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Would you want to live forever?

Would you want to live forever?
Would you want to live forever?

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 Posted 3/2/2011 6:26:11 AM
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Although "forever" is hard to imagine, would anyone want to live indefinitely? 
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 Posted 3/2/2011 7:46:55 PM
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That depends upon a few factors. first, at what age would we stop dying?  Could we choose that age, or do we just stop aging at our present age?  Would be be able to turn back the clock and stop aging at a younger age?  

Some people wouldn't want to live forever the way they are now. They may be old, in pain and such. Nobody would want to live forever like that.  So science would first have to find a way to make the body regenerate itself, and in some respects reverse the damage that was done to the aged body.

What would it cost to live forever?  If there was a "magic pill" or something like that, I'm sure it would be very expensive.  Would immortality only be only for the rich?

Let's imagine for a moment we could stop the aging process. Imagine in the next 100 years everyone is immortal and young.  What would movies be like? Boring. There would be no character actors for example. No wizards with white beards, no weathered cowboys or white-haired grandmothers.  Everyone would look the same because at that point we would be far removed from the aged body it would be hard to imagine it. It wouldn't relate to us anymore.

Immortal humans would never have to retire from their job if they didn't want to. Well, in fact they probably couldn't because they would need the money, since they live forever.  How would we make room for new generation?  The concept of retirement allows for a new, up and coming generation to take their place. If someone was rich and did retire, they would loose all their money eventually. How do you keep everyone working? You can't.  Our system of commerce and money would change drastically or be abolished for some other system.

If everyone was immortal, eventually there would be no more room or resources left on this planet to sustain immortal beings. We'd all eventually die.  A higher authority like the government would most assuredly have to step in and mandate a maximum age people could live to in order to avoid overcrowding of the earth.  So even if you could live forever humans couldn't escape death of the physical body.  

The only way we could make immortality work is if we can figure out way to live outside of Earth and expand into the galaxy and figure out a way to live on other planets.  But that would have to come first, and we're far, far away from that ever happening soon.  If we can't, death of the physical body on Earth would always be unavoidable.

Science is advancing very rapidly, that is true. However, the human body is so, so, so complex and so many things at a molecular level and smaller can go wrong.  Even the inherent mechanisms in our bodies that help repair faulty and failing things wear out and fail before they can fix or repair the things it needed to fix or repair. Smile

The best we can hope for right now is to keep disease and malfunction away for as long as possible by doing the right things for our bodies. It's like paying roulette, you do your best, roll the little ball, and hope you get to the end of your life-span without too many problems.  

I think if we study disease and the things humans do to themselves that manifest disease we will find true life extension. (this is the angle I come from).  Aging as a whole isn't the disease but it's the sum of all diseases and things that go wrong.

The other thing you have to consider is the possible reality of metaphysics.  If there is something beyond what is physical, than all this anti-aging stuff as it applies to the immortal, human form is nonsense.


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Post #1663
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 Posted 3/4/2011 6:29:12 AM
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If everyone was immortal, eventually there would be no more room or resources left on this planet to sustain immortal beings. We'd all eventually die.  A higher authority like the government would most assuredly have to step in and mandate a maximum age people could live to in order to avoid overcrowding of the earth.  So even if you could live forever humans couldn't escape death of the physical body.  

The only way we could make immortality work is if we can figure out way to live outside of Earth 

Or inside the Earth (within computers).

If technology increases enough what's to say what a human body will look like anymore? What if people choose to sell or give up their physical bodys to maybe upload their consciousness into a massive computer network. 

I am looking forward to this movie: http://transcendentman.com/ by Ray Kurzweil BigGrin

Here is a clip of him at the 2009 Longevity Conference (there are 4 parts)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udbUIZFD3Kg


Ray Kurzweil was one of my favorite people who spoke at that conference, his ideas are just mind boggling.
I can only hope that society will catch on and listen to some of his ideas.
Post #1682
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 Posted 3/4/2011 4:28:09 PM
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I don't know how it could happen. Maybe replace everything ending up being just a machine basically.

