Is he serious? Is he truly serious? Simon Cowell wants to freeze his dead body so that science can revive it in a 100 years or so? Well, he must be. After all, he is an egomaniac. And, he’s not the only one in the world to believe in cryonics. But let’s look at the situation realistically, shall we?
There have been scores of people already frozen in liquid nitrogen until such time when science can find a way to revitalise them. But what is the impact on the world? Let’s say Simon dies at 80 and is frozen. A hundred or two hundred years from now, he is brought back to life. He thinks he can make an impact on a future society as an 80-year old? He will first have to learn to adapt to the world. He might not have much time for that unless science can also find a way to reverse the aging process. He’ll probably be preying on pretty women who are young enough to be his great-great-great-granddaughter (or, who maybe is).
Similarly, families have decided to all be frozen. Again, if they all die at different ages and were restored, how will that affect family relationships? Take the case of the famous American baseball player, Ted Williams. There was a big brouhaha after he was frozen. First of all, he was decapitated. So, before he can be resurrected, Dr. Frankenstein will need to do some work. Secondly, some DNA samples were taken from him and some have mysteriously disappeared. How will that affect his second coming? Apparently, he and two of his children signed a pact that they will all be frozen. What happens if they return older than him? I doubt baseball will be the same game in the next century.
What happens if the individual’s estate runs out of funds to keep him frozen indefinitely? Will they just throw the body out? Or have a real funeral or cremation? These people are quite selfish in using their money to maintain their dead bodies for perpetuity. Quite conceited. As for the scientists who are wasting their time on this project rather than something much more worthwhile to the world, why didn’t they just start with a lab rat? They take up much less room.
It seems like a monumental waste of money to be spending on a scientific process that will probably all be for naught. Atheists and pure evolutionists will argue it can be done, but since I believe in a component of creationism, I declare that no mortal man can bring a dead man back to life.
“I declare that no mortal man can bring a dead man back to life.”
I agree. But here’s a novel thought: perhaps the people who are cryopreserved are NOT dead. After all, scientists (from Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Princeton, etc) feel the same way: http://tinyurl.com/6lsby4
On a related note, read this ethical justification for cryonics: http://tinyurl.com/797zzt
I’m sure you’ll respond without reading either of those. After all, you still think the most disgusting disease we have (aging) can’t be reversed…… AND you believe in “a component of creationism”… sheesh… 😉
Oh, yes, my cheeky critic, you are correct. I did not need to read those articles to respond. However, since I respect my readers, I did take a look at them. It’s still a laughable idea to me, though you have to give credit to the scientists for sticking to their beliefs. Faith in what you do will carry you through. But you can’t argue with the fact that cryonics is not a very “green” idea. I think we have enough problems with population growth through birth. We don’t need to add to it through death.
Thank you for the compliment on my cheekiness and — more importantly — for actually reading what I linked to. You didn’t HAVE to approve my comment (you simply could have written me off as a “nutjob”), but you approved it and responded. Hence, you must actually be active to hearing new ideas…. even if you disagree with them ….
And don’t worry: I’m not here to debate you on evolution. I could care less about that, because all that results in is a level of education. But with cryonics, it’s a matter of life and death. Therefore, I can live with the consequences of creationist teachings, but I can’t live with the deaths resulting from a lack of understanding cryonics. At the very least, even if you disagree with me, hopefully you understand where I’m coming from.
I’ll address what you brought up in the next 2-3 posts.
“It’s still a laughable idea to me, though you have to give credit to the scientists for sticking to their beliefs. Faith in what you do will carry you through.”
The three phases of truth are as follows: 1. Senselessly Ridicule New Idea. 2. Become Openly Hostile to New Idea. 3. See Light, and Claim “I Knew it Was a Good Idea All Along”. I’m not necessarily saying that’s the case with cryonics, but nevertheless, I’m still trying to push you out of phase 1. So here’s another justification for your reading pleasure:
When the Manhattan Project was initiated, most people (including scientists) laughed at the notion that a bomb could blow up an entire city, and many lay people probably wrote it off as “beliefs” and “faith”. These “faith” accusations backfired after Hiroshima, and critics quickly jumped to phase 3 of “I Knew it Was a Good Idea All Along”
And to reiterate, just as you wouldn’t trust any random dude on the street corner, no two cryonics organizations are the same. For example, Alcor is an excellent non-profit organization not just because it is backed by scientists (http://tinyurl.com/djn4gz) but also because it is upfront about the problems it faces (http://www.alcor.org/problems.html). Meanwhile, something like IceLift (http://www.icelift.com/english/index.php) is either a joke or something only completely gullible people would put their money into 🙂
You start with what is good for one person (“Should we try to save her life with cryonics, or should we take the hubristic approach of chucking her?”). Then when you determine what’s good for one person, you scale that to everybody else. And please: think of the societal implications of mass support of cryonics.
