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Author Topic: Immortality?  (Read 3701 times)

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Offline Braioch

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Re: Immortality?
« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2010, 08:54:01 AM »
I'm with Shihong on this one guys.

If given the chance, I would take immortality.

I mean worst comes to worst, and you were the only person left, I suppose the best thing is to hope you become insane and completely just lose it....or better yet, you can still die I'm sure, just chuck yourself into an active volcano, can't exactly live if you're nothing but dust o_0

With immortality I guess your death would have to be a bit overdramatic xD

Offline Wolfy

Re: Immortality?
« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2010, 11:03:42 AM »
You wouldn't be the only one left until the end of the world, though...

You'd have the Immortal Jellyfish to keep you company. :D

See, They don't "Die" They just revert back into their baby stage and re-grow up.

While still breeding.


Which means they are multiplying by a f*ck ton. O-o

Offline Host of Seraphim

Re: Immortality?
« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2010, 12:40:52 AM »
My English teacher last year was pretty interested in the idea of humans achieving immortality. In particular, he was interested in this man, Aubrey de Grey, who thinks we can beat death by treating aging like a disease. If we can cure aging, we can cure death. (Keep in mind, that was just paraphrasing from lil ole unscientific me.  ;))

He gave my friend an article which was then passed on to me. I thought I'd include it just to share. The article in its physical form was called Mr. Immortality, but here it seems to be called The Invincible Man-- it's the same article, however.

Here's a video, too. In it he discusses some topics brought up in this thread such as overpopulation, what you would do to keep yourself occupied if you actually lived that long, etc.

What do I think of all of this? Hell if I know. I can't even decide on what I want for a snack right now.   ???

Offline Caela

Re: Immortality?
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2010, 03:14:13 PM »
The problem with immortality wouldn't be one person being immortal, but multiple people being so. If they could still procreate this could have a huge impact on finite resources because instead of the living replacing the dead, there would be no dead. We already multiply more quickly than we die off and now you would add people that just won't die to the mix and it's likely to stress the whole system to the breaking point eventually.

If it were going to just be one person...heck I'd take it!

Online Vekseid

Re: Immortality?
« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2010, 03:19:01 PM »
To some degree it opens up the question on the morality of reproduction in the first place. The question is not really something we need to worry about from our own perspective - if I feed on sunlight in orbit around Earth while projecting my consciousness in the form of various avatars about the Solar System - well, there's enough sunlight and raw material for quite a lot of that.

Offline Yin

Re: Immortality?
« Reply #30 on: June 15, 2010, 09:15:44 PM »
Hmmm, the finite resources thing is certainly a possible problem.

Still, I don't see if being that big a problem. Look at how quickly our population was booming in the last century; if you simply prevent people from dying of old age, it doesn't really increase the growth rate by an order of magnitude.

Offline Caela

Re: Immortality?
« Reply #31 on: June 15, 2010, 09:22:37 PM »
Hmmm, the finite resources thing is certainly a possible problem.

Still, I don't see if being that big a problem. Look at how quickly our population was booming in the last century; if you simply prevent people from dying of old age, it doesn't really increase the growth rate by an order of magnitude.

Maybe not immediately but eventually it could do just that.

To keep the numbers simple say you have 10 immortals (5 couples) and each couple has a kid...now you have 15 (assuming that immortailty is an inherited trait of course). Well after a hundred years there's no reason not to have another if you want so they each have another, and now you have 20 and by now the first batch of kids is ready to procreate. Nobody's dying and there's no reason not to have more kids every hundred years or so (or more often depending on how your biological clock ticks) and then your kids have kids...it wouldn't take long for the population to grow by an order of magnitude.

You mentioned the growth rate of the population in the last century...can you imagine that same rate of growth, without the easement on resources of people dying as well? We already can't/don't feed and care for the people we have living on the planet, can you imagine how much harder it would be if all the people that had died in the last century...hadn't?

Offline Will

Re: Immortality?
« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2010, 09:43:06 PM »
Maybe the crisis of overpopulation would spur us towards more sustainable practices and set our focus on scientific advancement.  You'd still have to hope that technology outpaced population, but maybe.

Offline Yin

Re: Immortality?
« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2010, 09:44:24 PM »
Actually, I kinda can.

For one thing, we may not actually require our biosphere in the future. We could conceivably manufacture our own foodstuffs using advanced biotechs. Finally, I expect we may end up supplementing our population with a lot of individuals who won't really take up any resources at all (whole-brain uploads, robots, etc.).

Why yes, I'm a raging transhumanist. '^^

Offline Hunter

Re: Immortality?
« Reply #34 on: June 15, 2010, 09:46:17 PM »
Well, when you can regenerate like salamanders, why care? You just regenerate that part, no? ;D

From my understanding, the body completely replaces it's sells roughly every three years.  So...if you abstain from all the bad stuff and eat only healthy, your body will eventually repair itself.

Offline Caela

Re: Immortality?
« Reply #35 on: June 16, 2010, 05:09:36 AM »
Maybe the crisis of overpopulation would spur us towards more sustainable practices and set our focus on scientific advancement.  You'd still have to hope that technology outpaced population, but maybe.

Quite possible. It would be nice to think that will people running around, living so long that some of the brightest minds in science would do just that. If science couldn't keep up though it would open up a whole can of worms about the morality and ethics of procreation in a world where people don't die.