But is there a place in heaven for machines?


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Post #1689
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 Posted 3/5/2011 7:25:53 AM
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I would love to live forever. Not trying to upset any one here but that is the reason "we" are here. I believe that the scriptures states man is to live forever, will have plenty to do so as not to be bored, and will be as in youth, "young, perfect and full of vigor".
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 Posted 3/7/2011 1:15:52 AM
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SSosa:
If technology increases enough what's to say what a human body will look like anymore? What if people choose to sell or give up their physical bodys to maybe upload their consciousness into a massive computer network.

Very interesting concept. I don't know how that could happen as our consciousness isn't like ones and zeros of electronic data. When the body dies so does the mind and thought.

Although, It's almost as if the mind is similar to Random Access Memory of computer. Once a computer is turned off, data stored in temporary RAM is gone.  Once the body dies and no longer able to provide the electrical impulses in the brain, the mind shuts off like a computer being unplugged.

The concept of our minds having a resident memory and a long-term memory could be false. The mind could be nothing more than a temporary storage devise when the power is off (death) the mind looses all it's data.

Or something even more wild to think about.  Perhaps our brains do store memories and thoughts when we die, like the way a computer stores data on a hard drive.  Maybe someday science will figure out a way to retrieve stored memories from our minds when our physical bodies shut down.

If science could figure out a way to store our thoughts outside of our mind as electrical impulses to a source in much the same way it stores thoughts internally, than yes I imagine it is possible that our stored memories could be downloaded and saved.  But decision making and reasoning and spontaneity is allot more complex than just raw data or memories. The former is dynamic and the latter is flat.


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Post #1704
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 Posted 3/9/2011 8:02:49 PM
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I think that the present length of our lives is pathetically short. I think it was Charley Chaplin who said "were all amateurs, we don't live long enough to be anything else". 

As long as I am reasonably healthy and feel reasonably well and can get a reasonable amount of enjoyment out of life, I would like to keep living. If life gets horrible & probably will not get better, then perhaps death is better, but no one knows for sure what comes after death, if anything. Religion is based on faith but as soon as you know something for sure, faith disappears. Nobody knows for sure whether or not some part of ourselves survives after "death". We all have a fear of the unknown, and no matter how much pain we may be in, we don't want to wind up in a worse situation. The survival instinct is strong. 

Even at your present life spans, I think we have too many people in the world today. I like people, but there are a limited amount of resources on this planet and people are multiplying exponentially at an alarming rate. I think we need better birth control and different attitudes about birth control and creating offspring. People seem to take the creation of lives lightly, and they often do so for selfish reasons. In my opinion, creating a life solely because you think it will make you happy is selfish. If you feel you are in a position to help someone and give someone a good start in life and you think this new person will have a fair chance of having a good life in this world, then that's another story but I think many people have kids because they think it's going to make them happy and don't give much consideration to what a profound thing it is to create a human being. People also don't seem to give much consideration to what kind of a world they are bringing their kids into. Of course many pregnancies can be attributed to bad judgment under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or people just getting hot and bothered and saying the heck with birth control. Birth control failures are another problem. 

It also seems we need a way off of this planet so other worlds can be colonized. We seem to be a long way from that, but It's something we should strive for now.  At some point the sun will go supernova, or a large asteroid will hit the earth. In 2029 and 2036 the Asteroid Apophis is gong to come very close to the earth. Who knows what else is out there ? Scientists say it's not a matter of if but a matter of when a very large asteroid will hit the earth.  We also have to face the possibility of disease wiping us out, or wiping ourselves out with nuclear war. Who knows what methods of self destruction future technology will bring ? With things like genetic engineering and nano technologies, the very methods we use to extend our life spans may turn out to destroy us.    

It would be nice if we could all have reasonably good and free lives in this world and live as long as we want to, but living forever might be one of those things where you need to be careful what you ask for because you might just get it. The true reality of "forever" is almost incomprehensible. Living forever does not seem realistic in a physical world and in physical form, if we were able to exist as pure energy, then maybe.

