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

Brent Allsop (
Fri, 8 Aug 1997 17:05:52 -0600

Eric Watt Forste <>,

You criticized some of den Otter's <>
comments which were in partial agreement with some of the ideas I've
also posted and am struggling with. I have very much respect for
people like you, Max, and many others which have time and time again
successfully convinced me of your correctness through argumentation.
To some degree, then, I surrender some of my self ownership to such
people which I consider to be more of an expert or an authority than I
am. I'm sure that there are at least a few people on this planet that
know what is better for me better than I know what is better for me.
I try to listen intently and give head to such people, especially
whenever they disagree with some point of view I previously thought
was correct. I'm only an average Joe and certainly not the smartest
person in the world.

Here you are, apparently, at least partially, disagreeing with
my thinking that it might be ok for someone to force someone to do
something IF they know, absolutely, that that is what is right for
that person. (i.e. a Mother knows a toddler should not wander into a
busy street and forcefully prevents them from doing so.)

So anyway, let me ask you a question I've been struggling with
about what the proper behavior should be. Lets say you have a very
close loved one. Say it is one of your children or something. Lets
say he's about 17 years old and you know that throughout his life he
has consistently expressed a desire to not be cryonically preserved -
possibly because he is a totally convinced member of some religion
which is against it. Let's call him Jeff. You figure Jeff hasn't
really seriously considered dieing or whether he would really want to
be preserved because he is so young even though he has several times
explicitly said to you he did not want to make any effort to be

Suddenly, Jeff is involved in an instantaneous, life taking,
but not brain destroying accident. In other words, without expecting
to die he doesn't get the chance to, with his final breaths, say: "I
don't (or do) want to be cryonically preserved." Let's say there just
happens to be a cryonic team there, ready to preserve him, and that
funds for the procedure and long term preservation are absolutely no
problem. Let's say the decision is entirely up to you. In other
words there are no other significant family or friends of the person.
The cryonics team is awaiting your (as his parent and soul guardian)
answer to their question:

"Do we preserve him or don't we?"

What would you tell them to do?

I ask anyone that is a better moral expert than I, what should
I do?

Brent Allsop