Offline Arion

Re: Immortality?
« Reply #36 on: June 24, 2010, 07:08:52 PM »
While by the time immortality could become wide-spread, should research be taken in that direction, the big problem at the moment is food supply.

In short, within the next 100 years we will reach a critical mass where our population with surpass our planet's food production.

We're closing in on it now.  There's only so much arable land available.  There's some hope for using GM (genetically modified) crops to alleviate some of the problem, but consider...

Do you like hamburgers?  I do.  And yet beef is hugely wasteful given the input-output of foodstuffs.  One acre of soy produces as much food as 18 acres used to raise cattle (Modern Marvels, gotta love History channel).  In addition soy doesn't require that we feed it with edible foodstuffs that we could be consuming ourselves (though it would be a lower quality of product, it's still food).  Raising cattle does.

How about the push for bio-diesel engines?  The amount of corn required to produce enough bio-diesel to fill one gas tank is equivalent to that required to feed a person for one year. 

We have issues with food supply now, never mind if/when they start granting immortality.  If our explosive population growth is left unchecked... (and I know that thinking along those lines has horrifying implications)


Now, with that said, onto the immortality.

I've mixed feelings about it.  Would I like to live forever?  At the moment, sure.  In 4 million years, probably not so much.  I feel that at some point ennui would set it.  Crushing boredom from the 'been there, done that' mentality that comes when you do the same thing, over and over and over.  For a time there would be plenty to do.  But eventually you'll have done/read/experienced everything.  And even exploring space, which could well be something that takes eternity, wouldn't be the answer; unless they also perfect cryogenics (or something with the same effect) you'd be awake for the entire trip.  Hundreds of thousands of year, stuck in a small space...

Then again, immortality would allow us the chance for some real long-term planning.  Projects that take centuries to complete, overseen by the same group.  One mind having the time to fully explore every aspect of something.  The ability to watch the far-reaching repercussions of our actions.

Then again, the possibility of tyrannical regimes spanning millenia.  Thousand-year Reiches under the same dictator.  Million-year-old televangelists...

"It [death] is the most profound experience of any creature."  -Frank Herbert, God Emperor of Dune pg 239

Offline Leo

Re: Immortality?
« Reply #37 on: June 25, 2010, 10:36:56 AM »
Well, when you can regenerate like salamanders, why care? You just regenerate that part, no? ;D

The thing is, since cancer is a mutation of cells and spreads through the natural process of your cells multiplying, you'd be regenerating your body parts with 100% cancerous cell population, if that makes sense. But I guess you could always chop off, say, your leg above the cancerous region and hope you regenerate it back without the cancer.

Then again, cancer has a habit of appearing in lungs, liver etc... vital organs... chopping them off would kill the body before it can regenerate, I think :D

Offline kimbersee

Re: Immortality?
« Reply #38 on: July 19, 2010, 01:04:27 PM »
Shihong wrote it really well. There will always be new things to explore as the world advances.

I also add that humans are living longer and longer. Our life span just a few hundred of years ago was around 40 years old. People now live up to 100 years old so relatively speaking we already achieved an immortality of sorts. It is hard to imagine living for million of years but I would not be surprised that with advancements in technology humans will live longer and longer. It will be incremental increases but one day we might reach a 200 year life span. What will people then think when they look back at today's 100 year old lifespan? Just something to think about how time can be relative.

Offline Leo

Re: Immortality?
« Reply #39 on: July 20, 2010, 10:48:20 AM »
I think, if humanity does not destroy the world and/or itself before then, breakthroughs in genetics would unlock the secret of immortality.

However, from a partially philosophical standpoint, wouldn't biological perfection eliminate the possibility of a cultural one? Perhaps we don't want to be immortal, after all.

Offline Paladin

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Re: Immortality?
« Reply #40 on: July 21, 2010, 12:41:00 AM »
I see imortality as a gift and a curse. Highlander hit it on the head ina  way. You livewhile those you love die. You get to watch them grow old and die countless times over. Would I take it? I dont really know.

Offline Lyll

Re: Immortality?
« Reply #41 on: July 23, 2010, 03:34:52 AM »
Well, being able to regenerate our bodyparts like salamanders (or jellyfishes mentioned) is not equal to be immortal. It means only to have the possibility to reproduce organs or bodyparts what got injured or lost (but while the process the risk of the cancer is still too large). As I know, what doesn't mean this is the newest information, there are at least two process in a human body leading to the death: 1.) is the general "fatigue" of the cells what compose (constitute?) it, I mean at the structure of the bones, for example 2.) and the work of the "lethal gene", what switch on between some circumstances, and slowly stops the work of the all organ system. I'm sure I read something about the process of aging too, what is also controlled by some genes. So for becoming immortal, we would need more than only following suit salamanders' or jellyfishes' self-healing body-part-reproducing system.

But if we whenever succeed to gain immortality, we will have to worry about our ressources, because we won't have enough ressources for surviving. So we would have to find new ressources or stop the reproduction of population. Honestly, I wouldn't imagine willingly a world where people live eternal, but don't have anymore children. Too see always the same faces towards an eternity seems rather scary than tempting.

Offline fallen paradise

Re: Immortality?
« Reply #42 on: August 15, 2010, 01:54:33 PM »
SMBC had a recent take on just this subject (or one related to it):