Re: Who Should Live?
Wed, 17 Mar 1999 08:26:24 EST


I agree that it makes more sense to buy a new computer than to upgrade an old in the hardware department I'm with you. However, when I buy a new computer, I usually move as much of my old software as possible to the new system, and even where it is not practical to move programs, I will take the time to transfer my data from the old files into files which can use the new programs. A good example are my various writings; short stories, poems, etc. The earliest ones started out handwritten, were later typed, then entered into my first word processor, the whole program and files transferred over when I bought a new computer, then the files switched over to a new word processor when I decided it was better. This information was valuable enough (to me at least) to go through all those transformations. They now exist in a form that I don't think I would have imagined when I was younger. But you know what? They are still the same stories and poems, and they still have value for me. In the same way, I believe that the personalities of cryonicists are valuable, and that cryonics is like putting our personality files on disk, so they can be transferred to a new system.

You also made the statement that, "....anyone who hasn't seriously considered suicide hasn't grown up yet." Well, then I guess I haven't, and probably never will "grow up". Actually, I made the decision a long time ago to cultivate certain neotonic (sp?) traits, and hold on to them. A sense of play, a child-like joy in exploration, the belief that I can be whatever I want to be, etc. I believe these childish traits are in part what allows children to learn so much easier than adults (along with some neurodevelopmental factors). And I have to admit to a few (very few) irrational beliefs at this time, in fact they rise to the level of articles of faith.
-I believe it is better to be than not to be.
-I believe I will never run out of things to keep me interested (the universe
is big), and if I did, then I'd create something, and even if I couldn't create something, I'd keep myself occupied doing the impossible (trying to create something interesting).
-I believe it is better to do good than ill (by good I mean increase well
being, both in myself and the world around me). These irrational beliefs (and they are irrational, for I can not absolutely prove their value, mean that I will always look for a way to live, even in the most hopeless of circumstances. I will always look for a way to enjoy my life, even in the most dismal of worlds. And I will always look to make myself and my world better, no matter how futile the task seems. This belief system pretty much precludes serious thoughts of suicide (even not so serious ones). Maybe it means I'm not grown up, but if that's so, then who wants to grow up anyway? And further, though my belief system may be irrational, I do believe that they confer a survival advantage over other systems (though survival itself could be considered irrational).

Thanks for sharing your perspective.