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Is Eternal Life a Possibility?

Debate Information

I totally agree because when you think about it it is totally wrong to die because why were we born in the first place.

Some reports say that we will be able to achieve eternal life within the next thirty years. We have tended to believe that we will all die sometime since so far, everyone has done just that and now we are finding out that we can change that. We will then have to adapt to the new way of life and sure, insurance premiums will  plummet and seventy-year-olds will be able to get massive mortgages but I am somewhat daunted by the prospect of watching re-runs of Friends and Seinfeld. Which raises the point.....not only was Mat Groening right about predicting Trump to be president but he foresaw that not only would the Simpsons not grow older, they would keep on going for eternity.




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    Arguments


  • NomenclatureNomenclature 805 Pts   -  
    Argument Topic: Maybe.

    I guess it depends what you consider to be life. Your body can't exist forever, that's for sure. Ageing is something which science can feasibly slow down in the future, but that still isn't going to help you if you get hit by a truck or choke on a beansprout. 

    It will eventually be possible to upload your brain onto a computer, and while in my opinion that doesn't constitute life, what might be achievable is to then download it back into a cloned body. Even so, I'd imagine only extremely rich people would be able to afford to do that.

    That last idea does raise some interesting questions though. For example, what would happen if scientists downloaded your brain data into multiple cloned bodies? Which one would be you?
  • DeeDee 4958 Pts   -  
    I think it may be in some form or another, but is it preferable to death?
  • jackjack 135 Pts   -   edited January 20
    Swolliw said:

    Is Eternal Life a Possibility?

    Hello S:

    It depends on how you define life.  At the rate we're going with bio-mechanics, in short order we should be able to replicate an entire human being.  The question is, can we build a bio-mechanical brain, and transfer our being into it. 

    excon
  • BarnardotBarnardot 272 Pts   -  
    @jack
    Why do you want to mess around with trying to live for ever when you Just need to believe in God and when you snuff it you will have eternal life in paradise. I reckon its the atheists who are trying to get eternal life on earth because they know in the back of there minds that there going to go to hell when they snuff it.
  • jackjack 135 Pts   -  

    Barnardot said:

    Is Eternal Life a Possibility?

    Why do you want to mess around with trying to live for ever
    Hello B:

    The question was IS eternal life a possibility - NOT do I wanna mess around with it..

    excon





    Dreamer
  • DreamerDreamer 61 Pts   -  
    Argument Topic: Eternal life is bad.


    Science is about subtraction. Weeding out the bad ideas. Popular scientists are too difficult to get rid of and new scientists too easy to dismiss. That is why science advances at the funeral of a scientist.
  • anarchist100anarchist100 736 Pts   -  
    Dreamer said:

    Science is about subtraction. Weeding out the bad ideas. Popular scientists are too difficult to get rid of and new scientists too easy to dismiss. That is why science advances at the funeral of a scientist.
    Why is eternal life bad though?
    Nomenclature
  • DreamerDreamer 61 Pts   -  
    Argument Topic: Eternal life would lead to the stagnation of science.


    Humans need churn otherwise the same popular and incorrect people would be listened to and science would stagnant. People tend to hold onto the ideas they were raised with and not let go even when those ideas are overtly wrong.

    That's why teaching young students is so important. We would have eternal life but science denial would be much higher. A bad trade.

    Nomenclaturejack
  • NomenclatureNomenclature 805 Pts   -  
    @Dreamer
    science would stagnant

    Even without the terrible grammar, you honestly do write some of the most ridiculous things imaginable.

    Dee
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4891 Pts   -  
    "Eternal life" already exists, in a sense: when your brain medically dies, the cells in your body and brain keep living on and evolving. The macroscopic organism that is a human being ceases to exist and evolve, but its living components do not. Since we do not know anything about the nature of consciousness, we cannot say anything about the continuity of this first-person experience each of us supposedly has: one of the popular theories of consciousness nowadays is that it is an intrinsic phenomenon occurring whenever a group of particles interact with each other, and if so, then the medical death of our brains does not terminate our consciousness and merely changes our perspective.

