On Sun, 4 Apr 1999 19:49:30 +0200, you wrote about the possibility of the Roman Catholic Churh acting against the vessel:
>Some irrelevant verbal abuse only...
Considering their vast resources, powerful members and history, I cannot put it past a Roman Catholic leader of a country acting in the name of the Mother Church (which is, granted, not the same as the actual princes of the Church acting on their own official capacity) . And the Holy Office still exists, although I have no evidence nor even indications that any sort of inquisition is on its way. Nevertheless, I aim to be cautious: that's one wealthy institution you may not want to go medieval on your ship.
Incidentally, the Holy See could hardly be considered the only possible source of religious reprisals. Faith can be a powerful inductor to initiate violence against perceived sins, all in the name of the divinity of choice. Current terrorist attacks against abortion clinics in the US remind us of just how carried away some people might get.
In my earlier postings, I sidestepped the issue of setting up a religion not just because I can't bring myself to protect a rational venture with an irrational veneer, but also because I realized that not even religions can get away legally with eliminating human life, which is how many US courts seem to take the issue of euthanasia. Some justices might even deem these acts "ritual sacrifices," which are still clearly forbidden when it comes to human lives.
But isn't the point of these euthanasias to then place the subject under cryogenic storage? That being the case, we need a scientific approach in court successfully explaining how the cessation of animation by euthanasia and subsequent physiological stasis under cryogenic storage differs from death and subsequent physiological decomposition (which is the case even with mummified cadavers).
In countries were the rule of law is still appreciated and mostly followed, battles would need to be won in court if one is to avoid the bribery approach. And you do need to convince those countries even if your vessel is in "international" waters. I don't think the U.N. acknowledges immunity from its reach anywhere on this planet; and U.N. members certainly know how to go ballistic when the issue of "crimes against humanity" favors their political agendas (witness the Spanish "Superfudge" and Madrid's newfound role in the scheme of things). I still think you need hefty protection not only from felonious and terrorists attacks, but from the more threatening military of virtually any country in the world.
This ship won't be just a peaceful schooner merrily sailing o'er the high sea waves: to some reactionary ideologues in just about every nation of this world, it will be an outright threat to their way of thinking. It certainly runs counter to Judeo-Islam-Christian precepts of life, death as a natural result and fatalistic acceptance of the ultimate fate as imposed from Beyond.
Oh, and let's not forget that at some point you will need to go to port somewhere in the world or rely upon transportation to deal with dry land concerns.
I also wonder whether tethering yourself to some "realty" and obtaining acknowledgment as a sovereign nation might help somewhat. It wouldn't physically prevent other nations from attacking you; but at least some national leaders are effectively restrained by legal constructs.
Then again, aren't NATO nations attacking Yugoslav grounds even as we speak "on principle"? never underestimate the power of statist politicians to work themselves into a frenzy!
So far, this venture seems to require (a) capital, (b) technological means, (c) human resources, (d) sovereignty, (e) legal standing in assorted national and international forums, (f) military-level defense systems... It's definitely starting to look like a nation-making endeavor.