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Old 05-26-2007, 11:17 AM   #1
Dagobahn Eagle
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Immortality

This is, I suppose, an obligatory question for any debate board. Sooner or later, along with global warming, evolution, and the Iraq war, this two-fold question comes up: Will we ever achieve immortality, and is it desirable to do so?

Personally, as an atheist, I believe we've got this one life and no afterlife, which means it should last as long as possible. As a side note, it seems, strangely, that the more you believe in an afterlife, the more you're against euthanasia and the ending of life-prolonging treatment. Strange, ain't it?

I actually do believe that in the future, it'll be possible to make human bodies very difficult to damage with viruses and bacteria. And yes, I'd actually want that. Because when this is over, I've lived, if I'm very lucky, for 100+ years. I've experienced a century of the universe. It's like knowing there's a three-mile long beach out there full of ice-cream vendors, beautiful and friendly girls, clear water, and lots of interesting animals, fish, shells, etc. in the water... and getting to play around with only a handful of sand. I don't like that.

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Old 05-26-2007, 12:39 PM   #2
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Being in the medical field as I am, and having worked in a lot of ICUs while going through school, I got to see a lot of end-of-life issues. The vast majority of the time, there's no question that someone's going to die and fairly soon. Sometimes it's even a blessing if they're suffering a lot. There are very few times where it's difficult to make a decision on when to pull the plug, so to speak. The question is how sometimes.

For instance, when my mother-in-law was dying, my sister-in-law had to make the decision on what life-prolonging treatments to discontinue, if any. At that point, we knew if we did everything possible, she was only going to live maybe another 48 hours, and it would become increasingly painful for her. My sister-in-law had to make the choice on whether to extubate her and take her off the respirator or discontinue one of the medications that was keeping her blood pressure in a normal range. She chose the latter, because she was concerned about seeing her mother struggle to breath her last few minutes. By discontinuing the blood pressure medication, her blood pressure would simply fall and it would be a lot less scary for her and the family. She'd simply go deeper into her coma and have little suffering that way. She lived about another 12 hours before passing on.

Here's the thing with euthanasia that scares me. While I think decreasing someone's suffering is admirable, I don't like the state or doctors getting involved arbitrarily in that kind of decision because it's ripe for abuse. We already have doctors who will do c-sections on women because they don't want to wait up another 5 hours for it to happen naturally. Imagine the same thing happening with end-of-life issues. A doc decide he wants to go to his golf outing, so boom, inject an overdose of morphine and you're done. It's not a question of 'could that happen', it's a question of 'when will that happen'.

Furthermore, there's a _huge_ financial incentive for the state to discontinue treatment as quickly as possible. It's expensive to pay for intensive care, treatment people on respirators, or treatment of people where the outcome is going to be a vegetative state. The state would have every incentive in the world to minimize care and basically kill someone off quickly. All it would have to do is develop an ethics committee with people sympathetic to its view and override a family's decision, and suddenly you have state-sanctioned murder in the name of 'benefitting society'. I don't trust the state to have my family's best interests at heart, nor do I trust some doctors.

If the state had been involved in my mother-in-law's end of life, they would have discontinued the respirator, because that would have ended things the quickest way and decreased their costs. That wouldn't have been the best choice for her or our family, but it would have been best for the government. It's this obvious conflict of interest that really makes me leery of euthanasia, aside from the religious convictions.

I'm not sure I want to live forever. Would I want to be alive in an overcrowded, poverty-stricken, post-apocalyptic world? Not really. How would you take care of people who live hundreds of years and still have a lot of kids being born? What would quality of life be like, because I've learned that quality is definitely worth far more than quantity? Immortality is a two-edged sword. That's one of the benefits of faith--you know there's not truly an end, other than this physical matter.


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Old 05-26-2007, 12:56 PM   #3
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Thanks for the words on euthanasia and ending life-prolonging treatment, Jae. I fully agree, and all this whole 'ending life early' and 'mercy-killing' stuff honestly is starting to frighten me. I realize your post wasn't about that, and that you aren't necessarily in agreement with me there, but thanks regardlessly.

As for overcrowding - yes, it's definitely an issue, which is why we'd have to work out something like colonization and 'terraforming' of other worlds. Because of course, if humans lived for far longer than today and still had kids, we'd be looking at one seriously overcrowded Earth.

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Old 05-26-2007, 08:41 PM   #4
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http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/39

Interesting presentation.
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Old 05-26-2007, 08:41 PM   #5
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I guess if a modern Ponce de Leon (sp?) did discover the fountain of youth, who would get access to it? Who'd be the gatekeepers of immortality? What price would you have to pay to get access? I imagine that the price of a long life is even longer stretches of ennui and perhaps a jading of values over time. Also, if you're "immortal", what happens if the body you possess is damaged (blown to bits, say)? Can you flee to another vessel (body/machine) to tide you over till another body is created? How do you exactly envision the mechanics of this immortality working, DE?

That aside, I agree that it would be nice to be able to see and do a lot more than we can currently do now.
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Old 05-26-2007, 08:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
As for overcrowding - yes, it's definitely an issue, which is why we'd have to work out something like colonization and 'terraforming' of other worlds.
Certainly a viable option. IMO we're much likely to colonize other planets before curing mortality. Space should be a small issue.

This a fairly black and white topic depending on your views on religion. Since I believe when you die that's that and you're gone forever, (which I don't want to be) immortality sounds like a wonderful thing to me. Whether it's "playing God" or not.

On another note it could do wonders for science and the arts. Without worrying about death people would have an infinite amount of time to become skilled at things - imagine an artist who's had 1,000 years to improve his paintings, a writer who's been refining his style for centuries, or a team of scientists who've been able to research things for millenia. That's excluding all the other great minds that would be born during that time and how long they'd have to develop their respective skills. The advances that could be made boggle the mind.


