Re: Cryo-suspension for death row

From: Alex Future Bokov (
Date: Mon Oct 09 2000 - 19:23:01 MDT


On Mon, 9 Oct 2000, Brian D Williams wrote:

> From: Alex Future Bokov <>
> >> The biggest problem is that the victim is lost forever, as a
> >>result I do not believe the killer should be allowed to live, nor
> >>be suspended, I believe they should be treated equally with the
> >>victim.
> >Interesting. Does this belief follow logically from an axiom or is
> >this belief itself an axiom?
> I do not believe in life after death. I therefore believe that when
> someone dies and the structure of the brain decays, they are lost.

I agree, but that is a separate axiom from...

> It follows axiomatically that I believe the killer suffer an equal
> fate.

...this. The no life after death axiom I understand, because it
meshes with my own Ockham's Razor axiom. The "eye for an eye" axiom
I don't understand. But then again, I guess that's why they're
axioms. They don't need a rational basis; one has to have *some*
arbitrary point of reference (cf. Existentialism Plus).

> >If there was a technology for "fixing what's wrong" with the
> >perpetrator, would you be in favor of allowing the perpetrator to
> >opt for this treatment?
> This does not equate to justice for the loss of the victim, so the
> answer is no.

It would be interesting to speculate on the evolutionary origins of
this 'justice' meme, and how widespread it is. Do we agree, though,
that it exists at a level that doesn't run quite as deep as the
'survival', 'expansion', and 'opimization' memes?

> >If the 'non-homicidal' portions of the perpetrator's brain could
> >be extracted and used for some productive purpose instead of just
> >becoming worm-food (3D modeller in a vat?) would you be in favor
> >of such an extraction?
> Being unsure of the granularity of the brain, this is a difficult
> question, as long as the personnality (sense of self?) of the
> original killer is irrevocably destroyed I suppose.

This is a third axiom-- that if the 'homicidal' and 'non-homicidal'
portions of a perpetrator's brain can be separated, then 'homicidal'
portion also *must* be the one that houses the sense of self, the
identity. Unlike the other two axioms-- no life after death, and eye
for an eye, this axiom just might be overturned by future discoveries
in neuropsychology.

When an axiom contradicts scientific findings, there emerges a conflict
between it and the scientific method axiom. So, if evidence starts to
accumulate that any human brain can be nudged into a state conducive to
cold-blooded murder, or conversely if it is demonstrated that removing
a particular tangle of neurons will make a person incapable of killing,
that will open quite a can of worms, won't it?

Please don't be offended by my cross examination, btw. I'm partly playing
devil's advocate to learn more about your point of view.

- --

Iran Contra SOF Linda Thompson
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