    Regarding the possibility of existing as a human being forever, there are no known factors compromising it. Aging and eventual death are caused by gradually accumulating micro-damages and errors in our cells, since human organism, as resilient as it is, does not repair those as fast as it accumulates them. Think of it as a very old car that is still running, but requires more and more maintenance as the years go by. And just like with that old car, if we find a way to somehow repair all the cell damage, then, in principle, at the age of 100 one can be just as full and healthy as they were at the age of 20 - just like a 100 year old car with some renovation can run as well as it did 100 years ago. However, the repair mechanism can be as simple as just triggering one particular gene, or it can be as complicated as triggering thousands of genes in just the right proportion. It is possible that aging will be defeated in a couple of years, and it is also possible that it will never be defeated and only gradually slowed down. Of course, in order for aging to not be a problem any more, it does not have to be defeated completely: it is just enough to break through the equilibrium and to make sure that every year one can sustainably fix the damage caused by the past year of aging. If every 365 days you can reverse the accumulated cell damage over the past 366 days, then you are essentially immortal aging-wise.
  • jackjack 135 Pts   -  

    Why is eternal life bad though?
    Hello a:

    If you knew you had FOREVER to build that thing you've been wanting to build, would you even start?

    excon

  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4891 Pts   -  
    jack said:

    Hello a:

    If you knew you had FOREVER to build that thing you've been wanting to build, would you even start?

    excon

    I have never understood this mentality. There are plenty of things in my life that I could start any time in the future, yet I started them early because I really wanted to see them completed. Could I become a good runner 10 years later? Sure. But why wait? I want to go out there and run in the mountains today.

    The fact that you have forever to live does not imply that you do not care about how you live at the moment. If you want to build a house and live in it and you want it soon, you can go ahead and get started. Waiting for a million years just because you can makes little sense.
  • jackjack 135 Pts   -   edited January 26
    MayCaesar said:

    If you want to build a house and live in it and you want it soon, you can go ahead and get started. Waiting for a million years just because you can makes little sense.
    Hello May:

    Consider that the notion of "soon" has no meaning if you live forever.  A million years??   If you live forever, a million years might even BE soon.

    Nahhh..  I think living forever fundamentally changes how we'd live.

    excon



  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4891 Pts   -  
    @jack

    My friend, when I was a kid, even a day could be too long for me. When I knew that my mum would buy me a new LEGO set tomorrow, I thought the day was dragging on forever. I did not at all think about my mortality, only about the time running much slower than I wanted.

    It does not matter how long you have left to live, 20 years or 20 quadrillion years, when you really want something to happen. Do you seriously think that a person living forever, asking his crush out and getting back, "Sure, I will go on a date with you. How about in 10,000 years?", will be happy with the answer? ;)
  • jackjack 135 Pts   -  
    MayCaesar said:

     Do you seriously think that a person living forever, asking his crush out and getting back, "Sure, I will go on a date with you. How about in 10,000 years?", will be happy with the answer? ;)
    Hello May:

    I do..  If you live forever the concept of time is out the window.

    excon

  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4891 Pts   -  
    @jack

    You must have had a truly weird life if you have only ever cared about time when thinking about your mortality. "There is this delicious dessert. I really would not care about trying it, but I have less than 100 years left to live, so better do it now" - is that how your decision-making process works?
  • jackjack 135 Pts   -  
    MayCaesar said:

    is that how your decision-making process works?
    Hello May:

    I don't understand what's so hard to get..  We don't DECIDE to live like that..  Our mortality CAUSES us to live like that. 

    If we were immortal, our immortality would cause us to live a totally different way, and I'm sure it would be WITHOUT clocks. 

    I'm not gonna beat this dead horse anymore.. 

    excon, out
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4891 Pts   -   edited January 27
    @jack

    Classic: reiterating the same stuff over and over without addressing the opponent's arguments. If you are just interested in listening to the sound of your own voice, then why come here? You can just type in essays in Notepad, read them and smile.

    And you do decide how to live your life. You do decide to eat that ice-cream now or later, and the thought of your eventual death, I presume, does not cross your mind in the process. "Time is fleeting. If I do not eat this ice-cream now and die in 50 years, what a tragedy it will be!" - I will repeat my question: is this how your decision-making process works?
  • jackjack 135 Pts   -  
    MayCaesar said:
    @jack

    Classic: reiterating the same stuff over and over without addressing the opponent's arguments.
    Hello:

    Look..  I'm sorry if I'm too boring..  Nonetheless, after you insult me, you address my comments.. Guess, I'm not that boring, huh?   We don't share the same opinions, and we don't share the same debating techniques. 

    I don't argue with your points because, given that we're discussing living forever, you can't grasp that clocks will be unnecessary..  Saying it over and over again, does not make that true..

    excon
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4891 Pts   -  
    @jack

    Indeed, I cannot grasp that, and I laid down my argument explaining why I do not think it to be true. You seem to think that the only reason time matters to humans is because they eventually die, yet I have not seen any arguments in favor of this idea. As far as I can tell, only a tiny minority of choices humans make in their everyday lives factor in their mortality.

