Friday, January 25, 2013

brave new world

Wow! I read this article today, about a 23-year old woman who died from brain cancer and had her head cryogenically frozen. She plans to be brought back to life once researchers have found a cure for her cancer. I assume she expects that somehow a body with working parts will also be provided, and that her brain will function good as new.

I can’t imagine making that decision for myself. Does she believe she has a soul? If so, will her soul wait in her brain or will she get a new soul when her life is restored? If she has a different soul, does that make her a different person?

I think brain chemistry has a lot to do with who we are, what we think, and how we interpret sensory information. Will her brain chemistry be different once she is revived with a different body? Will that make her a different person? If she’s the same person, will she remember what it was like to die?

What would it be like to wake up from surgery after being dead and frozen for twenty years…or 50 years…or maybe 100 years? It’s hard to imagine waking up as a young adult and not knowing anyone in the world, and being completely unfamiliar with what is going on around you.

Maybe it’s all a wash because really, is our current technology reliable enough to expect her to remain revivable indefinitely? If she is brought back to life successfully and her quality of life is reasonably decent, no doubt the media will be all over her story.

I wish good things for her future life. She is definitely braver than me. It boggles my mind to imagine a world where death is not the end of life.

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