Some Problems with Immortalism
to excessive risk by his desire to confront death. Concern for
immediate safety should be the highest priority.
Another important problem with immortalism is that it is
an affront to religion. It is not an affront to religion to speak
of an extended life span of 100 years or even 1,000 years.
After all, Methuselah reportedly lived 969 years. To say that
a 1,000 year life span is an affront to God would be to insult
God (if such exists). What is 1,000 years or even one million
years to Eternity?
If human beings were free of disease and senescence the
only causes of death would be accident, suicide and homicide.
Under such conditions it is estimated that from a popula-
tion of one billion, a 12-year-old would have a median life
span of 1,200 years and a maximum life span of 25,000 years
(i.e., one-in-a-billion would live the maximum 25,000 years).
Thus, I can say that my goal is to live to one thousand. That
does not mean I wouldnt like to live longer, but I will remain
focused on my goal. It also means that both cryonics and anti-
aging science are simply extensions of medicine, rather than
a challenge to religion (cryonics patients have not died, they
have deanimated). In practical terms, someone who claims to
be trying to extend his or her life span may be less likely to be
snuffed-out by a fundamentalist physician than a would-be
immortalist who is seen as a blasphemist.
The more cryonicists can present themselves as life-exten-
sionists rather than immortalists, the better the chance cryonics
has of being accepted (or, at least, tolerated) by medicine, by
religion and by society. The more cryonics is accepted, the
better is the chance that cryonics and cryonicists can survive.
Some question that immortality may not be achievable
because of such things as extinction of the sun, heat death of
the universe, and proton decay. I find it difficult to even take
a theoretical interest in these questions. The most immediate
issues for our survival are staying alive as long as possible, the