Re: Ahumans [was Re: Cryonics and abortion- not happening!]

From: Dana Hedberg (
Date: Fri Jan 21 2000 - 11:16:48 MST

Spike Jones wrote:
> > The way this is phrased got [Robert Bradbury] to thinking --
> > Why do we have such a "magical mystery cult" about a collection of cells?
> > [I'm probably going to get eaten alive for that statement -- bygones...]
> Robert I know you will endure a lotta crap for this, but I grok your
> message. Abortion is one of those hot button subjects, second only
> to those devices which hurl small lead objects at high speeds. But it
> not not be. Seems we should be able to dissociate the emotion from
> abortion, if we wish. Looks to me like we have now or will soon
> have the technology to selectively block the action of any hormone,
> and we should be able to figure out which of these causes us to have
> such strong emotional response to abortion. Then block it. Then

I would hazard that those neurotransmitters that cause such an emotional
reaction to abortion would be those that cause emotional reactions in
general. Blocking them, or as I understand you, removing them from the
equation of your mental make-up is tantamount to "roboticizing" your
thought processes. This is something that on the surface seems to have
tremendous merit, and indeed would be quite useful in specific
situations, but I think at a deeper level is probably not the best
course of action in this particular instance.

> make the decision for parenthood based only on intellectual criteria,
> leaving emotion, religion, hormonal drives, etc. completely out of
> the question.

But Spike, don't you see? It may be those very things that you want to
factor out of the decision making process that should be given the most
weight. A decision as weighty as whether or not to allow the growth of a
potential human being should take into account all available
information, including that which may not be considered to be
"rational", "logical", "theistic", or otherwise. Life isn't lived in a
vacuum, and rather than try and create one in my mind, I think I would
be better off through integration and understanding of my emotional,
less rational heritage. Parceling those things out seems like only half
a solution, imho.

> Then perhaps we would have a world in which *all* children that
> are born are children that are *wanted*. spike

I applaud the sentiment. The reality, however, is that there will always
be those who question the decision to bring (or not) another sentience
into the world of existence and self-awareness. Given the kind of
technologies we discuss, coupled with our current understanding of
physics, it definitely seems to suggest that all matter has the
*potential* to be sentient, at our level and beyond. What this indicates
to me is that the scope of this problem (abortion) is so vast that we
should try to take into account all thoughts, attitudes, beliefs and
actions when attempting to decide as a society what the best course of
travel into the future should be.


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