Dylan F

Toronto, Canada

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Dylan F
Posted over 2 years ago
Is is ethical to try to lengthen the human lifespan?
But I believe in the next decade or two, the lifespan gap you mention will narrow greatly. Impact investing will become an increasing popular method for conducting business. There are enormous economic incentives to provide basic necessities (food/water, energy, healthcare, education, etc.) to all peoples because these communities will then be able to contribute back to the global network, just as any community does today. Solar power continues to increase in efficiency and decrease in cost at an increasing rate. This means that it will eventually intersect with fossil fuels in terms of cost and efficiency. Once this trend continues from there, it is hard to imagine not having limitless, virtually free energy throughout the globe. This will greatly enhance the standard of living in remote and poor communities. The medical industry is seeing the rise of a computer science revolution that has enormous promise. In addition to these (and many, many other emerging technologies), the falling cost of technologies will allow poor nations to actually compete in the global market, which would lead eventually to an 'age of abundance'. It has been happening already. Although the gap is large now, the global life expectancy in the 1800s was 37. So even those at the low end of the spectrum are enjoying lives much better than the average person 200 years ago! But it gets better because in this information age we find ourselves in, there is exponential change. We think in linear terms so it’s very hard to imagine what the next few decades will look like. With biotechnology, robotics and (eventually) nanotechnology, some believe we could even be immortal by ~2050. By then we will be much more intelligent than we are now that all ethical dilemmas we predict now will be obsolete. I suppose all we can do is continue to develop technologies, value well-being as the most important thing in life and structure our communities promoting that fact.
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Dylan F
Posted over 2 years ago
Is is ethical to try to lengthen the human lifespan?
Hey, Thanks for the response. I read your other post you've made clarifying your stance. I really do think it's a very interesting and relevant question. If living a longer life directly contributed to a shorter life of someone else, I could foresee a strong moral argument for such a balancing act. However, such limitations do not exist. From my understanding, a long, healthy life requires only a reasonable amount of resources. Unless you're genetically predisposed to diseases or have unhealthy habitual tendencies, you'll be quite fine statistically if you have access to general healthcare, healthy food and water and find yourself in a social community. These basic necessities could easily be brought to everyone, right now. The root issues to why these basic necessities are not universal lay in policies and economics: Policies because the world is not quite yet globalized and thus we have societies with totalitarian rule and very misguided social beliefs as a consequence; Economics because many nations have been unable to compete internationally for reasons in and outside of their control.
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Dylan F
Posted over 2 years ago
Is is ethical to try to lengthen the human lifespan?
I do not think it's unethical and I also believe that it does not matter whether or not it is ethical. Without life, ethical conduct does not exist. It's quite inevitable for us to strive towards living longer given how influential death avoidance has evolved to be. So I believe we should ask different questions in regards to aging and a growing world population. Do we have the resources and technology to sustain a healthy standard of living (however defined) for the world population as a whole? If so, what are the required steps to reach this? If not, why not? What technologies may need to be further developed to ensure this? And what can we do to minimize suffering in the mean time (i.e. contraceptives, dampening the desire for wanting many children through creating more opportunities and enhancing the standard of living in areas of poverty as much as possible, etc.)? Our planet is huge, our technology is advanced (and exponentially increasing) but our willingness to strive towards global equality is lacking.
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Dylan F
Posted over 2 years ago
Is multi-tasking a myth? Can we, should we, do many things at once?
Interesting post. My stance: Multitasking is a myth in the sense that our conscious attention can only focus on one thing at a time. (I don't believe the common notion of the word multitasking involves things like walking and talking simultaneously so I will stick to tasks requiring concentration for my definition.) I think we can train our minds to be great at the appearance of multitasking (quickly shifting from task to task almost seamlessly, without much delay or interference from the previous task). But recent research shows that much time is lost switching from task to task (i.e. checking emails and studying) despite how good we may think we are at it. But I believe it's an important topic because it is a prevalent habit that leads to procrastination and wasted time; something I am definitely trying to be mindful of in this information age we find ourselves in.
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Dylan F
Posted over 2 years ago
In ten words or less, what is a question no one (yet) knows the answer to?
Initially, I felt your ignorant assertion did not warrant the slightest attempt at an intellectual response. Now, however, I believe your narcissistic attitude deserves at least a link to reassure you that you do not know what you're talking about, which can likely be said about most of your other replies. Well, here's the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neural_coding Some food for thought... or are you too full?
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Dylan F
Posted over 2 years ago
What is the role of science in spirituality, spirituality in science, and the role of both in our world today?
Okay. Awesome and seemingly sound, random tangent and link. But you seem to be confusing the fact that within the brain is a mind that thinks. So technically the brain thinks. Sorry for bursting the bubble on the (unnecessary?) semantic dispute that didn't even seem to have anything to do with what I was trying to say. Ironically, though, I was referring to consciousness when I mentioned thinking.
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Dylan F
Posted over 2 years ago
What is the role of science in spirituality, spirituality in science, and the role of both in our world today?
I believe that science encompasses your description of spirituality. Through understanding the inner workings of the brain we will be able to pursue "the exploration and discovery of life's truths through one's own exploration of himself or herself" at a much more founded level. The deliberate, intentional, slow thinking part of the brain (better known as 'self') has the most confidence for answers grounded in rationality. In principle, if one were to learn through science the nature of consciousness; how our brains generate a world map, how an object evokes a flurry of semantic associations, how some of those associations reach awareness, what the origin of our emotional responses and behavioral tendencies are, etc., then one would have a sense of self liberated from the easy answers of spiritual thinking. Science has the potential to enable a much more confident understanding of ourselves than introspective, existential pondering can. But until neuroscience catches up with our heuristic notions about the nature of ourselves, one may have a greater sense of well-being embracing their 'spirituality'. But science is our best attempt at finding true answers in this universe and once we begin to uncover profound questions that are at the core of spirituality, it'll be difficult to regress.
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Dylan F
Posted over 2 years ago
Why evolution could never solve aging?
A beautiful principle of evolution is that its designs only have to work well enough - well enough for the genes of an individual to propagate to successive generations. Perhaps the sheer evolutionary costliness of immortality for a mammal has proven too much and a higher metabolism was favored as a more engaged nervous system could live long enough to sufficiently reproduce. Although the mechanisms responsible for aging are not exactly known, it is clear that it's a complex matter involving many different biochemical factors. To overcome such a feat by natural selection may simply be too improbable to ever occur or it may need not ever occur because of easier solutions (higher metabolism = shorter life, but more strength, speed, intelligence for more reproduction = more genes in the gene pool to favor shorter life). But, on the other hand, evolution has stumbled upon a species capable of redesigning its very own nature with the potential of reaching conscious immortality. So maybe the question is "When will evolution solve the problem of aging?"