The book I’m currently reading is “Preserving Minds, Saving Lives” edited by “Alcor Life Extension Foundation“:
In this article, I’m sharing with you my reading notes.
This is the second article about the book. The other articles about it can be read here.
WHAT IS CRYONICS
The book goes on to examine why people do not accept or even categorically reject the prospect of cryonics.
Unfortunately, the field of prolongation of life frequently provokes a reaction of indifference, of rejection which can go as far as outright hostility. This phenomenon deserves a full article; the book, for its part, lists various reasons, including:
“The paradox of the solved problem“: In the course of life, individuals are confronted with the concept of death and necessarily solve the problem by adopting a set of beliefs, religious or otherwise. The “problem”, being intellectually “settled”, people do not want to leave their comfort and consider the perspective offered by cryonics, which would upset the psychological scaffolding built previously.
The Future Is Great movement also offers a psychological “package” to position oneself in the face of death:
Future Is Great has somehow “solved” its spiritual quest: we acknowledge our wanting to live indefinitely, but rather than seeking to appease our fear of death by irrational, “spiritual” elaborations, we want to solve the problem once and for all. For this, we have chosen technological solutions because these means seem to have the best potential to achieve our aspirations.
For the supporters of Future Is Great, the death problem resolution passes by the acknowledgment of its unacceptable nature, the recognition of our current helplessness in the face of this phenomenon, and the projection of our hope in the technologies that will allow avoiding this death. Cryonics could be a temporary solution that we contemplate with a rather benevolent eye, because if the cryonicists bet is won, cryonics is the only contemporary gateway to the future.
A truly satisfactory solution to avoid death would be a sufficient understanding of our molecular machinery and the development of tools that are subtle enough to modify and stop or even reverse the aging process. We are still far from it.
Another rejection factor of cryonics pointed by the book is:
“The absence of cosmic truth“: the perspective of cryonics as a solution to death does not offer the metaphysical and existential responses that certain belief packages such as religions can offer. Where do we come from, where are we headed … you are familiar with these questions. The absence of “cult” or “movement” around cryonics could be attributed to this absence of metaphysical substance.
Future Is Great again positioning itself on the question:
Preserving our life by a scientific and technological method is a passion for us, and one that animates and nourishes our quest for spirituality. Living away from biological decay is more than an objective, it is also a “meaning.” Maybe the ultimate humanism. To live is enough for us. Endeavoring to this achievement is our direction. Our approach is self-sufficient, even if our spiritual response is not a part of a transcendent divine cosmic order providing an answer to of all our questions. WE choose to want to live. It does not matter if our immanent approach has no other meaning than the one WE give it.
For us, the absence of a cosmic context is not a weakness but a force. The meaning we give to our existence is introspective, immanent. We recognize our inability to provide answers to fundamental questions; rather than lamenting this lack of a transcendent compass and filling an ignorance with an irrational invention, we focus on what ultimately gives the true meaning of our life: to live as long as desired, surrounded by those who are dear to us. This empirical and palpable compass, basely human for lack of anything better, suits us, suffices us, and nourishes our need for spirituality.
This immanent positioning is not intended to be suitable for everyone and besides Future Is Great is not a proselyte movement … rather than convert, we want to educate and inspire those who are most spontaneously receptive to our ideas.
Another brick of rejection against the extension of life by cryonics is:
“The loss of others“: The future post-cryonics awakening is imagined almost systematically as a solitary experience. People imagine waking up in XXX years, alone, separated from their loved ones. They rarely imagine being cryopreserved with parents, children and friends. From then on, the solitude of an awakening in a distant future appears as a “cold” prospect of loneliness. This is understandable. Would it be possible to restart a life from scratch, in a new futuristic world? The question is interesting and you can answer as a comment to this article.
You will discover other points of resistance that are equally relevant when you read the book.
The conclusion of the first chapter of the book “Preserving Minds, Saving Lives” adopts the resigned tone of those who have encountered the common intellectual resistance to the prospect of radical life extension.
POST’S CALL TO ACTION
Would you be willing to undergo a cryopreservation process in a bet over a future reanimation?
Yes? No? Why? Let us know in the comment section of this article.