August 26th, 2007

Extropy!

Low Hanging Fruit- Common Objections to Cryonics

I'm fairly open about my enthusiasm for cryonic suspension as a reasonable alternative to certain death. While I don't go around evangelizing to strangers on the street corner, I also don't shy away from discussion and debate on the subject. As a result, I've heard a lot of the same objections raised time and again from different people. The vast majority are clearly based upon either misinformation or a lack of information about what cryonics is and how it works. With that in mind, I'd like to present a list of the most common objections and concerns that I've heard as well as my responses. These are not straw men- I've heard or read all of these points brought up at some point or another.

A few disclaimers:

1) There are several cryonics organizations out there, but most of the specifics I give here pertain to the Alcor Life Extension Foundation. They're the largest cryonics organization in the world, and the one with whom I'm signed up.

2) I don't work for Alcor, nor am I authorized to represent them in any way. Any views expressed here are mine, though I suspect that my thoughts on this matter don't differ significantly from Alcor's. Likewise I am neither a molecular chemist nor a cryobiologist, though I've spoken at length with people in both fields and studied every piece of literature I could get my hands on that relates to cryonics (pro and con) in the last 13 years or so. Regardless, any errors here are mine as well.

3) From time to time I'm going to be snarky. My motivation in writing this is largely frustration at having to address the same stupid objections that keep coming up over and over. While my objective here is to educate, I do think that sometimes baseless arguments deserve wise ass responses. :-)

4) The intended audience for this is anyone who dismisses cryonics out of hand, as well as any cryonicists who might be interested in what I've got to say on the subject. I know a few people who have looked at cryonics with an open and inquisitive mind, given it serious consideration, and decided against it for themselves. This is explicitly not directed at them! I take no issue with people making informed decisions about their lives. What I'm railing against here is people who refuse to be educated or to consider all of their options.


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I consider this a work in progress. If you have a question or concern that I haven't addressed here, please check out Alcor's General FAQ, Science FAQ, and Procedural Overview. If it's not covered there then let me know! Put it in the comments here and I'll address it and possibly add it to the FAQ.

EDIT: Due to automated spam, comments are now screened by default. However, any comment that is on topic will be unscreened immediately.
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