For example, terrorists don’t just use current weapons, but also current medical technology. Therefore, if they woke up to a world that embraced cryonics, don’t you think that would eventually leave an impact on would-be suicide bombers? After all, cryonics only works if you don’t destroy the brain, so I look at it as a form of psychological warfare on them 😉
Also, ironically, CRYONICS CAN PROMOTE GOING GREEN. How? Well, one-fifth of our nation consists of baby boomers, and they’re currently more interested in retirement instead of dealing with our future. Cryonics would make EVERYBODY alive today work towards dealing with global warming… since…. you know….. they want a nice future to live in! See how that works? Because the future isn’t handed to us: we create it.
Of course, there are countless other examples. But hopefully that should get you thinking. And if you believe I’m the only one who feels this way, well… when Edge.org asked its 2009 question of “What will change everything?” Bart Kosko responded with this: http://tinyurl.com/7ejlgr . Many scientists feel this way. It’s just a matter of communicating that message to everybody else….. but 4 decades and 2 billion people dead later….. cryonics is still viewed as fringe.
It’s depressing, quite frankly.
OH CRAP. haha. One of my responses didn’t get posted. This will be out of order 🙂
Here it is again.
“But you can’t argue with the fact that cryonics is not a very “green” idea. I think we have enough problems with population growth through birth. We don’t need to add to it through death.”
As Jon Stewart once said, the best way to Go Green is for the world to commit mass suicide 😉
Come on now. I’ve read through your other posts, so I know you’re not a dummy. I hear this type of “argument” quite often, and it reeks with the stench of dangerous/disgusting simplicity. Look. 150,000 people die per day. These people have accumulated decades of knowledge….. and….. then……. it’s…… just erased for the heck of it. There is NO problem dire enough to justify 150,000 deaths per day. Nothing. Nada. Period. I mean seriously, imagine if the President handled things with death: “I do not agree with Congress’ decision. Thus, I shall have them executed.”
It’s unfair to single out cryonics as the “bad guy” of life extension because NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY, you support life extension by your actions. You could commit suicide, but given that over 98% of deaths are not suicides, I find this unlikely. Again, EVERYTHING YOU DO IN YOUR LIFE IS LIFE EXTENSION, because life extension is risk prevention. Why do you drink water when you’re thirsty? Why do you look both ways before you cross the street? Why do you visit the doctor when you’re sick? Why do you wear a parachute when you jump out of an airplane?
So say it with me: Life Extension is Risk Prevention.
That’s it. Nothing fancy.
Scientists understand this, and that is why their work has ensured that there’s never been a set “average” life span. It used to be 25. A century ago it was 40. Now it’s 80 years old. And it’s going to keep climbing, because the number is irrelevant: what matters are the risks themselves. This is why organizations like the Methuselah Foundation exist, because they’re attempting to reverse the disease known as aging, which happens to consist of just 7 factors. Then people wouldn’t be clogging up nursing homes, wallowing in depression as they slowly die (and I encourage you to visit one to witness this).
So to go back to your “overpopulation” argument, my first knee-jerk response is the technological creation of more resources and room, such as space colonization: http://tinyurl.com/2mejy5 . Of course, most people make fun of that, too. Hence, I also go back in time to explore demonstrated changes in mentality.
For example, during the 19th century, infant mortality rates plummeted in the industrialized world due to progress in medicine, etc. How did people respond? By publicly executing the elderly or dumping babies in rivers to avoid “overpopulation”? NO! They started wearing condoms, if only for the reason that “Hey, children are expensive!” It’s quite funny that more educated people tend to have less children, and also, read this:
Finally, in regards to cryonics itself…. they’re being stored in dewars. It’s not like they keep reanimating every few months and saying, “Hey guys, just popping out for a drink of water. See you later.” Cryonics patients stay put until they CAN be brought back… so that doesn’t just include technology… but also the state of society. Therefore, if there’s a (very unlikely) dystopia of overpopulated slums controlled by evil immortal tyrants, then meh, these people aren’t going to be reanimated until that passes.
See? There’s more than one way to address “overpopulation.” Your solution of Generational Genocide should not be one of them.
