Re: PHIL: Extropy, Boundaries and Suicide

Darren Reynolds (
Wed, 25 Feb 1998 22:27:17 +0100

den Otter wrote:
>From a rational ethics point of view, the choice is easy: you try to prevent
>the permanent destruction of someone you care about, even if this person
>doesn't want to be saved *at this time*. Freedom of choice does not apply
>to the mentally ill, IMO, just like it doesn't apply to small children.
The only
>rational reason why someone would want to die is unbearable (mental or
>physical) suffering. If this can't be cured by today's medicine, euthanasia
>and cryonic suspension are in order. If the person in question is revived
>at some point in the future, he will be cured of all his physical and mental
>disorders, *and* he'll be hedonistically engineered so that satisfaction is
>guaranteed. And on this day, he will surely thank you from saving him
>from himself.

Er, yes, but it's not quite that simple, is it?

1) Cryonic suspension costs $30,000 - $100,000 dollars or more.
Do you have that kind of money lying around?

2) Euthanasia is illegal in most countries in the world, and is
expensive and takes a long time in places where it isn't. If
you're suicidal for purely psychological rather than
physiological reasons, you likely don't want to wait around
whilst a judge signs you off.

In practical terms, when a real, every-day person is rational but suicidal,
I think you either have to let them go, or lock them up. I wondered whether
the group would favour me in imposing my will on someone else because I
don't want them to die.