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Interpersonal Entanglement

Eliezer: I ask it in all seriousness - is there any aspect of human existence as complicated as romance? Think twice before you say, "Well, it doesn't seem all that complicated to me; now calculus, on the other hand, that's complicated."

Wait...have people indicated to you they believe otherwise--that they would actually say that and need to think twice? People not in a coma? Or haven't comedy clubs and chick flicks done their job and taught the apparently perpetually unattached who have never experienced a relationship about the irrational complexity of romantic relationships? (I am serious.)

Eliezer: That strikes me as kind of sad.

Curious. Why the attachment to the way things are? Isn't that a bit like being sad because living beings no longer reproduce by fissioning in half?

You Only Live Twice

Dennis (and others) argue: The chances that average frozen body would be tried to be restored are close to zero.

I keep seeing variations of this argument, and it strikes me over and over as a ridiculous argument because it utilizes a number of faulty premises in creating its conclusion: mainly, that an economic or utilitarian model is or will be the driving force behind such a choice; and more deeply flawed, that humans' choices are or will be some set of monolithic guidelines to which all and sundry do or will subscribe.

That is, the claim arises, "I wouldn't bring back a bunch of people from the Middle Ages, because I don't see the value in it," and to make the argument the speaker assumes, "therefore no one would do so or see value in it." Ignoring both the logical error and the fact that there are people today, who have such funding, who would like to bring a mammoth back to life, or a Bronze Age man frozen in a glacier -- even if it is only (today) through some process of cloning, entirely despite the absolute lack of economic or utilitarian need to do so, or the nay-sayer's own views of the value of such an attempt.

The frank truth is that the world, its governments, its scientists, its researchers, and so on will not act as one, and any argument founded in any way upon the belief that they will are poor, thoughtless, narrow arguments. The world of the future, like the world of today, will have plenty of individuals who will be fascinated by or even driven to bring back the (frozen) dead for one reason or another.

Thus the claim that no one will ever want to bring back the (frozen) dead is about as much nonsense as the claim that "It is inconceivable that anyone would ever want to give birth to a cloned human baby, much less put any amount of research into such a possibility" or "It is inconceivable that anyone would want to eat or grow cloned meat or genetically altered grains." A claim clearly disproven by the fact that some groups clearly would like to do this and have been researching the possibility (or even claiming success in such an enterprise) right now today in the face of years of previous skepticism.

So the truth is that SOME people won't, but SOME people will. And some of those who wish to, will have, find, or create the means to do so.

Ask OB: Leaving the Fold

Jo, yes.

I was raised in a devout Catholic-Lutheran household, as a Catholic. Into my teen years, I seriously considered entering seminary, and at one point toyed with revivalist fundamentalism. I very seriously believed in the salvation of Christ and the damnation of non-believers, then I had a crisis of faith when I realized my beliefs and experiences were in contradiction with those of the Church and contained in the Bible.

It took a decade for me to fully shed the ideas and perceptions and behaviors that came with my former faith, well after I had shed it in word, and it caused no small amount of conflict with parents, siblings, and friends. I even lost friends and had to endure years of well-meaning but aggravating attempts to bring me back to the fold.

The only advice I can really offer is to accept that this will happen and to understand the concerns and reactions of people who are still invested in those beliefs and in their perceptions of "who you are" being a fellow believer. Talk with them and reassure them. If you are concerned about your marriage, try to find a way your husband and you can connect together through some other shared activity, to let him know you are still you.

As for you, it is likely going to be a long, dark road full of questions and uncertainty until you're comfortable with yourself again. Try not to take out your frustrations on those around you by judging them harshly.