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If you could physically live forever...would you?

 
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 12:34 pm    Post subject: If you could physically live forever...would you? Reply with quote

Suppose at some point its possible that, through genetic manipulation, a person's DNA can be altered to such an extent that the aging process is completely halted. I've read news stories where researchers speculate that this is theoretically possible after some rather herculean obstacles have been dealt with.

What if through said manipulation, gradually over the course of say a year or more, one is transformed to a state of appearance and health that is analogous to a natural person of only 25 years of age...permanently?

So long as certain physical requirements are routinely met and no destructive malady or calamity occurs one would become effectively immortal.

If you are a spiritual person would this be troubling to you?

Such scenarios have been explored in fiction where an elderly couple is granted eternal youth but one partner refuses because they believe it is an affront to God or at least a perverting of the natural order.

If 20 years from now a breakthrough in this theoretical process is a reality would you take advantage of it if it were offered?

I think most people would consider it as we are all driven by an innate compulsion toward continued physical existence.

But there would undoubtedly be some who consider the impact on the world at large and be concerned about overpopulation and the increase in the consumption of resources over time. What form would birth control take in such a scenario?

Perhaps the ethical questions relating to the fact that, at least at first, many people would not be able to afford the process thus widening the culture divide between the haves and have-nots.

Certainly billionaires and heads of state would be the first people to become immortals followed by celebrities and captains of industry.

The truth is, at first, there won't be many, if any, impoverished immortals and because of that some will reject immortality because they feel that as long as there are some people that are excluded they in good conscience cannot participate.

The social anarchy that could erupt from this scenario might be horrifying.
Anyone that has not been processed might be considered temporary humans by comparison and treated accordingly.

Potentially, over a protracted period of time, the immortal society could stabilize and find its footing creating a new culture free of natural death.

Certainly a long lived or immortal human could exist long enough to possibly travel between solar systems and return to a world that would potentially still be inhabited by their loved ones.

I find the notion of ageless humans interesting but I can't consider it without feeling as though there is a dark cloud of gloom surrounding the idea that replaces at least some of the wonder with dread.
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 1:08 pm    Post subject: Re: If you could physically live forever...would you? Reply with quote

+JMJ+

aTOMiC wrote:
Perhaps the ethical questions relating to fact that, at least at first, many people would not be able to afford the process thus widening the culture divide between the haves and have-nots.

Certainly billionaires and heads of state would be the first people to become immortals followed celebrities and captains industry.



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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopefully sterility also comes with immortality or we're going to run out of food and room pretty quick.

And yes, I would do it without question provided the religious idiots don't ruin it by preventing suicide.
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never understood people having negative reactions to the idea of immortality. They seem to like the idea if we're talking about it in heaven. Wait until you start collecting social security checks and then see if you feel the same way. I'd love to be physically 25 forever.

Maybe people don't want to have to apply Pascal's Wager in the other direction. Sure, it might make sense to gamble on a mythical eternity when we're all going to die, but when that's no longer certain, the uncertainty of an Afterlife becomes much less of a "sure thing." Why gamble on an eternity that you can't prove when you can have one right here? It undermines the main reason for people choosing religion: fear of death.

I think the social and environmental problems associated with the idea are completely overblown. Everyone assumes that the technology will be expensive. Why?? We've been extending the lifespan of humans for decades--an achievement that has included everyone in our society (well, in rich Western countries). And we've done this with cheap medicine like antibiotics. There's no a priori reason to expect that only rich people will be immortal. And there's little in our experience to teach us this fear, either.

Our planet could easily support 100 billion or more. While population growth may not be sustainable indefinitely, history has shown us that the more people we have, the better we've been able to take care of them. There is absolutely no correlation between decreased quality and sustainability of life and increased population. The correlation goes in the opposite direction.

We have already reached "peak child." Our global population is stabilizing. We could easily offset the effects of immortal humans by having some legal requirement that they choose sterilization in order to get the treatment. If you don't add any numbers to the global population yourself, what difference does it make how long you live?

One thing we never consider in these discussions is the burden we would eliminate by society carrying the weight of a permanent elderly class. If humans remained in their prime, we'd no longer have a massive population of sick, dying, unproductive humans. Everyone would be carrying his own weight, adding to global productivity, increasing the prosperity of us all. [That's how you fix the Social Security problem ... Laughing ]

And with more and more people continuing their careers longer, human technology will accelerate even faster. Imagine if Einstein was still living, the contributions he could continue to make.

There are no negative aspects to this proposition, only irrational fears.
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In general I tend to agree with you, Z.
However extended life prolongation or practical immortality would be one of the most significant events in human history and would impact the entire world in various ways, some negative, as all reality altering events do.

But I agree that the benefits far outweigh the negatives.

It also occurs to me that with immeasurably long lifespans, humans would definitely begin to explore space with a renewed vigor.
The Earth is amazing but if humans are as long lived as a geologic era we might be motivated to seek out other places to populate with the expectation that our home may one day be less hospitable due to astronomic changes beyond our control.
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Getting sentenced to life in prison would suck.
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Read "Time Enough for Love".

RH was probably right, even if one was immortal, or nearly so, after a couple of thousand years, either mishaps would probably take you out, or suicide from boredom.
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha, yes, I would totally live forever. I want to know how it all turns out.