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Old 05-26-2007, 09:26 PM   #7
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I'm not sure I want to live forever. Would I want to be alive in an overcrowded, poverty-stricken, post-apocalyptic world? Not really.
QFT. Strike out overpopulation, since it is likely we'll flee to other planets, but it may be poverty-striken and overall pretty apocalyptic. It leads to an important question: "What's the point of living?"

Though, I like to throw this out: I don't think we can go immortal, for one simple reason: The Universe has a limited amount of lifespan before it dies of heat death. Unless we escape to another Universe, an impossiblity at the moment, we eventually will have to die.

Can we live for a billion years? Sure. But we are going to have to die, because eventually, all the mass will be converted to energy, and once we lose access to energy, we're gone forever. If, however, we flee to other universes, then congrats, we no longer "playing God", we become God.


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"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
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Old 05-26-2007, 10:49 PM   #8
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No.

I don't think there should be immortality. For me, immortality is a prison. I am a believer of reincarnation, so I think that immortality is being stuck in the cycle of life, never being able to be freed of the life cycle.

And we are not gods. We humans are already desecrating the cycle of life! Achieving a thing as terrible such as immortality means that we will be GODS, as Silent Scope said.

I would HATE to have immortality. Without death, what does living matter? If it will always be, then why cherish it? And of course, as I said before, as Hindu I believe that immortality is the worse punishment one could ever have. "You will never be again, yet though you always are, you never be."


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Old 05-27-2007, 12:11 AM   #9
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I don't know if I would want to live forever. It sounds like it would get awfully boring eventually. You live, and do these things, and live, and do them more... No, I think I will be okay with dying; I don't really consider it something to be feared... When I do, however, I will be happy to know whose philosophy is correct (or not know), as the case may be.

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Old 05-27-2007, 12:16 AM   #10
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that depends on how you define immortality.

Is immortality in a metal shell really immortality? I guess that depends on how you define the "self", am I me because of this body I inhabit, or am I me because of the metaphysical "me" that I am?

Additionally: immortality in a non-corporeal form? Is being a sentient blob of energy the same as being immortal? Again, back to the definition of "self".

And what kind of immortality? Are we talking plain old eternal life, where I simply just keep living and getting older and older and crappier and crappier? But I won't die unless beheaded or something? This is quite honestly, a horrible fate.

And are you immortal if you are not indestructible? If you can be killed, than can you truly be considered immortal? Since you do poses the ability, that if unhindered, you will live forever, but your ability to live is limited by the weakness of your flesh.

But if we are talking true, 100% immortal, eternal youth kinda deal, even if we can die, that's an acceptable kind of immortality.


I disagree with some of the above posters that living is somewhat pointless if we can never die(lets assume, naturally, but you can still get killed). It simply gives you more time to see the universe in. As the original poster stated about the universe being an awesome beach and our lived only being like a handful of sand, then eternal life(but not indestructibility), would simply give us a bigger bit of beach to play with.

I also disagree that eternal life makes us gods. Gods have many more powers and abilites than simply living forever. They're also powerful, they can do crazy stuff like glow, and fly and destroy stuff with neat powers and such. Immortality does not make one a god. And I'm pretty sure any god would laugh at any human who considered themselves a god for simply besting death.

EDIT:
i'd also like to quote this, because it exemplifies the purpose of immortality.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Though, I like to throw this out: I don't think we can go immortal, for one simple reason: The Universe has a limited amount of lifespan before it dies of heat death. Unless we escape to another Universe, an impossiblity at the moment, we eventually will have to die.

Can we live for a billion years? Sure. But we are going to have to die, because eventually, all the mass will be converted to energy, and once we lose access to energy, we're gone forever. If, however, we flee to other universes, then congrats, we no longer "playing God", we become God.
This is indeed the current view of how things are going to happen, why? for the most obvious reason: we haven't discovered otherwise. Is it more foolish to believe that we will be gods for besting death or that in the limited time humans have existed, we have mastered every concept of time and space and that our views are entirely absolutly accurate?

Now, I'm not saying they're wrong, and I know many scientists agree that this is the way things are, but this is coming from a very limited POV, a singular being trying to understand the entirety of the universe. We think it's gonna end this way because we see no equations that balance out on the other end.

Is it possible they exist and we simply haven't discovered them? of course. Where are they you ask? I dunno, I'm just suggesting that it's more foolish that our some 10000 years of primitive star-studying has yeilded all the answers regarding the universe. I'm sure if we'd done that we'd be far closer to being gods than if we were simply immortal.
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Old 05-27-2007, 12:31 AM   #11
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This is indeed the current view of how things are going to happen, why? for the most obvious reason: we haven't discovered otherwise. Is it more foolish to believe that we will be gods for besting death or that in the limited time humans have existed, we have mastered every concept of time and space and that our views are entirely absolutly accurate?
You misunderstand. If we live forever (or actually, until the day the universe die of heat death), we won't be Gods. But, if we escape to other universes, we must have aquired the power to leap through these other universes, and that points to me aboslute power, which is "Godhood".

...And, er, here's a thing to ponder. If you doubt that Science has all the answers and willing to question it if it seems to contradict what you think is possible, then why trust that we are even alive to begin with? We could be wrong about that, no?

EDIT:
Quote:
It simply gives you more time to see the universe in. As the original poster stated about the universe being an awesome beach and our lived only being like a handful of sand, then eternal life(but not indestructibility), would simply give us a bigger bit of beach to play with.
Which explains exactly why many people dislike it. Sure, you get a bigger beach to explore, but you CAN'T escape, unless by killing yourself. If you are a preschooler and you are given access to a fun beach, they stay there and have fun, but pretty soon, the preschooler gets bored and wants to move onto a new beach. Guess what? He can't. He's stuck there, and that immortality, once a blessing, becomes a curse.

Many people really do want to die. They don't want to kill themselves, but they want an end to their life, because, after staying on the beach for a long time, they begin to hate it, to depise it. You're going to need to cure all the world's problems, turn it into a Heaven, and then maybe we'll take about immortality.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here

Last edited by SilentScope001; 05-27-2007 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 05-27-2007, 07:38 AM   #12
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http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/39

Interesting presentation.
Oh, him. Thought he was more strange than informing to be honest. Didn't really fit with the other presenters. Having said that, I'll watch it over again (I've forgotten his arguments) and try to get into what he says.

