• Wallows
    8.7k
    I've been tracking the progress of technology and medicine and have come to believe that in the near future death will become an option for the very rich, at least initially. Within my own reach, I think I will be able to at the very least be able to prolong my life. If one wants a more philosophical answer to this question as to whether an infinite lifespan is possible, then I can assert that if the world can be simulated in minute detail, then there should be no reason why the human brain can't be similarly simulated.

    Personally, I view death as a waste. In a manner of speaking, a waste of life. We seem to live in a world full of inanimate objects and things. There is room for other people in such a universe. If the Earth is overpopulated, then we start habitats on other worlds like Mars or Europa. I just don't see why life should be thought of as a book that all have some start and a finish.

    Yet, I don't see much talk on the internet about the idea of an infinite lifespan and how it might affect every other aspect of human thought.

    What are your thoughts?
  • Waya
    1k
    Life forever in this world would essentially be a living hell. Death is an act of mercy. Imagine, if only you could afford the treatment to live forever, you would see your closest friends die, countless bloodshed from war and disasters, never-ending corruption. If you had any disorders or disabilities such as depression or anxiety it would be an endless battle against it. Would life even be worth living then?
    Rather, number your days, and don't cut it short. Live a productive life, and then pass it on to the next generation.
  • T Clark
    3.8k
    If one wants a more philosophical answer to this question as to whether an infinite lifespan is possible, then I can assert that if the world can be simulated in minute detail, then there should be no reason why the human brain can't be similarly simulated.Wallows

    An infinite life is impossible. For me it's not desirable. I do think it will be possible to extend life for quite a while. I'm not sure how I feel about that. It's not really relevant for me. I'm 67 and it is unlikely any breakthrough will be developed in the time I have left. That doesn't seem like a tragedy. Ray Kurzweil, a respected professor at MIT, is a few years older than I am. He's working hard to keep himself alive until 2045, when the technological singularity will take place. Then, either the machines will take over and destroy humankind or we'll all upload into computers. Yes, that is a simplification of what people actually believe.

    I think it is much likelier that one of our current technologies will end our time on earth in the next few decades rather than significantly extending our lives.
  • Wallows
    8.7k
    A steam of consciousness ensues:

    I feel as though most of our questions and desires and yada-yada will be answered or passed over in silence once death becomes an option. And, yes, I understand that death is an inevitability if some magnetar or black hole comes nearby our solar system. I mean, if I could live 200 (let alone a thousand) years instead of 75, then I would be quite content even then.
  • Wallows
    8.7k
    Life forever in this world would essentially be a living hell. Death is an act of mercy. Imagine, if only you could afford the treatment to live forever, you would see your closest friends die, countless bloodshed from war and disasters, never-ending corruption. If you had any disorders or disabilities such as depression or anxiety it would be an endless battle against it. Would life even be worth living then?Waya

    I don't know. Falling in love with someone and living together for a million years blissfully doesn't sounds that bad. I also feel as though with an unlimited lifespan our desires would also be quite easily met. Obviously, if we were to be able to live a near infinitude, then all these disorders and such would become redundant or solved.
  • Wallows
    8.7k
    I'm 67 and it is unlikely any breakthrough will be developed in the time I have left.T Clark

    You can't be too certain about that. I mean, AI is just around the corner, and given that it doesn't need food or sleep or can think at incomprehensible speeds, then I suppose it might figure out a way to preserve whatever consciousness is.

    I think it is much likelier that one of our current technologies will end our time on earth in the next few decades rather than significantly extending our lives.T Clark

    Like AI?

    EDIT: I used to be a huge Kurtzweil fan, but think some of his projections are a little on the optimistic side...
  • Bitter Crank
    8.1k
    EDIT: I used to be a huge Kurtzweil fan, but think some of his projections are a little on the optimistic side...Wallows

    Haw! There's a case of the kettle calling the pot black.

    I have heard of NO developments anywhere that would lead me to think that I, or anyone else, could live far beyond the normal lifespan. Lengthen the average life a few years? Improve the QOL in the last few years? Cure a handful of diseases? Improve physical and mental functioning in younger people?

    These sorts of incremental improvements may happen, IF the effects of global warming--food and water shortages, new diseases, intense environmental challenges, large die-offs from epidemic disease, etc--don't swamp our ability to support luxury-oriented bio-medical research. Luxury would be finding a really effective new antibiotic, not helping people live 200 years.

