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Thread: Eternal Life, Would You?

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    Senior Member CountFloyd's Avatar
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    Default Eternal Life, Would You?

    I was high the other day, and I started thinking about the concept of perpetual youth. If this were possible, would you choose to never die?

    Hypothetically, assume something was developed to allow people to stay young forever and never die by age alone. Now this obvioulsly comes with major social issues, the most prominant of which is the problem of overpopulation. If everyone could live forever, we would exaust our resources so fast it could kill the species.

    So what if was created, but in order to be able to live forever the trade off would be sterility. You can live forever, but can not reproduce. This is a tough question because it conflicts the two primal instincts that all of us share. 1) self preservation, and 2) procreation, the two things that are essentially the purpose of life. The question is, which is more important to us?

    It seems easy to look out for #1, but it wouldn't stop you from getting hit by a truck, or getting cancer or whatever. You would be essentially placing the thousands of years of your geneology on your shoulders, and if you did die you're gene pool would be completely removed, very unevolutionary. However, given the abusrdity of life after death, existance is everything, and if you aren't around to experience it, it doesn't matter. But at the same time, by successfully procreating and choosing death you are ensuring the survival of successful traits that will be passed on to later generations, improving the species.

    Tough call.

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    kiss my sweaty balls benzss's Avatar
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    Unless I were terminally ill and in pain, I'm unsure I could ever opt for death over eternal life.

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    Well at what point do you choose eternal life/kids?

    Surely someone could just knock out a couple of kids and then go for the eternal life deal.

    My other question is, if you choose the eternal life protecting you from old age, do normal rules of death apply so you could theoretically end it by suicide?

    If so, there are some scientists who believe they're very close to making this a reality.
    Quote Originally Posted by CountFloyd View Post
    But at the same time, by successfully procreating and choosing death you are ensuring the survival of successful traits that will be passed on to later generations, improving the species.
    This is only true if you have those successful traits in the first place.

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    Senior Member CountFloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benzss View Post
    Unless I were terminally ill and in pain, I'm unsure I could ever opt for death over eternal life.
    That is exactly my point. But the issue is that is completely counter evolutionary, and as such would be terrible for humans as a species. How is it possible that we are able to go against what we are here to do?

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    Senior Member CountFloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonj View Post
    Well at what point do you choose eternal life/kids?

    Surely someone could just knock out a couple of kids and then go for the eternal life deal.

    My other question is, if you choose the eternal life protecting you from old age, do normal rules of death apply so you could theoretically end it by suicide?

    If so, there are some scientists who believe they're very close to making this a reality.


    This is only true if you have those successful traits in the first place.
    Well 1, this is more of a thought experiment, so the presumption is that you could only have eternal life at the expense of procreation at any time. And 2, yes you can still die by any means, just not by age. That said, you would retain the immune system of youth. You would never be 90 years old and waiting to die.

    Quote Originally Posted by simonj View Post
    This is only true if you have those successful traits in the first place.
    Not true. The idea of evolution is that if you are able to procreate, that means you out competed the competition and thereby have successful traits to pass on.
    Last edited by CountFloyd; 04-10-2009 at 03:31 PM.

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    kiss my sweaty balls benzss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CountFloyd View Post
    That is exactly my point. But the issue is that is completely counter evolutionary, and as such would be terrible for humans as a species. How is it possible that we are able to go against what we are here to do?
    How is it counter-evolutionary? Does eternal life make you infertile?

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    Journeyman Cocksmith Mr. E's Avatar
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    This is a difficult question. Pretty much if you choose life over reproduction you are assuming that you are greater than anything you could spawn, which is pretty arrogant and selfish. On the other hand, most of us are pretty used to living and aren't exactly looking forward to death.

    Personally, even though it is arrogant and selfish, I would choose eternal life. I can always adopt for the experience of fatherhood, and with eternal life I would have plenty of time to find enlightenment and, eventually, learn everything that I ever wanted to know. Imagine how better off the world would be if our leaders had hundreds of years of experience under their belt and had been able to remove themselves from under the burden of their ignorance and prejudices through that experience.

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    Senior Member CountFloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benzss View Post
    How is it counter-evolutionary? Does eternal life make you infertile?
    Did you read the OP? For the sake of overpopulation, you would have to choose between infertile eternal life, or what we have now.

    It is counter evolutionary because are two basic instincts in any animal are self preservation and procreation. It creates an unnatrual scenario to choose one over the other. On a mass scale, what would the decision be? Life or the survival of your species?

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    kiss my sweaty balls benzss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CountFloyd View Post
    Did you read the OP? For the sake of overpopulation, you would have to choose between infertile eternal life, or what we have now.