Quote:
I guess if a modern Ponce de Leon (sp?) did discover the fountain of youth, who would get access to it? Who'd be the gatekeepers of immortality? What price would you have to pay to get access? I imagine that the price of a long life is even longer stretches of ennui and perhaps a jading of values over time. Also, if you're "immortal", what happens if the body you possess is damaged (blown to bits, say)? Can you flee to another vessel (body/machine) to tide you over till another body is created? How do you exactly envision the mechanics of this immortality working, DE?
The Fables comic deals with just this issue. The protagonists traps the Grim Reaper in a magic bag he stole from the Devil, and as a result, nothing in the world can die. Which leads to some grisly scenes of butchered animals running around unable to die and mutilated soldiers showing up with their bodies blown apart, still perfectly alive. So yes, you'd need to either be able to die when severely wounded, as you are today, or you'll have to be indestructible.

Quote:
Which explains exactly why many people dislike it. Sure, you get a bigger beach to explore, but you CAN'T escape, unless by killing yourself. If you are a preschooler and you are given access to a fun beach, they stay there and have fun, but pretty soon, the preschooler gets bored and wants to move onto a new beach. Guess what? He can't. He's stuck there, and that immortality, once a blessing, becomes a curse.
Your problem here is that the beach we're talking about here is of infinite size, or at least nearly.

Quote:
that depends on how you define immortality.
Of course I'd be talking about a good life, not eternal aging. When we've had our life expectancy increased from 30 to 70+, it's only considered a good thing because life quality has also gone up accordingly. If we were still tired old demented wrecks without teeth by the age of 30, there'd be less of an incentive to live for 40 more years.

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Old 05-27-2007, 11:34 AM   #13
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No and no.

For one, you'd have to somehow stop the decay of chromosome ends during mitosis. Each time a new cell is formed, the DNA is less perfect than it was before. Nothing here on earth is perfect, not even DNA replication. Eventually, it becomes so imperfect that the cells form noticeably imperfect tissue. This is largely the cause of the progression of old age.

I don't know how you could stop that decay in every single cell.

And I wouldn't want a world where everyone lives forever. An interesting SciFi book on the topic (The Risen Empire) presents the issues clearly. Besides the obvious overpopulation, eventually you would have the stagnation of science and ideas. With the same immortal people in positions of authority, new ideas would never survive. If people were immortal during the Middle Ages, then by the end of the Renaissance we would never have known that the earth was round and that it revolved around the sun, simply because the authority figures would have considered it heresy. And those authority figures never would have died, so the ideas would never have had a chance. Essentially, science would crawl along.

And like I said, there's plenty of obvious (secular) problems attached to the idea. I personally have several religious problems with the idea, but they're not relevant to this particular discussion.

EDIT-

Quote:
As a side note, it seems, strangely, that the more you believe in an afterlife, the more you're against euthanasia and the ending of life-prolonging treatment. Strange, ain't it?
Just to answer this as a religious individual- the idea behind religion isn't to wind up dead as soon as possible so you can attain the afterlife. The idea is to live as full a life as possible in accordance with your god's (or gods') teachings. Death isn't something that most religious people go chasing.


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Old 05-27-2007, 12:56 PM   #14
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I would HATE to have immortality. Without death, what does living matter? If it will always be, then why cherish it? And of course, as I said before, as Hindu I believe that immortality is the worse punishment one could ever have. "You will never be again, yet though you always are, you never be."
I'm officially a Hindu, but actually an Agnostic. I will be honest in saying that I do too believe in a form of reincarnation, much against my own will.

Immortality actually comes in two forms. In the first form, you are free from natural death. You can be killed by artificial means, but are invincible otherwise. It would only be current life taken to the extreme, because your sorrows and joys are doubled, making the world more unbearable than it already is. There will be more ill will, and crime will be insanely high, simply because people will see no alternative to murder.

The second form is much worse. In the second form, you cannot be killed either. If somebody stabs you, its gonna hurt real bad. But physical pain aside, it will mean the end of suicides. People will live in misery, because the ultimate goal of a human soul is to live a fulfilling life before hitting the sack. With no real goal, people will fall into an escapable void of depression. To be honest, this is getting bored, multiplied by 20 times.

Either ways, I wouldn't want Immortality. Life's purpose is to lead it to death. Without death, it is impossible to say we are living.


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Old 05-27-2007, 02:50 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by SilentScope001
You misunderstand. If we live forever (or actually, until the day the universe die of heat death), we won't be Gods. But, if we escape to other universes, we must have aquired the power to leap through these other universes, and that points to me aboslute power, which is "Godhood".
Right, but what I'm saying is that the view that the universe is going to die because of said heat-death, could be wrong, and regardless of if there are other universes, that if the universe is everlasting, by it's own reconstructive means, whatever they may be, then such escaping would not be necessary. Though immortality would indeed inevitably lead to god-hood.

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...And, er, here's a thing to ponder. If you doubt that Science has all the answers and willing to question it if it seems to contradict what you think is possible, then why trust that we are even alive to begin with? We could be wrong about that, no?
Oh, but I dont. I have no absolute proof that I do indeed exist. However, since I have no evidence to contradict the belief that we do indeed exist and are alive for limited spans of time, I just go with that assumption for the sake of simplicity. ie: it works for me, so it's ok.

Quote:
Which explains exactly why many people dislike it. Sure, you get a bigger beach to explore, but you CAN'T escape, unless by killing yourself. If you are a preschooler and you are given access to a fun beach, they stay there and have fun, but pretty soon, the preschooler gets bored and wants to move onto a new beach. Guess what? He can't. He's stuck there, and that immortality, once a blessing, becomes a curse.
eh, I believe this is more of a fact due to other, non-life related problems with mankind. Global Warming: many people don't care because they know they're gonna die anyway. if we were immortal, then a lot more people would surely care about it. We are also limited to this one earth and nearby space. if we were immortal, we'd have more time to be interested in the rest of the universe.