    Plants and animals DIE because they can't perpetually maintain all of the systems required for a healthy life, or life at all. Some trees may live 2500 years, but by that time they are just barely hanging on, with only the smallest piece of their former glory still qualifying as "alive".

    Humans are just one more animal species, and we'll keep on dying. In the whole world, there are only about 316,600 centenarians--out of 7.4 billion. A few centenarians are alive, intellectually and emotionally intact, physically healthy (for a centenarian), and able to live independently. The rest are not in such great shape. any given centenarians can be expected to die very soon.

    Whatever you are going to accomplish, you will most likely accomplish it before you are 80. Probably before you are 60. So, you had best get busy and do what ever it is that you are going to do (because it is what it is).
  • Grre
    113
    Personally, I view death as a waste. In a manner of speaking, a waste of life. We seem to live in a world full of inanimate objects and things.
    I think that death is the opposite of a waste. I think death is what gives life value, otherwise we would be what, just existing forever and ever? I abhor the thought. I do not want to live forever, I cannot imagine anything more depressing than living forever (beyond I guess, having the time to read all the books ever music/learn languages ect.)

    People throughout the ages have found ways to "deny" death by broaching the topic of immortality, hence the endless saga of vampire myths, ancient gods ect. ect. but it is also just the result of our inevitable desire to outlive our physical form, our hatred and fear of our physical limitations. I disagree. I don't think immortality is anytime going to be possible; technological immortality might eventually exist in the form of uploading one's voice/memories to a hard drive or some AI device, but I can't imagine that will catch on; sounds grotesque and extremely painful for those grieving loved ones.

    Read the Denial of Death or even Benatar in The Human Condition. Both authors talk in length about existentialist crises, our innate desire for immortality ect. ect. quite fascinating stuff.

    If the Earth is overpopulated, then we start habitats on other worlds like Mars or Europa. I just don't see why life should be thought of as a book that all have some start and a finish.

    No we should certainly not. I personally think the human species should go extinct sooner rather than later. All things considered.
    Life is also far from over; hate to say it, but individuals don't matter to the cycles of life and death. Just because I happen die, doesn't mean life ends; birds still sing, insects crawl, and if my loved ones follow my directions; hopefully various sea life will be feeding on my corpse; laying eggs in my body, life begetting life.
    In my opinion, that is beautiful. There is beauty and strength and courage in the finite. Only cowardice and exhaustion in the infinite.
  • Grre
    113
    Falling in love with someone and living together for a million years blissfully doesn't sounds that bad. I also feel as though with an unlimited lifespan our desires would also be quite easily met. Obviously, if we were to be able to live a near infinitude, then all these disorders and such would become redundant or solved.

    Sorry to double post but.. couldn't resist.
    Doubt anyone wants to spend a "million" years with anyone, and doing "what"?? Just because death is no longer a problem doesn't mean people wouldn't have problems.
    Would all our desires be met? Shopenhenauer would argue otherwise; desire begets new desires.

    Plants and animals DIE because they can't perpetually maintain all of the systems required for a healthy life, or life at all.
    @Bitter Crank
    Thought I'd add some fun facts; most species of octopus (arguably the most alien species we encounter on this planet, and also one of the most recognizably intelligent and inquisitive of all the species) live less than a year, before they spontaneously enter senescence after mating. Biologists have speculated that octopodes would have over-taken human intelligence perchance, if they did not have this biological limitation holding them back (it takes many years to amass enough knowledge and experience to use inborn intelligence effectively to adapt to new problems and situations). Food for thought.
    There are some organisms, like Hydra, due to their regenerative capabilities that arguably "live" forever, but is regeneration the same as the original? People argue that by definition it is different. Axolotl's, octopodes, and other animals can also regenerate wholly, but again, does not really provide a practical aid for human immortality, as even these animals are still wholly mortal.

