Cryonics April 5, 2016Posted by nrhatch in Magick & Mystery, Mindfulness, Nature, Spirit & Ego.
Tim Urban (Wait But Why) wrote a terrific post about Cryonics ~ Why Cryonics Makes Sense.
After explaining what Cryonics is (and isn’t), Tim counters many of the moral, religious, and scientific objections people have raised to the experimental practice.
If you’re even remotely interested in the topic, his well-researched post is worth reading.
If you want to read it right now, go ahead. Death waits for no man!
OK . . . let’s continue.
By the end of the article, it’s clear that Tim sees no downside to pressing the “pause” button on death . . .
His conclusion doesn’t seem “silly, gullible, or selfish” to me . . . given his current beliefs about life and death.
But I don’t share his beliefs.
And I do see two downsides to Cryonics that he didn’t explore:
(1) Tim starts the post with an Either/Or scenario ~ Either stay on the plane and go down in flames OR grab the experimental parachute and cross your fingers that you land in a better place.
If those are only two options, grabbing the parachute might seem like a no brainer.
And, for an atheist, like Tim, those may be the only two options to consider.
Tim sees death as The End.
As a result, he’s satisfied that “being alive is a lot more interesting than being dead.”
But what if he’s wrong?
What if death is not The End?
What if being dead is a lot more interesting than being alive?
What if Cryonics means you’re pressing the pause button on what might be an amazing “after life” experience?
Cryonics means hanging around in suspended animation in a tub of liquid nitrogen for “eons” waiting for technology to advance far enough so that science can un-pause you so you can rejoin the living.
As amazing as that experience might be (assuming all goes as planned), maybe we don’t have to wait.
Maybe death is an immediate transition to something better.
Do you still want to grab that parachute?
(2) Cryonics is about preserving and resurrecting the brain ~ based on the assumption that “who we are” is encapsulated there.
But what if that’s not where “we” are?
What if the preservation and resurrection of the brain is not synonymous with the continuation of “me”?
I’m convinced that we are not the thoughts that we think, the emotions that we feel, or the memories that we cherish.
I’m satisfied that there is more to “me” than that.
What if that “something more” (spirit) doesn’t cooperate when we press pause? What if our inner essence flies the coop before we land in the Cryonics tank?
What if “me” is M.I.A. once my brain is “brought back to life”?
What if I grab the experimental parachute, jump into the tank, hang around in suspended animation (with Tim) for eons waiting for the future to arrive, only to find that I’ve landed in a strange landscape with no friends, no money, no home, no job, no bank account, and no . . . “me”?
Even though I don’t view Tim as being “silly, gullible, or selfish” in his decision to jump into the Cryonics pool, joining him in the vat just doesn’t appeal to “me.”
Then again, if “me” flees and flies off into the light to enjoy an amazing life after life experience . . . what do “I” have to lose?
Aah . . . that’s better!