But we're also talking about an infinite beach here. Ship the toddler about 6 miles down the beach and they'll never know it was the same one.

Quote:
Many people really do want to die. They don't want to kill themselves, but they want an end to their life, because, after staying on the beach for a long time, they begin to hate it, to depise it. You're going to need to cure all the world's problems, turn it into a Heaven, and then maybe we'll take about immortality.
Like I said, given people had more time to invest in fixing the problems, there would be less of them. If people lived for say 300 years, we'd have alot more time to invest in helping the world. If we were immortal, we'd have infite time to invest in helping things. Negotiations fall though because people are in a rush, why? because they dont want to get too old before the problem is solved. if immortal, a single sentance could take a day to complete, but you'd be able to say it exactly the way you wanted, no rushing, no time limits, every word the perfect choice for the context.
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Old 05-27-2007, 05:44 PM   #16
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But physical pain aside, it will mean the end of suicides.
Which would be a very good thing. Unless this is in the given universe where you can't die through any other means of suicide. Then it'd be a different question. However, I'd still argue suicide is not right, as most or not all of your life's problems, perhaps besides from terminal illness, actually do decrease with time. It's like throwing out the cocoa you just made because it's too hot, rather than waiting for it to cool.

Reincarnation, if it was true (I don't believe it is), would be an excellent compromise, actually. A new life, new possibilities, and no memories of the old one.

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If people were immortal during the Middle Ages, then by the end of the Renaissance we would never have known that the earth was round and that it revolved around the sun, simply because the authority figures would have considered it heresy. And those authority figures never would have died, so the ideas would never have had a chance. Essentially, science would crawl along.
But you'd still have people get dethroned, and stepping down voluntarily. Hitler was 'immortal' in that he'd never have been unseated democratically, yet he was such a horrible political leader that the Allies ganged up on him and destroyed his regime. As for voluntary resignation, an eternity is a lot of time to change one's mind.

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Old 05-27-2007, 06:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
It's like knowing there's a three-mile long beach out there full of ice-cream vendors, beautiful and friendly girls, clear water, and lots of interesting animals, fish, shells, etc. in the water... and getting to play around with only a handful of sand. I don't like that.
Very nice analogy...

I wouldn't want to be immortal, I'd rather pass on what I have learned to a next generation and know that I did well and they'll do me proud...If I can manage that, I will die a happy man, if not, I will still die a happy man because I know I have already influenced others with who I am...I pass on a little of myself to anyone I meet/live with/love/hate/etc...so in a way, I believe we are all immortal...

I have never met any of you, yet you can reach me via thise medium, as I can reach you, and in a way, we all influence each other...



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Old 05-28-2007, 12:32 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
Which would be a very good thing. Unless this is in the given universe where you can't die through any other means of suicide. Then it'd be a different question. However, I'd still argue suicide is not right, as most or not all of your life's problems, perhaps besides from terminal illness, actually do decrease with time. It's like throwing out the cocoa you just made because it's too hot, rather than waiting for it to cool.
Yes, I agree suicide is not right. If you did not start your own life, what authority did you have to end it?

The statement went along in the context that there is no other form of death possible, including murder. People will live in an eternal misery, and that, for me, is very scary.


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Old 05-29-2007, 02:22 AM   #19
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Right, but what I'm saying is that the view that the universe is going to die because of said heat-death, could be wrong, and regardless of if there are other universes, that if the universe is everlasting, by it's own reconstructive means, whatever they may be, then such escaping would not be necessary. Though immortality would indeed inevitably lead to god-hood.
Still seems strange to doubt the laws of science right now, because you feel they could be proven wrong. If we believe science will unlock the keys to immortality in the future, it might be nice to manitan some confidence in science's efforts now, and to trust it.

Quote:
Oh, but I dont. I have no absolute proof that I do indeed exist. However, since I have no evidence to contradict the belief that we do indeed exist and are alive for limited spans of time, I just go with that assumption for the sake of simplicity. ie: it works for me, so it's ok.
Okay.

Quote:
eh, I believe this is more of a fact due to other, non-life related problems with mankind. Global Warming: many people don't care because they know they're gonna die anyway. if we were immortal, then a lot more people would surely care about it. We are also limited to this one earth and nearby space. if we were immortal, we'd have more time to be interested in the rest of the universe.
1) If we were immortal, we wouldn't fear global warming in the first place. After all, think about it. The only reason some people fear global warming is the fact that they are going to die from it. Immortality? Volia, global warming gets ignored. So what if the world's get hotter and things get flodded ? I can deal with it.

2) If we were immortal, we could easily cause more problems than we solve. Wars and murders could be made quite bit harder, but we could continue to pollute and cause much destruction to other planets. We live forever, but we continue to use resources. We could plunder from other humans, knocking them out and stealing their stuff. We could have too much stuff. We could have poverty and high depression rates. We could create races, mortal races, and then have these races kill each other for fun and sport.

Remember, we are immortal, but this also means we need resources to grow (I assume we still are humans and not robots or gas or souls or whatever). So, we will have competition for resources, which will not be as good.

(...However, it also seems you are assuming that human nature is good. I disagree with this assement. But if all humans feel the same way as you do, that we should all serve the same purpose and goals rather than be selfish, then I could count that as a "utopia". Establish that first, get us all to believe in the same thing. Then bring in immortality.)

Quote:
But we're also talking about an infinite beach here. Ship the toddler about 6 miles down the beach and they'll never know it was the same one.
...Infinite beach? Uh, seeing the same beachball over and over again in this infinite beach can get quite a bit boring.

(This comes from the assumption that eventually, you'll see all that you need to see, like how the human behavior works, and how civilization is run, etc. You may disagree. Eventually, however, things might get boring and stagtant)
===
Have anyone considered Eternal Return? It's a form of immortality (one that even Stephen Hawking thinks is possible), but it is a form where you repeat whatever you did in the past forever. It's a test basically to see if one is life-affirming (likes life for what it is) or hates it.