    I read somewhere that the human body is really only biologically able to withstand the wear and tear of at least 115 years, after that, organs and bones and muscles WILL fail, and quality of life becomes an issue. My grandmother was 89 when she died last spring, no real health problems, still mobile and living alone (with some assistance)-her real killer? Depression. Living alone. Friends dead. Her son disowned her and refused to talk to her. Her first husband 60 years dead. My family holds that she wanted to die, at least unconsciously, so it was that much easier for her body to simply fail..and she died in her sleep. It was sad of course, but it was what she wanted. When people discuss mortality, its always young or middle aged people; never the truly elderly, because if you ask the elderly (my other grandparents are both mid 90s now) they are usually quite at peace with their near deaths. What they want more is dignity, to die before things get too messy, and peace. They have no interest in "going back in time"-do you? The mere thought of going back to kindergarten, middle school, ect. is exhausting, why would I want to go back and do it all again? Endlessly? Forever?
  • Wallows
    8.7k
    I have heard of NO developments anywhere that would lead me to think that I, or anyone else, could live far beyond the normal lifespan.Bitter Crank

    Then you haven't been looking far or wide enough. It's really the latest fad for my generation. That is to enhance mental functioning through various means. I don't think its a fad that will die off anytime soon.

    Have you by any chance heard of cryonics? People are signing up for life insurance policies to freeze themselves when they die so that one day they can be "awaken" back to life. Just Google it.

    These sorts of incremental improvements may happen, IF the effects of global warming--food and water shortages, new diseases, intense environmental challenges, large die-offs from epidemic disease, etc--don't swamp our ability to support luxury-oriented bio-medical research. Luxury would be finding a really effective new antibiotic, not helping people live 200 years.Bitter Crank

    Those are at least known-knowns. I would be more worried about known-unknowns or unknown-knowns and the all terrifying unknown-unknowns, like an asteroid hitting the Earth or some such.

    Whatever you are going to accomplish, you will most likely accomplish it before you are 80. Probably before you are 60. So, you had best get busy and do what ever it is that you are going to do (because it is what it is).Bitter Crank

    I don't think it's anything ego-driven contrary to popular sentiment. I just have come to accept life with all its up's and down's as inherently rewarding. I definitely want to witness the advent of AI, fusion energy becoming a reality, and us as an interplanetary species. Other than that I like philosophizing here and there.
  • Wallows
    8.7k
    Read the Denial of Death or even Benatar in The Human Condition. Both authors talk in length about existentialist crises, our innate desire for immortality ect. ect. quite fascinating stuff.Grre

    Thanks, another one of those books I will just have to figure out when and how to read.

    No we should certainly not. I personally think the human species should go extinct sooner rather than later. All things considered.Grre

    Uhh, and why is that? Are you perchance a misanthrope?

    I think that death is the opposite of a waste. I think death is what gives life value, otherwise we would be what, just existing forever and ever?Grre

    I'm not sure about that. I think, that if people had an extra 50 years to live longer, then the entire world would dramatically be changed for the better.
  • Wallows
    8.7k
    Doubt anyone wants to spend a "million" years with anyone, and doing "what"?? Just because death is no longer a problem doesn't mean people wouldn't have problems.
    Would all our desires be met? Shopenhenauer would argue otherwise; desire begets new desires.
    Grre

    Well, I would like to learn more about mathematics. It's something that is irresistibly beautiful and edifying.

    I remember learning calculus for the first time, and Christ was I taken back by the concept of the epsilon-delta definition.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.1k
    That is to enhance mental functioning through various meansWallows

    It doesn't seem to be happening, as far as I can tell.

    Merciful god, fads die. The fads that don't die become the culture. That's why a lot of fads should have been nipped in the bud. Too bad rap music wasn't still born. Ditto for several religions.

    I've heard of cryonics, yes. People can buy whatever insurance policies they like and have themselves frozen. In stock market lingo, freezing yourself to be awakened someday in a better world is not a "SELL", "HOLD", or "BUY". It's a "DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT". It's just more proof of what H. L. Mencken said, "Nobody ever went broke underestimating people's intelligence."

    I just have come to accept life with all its up's and down's as inherently rewarding.Wallows

    As well you should. Life IS inherently rewarding.

    There are things I would like to see down the pike, too. I'll probably be dead before most of them happen -- just because I've been around here too long for some things to happen whilst I'm watching. That's OK. Sic transit gloria mundi, etc.
  • Wallows
    8.7k
    It doesn't seem to be happening, as far as I can tell.Bitter Crank

    I'm saving money for this:

  • Echarmion
    500
    I think that death is the opposite of a waste. I think death is what gives life value, otherwise we would be what, just existing forever and ever?Grre

    How does death give life value, exactly? Is this more than a mere platitude?
  • Waya
    1k
    I don't know. Falling in love with someone and living together for a million years blissfully doesn't sounds that bad.Wallows
    One person is not the world.
  • thewonder
    345

    I think that for eternal life to be possible you would have to assume that technological progress will continue exponentially. I honestly think that it will sort of plateau in the not so distant future. It'll take a radically different society to continue with technological advancement.

