Episode #46 – Minerva on the Ethics of Cryonics


In this episode I talk to Francesca Minerva. Francesca is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Ghent. Her research focuses on applied philosophy, specifically lookism, conscientious objection, abortion, academic freedom, and cryonics. She has published many articles on these topics in some of the leading academic journals in ethics and philosophy, including the Journal of Medical Ethics, Bioethics, Cambridge Quarterly Review of Ethicsand the Hastings Centre Report. We talk about life, death and the wisdom and ethics of cryonics.

You can download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher (the RSS feed is here).

Show Notes:

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 1:34 – What is cryonics anyway?
  • 6:54 – The tricky logistics and cryonics: you need to die in the right way
  • 10:30 – Is cryonics too weird/absurd to take seriously? Analogies with IVF and frozen embryos
  • 16:04 – The opportunity cost of cryonics
  • 18:18 – Is death bad? Why?
  • 22:51 – Is live worth living at all? Is it better never to have been born?
  • 24:44 – What happens when live is no longer worth living? The attraction of cryothanasia
  • 30:28 – Should we want to live forever? Existential tiredness and existential boredom
  • 37:20 – Is immortality irrelevant to the debate about cryonics?
  • 41:42 – Even if cryonics is good for me might it be the unethical choice?
  • 45:00 (ish) – Egalitarianism and the distribution of life years
  • 49:39 – Would future generations want to revive us?
  • 52:34 – Would we feel out of place in the distant future?

Relevant Links


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