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What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: 'This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more' ... Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: 'You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.' [The Gay Science, §341]
...You can say I would curse that demon if the demon ever said it to me.
===
Quote:
The statement went along in the context that there is no other form of death possible, including murder. People will live in an eternal misery, and that, for me, is very scary.
That's where the drugs come in. If an immortal person is depressed, just give him some Happy Pills. If there are side-effects, the immortal person can handle them, but as long as the immortal person is eternally drug, he would be eternally happy.


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"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
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Old 05-29-2007, 02:57 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Still seems strange to doubt the laws of science right now, because you feel they could be proven wrong. If we believe science will unlock the keys to immortality in the future, it might be nice to manitan some confidence in science's efforts now, and to trust it.
doubt in the way science says things happen is the reason science changes and improves. I don't doubt science's ability to do something in the future, all I'm saying is that from our limited ability, I think it's presumtuous to say that we know how the universe is going to die.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
1) If we were immortal, we wouldn't fear global warming in the first place. After all, think about it. The only reason some people fear global warming is the fact that they are going to die from it. Immortality? Volia, global warming gets ignored. So what if the world's get hotter and things get flodded ? I can deal with it.
okay, problem here, we're talking about different kinds of immortality. Your talking indestrcutibility and immortality. I've still talking about just plain old immortality. We just live forever, age really slow, whatever, we just live a long time, we can still die. So yes, in your situation, problems get ignored, in my situation they dont, but that's because we're talking about different kinds of immortality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
2) If we were immortal, we could easily cause more problems than we solve. Wars and murders could be made quite bit harder, but we could continue to pollute and cause much destruction to other planets. We live forever, but we continue to use resources. We could plunder from other humans, knocking them out and stealing their stuff. We could have too much stuff. We could have poverty and high depression rates. We could create races, mortal races, and then have these races kill each other for fun and sport.
Again, to what I just said above, different kinds of immortality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Remember, we are immortal, but this also means we need resources to grow (I assume we still are humans and not robots or gas or souls or whatever). So, we will have competition for resources, which will not be as good.
probly, though, if your indestructible, like you mention, it's unlikly any sort of consuption is truly necessary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
(...However, it also seems you are assuming that human nature is good. I disagree with this assement. But if all humans feel the same way as you do, that we should all serve the same purpose and goals rather than be selfish, then I could count that as a "utopia". Establish that first, get us all to believe in the same thing. Then bring in immortality.)
I don't think that on average a person being selfish makes their nature inherantly bad. And yes, I do usually assume that 9/10 times human nature is good. It's that oddball 10th person that's bad. But when you've got 6 billion people, that 10th person makes for alot of people. That and I don't think a utopia requires us all to believe in the same thing other than that we all want to make the world a utopia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
...Infinite beach? Uh, seeing the same beachball over and over again in this infinite beach can get quite a bit boring.
Being an infite beach, it's highly unlikly you'll see the same beach ball ever again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
(This comes from the assumption that eventually, you'll see all that you need to see, like how the human behavior works, and how civilization is run, etc. You may disagree. Eventually, however, things might get boring and stagtant)
it is possible that eventually, we'll see enough to get the jist of everything important. But then, it's usually the details that are really make it all worthwhile. If your just gonna look for the jist of things, well, then yeah, it's be quite the waste.
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Old 05-29-2007, 03:49 AM   #21
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“Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not. Attachment leads to jealously. The shadow of greed, that is.”

Besides, immortality would properly become utterly boring!



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Old 05-29-2007, 04:09 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Web Rider


okay, problem here, we're talking about different kinds of immortality. Your talking indestrcutibility and immortality. I've still talking about just plain old immortality. We just live forever, age really slow, whatever, we just live a long time, we can still die. So yes, in your situation, problems get ignored, in my situation they dont, but that's because we're talking about different kinds of immortality.
Ah, but that won't be immortality, now would it? Immortality means inablity to die. If we're talking elves from Lord of the Rings, they do NOT count as immortal, since they can die. The only thing they can not die from is old age.

So, if we thought up of some way to make our bodies immune to sickness, then one way to die is gone. Would you call that immortal?

If we were talking that we were truly immortal except we could die if we wished (I don't know how . . . perhaps a chemical reaction you inflict upon yourself . . .) it would be even worse, since we would have to resort to suicide.

I view suicide as a terrible crime, as you are desecrating the cicle of life by endin yours. But if you use suicide just because you are bored of living, then by all means you should burn in hell or be reincarnated as an ant.

If it goes to such a low resort as that, i will NEVER become immortal. (Not that I was ever going to becoem immortal, anyways)


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Old 05-29-2007, 10:45 AM   #23
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I think we will develop a medical standard high enough and technology advanced enough to "repair" the human body in any way no one can even think of. Cells and DNA molecules of every possible cell based form of life can be repaired or renewed and what not, all that on subatomic level. And I'd say, as long as you "refresh" your cells you won't necessarily die of age or illness. But immortality as in resistance against the slimy alien virus from outer space or as in to take a dive into a sun, no.


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Old 05-29-2007, 01:27 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Spitfire
Ah, but that won't be immortality, now would it? Immortality means inablity to die. If we're talking elves from Lord of the Rings, they do NOT count as immortal, since they can die. The only thing they can not die from is old age.

So, if we thought up of some way to make our bodies immune to sickness, then one way to die is gone. Would you call that immortal?

If we were talking that we were truly immortal except we could die if we wished (I don't know how . . . perhaps a chemical reaction you inflict upon yourself . . .) it would be even worse, since we would have to resort to suicide.

I view suicide as a terrible crime, as you are desecrating the cicle of life by endin yours. But if you use suicide just because you are bored of living, then by all means you should burn in hell or be reincarnated as an ant.