If technology could make us truly free so we could live our lives as we want (within reason of course) and not waste our lives away at some pointless job, then living longer could be great. It would require the type of stuff you see on Star Trek, and we seem to be a long way from that. 

I remember seeing an old twilight zone episode where an ancient alchemist gave this man a concoction that kept him from aging. The man lived from ancient times to modern times and finally something made him age and die. By that time he was just tired of living and as he was dying, he said something like, I guess everything comes to an end, thank God. 
Post #1747
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 Posted 3/10/2011 4:22:27 AM
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DDye (3/2/2011)
Although "forever" is hard to imagine, would anyone want to live indefinitely? 


Not sure about forever, but 1000 -2000 years in good health would be nice.


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 Posted 3/10/2011 5:37:44 AM
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This thread could turn out to be a very interesting topic of discussion. I love to discuss theoretical physics/science.  I have always said that theoretical science is a critical step that ignites interest in critical areas that lead to further exploration and scientific discoveries.  Without people talking and sharing their creative ideas, we won't evolve.

I recommend a good little book called:  The Creative Mind, by Earnest Shurtleff Holmes, circa 1919. It's still in print.  It deals in the metaphysical aspect of our being.  It will expand your mind for sure.  You will love reading it. I'll give you a little taste with the introduction..

"The hand of eternal progress is brushing the cobwebs from the corridors of time and is again revealing to the human race the mysteries of being.  As there is nothing new under the sun, the searchlight of Truth is bringing to light only what has been known to the few in all generations.  The time has now come when the few must become the many. The whole world, from the least to the greatest, must know the Truth, so that man can understand the great laws that govern his life.  He must learn to control his own destiny, to heal his own body and bring happiness to his own soul.  Ignorance must vanish and understanding must be ushered in.  Man is no longer to be governed by anything outside himself.  Creeds, doctrines, churches, institutions, organizations, governments are all being changed to give place to the realization of the individual.  There is a power in and through all that is working this great transformation.  All that will not measure up to the standard must fall by its own weight; all that is in line with the Truth must still prosper.  The time is at hand; we are in the greatest age of all history; we are in the age of the unifying of all people and all things into the Ever Present One. The temple not made with hands is now being silently built by the emancipated souls of this planet."

As long as we're on a George Orwell-ish, Ray Bradbury-ish, type of path in this discussion, let me add a bit more to the collective mix of what-if's.

As I mentioned in my previous post, if we lived forever, a higher authority would probably mandate a maximum age, if we were not able to move outside our bodies, to avoid overcrowding of the earth.  The only other way I can see would be to make reproduction a punishable crime.  However, since reproduction would be harder to control throughout the world, a maximum age would probably be the method imposed.

If we stopped reproduction to halt overcrowding of the earth, we would be suck with the same minds forever. Now think about this very seriously.  One of the greatest aspects of new life is new ideas.  I don't think this planet would evolve as quickly or efficiently if reproduction was banned and we were stuck with the same minds forever.  This planet would need new minds to continually fill and expand the pool of creative thought to launch us to greater heights.  Yes, reproduction would still continue, but a maximum life span for all physical beings would be mandated.

 


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Seize every opportunity to put your best foot forward.

Anything worth doing is worth doing well.
If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything
If everything seems under control you're just not going fast enough. - Mario Andretti
You can't expect to do business today, with yesterday's tools, and be in business tomorrow. - Author Unknown
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Post #1754
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 Posted 3/10/2011 6:05:54 AM
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Interesting thoughts, Tom.

Do you think if people had more areas in which they could fulfill themselves, they'd be less likely to reproduce?  It has been observed that more education equals fewer children in every culture. 

Other solutions to overpopulation would be space migration, manufacturing inhabitable dome bubbles that could be floated across the oceans, or creating underground communities.  Also, there are lots of people who say that they wouldn't want to live forever, so we would still have a certain amount of death unless people's perspectives changed. 

And if we need new minds, what about modifying our own with intelligence drugs, computer interfaces or even gene therapy?


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