    Being said, I don't think that it is impossible for people to be able to live up to upwards of 200 years in, perhaps, even our lifetime. In so far that this can be done, it should be done. Heidegger was wrong about authenticity. One should not be resolute in the face of death, one should actively flee death for as long as humanly possible. In the distant future, I think that people will be able to live for upwards of 900 years, but I doubt that it will ever be possible to live forever. I don't think that consciousness could be downloaded to a harddrive. There are no spiritual reasons for this. I just chalk it up to quantum mechanics or something.
  • Echarmion
    500
    I think that for eternal life to be possible you would have to assume that technological progress will continue exponentially. I honestly think that it will sort of plateau in the not so distant future. It'll take a radically different society to continue with technological advancement.thewonder

    I don't see why that would be so, at least for a given definition of "eternal". According to our current understanding of the physical laws, eternal life is impossible due to the heat-death of the universe. What is possible is life without "natural" deaths, that is without old age. Aging is not an inevitble process, there is nothing in the laws of physics that dictates it, and so far as we know it's also not inherent in biological processes. Likely, it is simply that evolution does not especially favor long lifespans, let alone unlimited ones, so they rarely developed. All it takes to change this is understanding how aging works in detail, and thanks to many rich people getting old, research in this area is well funded and well underway.

    Being said, I don't think that it is impossible for people to be able to live up to upwards of 200 years in, perhaps, even our lifetime. In so far that this can be done, it should be done. Heidegger was wrong about authenticity. One should not be resolute in the face of death, one should actively flee death for as long as humanly possible.thewonder

    I agree with this sentiment. I find it quite absurd how people say with a straight face that a longer lifespan is really not desirable, that they'd rather die. Just, you know, not right now. Barely anyone who isn't suffering from some very serious illness wants to die right now, but plenty of people figure that after some arbitrary amount of time, they suddenly will.
  • thewonder
    345

    Eh, it's just speculation. I think that we will only be able to prolong life for up to upwards of around 200 years given the current technocratic establishment. I think that an alternative society would need to be created before technology can really boom to where life can be extended much further than that. I'm skeptical of that what would be like eternal life is possible. Human beings a-anthropocencitically (I don't know what the correct word is here.) usually die at around 30 from what I understand. I think that that could be multiplied by itself, but don't expect that human life can truly be prolonged indefinitely.

    Life is strange. Even if it's not really all that great, you still always want to be living. I doubt that almost anyone would choose not to extend their life given the chance to.
  • Grre
    113
    I doubt that almost anyone would choose not to extend their life given the chance to.
    @thewonder
    But what is life? Is all life worth being extended? Many people, including the chronically depressed, would argue that sometimes life is not worth being extended. That there are quality of life factors to be considered. Say someone someone might live another 10 years...but those 10 years are spent imprisoned in an old age home, frequently unwell/uncomfortable, lonely, declining...thats the reality. I think it is the YOUNG that want to extend life, because they have not yet lived-but those who have lived, and who get to live long and fulfilling lives, die relatively at ease. At least, that's how I want to look at it.

    Even if it's not really all that great, you still always want to be living
    Yes, its called survival instincts; deeply biological and primal, and not logical. Benatar actually holds that if people really knew "how bad" their lives and plausible futures really were, most people would kill themselves or be a lot less positive...we are actually biased (by survival arguably) to be optimistic, its a real recorded psychological phenomenon jokingly called "pollyannanaism" that helps us adapt to difficult situations.

    How does death give life value, exactly? Is this more than a mere platitude?
    @Echarmion
    I mean, I never meant it as a platitude; just common sense. You appreciate things that much more which are rare, harder to come by, or transient. I love Christmas because it comes once a year and I get to make a big deal about the season ect. I don't think anyone would care about Christmas or birthdays or much for that matter if they were commonplace or permanent. Because life culminates inevitably in death, makes it all the more important to live it, and live it to the fullest of your ability. To live well. To change and make difference for what you can. I'm not saying that life is "sacred", it has no moral value objectively speaking, but rather, we naturally appreciate more that which is finite or transient. Or at least, we should, by default of its impermanent state. Common sense would tell us that makes sense. Death makes things like love, that much more intimate, raw, and powerful. People can, and have, used their deaths to help more people ie. more life. How can death not add value to one's life?
  • Grre
    113
    @Wallows
    I've seen that video too, and I agree, it is fascinating stuff. But I don't think its as threatening or even as beneficial, as people think. I think most "advances" in technology result in both unseen pros and unseen consequences.