If it goes to such a low resort as that, i will NEVER become immortal. (Not that I was ever going to becoem immortal, anyways)
see, since I dont believe in reincarnation, or an afterlife, I dont view suicide as a problem. Sombody wants to end their life, if I can stop them, OK, but I'm only human, I can't save everybody nor do I think it's my place to do so. If they feel they need to do, so be it. Some cultures believe it is better to die at your peak than wither away to nothing, since that's how you'll be in the afterlife forever.

And let me clarify my version of immortality, we live, essentially forever, since we can't prove we've lived forever until time has ended. But anyway, we live forever, aging only to about our peak in our early 30s, the only way we can die is if we are killed.

So I disagree with the assumption that immortality requires indestructibility.
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Old 05-29-2007, 01:49 PM   #25
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Will we ever achieve immortality, and is it desirable to do so?
Will we ever achieve immortality? No. Terraforming other planets to maintain human life is the only viable option I see when the earth's resources are depleted.

As to your second question, my answer is also No. I see nothing positive with immortality, I mean, I wouldn't even want to live to be 80 I can't understand why anyone would want to live forever. Sure I can see the benefits as you get to experience new technology being developed amongst other things and it would certainly be an interesting experience.

Though life, in my opinion is not worth living forever.

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Old 05-30-2007, 12:35 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by SilentScope001
That's where the drugs come in. If an immortal person is depressed, just give him some Happy Pills. If there are side-effects, the immortal person can handle them, but as long as the immortal person is eternally drug, he would be eternally happy.
Giving Happy Pills to miserable immortals would be equivalent to eradicating world poverty, or providing a laptop to every Afican schoolchild, or heck, eradicating drug abuse. Besides, there is the perfect possibility of the rich exploiting the Happy Pills, the black market business and so on. In the end, the miserable bums don't get their Happy Pills and so they are even more unhappy.

IMO, Immortality is connected to misery, either direct or romantic. There is no way around it.


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Old 05-30-2007, 02:58 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Lord Spitfire
I view suicide as a terrible crime, as you are desecrating the cicle of life by endin yours. But if you use suicide just because you are bored of living, then by all means you should burn in hell or be reincarnated as an ant.
Depression usually causes this state. If you are saying all the depressed people in the world who killed themselves should rot in hell, then you are narrow minded indeed. Try to incorporate a larger view of things that happen and not just tap them down to this 'One excuse, one sentence' track of thinking.

If Immortality existed, I think we would be creating an army of psychopaths thats for sure. Crimes would need harsher punishments. That means everyone one of the thieves, robbers, rapists that serve time in prison would eventually get out. Repeated incarcerations and a public living in fear.

Quote:
That's where the drugs come in. If an immortal person is depressed, just give him some Happy Pills. If there are side-effects, the immortal person can handle them, but as long as the immortal person is eternally drug, he would be eternally happy.
Oh and 'Happy pills' don't work that way.


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Old 06-05-2007, 05:05 PM   #28
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I neither know nor care whether my existence terminates at the end of my life (once it's ended, how will I know that it has?) or whether I go to live with a greater power. But I do know this: to extend our lives unto immortality is selfish and greedy; it perverts the course of nature and stagnates society. Why must we follow such a path when we have a great space of time (hey, what can you not do in about 80 years!?) to live in already? Why must we say that the glass is half empty?

We have each been given our allotted time on this Earth and it is up to us to spend it the right way. Which would you rather have - a bright spark of a truly wonderful life; or a long dull eternity of senility and then madness?


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Old 06-07-2007, 06:31 AM   #29
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But I do know this: to extend our lives unto immortality is selfish and greedy; it perverts the course of nature and stagnates society.
Stagnate what society, Earth; there is a whole infinite society out there beyond Earth.
I will enjoy the choice of living forever and ever...to explore that endless society
of existence, a chance to see civilizations rise and fall; see galaxies the universe evolve over the eons and experience other things that I can't even imagine yet.

If immortality is selfish and greedy, then so be it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by i_shot_the_jedi
We have each been given our allotted time on this Earth and it is up to us to spend it the right way. Which would you rather have - a bright spark of a truly wonderful life; or a long dull eternity of senility and then madness?
If the existence is infinite and complex, as I suspect it is, then I highly doubt it will be dull, i_shot_the_jedi.
I don't know what happens after death, but I will find the idea of living in a utopia such as heaven or other paradise realms as dull; if you are living in a utopia for eternity, everything will go right for every individual there, there will be no challenges to take part in, I enjoy adventure and challenges.

It will be a endless existence that will be very boring and unexciting forever, in my opinion.
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Old 06-07-2007, 10:19 AM   #30
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Stagnate what society, Earth; there is a whole infinite society out there beyond Earth. I will enjoy the choice of living forever and ever...to explore that endless society. of existence, a chance to see civilizations rise and fall; see galaxies the universe evolve over the eons and experience other things that I can't even imagine yet.

If immortality is selfish and greedy, then so be it.
Say what now? An 'infinite society out there beyound Earth'? I'm not sure that your usage of the word 'society' is correct.

Don't think that because your life has been extended that the universe suddenly becomes your oyster... we've barely even lifted ourselves off this little rock. Heck, we don't even know whether we'll survive the next few centuries. With immortality, one does not instantly attain wisdom; and one can only reach certain limits. By lowering the birth rate as well as the death rate we will keep the human race stuck at one point in evolution and thus preventing any change; especially if people stay in the same roles in society for thousands of years. So yes, society will stagnate.

I'm afraid that your vague dreamy statements are wishful, not realistic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by windu6
If the existence is infinite and complex, as I suspect it is, then I highly doubt it will be dull, i_shot_the_jedi.
Until we manage to reach other habitable planets then yes, it will be dull - much as a prison cell gets dull a short whule after having stepped into it. You can decorate the walls somehow or find some way to spend your time, but this will only make things better for a little while.

