words of wisdom from cryonet

Doug Skrecky (oberon@vcn.bc.ca)
Fri, 26 Mar 1999 19:53:49 -0800 (PST)

CryoNet - Fri 26 Mar 1999

Message #11462
From: Ettinger@aol.com
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 21:26:59 EST
Subject: Misconceptions about the future, religion, others

"Leon Dean" (#11454) is evidently relatively new to cryonics, and in any case can be forgiven for not being fully up to speed, but for his benefit and that of other newcomers it may be worth while to say a bit, once more, about a few common misconceptions.

  1. Would an immortalist future have too many primitive people in it? No, we will not remain primitive--not as a species and not as individuals. The revived people will be retrofitted (when they are ready and willing) and optimized according to then-current criteria and their own wishes. I'm sure others will say more about this.
  2. "...religion is really all about fear of death."

No, except possibly on some unconscious level, or to a limited degree. From the standpoint of the skeptic, religion is mainly about yearning for a parent; from the standpoint of the believer, it is mainly about higher and nobler aspirations and service. Some formal religions, such as Buddhism, have no belief in afterlife, or even in a God in the usual sense; informal religions such as communism have neither, "God" being the state or posterity.

Religion and cryonics are on separate tracks; one does not negate the other.

3. "I am scared of death."

No need to be. Dead people don't suffer. But they don't enjoy life much either, and that's the point.

Cryonics critics have often said we have an abnormal fear of death. Not true. Most people have some fear of death, some of the time, but in my observation cryonicists on average are, if anything, less fearful than others. For most of us, the motivation is positive, not negative--something we want to gain, not just something we want to avoid.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society