn any conversation into a platform for her supposed cryonics-"reform" crusade, and has yet again here attempted to so hijack a thread.

Cryonics is indeed a threat to those whose culture has brainwashed them into thinking we all must die. I never accepted that, never drank that flavor of Koolaid. I think there may indeed be a future wherein one's death could be continually postponed by scientific advances. I am becoming increasingly convinced that no one currently living will see such a time, due to sluggishness and incompetence. Nonetheless, a small probability exists (and folks such as Bob E. think mathematically that it is larger than that) that resuscitation from cryopreservation (however crudely done) could occur - it is a better than zero probability, which to me makes choosing embalming or burial unthinkable.

Choosing embalming or burial is the equivalent of saying "No, thanks, I don't want to ever live any longer."

Morbidly yours,

FD
With words that have been frequently used on CF such as corruption, fraud, illegal, scam, etc. - you would have thought a police report would have been filed by now.
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Joined: October 11th, 2006, 4:20 am

September 6th, 2010, 10:37 am #9

It is my opinion people have a gut feeling about cryonics. That is: They don't like it. Their gut feeling goes beyond logic. Only when death is imminent do they give it serious thought. But then it is to late.

Basie
I agree with your basic statement.

And after being interested in cryonics for 25 years now and having been signed up for 14 years now and having pondered the mystery of why cryonics is still a tiny movement after all these years, some conclusions seem inescapablt to me:

humans are not really rational at all, not outside of a relatively small arena. Our waking consciousness and our culture create this facade of rationality and reason, but outside this box of culture swirls a typhoon of irrationality, unreason, superstition and fear. Feelings.

And this inescapable reality of human unreason gives the lie to the libertarian-objectivist FACADE of reason as well. Ironic, that, seeing as how so many cryonicists are objectivist/libertarian. Humans are not essentially rational.

And we come marching back once again on my same old topic/solution: if we want to grow cryonics, we need to start a church, the protestant Church of The Immortal Christ, and start teaching a gospel based on the Bible verses that support cryonics and immortalism. That is the only way to reach 99.9 percent of humanity. At least for the foreseeable future.








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Joined: March 3rd, 2005, 2:52 am

September 6th, 2010, 3:44 pm #10

People have only a weak attachment to religion, and they lose interest in it when their living conditions improve. The inflection point seems to happen when a country's per capita GDP reaches about $25,000 a year:

Religiosity Highest in World's Poorest Nations

The U.S. doesn't quite follow the world trend because we have our own Third World region in the South which makes the country seem anomalously religious, but the same dereligionizing process has already started here. The Yankee states and most of the Western states, with the notable exception of Utah, display levels of religiosity closer to the levels in Western Europe. The evidence discredits folk explanations of religiosity that we get infected by "religious memes," we have "god genes," we have a "god part of the brain," we seek connection to the numinous because of existential anxiety and so forth. Oregonians die just like Texans, for example, but they seem a lot less interested than Texans in the idea of "getting right with Jesus" before they die.
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