    It is counter evolutionary because are two basic instincts in any animal are self preservation and procreation. It creates an unnatrual scenario to choose one over the other. On a mass scale, what would the decision be? Life or the survival of your species?
    I don't understand why anybody would voluntarily do that. Is it a hypothetical caveat, or are you assuming that's how most people would act?

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    Journeyman Cocksmith Mr. E's Avatar
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    It is hypothetical.

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    I can honestly say I would say no to eternal life. Watching all my loved ones die doesn't exactly sound like fun, and although I don't really want to die, I just think to try to avoid something so natural would be a crime in itself. Besides, I would rather see mankind continue as a whole than myself continue forever specifically. I don't see the point in trying to avoid death anyways because it's just another part of life, it's every bit as natural as birth, and to assume you could avoid it would be the ultimate hubris. Better to die and allow the species to continue, I say.

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    Senior Member CountFloyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. E View Post
    This is a difficult question. Pretty much if you choose life over reproduction you are assuming that you are greater than anything you could spawn, which is pretty arrogant and selfish. On the other hand, most of us are pretty used to living and aren't exactly looking forward to death.

    Personally, even though it is arrogant and selfish, I would choose eternal life. I can always adopt for the experience of fatherhood, and with eternal life I would have plenty of time to find enlightenment and, eventually, learn everything that I ever wanted to know. Imagine how better off the world would be if our leaders had hundreds of years of experience under their belt and had been able to remove themselves from under the burden of their ignorance and prejudices through that experience.
    Thats kind of what I was thinking. Eternal life brings infinite enjoyment to the self because anything is better than nonexistence and thus seems like the obvious choice. Adoption seems to be a way around the idea of infertility, but that draws into the debate of nature vs nurture. Adopting isn't the passing of successful genes, its just raising one in a successful environment, is that the same thing? Another problem is that assuming this was possible and you got it done, and then 5 or 10 years later while enjoying your sustained youth, you might get hit by a bus. During that time in a regular life, you could have passed on your genes, a net gain for the gene pool. Since you didn't, your genes are removed and its a net loss on the gene pool. En mass, this would be a terrible prospect for humanity.

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    Senior Member Syme's Avatar
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    From a pragmatic viewpoint, most of the problems with a population of immortal, infertile people could probably be resolved technologically within the next century, so I'm not sure it would really be that terrible a prospect for humanity.

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    I would say no to eternal life even without the sterility thing. I wouldn't even have to think about it. I don't want eternal life at all.

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    Sometimes I wish for eternal life just so I can see what the future holds, but I don't think I'd want to live forever. I feel it'd become a burden after a while.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwahir View Post
    I would say no to eternal life even without the sterility thing. I wouldn't even have to think about it. I don't want eternal life at all.
    Under the hypothetical scenario laid out in the OP, you could still commit suicide or have yourself euthanized whenever you wanted, you just wouldn't age, or suffer the increasingly severe infirmities that come with age. It's not actual immortality or actual eternal life that he's talking about.
    Last edited by Syme; 04-11-2009 at 12:32 AM.

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    ITT given the opportunity, would you be Peter Pan?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Syme View Post
    Under the hypothetical scenario laid out in the OP, you could still commit suicide or have yourself euthanized whenever you wanted, you just wouldn't age, or suffer the increasingly severe infirmities that come with age. It's not actual immortality or actual eternal life that he's talking about.
    Well, that makes it more tempting, but I still wouldn't go for it.

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    Senior Member Syme's Avatar
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    I will say this: I am totally okay with medical science extending my life as far as possible, as long as it includes a corresponding amelioration of the affects of age (i.e. I don't want to live to the age of 150 if it means having the physical state of a person who had lived that long naturally). I can always step in front of a bus if I get sick of it all.

    Interestingly, the "break-even point" for life expectancy vs. the rate of increase in life expectancy will be surpassed in our lifetimes if medical science doesn't run into some kind of hard barrier. When that happens, medical science will be increasing the average life expectancy by one year or more for every year that passes. That means theoretical effective immortality until the rate of life expectancy increase drops off for some reason (or until your insurance won't cover the longevity treatments).

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    λεγιων ονομα μοι sycld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CountFloyd View Post

    So what if was created, but in order to be able to live forever the trade off would be sterility. You can live forever, but can not reproduce. This is a tough question because it conflicts the two primal instincts that all of us share. 1) self preservation, and 2) procreation, the two things that are essentially the purpose of life. The question is, which is more important to us?
    There are plenty of people that have no desire to have children.

    And if I had eternal youth forced upon me, with no difference between today or tomorrow, I'd probably have killed myself already.


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    Quote Originally Posted by sycld View Post
    There are plenty of people that have no desire to have children.

