[ExI] ben franklin was an early extropian

Reinhard H. reinhard.heil at googlemail.com
Fri Oct 12 05:39:51 UTC 2012

"Would it be absurd then to suppose that this perfection of the human
species might be capable of indefinite progress; that the day will
come when death will be due only to extraordinary accidents or to the
decay of the vital forces, and that ultimately, the average span
between birth and decay will have no assignable value? Certainly man
will not become immortal, but will not the interval between the first
breath that he draws and the time when in the natural course of
events, without disease or accident, he expires, increase
indefinitely? (Condorcet nach Gruman: 87)

"I wish it were possible, from this instance, to invent a method of
embalming drowned persons, in such a manner that they may be recalled
to life at any period, however distant; for having a very ardent
desire to see and observe the state of America a hundred years hence,
I should prefer to any ordinary death, the being immersed in a cask of
Madeira wine, with a few friends, till that time, to be then recalled
to life by the solar warmth of my dear country. But since in all
probability we live in an age too early and too near the infancy of
science, to hope to see an art brought in our time to its perfection,
I must for the present content myself with the treat, which you are so
kind as to promise me, of the resurrection of a fowl or a turkey
cock." (Franklin nach Gruman: 84)

John Hunter (1728 – 1793) führte – erfolglose – Einfrier- und
Auftauversuche mit Karpfen durch. Hunter schreibt:
"Till this time [Fehlschlag seiner Einfrierversuche, RH] I had
imaginated that it might be possible to prolong life to any period by
freezing a person in the frigid zone, as I thought all action and
waste would cease until the body was thawed. I thought that if a man
would give up the last ten years of his life to this kind of alternate
oblivion and action, it might be prolonged to a thousand years: and by
getting himself thawed every hundred years, he might learn what had
happened during his frozen condition." (Hunter nach Gruman: 84)

Gruman, Gerald J. 1966. A History of Ideas about the Prolognation of
Life. The Evolution of Prolongevity Hypotheses to 1800. Transactions
of the American Philosophical Society, New Series, Volume 56, Part 9.

On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 3:30 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> I saw this on a cryonics list and decided to post it here.  I know Kennita
> (delightful young lady) and I am confident she would be OK with my quoting
> her quoting Franklin.  Truly, Ben Franklin was born waaaay too soon, but we
> needed him back there too.
> Benjamin Franklin writing to the Unitarian scientist Joseph Priestley in
> 1780:
> “The rapid progress true science now makes occasions my regretting sometimes
> that I was born too soon. It is impossible to imagine the height to which
> may be carried, in a thousand years, the power of man over matter. We may,
> perhaps, deprive large masses of their gravity, and give them absolute
> levity, for the sake of easy transport. Agriculture may diminish its labor
> and double its produce: all diseases may by sure means be prevented or cured
> (not excepting even that of old age,) and our lives lengthened at pleasure,
> even beyond the antediluvian standard. Oh that moral science were in as fair
> a way of improvement, that men would cease to be wolves to one another, and
> that human beings would at length learn what they now improperly call
> humanity.”
> --
> Live long and prosper,
> Kennita
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