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Danger Lampost

Futurist & Technology Consultant,

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Why do so few people want to live significantly longer and healthier than a so-called natural life span?

As I have discussed the concept of immortality with people over the years, something has consistently surprised me. I ask people, "If you could live a much longer but still vital and healthy life, would you want to live, say, 200 years? 500 years?

Most people do not want to live that long - even if they could remain healthy and vital all that time. It seems what most people are saying, is that they actually *want* to grow old and die.

Yet we all supposedly want to be healthy and strong, and of course we would naturally want to heal ourselves if we got sick or injured - we seek health. Then why this death wish among most people I poll?

I'm obviously in the "Hell yeah, give me healthy immortality" camp, so I'm looking for help from other people in explaining the other side of this please.

Is that a coping mechanism to help accept our own mortality? Would you really turn down an opportunity to live much longer, along with your friends, and healthy?

Or is my own personal polling off? I guess we'll see!

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    Oct 20 2012: I would absolutely want to live forever!

    All the sites (ocean(s) floors, space, other planets, other life forms, mountains, caves, etc etc), all the sounds, all the information (endless reading and learning!), and how much I could help others with my infinite knowledge! Why would I not want to live forever?

    I can see why people would also not want to live forever. It seems to be burden-filled and depressing.

    The burdens would lay in constant responsibility one may have to undertake; family, working, and maintaining the said. Yes, there will happiness with the responsibilities, but part of life to many is to know they left their mark and can trust their duties were not in vain - to be left a live for longer times would never allow that euphoric thought exist.

    Depressing to live forever? How? Well, watching all your loved ones die (that is if you are the only one living forever). There is a movie 'The Man From Earth' great film, about a cave man who lived since. He suggests (and part of my argument entails) that how can you love anyone living forever? Knowing you will outlive your spouse and your children? Love is ample to humans, how can you knowingly give up that in order to not die?

    Many feelings we have are due to the fact our bodies respond to an eternal clock. We emotionally know we are mortal (whether we rationally block that out or not), so the feelings we have are more precious because they remind our body we are mortal vessels. They are more intense at moments of great love and anxiety; at these moments we feel time stopping and eternity seems longer.

    Part of being a human, is knowing we will die and how we actively respond to that, is the difference between living life as if everyday was the last or the first day of the rest of our lives.

    Those who wish not to live forever, are most likely concerned with the fact of 'love' - where can you get it, if you are the only one that lives forever? How do you love forever, what does not live that long?
    • Oct 21 2012: I like the idea of growing older and growing wiser but in my life, the older I get the more I learn that I don't know as much as I thought I did. I mean, when I was young, I thought I knew everything and now ... well ... I am not sure that I know much at all. So, wow .. if I was to Iive forever and people asked me for advice, what would I say besides "recycle, wear sunscreen and please be nice to eachother?"
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        Oct 22 2012: Perhaps part of what I think would be good advice would be spiritual and philosophic... Since those are universally important to everyone.
        • Oct 22 2012: Yes . Nicholas ... it would be cool to be a kind of "Sage" ... a very old man or woman who could patiently listen and help others sort through life's questions ... and possibly help them to see new perspectives. That part I would like. :O)

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