    What does it matter if you run a mile in 5 or 10 minutes? Why is someone running a mile faster wins the running competition and not the other way around? You will be hard-pressed to connect it to human mortality. Yet humans, as, I would argue, any intelligent entity in principle, naturally favor efficiency in all endeavors they partake in, which means accomplishing a given goal with less effort put in, faster, spending a smaller amount of resources and getting a better result at the end.

    Time is a resource, and while for an eternal being it is uncapped, it is still scarce: you cannot "spend" a million years right now, unlike, say, money which you can spend as much of at any given time as you want. In economics it is encapsulated in the phenomenon called "time preference" which states that, all other factors being equal, one prefers consuming a resource now rather than in the future. Time preference does not suddenly disappear upon termination of mortality, although in certain cases it may be weakened.

    Say you wake up tomorrow and learn that you are now immortal. According to your philosophy if I understand it correctly, you have no reason to get out of bed that day. Or the next day. Or... ever. Yet I doubt that you are going to do exactly that: laying in bed and doing nothing is boring. You may have an infinite amount of days ahead of you, yet you still will want to enjoy this day, this moment, as much as possible - much like you may have a million desserts ahead of you, yet you still will eagerly reach for that piece of cake because you want to enjoy it now.

    Humans are not robots optimizing some sort of a long-term objective function, Jack. Humans have both short-term and long-term interests. I did not drink this cup of Irish cream today because I was afraid of dying - in fact, drinking it probably shortened my lifespan by a few milliseconds - but I drank it because I was living in the moment and wanted to have a good time. I do not see how, upon learning of my immortality, I would have suddenly wanted to drink that cup any less.

    What I will grant you is that over a very long period of time a society of immortal creatures may evolve in the direction of giving lower priority to time preference. However, at that point we will be talking about a very different species. 1,000,000 years from now such a creature may be okay with staring at a pool of eater for a century, contemplating the meaning of life - but that creature would not resemble modern humans in any way.
  • jackjack 135 Pts   -  
    MayCaesar said:
    @jack

    Indeed, I cannot grasp that, and I laid down my argument explaining why I do not think it to be true.
    Hello again, May:

    Indeed, you don't grasp it, as your entire argument is rife with examples of us living a mortal life..

    However, I'm asking you to imagine a time when there is NO time, and you simply cannot do that.  To you, there'll always be time, even though time doesn't matter.

    Whadya think of infinity??  Can you grasp something going on forever, and forever, and forever NEVER ending??  I bet you can't.

    excon


  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4891 Pts   -  
    @jack

    Time is a fundamental structural element of reality. "A time when there is no time" not only is a logical contradiction, but it is also a metaphysical impossibility. Time is independent of one's mortality, and long before any life forms existed in the Universe the clock was ticking.

    As for imagining infinity, it is an abstract human concept, and it is sufficient to simply understand it. Using one's imagination is not necessary.

    In application to decision-making in our lives, mortality can only matters when one's acknowledgement of it alters their choices. Since, when I choose to drink a cup of liquor, I do not think about mortality, it does not make any difference here, even if I am speaking as a mortal creature. My mortality does not prevent me from exploring the thinking and decision-making processes of immortal creatures, and I do not find anything when doing so that would lead me to the same conclusions you have arrived at.

    Lastly, your criticism of my position is not based on any particular arguments I made, but on the fact that I, as a mortal creature, cannot adopt an immortal creature's perspective. Yet the exact same argument then applies to you, invalidating your position as well. At the very least, if I am wrong, then you too are wrong, and where does that leave us?
  • jackjack 135 Pts   -   edited January 27
    MayCaesar said:

    Time is a fundamental structural element of reality.
    Hello again, May:

    Only if it's measured.  To a people who live forever, time is of no consequence.  So why would we measure it?   What would we care about "time"?  What would we even know about "time"?  "Time" is a concept that would have absolutely NOTHING whatsoever, to do with our lives. 

    Truly, tell me.

    You make immortality sound like mortality, with the same rules, but just a bit longer..  I don't think immortality will be anything like what we have today.

    excon


  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 4891 Pts   -  
    @jack

    You keep stating it, but fail to explain where the statement comes from. You think that an immortal human cannot slap a watch on his wrist and look at the time? That two immortal humans cannot run a race and make different times and say that one of them won the race? That an immortal human cannot watch a movie and be sad that it is so short? That an immortal human cannot miss his train and be frustrated that now he has to wait for the next one for 30 minutes out in the cold?

    How do you arrive at the conclusion that finitness of one's life is prerequisite for the concept of time making sense? Do you also think that, because mathematics features the concept of infinity, numbers such as 2 or 5 mean nothing?
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