Cryonics is the theory of being able to preserve people through a freezing process so that they can be revived at a later time. Part of the reason why science is being researched in this area is so that we can treat people with serious diseases with an actual cure when it becomes available. Our current concepts of space travel would also mandate cryonics for astronauts because there is no other way to get someone to another solar system within a lifetime right now. The science of cryonics definitely has some pros and cons – let’s take a look at some of those in more detail.
What Are the Pros of Cryonics?
1. It Could Allow For The Survival Of The Human Race
Almost every day in the news, there is at least one country in the world that is rattling their sabers and threatening war. Some countries have the ability to start a nuclear war. Using the foundations of cryonics, it would be possible to maintain the survival of the human race, along with the plants and animals that we currently have, should a nuclear holocaust occur.
2. It Could Revolutionize Our Organ Transplantation System
If organs could be cryonically preserved, then all of the regional organ donation lists could go way. Everyone would have the same access to the available organs for transplantation. This would open up more potential matches and if there weren’t any matches, the organs could still be preserved for a later time.
3. It Could Solve The Hunger Problem
Even in wealthy, industrialized nations, up to 20% of the households don’t have enough food to eat. If we could use cryonics to freeze foods, then we could begin reducing the billions of dollars of waste in the food industry that are experienced every year. The increased caloric availability could potentially eliminate world hunger.
What Are the Cons of Cryonics?
1. It’s A Brand New Science
We really don’t know a whole lot about cryonics right now. The theory is that we could preserve cells so that they don’t experience decay, but we don’t have a lot of proof on this. It is fully possible that cells could age during the cryonics process and so aging and atrophy could still occur.
2. It Could Prevent Death
Death is one of the certainties that comes with life. It’s scary because we don’t know a lot about what happens. Is there an afterlife? Do we have a soul that will actually move on somewhere? Cryonics could prevent death through the long-term preservation of life.
3. It Could Change The Ethics Of Humanity
How would people treat each other if death is not an option? If people could be preserved indefinitely to wait for a cure for a disease that they have, what choices would change? We would definitely have different dynamics in every choice that we make and not all of those dynamics would be positive.
The science of cryonics is exciting because of its numerous applications. By weighing the pros and cons of cryonics, we can determine what ethical discussions need to have now so that if this does become a future application, we can all be prepared for it.