Are cryonics patients dead by definition?

Are cryonics patients dead by definition?

Joined: January 2nd, 2011, 12:16 am

January 6th, 2011, 2:50 pm #1

Try imagining a culture that had never experienced sleep, but who now must experience it to survive. Would they be apprehensive about experiencing it for the first time? Of course! Imagine this total suspension of consciousness, experienced for the first time. It would totally blow their minds. They might even make up stories about dying and being replaced by an identical clone being.

I see no evidence that humans that survive freezing or vitrification are qualitatively different from humans that survive sleep. The definition of consciousness we care about is the lifelong continuity of experiences created by memories.

If we met an alien culture that undergoes 8 hour periods of liquid nitrogen immersion every night instead of sleep, we wouldn't find it a significant barrier to relating to them as fellow sentient beings. We'd just think it is a weird custom, much like they might regard our sleeping habits.

So let's be done with this bizarre idea that cryonics patients can only be dead by definition. To be sure current patients are legally dead, but that will change with scientific and social progress. When a person can be brought back in good health by contemporary technologies, there is no denying that they are alive in the mean time.
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Joined: November 30th, 2005, 4:41 am

January 7th, 2011, 5:42 am #2

I recall a time earlier in my career when a co-worker, who was a mortician, told me of his personal experience working with a body.  Moments before he started the cutdown for embalming, he realized the body that had been declared legally dead wasn't sufficiently dead for him to continue, and the patient was transferred back to the hospital to recover.
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Joined: October 11th, 2006, 4:20 am

January 7th, 2011, 7:01 am #3


that sure is a scary story, there, Mr Sullivan.

Now let me tell you another scary story. A true story!

One dark summer night, this young boy and his blond girlfriend were out 'parking' on this lonely road. They were hugging and kissing at night on the side of the road. The car radio was on as they embraced there on the dark roadside, and the news mentioned that an alert was out for an escaped convict who was a serial killer. This escaped convict had a steel hook on his right hand, according to the news story. The radio said he had been spotted in a nearby town. The girl was getting scared listening to the radio news describe the escapee's macabre string of killings, most of which he accomplished by carving up his victims with his razor sharp hook hand. So, because the girl was so spooked, the boy started up the car and drove home in a big hurry. When they got out of the car at her house, they discovered a single, razor sharp hook hand attached to the car door handle on the passenger side....


Now, back to the topic at hand: what is dead and what is not dead? OK. This thread is dead. And this forum is dead.

And, of course, Freddie's Dead:




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Joined: January 25th, 2007, 2:45 pm

January 7th, 2011, 12:51 pm #4

But do you actually have anything to add to the conversation? I mean something other than mockery of your fellow cryonicists. The shtick is getting a bit old. If you think this forum is dead, then you should probably move on to somewhere more "alive." After all, there isn't anyone here to miss you, except for us dead folk.
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Joined: October 11th, 2006, 4:20 am

January 7th, 2011, 1:43 pm #5

"But do you actually have anything to add to the conversation? "

Uh, yeah. I have made original proposals here, backed up by my studies in sociobiology, biopolitics and evolutionary psychology, suggesting that the marketing of cryonics, using its current nerd-centric approach, has been a failure, and that cryonicists must align cryonics with religion, at least in part, in order to make real membership gains.



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Joined: January 25th, 2007, 2:45 pm

January 7th, 2011, 3:10 pm #6

If you have nothing to say about the topic of the thread, skipping it is preferable to mocking what other posters had to say. That way you don't discourage others from contributing. Please take this into consideration in the future.
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Joined: January 2nd, 2011, 12:16 am

January 8th, 2011, 7:40 am #7

I recall a time earlier in my career when a co-worker, who was a mortician, told me of his personal experience working with a body.  Moments before he started the cutdown for embalming, he realized the body that had been declared legally dead wasn't sufficiently dead for him to continue, and the patient was transferred back to the hospital to recover.
Very true. And there are multiple kinds of *claim* of death. You might claim someone will not spontaneously revive, but that's different from claiming they cannot possibly be revived or that even if they revive they aren't the same person.

On the other hand there are *vague* claims of death.
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