Robert Ettinger (deceased since 2011) was the founder of Cryonics–the faith that freezing our bodies after death will offer us the best shot at a future resurrection, of the physical sort, and in this life too.
When we transform from mortals into immortals, when we fundamentally change the defining characteristic of Homo Sapiens, Ettinger believed that Industrial Capitalism (i.e., the status quo) would somehow remain unscathed.
Robert Ettinger assured the powers that be under Industrial Capitalism that they need not feel threatened by Cryonics in any way. He claimed that “No real vested interests should be damaged by it–not religion, not morticians, not cemetarians, not physicians, certainly not lawyers or businessmen: all of these, in fact, can benefit from it.”
Business as Usual with Immortality?
You would think that Religion and Churches, traditionally the monopolist of the immortality-in-the-next-life business, would be affected by the promise–or worse, the reality–of immortality in this life. But nope! In the world according to Robert Ettinger, which must be the best of all possible worlds, they won’t be at all adversely impacted.
In other words, Ettinger, the Cryonics prophet and seer, guarantees that the advent of immortality would not change the status quo of Industrial Capitalism or any of its economic, political, religious, or social institutions in any way, shape, or form.
According to the utopian gospel of Ettinger, nothing will be changed by the advent of immortality except mortality. Otherwise, it would be business as usual.
If business as usual is the future of industrial capitalism with Cryonics immortality added in, it would be bad news indeed for humanity and the planet–trying desperately to fend off the worst of global warming, climate change, and biodiversity collapse.
If it’d be business as usual, it would also be bad news for those of us who are subsistence wage-slaves surviving hand to mouth under the reign of Industrial Capitalism, and wage-slaves are most of us. Wage slaves r us. And we can look forward to an eternity of profitless toil and slavery under Industrial Capitalism. Which does not seem such a problem to Robert Ettinger’s Cryonicists or the “Transhumanists” who are disproportionately “libertarians” (true believers of survival-of-the-fittest Spencerian Capitalism).
Morticians & Cemetarians: Don’t Worry, Be Happy!
In that blessed future when Cryonics manages to raise the dead from the grave, en masse, and cure them of the disease/s that killed them, it would not negatively affect clergy, morticians, “cemetarians,” physicians, “certainly not lawyers or businessmen” in any way.
It’s interesting that Cryonics’ founding prophet Ettinger went out of his way to mention “morticians” and “cemetarians.” Not surprising as Ettinger’s fantasy, which was duly reported in his and Cryonics’ media heyday, was that his Cryonics freezers would quickly replace cemeteries (i.e., put them out of business).
And if you believe that, would you be interested in buying the Brooklyn Bridge? Or better still, the Eiffel Tower?
Although orthodox Christianity has been peddling immortality-in-the-next-life for millennia, Ettinger stubbornly believed it would have or should have no problems at all with a new sect that peddles immortality-in-this-life. The Cryonics prophet claimed there’s no competition.
Was Ettinger politically naive or was he dissembling like a politician, or was he downright outright delusional?
As inquiring minds want to know, we may answer that in another article.
In the meantime, and in closing, the above should explain why our Scientific Immortalism cannot help but see that Robert Ettinger and the Cryonics scheme he spawned are nothing but Utopian Immortalism.
And since Ettinger’s Cryonics started in the early 1960s, it’s time we ImmorTalists grow up if we are to have a world-changing movement that has a real chance of giving us what we need: the cure of Disease, Old Age, and Death. In time to save you and me.
Elixxir is the Immortalist philosopher and author of Cure Disease, Old Age & Death: The ImmorTalist Manifesto. All Rights Reserved.
© 2023 Elixxir. All rights reserved.