    And if I had eternal youth forced upon me, with no difference between today or tomorrow, I'd probably have killed myself already.
    It doesn't matter if they want children or not, it's counter-evolutionary. What you would do with your life is completely irrelevant.
    You aren't having something forced upon you, the question revolves around a choice.

    Way to add nothing to the thread.
    Last edited by CountFloyd; 04-11-2009 at 03:16 AM.

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    No. Long life? Yes, but not eternal. At some point, I think the sun will die eventually, which doesn't bode well for stuff that lives on this planet. Also, I don't imagine too many people die purely with old age. It doesn't come on its own, and often weakens the body, making you vulernable to severe illness, which is often the cause of death, so that makes the whole concept near redundant in my opinion. I suppose you would really need to nail down a specific definition of "eternal life".

    Also, I wouldn't like the idea of having to kill myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gismo View Post
    No. Long life? Yes, but not eternal. At some point, I think the sun will die eventually, which doesn't bode well for stuff that lives on this planet.
    We've still got five billion years to go before that happens, and seeing as the OP's scenario merely involved stopping the biological effects of aging rather than actually making you immortal, I don't think you'd have to worry too much about this. Five billion years seems like a lot of time in which to choke on a piece of food, die in a traffic accident, get struck by lightning, fall off a balcony and break your neck, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by gismo
    Also, I don't imagine too many people die purely with old age. It doesn't come on its own, and often weakens the body, making you vulernable to severe illness, which is often the cause of death, so that makes the whole concept near redundant in my opinion. I suppose you would really need to nail down a specific definition of "eternal life".
    Right, but he explained earlier in the thread that, in this hypothetical scenario, you would retain the immune system of a young and healthy person.

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    Eternal life for our generation is not as tempting a proposition to me as eternal life for a likely soon-to-be-possible genetically altered humanity with more complex brains, affording them better memories, intelligences, emotions. I guess I am quite transhumanist.

    I still don't know how I feel about something this ambitious: http://www.hedweb.com/
    Would you still call these creatures humans? But I guess if you can define human as sentient life striving constantly to improve, then transhumanism makes perfect sense. The only question is, what aspects of humanity is it vital to keep?
    So eternal life for me? Not my bag. Eternal life for a future, better mentally and spiritually endowed humanity? Maybe.

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    Senior Member Syme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Think View Post
    So eternal life for me? Not my bag. Eternal life for a future, better mentally and spiritually endowed humanity? Maybe.
    Many transhumanists (myself included) might argue that depending on what advances are made in the coming century, people our age--not just future generations--could eventually be part of the "future, better mentally and spiritually endowed humanity" that could make full use of eternal life.

    EDIT: We should have a transhumanism thread!
    Last edited by Syme; 04-11-2009 at 06:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Think View Post
    Eternal life for our generation is not as tempting a proposition to me as eternal life for a likely soon-to-be-possible genetically altered humanity with more complex brains, affording them better memories, intelligences, emotions. I guess I am quite transhumanist.

    I still don't know how I feel about something this ambitious: http://www.hedweb.com/
    Would you still call these creatures humans? But I guess if you can define human as sentient life striving constantly to improve, then transhumanism makes perfect sense. The only question is, what aspects of humanity is it vital to keep?
    So eternal life for me? Not my bag. Eternal life for a future, better mentally and spiritually endowed humanity? Maybe.
    I am sure you remember how vehemently I argued against this idea.

    I would like to live, if not an eternal then an extended existence. Though this would largely be due to a historical interest, to see how the world changes, live from one era to the next. However I am fairly sure that most people couldn't live beyond around 200 years without going completely insane.
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    haha are you fuckin serious

    imagine if maesce could never die do you fuckin understand what would happen

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woofness View Post
    I am sure you remember how vehemently I argued against this idea.

    I would like to live, if not an eternal then an extended existence. Though this would largely be due to a historical interest, to see how the world changes, live from one era to the next. However I am fairly sure that most people couldn't live beyond around 200 years without going completely insane.
    Why do you say that?

    Personally, I don't want an endless existence either. Extending my lifespan in a manner similar to that which is described in this thread is what I'd like, however. Not existing isn't something I'd like in the here and now, but on the other hand after a point I'd probably get tired of existing altogether. I'd be in it to see how the world develops, and learn everything I desire to learn (because I know I don't have the time to learn all the skills I'd love to learn).
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    No, I would not. Being the only one in your family and friends left alive decades after your parents, husband/wife, kids, grandkids, etc. passed away would be extremely lonely and sad. Just like at the end of the movie The Green Mile, where Tom Hanks is 108 years old and outlives everyone he knows. I probably wouldnt want it for everybody either because it would cause huge overpopulation problems and I would want to have kids at some point.

