Re: Freedom or death? (Was: Re [2]: Extropy in the personal sphere

Michael Butler (
Fri, 8 Aug 1997 14:54:24 -0700 (PDT)

> Whether you understand
> this or not is beside the point: that some people have understandings
> of the world that are currently inaccessible to others is exactly
> why the principle of self-ownership is so vitally important.

Hear, hear.

> > The only reason there is *not* to cryonically suspend [or otherwise
> > save] a reluctant person, is when you *don't really care*. Period.
> I'm sorry, but I see no conflict between deeply caring about
> someone and deeply respecting eir self-ownership and eir ability
> to control eir own life.

Nor do I. I find Heinlein's "How do I know it won't interfere with
immortality?" to be poignant and bittersweet, not a sign that I (or
someone) should have hijacked his corpse from the crematorium.

There are circumstances ("lifeboat scenarios") when it can be countenanced
that principles, civility, and self-government have to go out the window.

To declare such circumstances carries risks--one of which is to be
believed to be right by others _who are mistaken_.



I once wrote a story (it was poorly written, so I'll blow the twist
ending) about Ayn Rand having been "brought back" by a team in the far
future. Who she is is kept somewhat veiled, but there are lots of clues.

The twist: this isn't the first time they've brought her back--seems as
soon as she is able to get up and around, and realizes what her past
is/was, she understands they did this without consulting her--and kills
herself. Every time. And "they" don't get it--"they" keep trying.

We all get one life and one death. If they're not ours, whose are they?
And who says?