Saturday, 31 July 2010

Common Questions about Cryonics

1) What if it doesn’t work?

If re-animation following cryonic suspension fails, then I’ll be dead and therefore oblivious to the inevitable process of decomposition - just as is any other corpse.

2) What if your body is re-animated but meanwhile you’ve reincarnated into another body?

I always was good at multi-tasking. Seriously, why assume that Mind (or Higher Consciousness if you prefer that term) is restricted to one location? Or that Mind cannot flit instantly from one location to another - time and space being relative to Mind.

Observe your own behaviour for proof of how little time you spend being truly conscious of your own body and your immediate surroundings. Most people run on auto-pilot most of the time. Maybe one body could run on auto-pilot while the Mind was in the other body doing something more interesting.

Besides, I don't have a fixed belief in reincarnation.  It's an interesting possibility and an engaging philosophy, but there is no evidence to prove reincarnation is an inevitable process.

3) When you’re re-animated, everything will have changed. You won’t recognise anything.

As I type this, I’m listening to music composed during the Italian Renaissance. My Victorian fireplace is decorated with items from Ancient Egypt. My book shelves hold literature ranging from the proudly antique to the purely contemporary. Why would such things vanish, short of a global apocalypse?

Certainly new objects, new technologies and new modes of society may well have been developed in the interim. I look forward to being around to enjoy and benefit from these.

4) Everyone you know will be dead.

Actually, my circle of friends and acquaintances who also have cryo-preservation contracts in place is steadily growing.

However, the truth is that the possibility of immortality isn’t for everyone. Some people don’t want it, and won’t ever want it. That’s their choice. And they make that choice simply by doing nothing, so that death will take them and the possibility of life along with it.

Some people will be mourned, certainly. This is inevitable - which is one reason why I have presented them with information about cryo-preservation.

5) If everyone chose cryo-preservation, the Earth would run out of room and resources.

Not everyone will choose to invest in the possibility of immortality. Also, look up - there’s an endless universe all around us. I think it’s inevitable that the human race will form permanent colonies away from this planet.

Part of the problem of resources is due to poor management and greed. Hopefully better technologies will go a long way to alleviate these issues.

6) Cryonics is against Nature.

Nature won’t fix a broken leg or infected appendix, for example, yet how many people rush to the hospital regardless? Some people do decline certain medical procedures on religious grounds, and again this is their free choice to make.

Medical and scientific advances are increasing exponentially, so that today’s hope will become tomorrow’s routine practice. And who knows what tomorrow’s tomorrow will bring?

If some people choose to opt out, to live without the benefits of emerging technologies - just as a few religious communities do today - then they will surely be free to do so.

7) Won’t you get bored, with all that long life?

Take your pick:  the risk of occasional boredom, or permanent oblivion.

I’ve always had far more interests than I currently have time to pursue. Even if I somehow managed to exhaust all these options, the range of possible experience in life is so vast that, if I have to choose between permanent oblivion (ie. death) and the necessity of having to apply a modicum of initiative and creativity in order to find something interesting and entirely new-to-me amidst this unfolding theatre which we so glibly call "life" , I’ll choose the latter.

Further reading about emerging cryo- and life-extension technologies:-


Ann Rodela said...

You raised very interesting questions. I don't plan to get frozen due to this body's slight wear and tear. ;) But it is interesting to think of the possibilities. I am watching Buck Rogers TV series in my video collection. Buck is a guy who was frozen in 1987 and reawakens 500 years later. So it is interesting to imagine what the future holds.

Adele Cosgrove-Bray said...

Hi, Ann, thanks for dropping by.

As nanomedicies and nanotechnologies develop and improve, many (if not all) of the effects of aging will be eliminated and reversed. If a person was cryo-preserved despite carrying injuries and illnesses, they would still retain the possibility of a healthy re-animation in the future.

It's about investing in potentials and possibilities, which of course may not work. But those people who embrace the potential of these emerging technologies, the future looks very bright indeed.