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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 5 2013: That's an extraordinary concept and a great philosophical question...

    The idea of immortal life is something most people look at as a way to avoid the uncertainty and apprehension of death. Because, let's face it, no one has factual evidence that proves what (if anything) happens once the human body dies and the stream of consciousness ends. That alone is enough to scare anyone from wanting their life to end. Immortality offers an escape from that fear by allowing eternal life.

    While that sounds amazing, the consequences of living forever are sometimes overlooked. Having to go on living while everyone around you dies and seeing the world change dramatically would be traumatizing experiences, making the people endowed with this eternal life want to end their life as an escape. Unless these people removed their valuing of human life, they would feel as though their lives were being immortalized for no reason other than to experience pain. Their very existence would be consisted of depression and desolation.

    Personally, the idea of immortality eases fear of dying for me, but the thought of living my life without anyone of value to me, having to repeatedly recreate close connections with new people, would be tiring and feel unnecessary. The overwhelming amount of sadness from constantly losing everyone around me would drive my conscious mind to the point of insanity. That said, unless immortality would be possible for everyone, I would not take the chance.
    • Nov 5 2013: I value human life greatly, but I have lost loved ones already. I will lose more loved ones. I could live with it, because there is always someone else to learn to love--and I expect the same of those who might love me. If I check out, mourning for an appropriate time would be okay, but then get up and forget me, enshrine me, archive me, whatever works for you, and find someone else who can be loved. There is no bottom to the barrel for love, after all.
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        Nov 7 2013: That is true. I too have lost loved ones and agree with your opinion on mourning for an appropriate time. But I have also found that creating close connections with people takes time, and if you are immortal, time is no object. You can recreate these close social bonds with people, but when these bonds break due to their deaths, and you constantly connect new bonds with new people after an appropriate period of mourning, are you living a life with the quality you intended? Is constant rejuvenation of social connections with new people truly valuing the lives of those who have passed?
        • Nov 8 2013: Provide the specific unit of "true value" of another's life. Show me the instrument that measures it. I could make an argument that any widow or widower who remarries must be giving insufficient value to their previous spouse. I've seen the argument made--give me the objective standard whereby to accept or reject that argument. Such "constant rejuvenation" has nothing at all to do with the "true value" of those who have passed. It is called "life", and life is about homeostasis. Homeostasis is a dynamic balance that is the result of constant change. Stasis = death. Homeostasis = life. Real relationships are about life. Embalming and permanent preservation is what one does with a corpse or a museum relic, and those only have "value" when you want to learn from the past. I've lost enough people in my life and moved on enough times to realize that this is also part of a healthy life. Only children with their heads stuffed with fairy-tale nonsense still strongly cling to the idea of "one true" whatever that must be clung to relentlessly and never "replaced" by anything else, no matter what.

          I would not say that this means two immortals could not have a "permanent" relationship, or even that such a "permanent" relationship could not be romantic, conjugal, and monogamous. It could be possible, but aside from those three points, through the span of "eternity", the relationship, itself, would flow, adjust, and live. I'm not who I was 10 years ago. I am who I was 10 years ago. Both of these things are true.

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