There really is a VERY strong logical case for cryonicsMarch 16 2004 at 4:59 PM
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Response to Right
Cryonics is an experiment. If a scientist wanted to know whether something is true, or possible, he/she conducts an experiment. Because experiments cost money and time, the scientist must determine whether a successful experiment is worthwhile. In the case of cryonics, if the experiment is successful, thousand of "dead" people will be reborn into a world that should seem as a virtual heaven to us today. So the experiment would seem to be worthwhile, indeed.
But is there a way for the experiment to succeed? In order to estimate whether a plausible mechanism exists for possible success of the experiment, the scientist should look at the logical case for the experiment: what plausible mechamisms, pathways, natural laws, etc., could possibly exist or be used to make the experiment succeed? What is the logical case for the experiment?
To understand the logical case for cryonics, you just start with an initial assumption, make some inital observations, and work forward by extrapolation, using what we see as current trends.
Here is how it goes:
1. Assumption: what we are as "persons" is contained in each of our brains. That is what the evidence provided by medicine and science shows.
2. That which is contained in the brain is information, information in the form of brain structure--what cell connects to what other cell, etc. Information preservation is achieved by cryonics, at least to some degree.
3. THe degree of information preservation through cryonics is many many orders of magnitude better than that achieved through burial or cremation. In fact, even the crudest of cryopreservations is practically infinitely better than cremation/burial when it comes to preserving that "personhood" information.
4. Therefore, if you want to preserve the information that is YOU as a person, cryonics is the only viable option.
Some questions we should consider:
How is preserving this personhood information going to revive you? Is it feasible to EVER recover this information? Do the scientists of the future need to recover ALL the information that WAS in the brain originally in order to revive the cryo?
What is the evidence that recovery of some or all of the information may be possible some day? What does eventual recovery of this information mean?
We will continue with the logical case in a later post....