TED Conversations

Gerald O'brian


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If the cure for mortality is found within your lifetime, would you go for it and become immortal?

On the one hand, we're not made for eternal youth. And one could argue that knowing life is short (or just limited) is what makes it worth living. And perhaps death is a major spiritual part of life, whether you believe in a soul or in a metaphorical one.
On the other hand, how is aging yet not another disease? Dying at age 80 is no more a "natural" death than being eaten alive by a bear or killed by malaria. In fact, "old age" is probably the most unnatural cause of death, statistically. So all that's probably just a cultural habit : diseases are evil but aging is good. Another point is that, well, things have changed. Perhaps our new environment makes it suitable for immortal youths.
And of course, becoming immortal only means that you die when YOU chose to die.

So would you go for the injection or not, and how do you rationalize your decision?



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    Nov 1 2013: Very thought provoking question. I can't help but think that maybe life is the incurable disease, aging it's symptom, and "living" (not living in the sense of breathing, consuming, reproducing but living as in passionate pursuit of dreams) is the treatment. I'm not sure if I am on the train of thought regarding "natural" death. It seems that all of your examples, including old age, are pretty natural. I would think death resulting from bombs, bullets and any demise resulting from the lack of money to be unnatural.
    Maybe we shouldn't be concerned with expanding the limit of our moments but instead concentrate on living intensely and passionately within the moments we already have.

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