But TOM is right...first the rich would get richer and the poor would die.

Eventually it would probably lead to revolution, since that would surely be the ultimate inequality.

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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Getting sentenced to life in prison would suck.


Well sure it would. Big Grin


There are a number of interesting possibilities to consider with regard to a person being essentially regenerated.

This whole thing is based on actual research but the potential aspects of the process may give rise to certain hard choices.

Imagine if the regeneration process was intensely painful. For a whole year you would suffer unceasing agony but when the process was complete you would look young and you would never age or die from decrepitude.

And imagine if the process, once begun, could not be interrupted or reversed and what if the suicide rate for people enduring this process was as much a 40%?

How would one reconcile the challenges and dangers against the benefit?
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personal choice. You choose it, you accept the dangers.

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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Personal choice. You choose it, you accept the dangers.

--A


I tend to agree however how does one evaluate one's own pain threshold before hand? I can imagine assuming that I could handle a certain amount. I'm guessing a test or method could be developed that would evaluate patients before hand which assigns some kind of risk level.
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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Personal choice. You choose it, you accept the dangers.

--A


Please. We can't even get assisted suicide passed in almost all US states. And there's no more personal choice than that. Laughing

I can hear the religious people now: "Goes against gods plan" or "Only god is immortal" and something "about the soul being trapped".
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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

High Lord Tolkien wrote:
Avatar wrote:
Personal choice. You choose it, you accept the dangers.

--A


Please. We can't even get assisted suicide passed in almost all US states. And there's no more personal choice than that. Laughing

I can hear the religious people now: "Goes against gods plan" or "Only god is immortal" and something "about the soul being trapped".


Well since you are already talking about an improbable event (finding immortality with a mortal body), then just add fixing assisted suicide to your improbable "things to do" list. Laughing
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PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2017 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankly, like I hinted at earlier, even if you were technically immortal, unless you are also indestructible, the odds are good that you will be dead by mishap within a very few centuries. The odds catch up to you, floods, fire, mechanical accidents, slip and falls, animal attack, murder, etc.

After all, how many times have you come close to dying in less than a century.
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

High Lord Tolkien wrote:
Please. We can't even get assisted suicide passed in almost all US states. And there's no more personal choice than that. Laughing

I can hear the religious people now: "Goes against gods plan" or "Only god is immortal" and something "about the soul being trapped".


Yes, that's almost certainly going to be part of their objections. Let them object.

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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+JMJ+

Avatar wrote:
High Lord Tolkien wrote:
Please. We can't even get assisted suicide passed in almost all US states. And there's no more personal choice than that. Laughing

I can hear the religious people now: "Goes against gods plan" or "Only god is immortal" and something "about the soul being trapped".


Yes, that's almost certainly going to be part of their objections. Let them object.


Srsly, y'all? I suppose that it's always a slam-dunk when dialoguing with imaginary interlocutors, now ain't it? Wink

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm gonna assume that the reference to "religious people" pretty much equates to "Christians". However, this may raise the question of Moslems or Jews or Hindus or whomever making objections to Modernity's project du jour, since authentically human values are not found exclusively in Christian, or even in explicitly "religious", circles.

Disregarding the amusingly and supremely ironic image of a Christian arguing that eternal life "goes against God's plan", Catholic ethicists will argue — just as they do now — against specific procedures which may be used to prolong life, if-and-only-if they violate Catholic moral teaching regarding Natural Law/Human Dignity. As always, these same Catholic moral principles will simply be freshly applied to whatever novel procedures the world happens to dream up.

For the Catholic at least, this has nothing to do with "trapping the soul" or whatnot. Prolonging life indefinitely is certainly not immoral (and can even be laudable), so long as unethical means are not used to facilitate such an end.

The funny part is that, just a decade or so ago, Catholics were accused (primarily by the "death with dignity" movement) of standing in the way of people dying. Now, it seems that we're also opposed to people living.

Our right-hand just doesn't know what the left-hand is doing. Laughing
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL

Well said Wos. I still think that religions, particularly the more fundamental types, will make exactly those objections though.

Certainly it's not incompatible with opposing suicide rights or euthanasia. In fact, the underlying principle is the same.

Namely that one's life belongs to god, and only god gets to decide when / whether you die.

Both ending your own life early and prolonging it indefinitely interfere with that. Perhaps Catholic moralists wouldn't oppose it (perhaps) but I doubt we could say the same of every flavour of religion. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea I'll do it or have it..

I'll piss on the graves of those who did me wrong..
It might take several thousand years but it wash away..

and after a while I can say "I'm bored"
Whereupon someone might suggest something and I counter..

"Been there.. done that"

A life sentence?? Gets you out of a rut plus
you will outlive the guards, warden, judge, jury and arresting police.
After a while they would let you go... because they can't remember what you in for..
or the jail has crumbled.. or they are tired of housing you..
too expensive...

Then you can go back and piss on some more graves... Razz
and change my name to Lazarus Long.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ye, gods! I'd like to retire at some point. We'd definitely have to change the retirement laws.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL

You wouldn't have to. Once you'd amassed sufficient wealth to maintain your life you'd just stop working. Retirement would be a thing of the past. Very Happy

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