The Death of Death in Cryonics

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jordansparks
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The Death of Death in Cryonics

Postby jordansparks » Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:52 am

Brian Wowk wrote a well-known article in 1988 called The Death of Death in Cryonics.
http://alcor.org/Library/html/deathofdeath.html
It's been 30 years, and I have gradually come to disagree with the conclusions. Cryonics is, by all accepted definitions of death, the freezing of dead people. We are claiming that we might be able to retrieve some memories from these dead people; this might be considered a "revival" of sorts. The paper claims that we should be worried about perception, and that revival is easily confused with supernatural resurrection. I disagree, and I see those as antiquated concerns of an older generation. After 30 years of sci-fi and pop culture dealing with these issues, I guarantee that the vast majority of people are not confusing our attempt to "revive" dead people with any sort of supernatural resurrection. As an example, the old Star Wars movies treated the force as mystical. The new Star Wars movies invoke microscopic midi-chlorians as the scientific basis of the force. And that was 20 years ago. Our culture has moved on. Scientific explanations are more easily accepted now than mystical explanations. So let's just stick to the science, and we'll be fine. We don't need to worry about any negative connotations of death.

jordansparks
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Re: The Death of Death in Cryonics

Postby jordansparks » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:55 am

In fact, I'm not sure the paper ever got it right, even in the context of society 30 years ago. A large portion of the paper is devoted to the strategy of changing the definition of the word "death". But I think it's self-evident that introducing our own jargon would be futile. Not only would others disregard our new-claimed definition, but they would categorize us as a cult. It also causes a lot of confusion. If you claim a cryonics patient is not dead, the natural interpretation is that you are claiming you have used suspended animation. This will obviously result in a reasonable and justified scathing response that cryonics is a fraud. The strategy of redefining death is naive and unworkable, and it always has been.

Aaron_Agassi
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Re: The Death of Death in Cryonics

Postby Aaron_Agassi » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:51 pm

If death is defined by irreversibility, then the frontier of death is continually redefined. Is not then the concept of information theoretic death, salient in the endeavor of cryonics?


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