TED Conversations

Gerald O'brian

TEDCRED 50+

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

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?

Thanks!

+17
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Nov 18 2013: God, no! I'm only 57 and already dusting with the t-shirt! Bored out of my gourd. I used to tell an elderly friend of mine when I was in my thirties how exciting it must have been to start life cooking on a wood stove and end it microwaving her dinner, from driving the horses into town to deliver the milk to driving across the state in a car. The changes she had seen, I then thought, were so dramatic. Well, I came home from the hospital in a car (no car seat, just a lap) and will go to hospice in a car (with seat belts.) I watched Ding Dong School while drinking my Bosco's and now I watch Reatime and drink bottled water. I played with my Suzy Homemaker kitchen and now I clean my Jenn-Aire kitchen. I watched the Vietnam war over dinner as a school kid and watch the Afghanistan thing (did we declare war? We never did in Vietnam but we call it one. Oh, well.) over dinner tonight. The more things change (don't have to wait a few days to see my letter to in the paper - here it is online!) the more they stay the same. Bored, I tell you! And you want to give me immortality? Are you nuts?! Plus, the world is already so stinking crowded that the animals are disappearing, either into barns or zoos, and they had to build an app to show you where the sky is dark enough to view the stars. Nope. I'll take my three score and ten (70 for those of you bad at math) and that'll do me just fine.

    Oh, basic BAD assumption - dying from old age is part of the design thus VERY natural. Telomeres and various enzymes that cease to be produced generate aging. In all things. Even the Sequoya has an expiration date (though due to outgrowing its root ball.) Yes, they may have just killed a 567 year old clam but that doesn't mean the clam wouldn't have eventually stopped growing and begun dying. Whether the FSM wrote the rules or they generated on their own, it is one of the basic rules. All forces have a balancing counterforce. Expansion and contracture, order and chaos. Life and Death.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.