    It would have some benefits, because you would literally have all the time in the world. You could master every sport, musical instrument, read every book, visit every city in the world, etc. Doing all that would take hundreds of years. But, you would still have millions of years to live assuming nothing happened to you. Its an idea Ive thought of a few times as well, but no, I would not want to live forever in this world.
    Last edited by amac211; 05-07-2009 at 04:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by amac211 View Post
    I probably wouldnt want it for everybody either because it would cause huge overpopulation problems and I would want to have kids at some point.
    In the hypothetical situation presented here, you can't reproduce if you are "immortal".

    Quid quo pro, learn to read.
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    Quote Originally Posted by StonedOne View Post
    In the hypothetical situation presented here, you can't reproduce if you are "immortal".

    Quid quo pro, learn to read.
    Thats why I added the last part, I do want to be able to have kids, see them grow up, have their own kids, etc. I wouldnt want to not be able to reproduce.

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    I would rather die than see all my close friends and loved ones die repeatedly over and over.

    By repeatedly, I'm assuming I will make new friends/loved ones after the current set die.
    Last edited by ShitFace; 05-08-2009 at 05:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CountFloyd View Post
    Well 1, this is more of a thought experiment, so the presumption is that you could only have eternal life at the expense of procreation at any time. And 2, yes you can still die by any means, just not by age. That said, you would retain the immune system of youth. You would never be 90 years old and waiting to die.


    Not true. The idea of evolution is that if you are able to procreate, that means you out competed the competition and thereby have successful traits to pass on.
    I would probably choose to live forever but do dangerous/adventurous/exciting things with high risk factors. The idea of eternal anything sounds terrible to me (one of the reasons I choose atheism over religion). Even love, one of the greatest feelings ever, gets old. Nothing lasts forever for a reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jacob View Post
    I would probably choose to live forever but do dangerous/adventurous/exciting things with high risk factors. The idea of eternal anything sounds terrible to me (one of the reasons I choose atheism over religion). Even love, one of the greatest feelings ever, gets old. Nothing lasts forever for a reason.
    lol sorry what

    That is the most terrible reason for being an atheist i have ever heard

    I mean, to begin with eternity is generally understood in theological circles to denote something extra-temporal; let alone the long list of similarly poor exegeses implied by this statement

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    I didnt say that was my sole reason. I have very very many reasons for being an atheist, the fact that you "go to heaven forever" is just one of the small ones. I never said it is my one and only reason for being like that. If you would have read my post, you would have seen the words "one of the reasons".

    But to get back on topic, eternal life would suck. Seeing people you care about die repeatedly. You would get bored with your life and probably end up committing suicide anyway. Theres a reason we don't live forever.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you have read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and common sense." -Buddha

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    Eternal life would be fucking awesome. So you have to deal with your loved ones dying, you will get over it. You would get to see the evolution of humans first hand, visit anywhere in the world/universe and be around for everything. I think that would be amazing.

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    I don't want kids anyway so, fuck it, I'm in. If it's that direct choice then hell yeah, eternal life with the suicide option wins any day.

    Fuckin' kids.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jacob View Post
    I didnt say that was my sole reason. I have very very many reasons for being an atheist, the fact that you "go to heaven forever" is just one of the small ones. I never said it is my one and only reason for being like that. If you would have read my post, you would have seen the words "one of the reasons".

    But to get back on topic, eternal life would suck. Seeing people you care about die repeatedly. You would get bored with your life and probably end up committing suicide anyway. Theres a reason we don't live forever.
    I am aware that you have other reasons, I did read your post. It's just that a) that's not a good reason (to the point of not being valid as a "reason" at all, to be honest), and b) it kinda calls into question the validity of the other "reasons" you have.

    I'm sorry, the above is meant as a clarification in response to your comment, but I have become increasingly aware since my first post regarding the issue that I've come off a little personal and insulting, and unfortunately, in clarifying, I'm forced to continue that trend. You'll have to forgive me for that, it's just that the existence of God is a problem that I've spent a lot of time over, to the point where simpler arguments for and against alike feel like personal insults to me, and so I have an unfortunate tendency to respond incredulously, arrogantly, and forcefully. It's the same whether a creationist points to biblical scripture alone or refers to the fossil record in terms of Noah's flood, or Richard Dawkins uses half baked "first cause/Occam's razor" or "religious violence" arguments.

    Sorry to veer precariously off topic, guys.

  39. #39
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    Think, your 'spiritual' views interest me and, were it not half 5 in the christkilling morning, I may consider doin a thread about it (I don't want to derail this thread, obv).

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    Oh and you can kill yourself in this scenario of eternal life so anyone who says they don't want it is either dumb or lying.

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