I’m not advocating generational genocide. I don’t believe in suicide. Yes, it’s a shame that some people just when they are in the middle of some important discovery. Perhaps, if you had all of them around they might be able to solve a lot of our problems. But such is life. I accept that I only have a finite number of years to live, even if I do die by accident. And it’s not just because of the world problems. It’s exhausting – and it’s not just because of aging.
Unfortunately, many of those preserving their bodies for science are not the best specimens for reanimation. As for overpopulation, I don’t mean that we have all these bodies coming out whenever they want. What I mean is that they already predict a crisis of overpopulation and not enough resources. If technology were to suddenly bring back another billion people, there would be that much less resources. Space? Yes, the Jetsons’ world looked like fun, but should we continue polluting the galaxy?
I know you’d like me to get to Stage 2, but I’m afraid I’m not going to be that hostile. I’m a skeptic, but “to each his own”. That’s why I’m not out there protesting against cryonics. As for the atomic bomb, had I been alive I would have been more terrified to hear about it rather than skeptical. And somehow, I don’t think terrorists could care less if we could reanimate the entire world. They’d just breed more babies to become suicide bombers. Cryonics can’t save bombing victims, unless you can create a superhuman that can’t be killed. Science fiction for now, reality for the future?
Which reminds me, how do they intend to reattach severed heads? Or, will that be solved in the future as well? Frankenstein was the stuff of horror stories, but now science proves that it can be done. How about brain transplants from an intelligent dying person to a younger, more vibrant body whose brain is underutilised?
I’ve run my fair share of online blogs/communities, so I know how annoying it can be if a specific individual takes up most of my time. Therefore, if at any point you need to move on, please let me know and I’ll stop. I’m just providing these arguments because you’re reading what I type and because it’s worth the attention….
@1st paragraph: “But such is life.” I hear this quite often, and I can imagine a child asking Christopher Columbus during the trip to the New World: “Oh, I wish there was a way I could instantly talk to my mommy back home.” And then with a pat on the head, Christopher replies, “My dear lad. Don’t we all wish for such fantasies! But alas, such is life.” This mentality is not just applied to cell phones. It’s also applied to supposedly offlimit topics, with the biggie being death and you can look at any medical advancement for proof of that.
Jab aside, I agree with you (mostly), because (probably) most people will die at some time by future accidents. However, I don’t walk up to a specific individual and say, “You will die.” I simply say, “All bets are off. Good luck!” Cryonics is in line with this mentality, because even though it is often accused of potentially giving people “false hope”, I shoot right back that critics may be giving “false despair”… which is far worse. Thus, my response treats the unknown with the respect it deserves… which is…. well, we don’t know. It’s self explanatory!
@2nd paragraph: Not the best specimens?!?! haha. This isn’t meant to be some fun science experiment. It’s meant to save lives, so people of all types are encouraged to sign up for cryonics. Again, as for the overpopulation argument (or any other argument of a dystopian future), cryopreserved people contribute to population like tupperware contributes to population. It’s not like somebody is going to say, “Oh my goodness! The world is a mess! Let’s bring ’em back for the lulz.” No. They’ll wait until it’s not a problem anymore….. THEN they’ll bring them back (even if it’s in stages, not all billions at one time)… as long as there are caretakers still around, of course. You can’t just leave these patients unattended like mummies.
To understand how resources may become more accessible to people, you have to sort of watch what I linked to earlier (unfortunately, it’s kind of long, so I don’t blame you if you skip it): http://tinyurl.com/2mejy5 . Needless to say, the video is a simple overview, but it gets the job done. And of course, molecular nanotechnology comes with its own set of concerns. However, simply ignoring them isn’t going to help…. especially since China is making a hero out of Eric Drexler. But if you choose to ignore it anyways, and believe that the demand for resources won’t be met, well… I guess I’ll use an analogy. Imagine you’re on a sinking ship with a bunch of Malthusians. You have lifeboats, but you begin to argue, “How they heck will we find land?” You keep arguing, until unfortunately, everybody sinks with the ship. The thing is, Malthusians have been wrong in the past. That’s not to say that will always be the case…. but it’s enough to say, “Screw it. Let’s jump in the lifeboats.”
Really, I can’t stress this enough: it’s unfair to single out cryonics in terms of life extension (why don’t you pick on CPR? Or heart transplants? Or anything else?), and besides, there is NO argument that justifies 150,000 deaths per day. We’ll treat space pollution via some other method than saying, “Meh, we can’t think of anything. Just die.” This debate simply signifies that the hardest part of “selling” cryonics is getting people to make peace with the unknown.