Living as it is now is not a prison cell, because our current life spans are so short that we are unable to discover everything before we die. But with immortality, the world becomes much smaller and things that will have been new and wonderful to you as a child become as insignificant as the marks on a prison wall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by windu6
I don't know what happens after death, but I will find the idea of living in a utopia such as heaven or other paradise realms as dull; if you are living in a utopia for eternity, everything will go right for every individual there, there will be no challenges to take part in, I enjoy adventure and challenges. It will be a endless existence that will be very boring and unexciting forever, in my opinion.
I'm afraid we have no idea what Heaven would be like, if it exists. However, I do not think you should judge Heaven until you've experienced it or seen what it is made of. My mother always said the same thing about trying new foods, bless her soul.


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Old 06-07-2007, 11:08 AM   #31
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I'm sure there are methods to increase the human lifespan beyond what it already is. But immortality, no. Eventually, the deficiencies in cellular mitosis will catch up. It won't happen, not this time. Next time, for all of us. Although many won't enjoy it.
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Old 06-07-2007, 11:25 AM   #32
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I thought J.R.R. Tolkien did a good job comparing the immortal Elves with the mortal Men and showing the advantages and disadvantages of both. The Elves had deeper wisdom than Men and were more closely attuned to nature. Men were more passionate and quicker to action. The fact that they died was considered to be a gift that would eventually be envied by both the Elves and the Powers.

The Elves did not die natural deaths, but eventually grew weary of the world traveled to the Undying Lands with the Powers. This was Tolkien's solution to suicide (which really doesn't help us, I know.) But I think in an immortal society, suicide would not carry the stigma that it does in a mortal one. It would probably become something sacred with a form of ceremony.

The Elves became skilled in all forms art over their lifetime, having eternal patience to perfect their crafts. Emperor Devon mentioned this in regards to scientific progress. In conjunction with this, I would expect immortality to impart wisdom that would help steer scientific endeavors towards more constructive ends. The military would not be the driving force for new technologies as it is so often today. I would also expect there to be less greed and more cooperation since we would all be living with each other for a long, long time. No point in just "living for today" in an immortal society.
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Old 06-07-2007, 12:58 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by i_shot_the_jedi
Say what now? An 'infinite society out there beyound Earth'? I'm not sure that your usage of the word 'society' is correct.
Many of us can call what maybe be out there what we want to call it.
But I will call it a society; it also can be called a infinite reality of infinite complexity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by i_shot_the_jedi
Don't think that because your life has been extended that the universe suddenly becomes your oyster... we've barely even lifted ourselves off this little rock.
Of course, we've barely lifted off this rock, because this society, most of our species is lazy, uninterested and non passionate about interstellar travel.
If some in our societal species stop becoming sceptical of the ideas of interstellar travel; stop finding the idea of interstellar travel amusing thought, this rock will finally become insignificant as we start to explore the great expanse of this galaxy and universe.
Skeptism is a decease of the imagination a shackle to inspiration and a danger to wisdom.
The skeptical path is a blind one.
Another thing people in our society should know, there is no science fiction, there is science faction, nothing is impossible, there is no never happen and there is no, it can't be done ever.

When people start realizing that, then maybe we will make the universe our oyster.


Quote:
Originally Posted by i_shot_the_jedi
Heck, we don't even know whether we'll survive the next few centuries. With immortality, one does not instantly attain wisdom; and one can only reach certain limits.
If you are immortal the only limits is the unknowns of reality.
Of course, one don't instantly attain wisdom, if you live forever enlightenment will be a forever goal to obtain if our society idea of wisdom is right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by i_shot_the_jedi
By lowering the birth rate as well as the death rate we will keep the human race stuck at one point in evolution and thus preventing any change; especially if people stay in the same roles in society for thousands of years. So yes, society will stagnate.
If we leave Earth society will prosper, if we play our card right.
Of course, we will stagnate if we still remain here for a thousand more years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by i_shot_the_jedi
I'm afraid that your vague dreamy statements are wishful, not realistic.
Skeptism !
That's why you fail.

You must know, a lot of the things that define our society now, was once dreamy statements and wishful thinking.



Quote:
Originally Posted by i_shot_the_jedi
Until we manage to reach other habitable planets then yes, it will be dull - much as a prison cell gets dull a short whule after having stepped into it. You can decorate the walls somehow or find some way to spend your time, but this will only make things better for a little while.
There is no dull, if the expanse is a infinite complexity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by i_shot_the_jedi
Living as it is now is not a prison cell, because our current life spans are so short that we are unable to discover everything before we die. But with immortality, the world becomes much smaller and things that will have been new and wonderful to you as a child become as insignificant as the marks on a prison wall.
You still fail to see, if one obtain immortality, this world will become insignificant.



Quote:
Originally Posted by i_shot_the_jedi
I'm afraid we have no idea what Heaven would be like, if it exists. However, I do not think you should judge Heaven until you've experienced it or seen what it is made of. My mother always said the same thing about trying new foods, bless her soul.
Well, it's time to inform you, I hate God, so the idea of Heaven is unappealing to me.
Even if my hate wasn't the influence; if it's a utopia then I'm not interested, i_shot_the_jedi.
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Old 06-07-2007, 02:10 PM   #34
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Quote:
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Of course, we've barely lifted off this rock, because this society, most of our species is lazy, uninterested and non passionate about interstellar travel.
We're not a lazy species windu6. Interstellar travel isn't something we've just been too lazy to do. C'mon, get real.

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Originally Posted by windu6
(paraphrase) Imagination > skepticism
Wisdom involves knowing which to employ.

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Originally Posted by windu6
Another thing people in our society should know, there is no science fiction, there is science faction, nothing is impossible... When people start realizing that, then maybe we will make the universe our oyster.
And in the meantime, scientists will actually perform science in the real world and try to improve the quality of life. "Realizing" something is more than just imagination. You actually have to make it real.

