Why Freezing Yourself Is a Terrible Way to Achieve Immortality

Photo: Alcor Life Extension Foundation (CC)

Photo: Alcor Life Extension Foundation (CC)

Just in case you were thinking of cryogenically freezing yourself until technology exists to stop you from dying of whatever ailment you think will terminate your current existence, Gizmodo suggests it may not be such a great idea:

What happens after we die? It’s a question that has plagued the human mind since we first developed the concept of “death.” The search for an answer—and, more importantly, a means of circumventing its effects—has encited organized religion and served to shape one of the foundations of human culture.

We’ve built pyramids to house our dead in the afterlife, constructed terracotta armies to protect them, sacrificed the living in their honor, and even developed preservation techniques to ward off decomposition—all in the effort to somehow defy the permanence of death and resurrect at least a part, however intangible, of the deceased person. Ignoring the mysticism and religious fervor of these practices, they represent little more than elaborate burial techniques, which stubbornly remain a part of modern society.

But unlike the miraculous rebirth of one’s soul at the hands of Osiris, the practice of cryonics promises the rebirth of a younger, fitter, and not-dead you—all through the miracle of future scientific progress.

What Is Cryonics?

Cryonics is the practice of preserving “legally dead” human bodies in extremely cold temperatures with hopes that future advances in medical science can revive their corpses and cure what ails them—or, at least, extract their memories and consciousness.

The basic idea is that by rapidly cooling the body after the heart has stopped, but before the brain begins to die from hypoxia, the body is rapidly cooled to extinguish the metabolism and halt decomposition. However, unlike short-term suspended animation techniques that are currently being developed to aid in cardiac and neural surgery, traumatic injury, and similar life-threatening emergencies, cryonics freezes you for the long haul…

[continues at Gizmodo]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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  • Hadrian999

    if you are going to die anyway does it really matter

    • Daniel Gill

      yes because it might be the very thing that prevents you from transubstantiating your soul somewhere else. what if decomposition was liberating? everywhere all over the world, proper burial is stressed. improper burial brings a lot of suffering to the person.

      • superminds

        the soul is immune to burial mistakes and soon forgets the whole thing

      • Guerrilla_Grodd

        Attacks the living? This sounds right up my ally. Can these spirits possess people and make them do horrible things to those they love? If so, I want to be one right now.

    • superminds

      That’s the whole point, you aren’t going to ‘die’ anyway.

  • BuzzCoastin

    riveting stuff
    who pays the bill for a deathtime of deep freeze?

    I’m pleased to know there are better alternatives than cyro
    frankly, I can’t get enough of modern life
    I can’t wait to wakeup 100 years later
    and find out what happened

    • Rhoid Rager

      You’ll just forget that you wanted to know, anyways.

  • VaudeVillain

    If, tomorrow, I get hit by a bus and die (or experience some other unexpected mortality event, you get the idea), my preference is to have whatever parts cannot be donated as replacement organs to receive a sky burial.

    Please return my components to the living as quickly as possible.

    • Guerrilla_Grodd

      Screw that. I don’t want some surgeon keeping me alive while he waits to part me out.

  • Daniel Gill

    I really don’t care how my body is buried . If by the slim chance I could be resuscitated i don’t imagine i’d be in condition not to immediately want to commit suicide

  • Anarchy Pony

    Not to mention that cells burst when frozen…

  • superminds

    cryopreservation is an attempt to gain what you already have. Instead of paying Alcor to perform its macabre freeze-dry on your cadaver or — for a discount — on your severed head, get some conscious out-of-body (OOB) experience. Nothing else is quite so persuasive of your own, personal, tangible independence from the physical body. “Men believe that the gods live forever. Men live forever, but having forgotten this, they remember only to endow their gods with this characteristic.” – Seth