@3rd paragraph: “As for the atomic bomb, had I been alive I would have been more terrified to hear about it rather than skeptical.” Gah! You missed my point! OK, instead of using something big and scary like a nuke, let’s look at flight. EVERYBODY laughed at that, including the Wright brothers themselves at one point! Admittedly, I am sort of being disingenuous with these past examples, because I’m guilty of hindsight bias and they certainly don’t imply that it’ll be the same with cryonics. Yet you MUST consider what’s at stake: the Wright brothers dealt with flight, but cryonics deals with SAVING 150,000 lives per day. Priorities, people, priorities! This should be at the top of the president’s agenda, and in fact, I plan on making a short film over the summer directed at him. Unfortunately, I’m doubtful it will make the slightest bit of difference in the world, so I’ll probably have fun with it 🙂
“They’d just breed more babies to become suicide bombers.” They could breed more babies with or without mass support of cryonics! Plus, my (somewhat flippant) point was self-referential (i.e., if we’re saving a huge chunk of those 150,000, then that deals with all causes of death, including suicide bombings). The comment was aimed at the babies themselves: if they grow up in a world that is supportive of cryonics, they might be scared about their brains being blown up and challenge the sanity of their parents… because after all, it takes years for the parents to realize, “Whoops my child is a coward. I shall have to produce more babies.” That being said, I deliberately left out other factors for the sake of simplicity, so the argument for cryonics shouldn’t be, “Support it because it will bring world peace!” Nevertheless, I’m still convinced that it would reduce the number of conflicts in the world, because people would become more scared about preserving their brains. Furthermore, when you see a loved one cryopreserved, it changes you psychologically. We can debate this all day, but only the people who go through the experience know (I’ve heard enough stories, even though I’ve never had a loved one cryopreserved). So back to the possibility of reduced global conflict…. I say we try it just to find out for sure! Who’s with me? *crickets*
As for the Frankenstein reference, that’s the logical fallacy of utilizing fictional evidence (from an author seemingly scared of change). How many stories have you heard about bank robberies, yet the reason you’re really scared about banks stems from the more sophisticated factor of financial meltdown? Bank robberies are cheap, fanciful tactics to appeal to the reader, similar to how Frankenstein was completely and utterly illogical (it’s just like how it’s impossible to have zombies: you’re either alive or you’re dead… you can’t be alive-dead, haha). And as for the comment, “Science fiction for now, reality for the future,” any sufficiently advanced technology looks like magic to us 🙂
@4th paragraph: Whew, this is actually the easiest question you’ve asked! First, to get you in the mood, read this (quick) article about people being decapitated: http://tinyurl.com/5urgq6 . It’s not necessary for my argument, but it still throws people off, haha. It’s meant to show that people are not like light-bulbs, but more like the slow sunset: it takes hours of warm ischemia for the brain to decompose. Alrighty, now to answer your question.
First, there is nanotechnology, which is part of the video I linked to earlier. Second, take a look at nature itself: how does a cell become a body? Scientists can use that principle to grow bodies around the head! Of course, why settle for a typical body when you can have one made of indestructible material: http://i43.tinypic.com/f0dkyg.jpg . I used that pic in a different argument, so it’s not directed at you. Nevertheless, don’t think of it in terms of the primitive plastic and metal we use today.
In summary, basically all cryonicists see the glass half full, and the smarter ones also admit that it is half empty too. On that note, I recommend you see this film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntY01qoIdus
I do not agree with everything Ray says (I’m more in line with Eliezer Yudkowsky, as indicated here: http://tinyurl.com/6rhy3u ) and furthermore, the Malthusians — though very unlikely — may win out with their predictions. However, Ray brings up excellent points that no sane person should flat-out ignore. I mean sheesh, Bill Gates and Google set down their rivalries to come together and express love for the guy…. what more can you ask for? 🙂
Yes, the subject has been done to death. Literally, so this is my last response. I’m not discriminating against cryonics. As for other life-extending measures, I don’t believe resuscitation is for everyone but for others, it is necessary. You don’t withhold the Heimlech maneuver to a choking person. But sometimes, ventilation and feeding tubes are just not right. And organ transplants are a touchy subject. But in those cases, you are saving someone who is still alive and has a chance of living. Cryonics involves someone who is dead. I’m not against scientific and medical advance. My priority is just not saving bodies for resurrection later. It may be for some people. Perhaps, it has a lot to do with what people believe about the after-life. Does it exist or not? I’d like to believe it does. I have no proof it does, but I still believe it. Just like cryonicists believe they can reanimate dead people. You pick and choose what you want to believe in.