I think the main point you're trying to make is here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by windu6
If you are immortal the only limits is the unknowns of reality.
Of course, one don't instantly attain wisdom, if you live forever then enlightenment will be a forever goal to obtain if our society idea of wisdom is right. If we leave Earth society will prosper, if we play our card right.
Of course, we will stagnate if we still remain here for a thousand more years.
I believe you're saying that if we had immortality, we could eventually travel to other planets and prosper which would be preferable to living on Earth only. I think that's actually a good point. In all likelihood, there would be a good number of immortals who would want to continue seeking the unknown after the Earth becomes too familiar and boring.
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Old 06-07-2007, 02:38 PM   #35
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Immortality sounds dreadful to me.

For one thing, I'd have to spend the rest of eternity arguing with Achilles >.<



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Old 06-07-2007, 03:04 PM   #36
Totenkopf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
Immortality sounds dreadful to me.

For one thing, I'd have to spend the rest of eternity arguing with Achilles >.<



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Old 06-07-2007, 03:14 PM   #37
i_shot_the_jedi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windu6
Many of us can call what maybe be out there what we want to call it.But I will call it a society; it also can be called a infinite reality of infinite complexity.
A society is a grouping of individuals, which is characterized by common interests and may have distinctive culture and institutions. This is not exactly linked to the word I think you're looking for: 'Universe'.

Quote:
Of course, we've barely lifted off this rock, because this society, most of our species is lazy, uninterested and non passionate about interstellar travel. If some in our societal species stop becoming sceptical of the ideas of interstellar travel; stop finding the idea of interstellar travel amusing thought, this rock will finally become insignificant as we start to explore the great expanse of this galaxy and universe.
Attaining a 'path to the stars' requires much more than just the defeat of scepticism. It requires billions of dollars, incredible technological advances... and a lot of patience. Star Wars does not happen overnight.

Quote:
Skeptism is a decease of the imagination a shackle to inspiration and a danger to wisdom. The skeptical path is a blind one.
Please stop dressing up false statements as wisdom. What you've just said is quite frankly ridiculous. I hope you'll realise this when you study the relationship between the two words I've highlighted. I also hope you realise that you've contradicted your own philosophy quite a few times.

Skepticism: questioning the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be factual; a doubting attitude

Quote:
Another thing people in our society should know, there is no science fiction, there is science faction, nothing is impossible, there is no never happen and there is no, it can't be done ever.

When people start realizing that, then maybe we will make the universe our oyster.
In some ways, yes I agree. But as this is a discussion on immortality I think the question should be 'when?'

Quote:
If you are immortal the only limits is the unknowns of reality. Of course, one don't instantly attain wisdom, if you live forever enlightenment will be a forever goal to obtain if our society idea of wisdom is right.
To be 'immortal', as presented by this thread, does not mean 'godly' or 'omniscient'. Age will not bring you infinite wisdom.

Quote:
If we leave Earth society will prosper, if we play our card right. Of course, we will stagnate if we still remain here for a thousand more years.
So where exactly are we supposed to move to and what will it take to get us there?

Quote:
Skeptism !
That's why you fail.
I thought we were discussing philosophy and immortality, not issuing ad hominem attacks.

Quote:
You must know, a lot of the things that define our society now, was once dreamy statements and wishful thinking.
No, philosophy is an attempt at trying to pin down reality using the human mind; something entirely different from 'dreamy statements', which may have no bearing on reality at all.

Quote:
There is no dull, if the expanse is a infinite complexity.
I wonder, then, why the word 'dull' was coined.

Quote:
You still fail to see, if one obtain immortality, this world will become insignificant.
Not whilst we're still stuck on it, thinking from an egocentric point of view.

Quote:
Well, it's time to inform you, I hate God, so the idea of Heaven is unappealing to me.
Ad hominem, again! I could argue for years, but I will instead ask this:

Why?

Why has God, a being whom you have never met and may or may not exist and who has an incredible number of entirely contradictory teachings attributed to his (its/hers? - who knows?) name thus making his true nature entirely ambiguous, become the subject of your hate? Feel free to dislike a belief system attributed to God, but do not be so pretentious as to think you can be the judge of something you know nothing about.

Quote:
Even if my hate wasn't the influence; if it's a utopia then I'm not interested, i_shot_the_jedi.
I don't think you've even read or attempted to understand my argument, instead making reactionary (and one downright rude!) comments to try and 'beat' me. You should consider adjusting your attitude towards other people.

I do not want this to descend into a fight, so I will withdraw from the discussion. I recommend you do the same.


Comment by Darth333: Agreed! Leave the personal attacks behind. Windu6, you should know better...Also, this is a thread on immortality, not a thread to err..."promote interstellar travel"...


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Average minds discuss events.
Shallow minds discuss people.
Which are you?
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Old 06-11-2007, 04:17 AM   #38
Mike Windu
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Will we achieve immortality? Probably not. At any rate, I'd much rather obtain invulnerability to life's constant threats and live a full, happy, short life than live for an extended period of time.

However, if we were willing to make some compromises in terms of immortality, in that I was invulnerable to bullets and car crashes, I'd be willing to have the assurance that I will live longer.

All I'm asking for is that I do great things before I die. Sounds crazy for a 17 year old kid right? Well, kind of a side story, but I had a dream recently that creeped the hell out of me. I've always felt that the way I die is going to be in a car crash (and it's not that long of a shot, considering how many people die in accidents every year). Anyway, I had a dream where I had died and was sort of in a limbo stage, Patrick Swayze/Ghost-esque and I was trying to signal some random person, to contact the living world by grabbing a marker or sharpie of some sort and writing phrases like "Help" and my name, but the stranger never notices. I hear God laughing at me and saying "It' won't help Michael, you're already dead." Then I write 1989-2007 and then I woke up.

Now, that might seem like a digression from this discussion but ultimately leads me back to my point in that the only reason (other than being an observer to the world's changes, but hopefully that's what being dead is for) I would want immortality is to make sure that I do what I want to do. I don't want to go before it is my time and I sure as hell hope I don't.




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Old 06-26-2007, 10:25 PM   #39
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Immortality is probably out of our reach (for now maybe), but if a person actually want it depend on the life that they have lived, it all depend on if a person is able to accept death or be fearfull of dying.
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