TED Conversations

Gerald O'brian


This conversation is closed.

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?



Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Nov 3 2013: Is it a disease? I mean, everything comes to an end. Trees, virus, bacteria, humans. It seems to be a part of a cycle, the death.

    I believe it is part of the universe, that we someday die to all of our organic matter become, once again, inorganic matter. The immortality is no more than a concept made by the human being. As equally, trying to find a "sense" on everything, and hardly accepting that "sense" is no more than a human concept.
    • thumb
      Nov 3 2013: smallpox is also part of the universe, and we cured it anyway.
      • thumb
        Nov 3 2013: How do you know smallpox was only on this planet?
      • Nov 4 2013: Well, you might have an interpretation like that, but we may think of that as a struggle to survive. A lifeform that we fought against to survive, like, I don't know, buffalos?

        Everytime we have to cure a disease, is it a healing of our organism or is it a killing of the parasite organism? Or both?
    • thumb
      Nov 3 2013: So what's stopping you from throwing yourself into the flames right now?
      • thumb
        Nov 3 2013: A simple neuronal sub-routine, just like within all of us.
      • Nov 4 2013: Well, why would I do such thing?

        We are the only animals in this world with the capacity of abstract thinking. In my opinion, I should live my life remebering that I am mortal, and not provoking my own death.
        • thumb
          Nov 4 2013: So you believe death should not be self-provoked. What are your reasons for that?
      • Nov 5 2013: I think in this way: we are matter. Sometime, the inorganic matter became organic, and we evolved to what we are today. So, this life is an experience. It is the atoms that compose me feeling what life is. We are not certain if there is life again, so, given that this might be a unique experience, there is no reason for me to dispose of the experience of life.

        Of course, cultural meanings may have a strong position on the human being's life. I'm sorry if that is not related to the topic.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.