    Well, I would like to learn more about mathematics. It's something that is irresistibly beautiful and edifying.
    I want to learn Latin. And biology. And ecology. And formal logic (better). And physics eventually. And then I want to own a yacht, and sail for awhile, and read every book I can find. My point is, I agree, there are lots of things I want to do but I think doing things, even new and exciting things, is only one facet of life, or at least, what makes life worth living and enjoyable and fulfilling.

    No we should certainly not. I personally think the human species should go extinct sooner rather than later. All things considered.
    — Grre

    Uhh, and why is that? Are you perchance a misanthrope?

    Because I am an irritating presumptuous autistic person here is the definition of misanthropy from Wikipedia;

    "The pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus was by various accounts a misanthrope and a loner who had little patience for human society.[6][7] In a fragment, the philosopher complained that "people [were] forever without understanding" of what was, in his view, the nature of reality.
    In Western philosophy, misanthropy has been connected to isolation from human society. In Plato's Phaedo, Socrates describes a misanthrope in relation to his fellow man: "Misanthropy develops when without art one puts complete trust in somebody thinking the man absolutely true and sound and reliable and then a little later discovers him to be bad and unreliable ... and when it happens to someone often ... he ends up ... hating everyone."[8] Misanthropy, then, is presented as a potential result of thwarted expectations or even excessively naïve optimism, since Plato argues that "art" would have allowed the potential misanthrope to recognize that the majority of men are to be found in between good and evil.[9] Aristotle follows a more ontological route: the misanthrope, as an essentially solitary man, is not a man at all: he must be a beast or a god, a view reflected in the Renaissance view of misanthropy as a "beast-like state".[10]"


    While I have recently been hurt, and hurt quite badly, I don't claim to hate "everyone" out of some misplaced fear and distrust. I am biased, but more so, I feel detached. This detachment helps me see more clearly that individual lives don't matter in the slightest, and that species en masse don't matter beyond, perchance, their rarity and eliteness (life itself, is miraculous, statistically speaking), and that is that. Extinction then doesn't really matter. Except right now. To us. So, then, all is left is, what matters to you? Therefore, you are speaking from inevitable bias and waylaid by subjective experience-if nothing matters beyond your own life and experiences, then there isn't a lot of quantifiable meaning to our lives is there? And the life and experiences don't mean that much, so inevitably we cling to them. Hence extinction seems to us, quite bad, all in all, when considering our current lives.

    I think, that if people had an extra 50 years to live longer, then the entire world would dramatically be changed for the better.

    I agree. "Intelligence" develops it's capacities with experience and time and change. Old age does allow for wisdom, or at least, some degree of a wealth of experiences which are raw data of what is otherwise, an inaccessible reality.
  • Echarmion
    500
    I mean, I never meant it as a platitude; just common sense. You appreciate things that much more which are rare, harder to come by, or transient.Grre

    But death doesn't really make events any rarer, harder to come by, or more transient. It makes life transient, but life isn't an event within life. Christmas has the same rarity and transient quality regardless of whether you live to be 30, 80 or 200. Things get easier if you have more time to do them, but keeping at something for a long time is in itself hard, so I don't see how, say, learning to play the Violin would be "easier" and therefore less appreciated if you do it over a century rather than a decade.

    This is also all relative. We enjoy things that are relatively rare, relatively hard etc. It's not an inherent characteristic of "things" that is imparted on them by mortality. It's simply that to appreciate things, you need contrast.

    Because life culminates inevitably in death, makes it all the more important to live it, and live it to the fullest of your ability. To live well. To change and make difference for what you can.Grre

    But one can just as well argue the opposite - that all you do is meaningless, because death is the great equaliser. Nothing you do matters once you're dead, and since everyone else also dies, nothing ultimately matters to them, either.

    If a life without death is not worthwhile, then a life with death isn't either. The value of life does not lie in some "highscore" that you manage to achieve between birth and death, but in every single experience you make.

    People can, and have, used their deaths to help more people ie. more life.Grre

    No, people have used their lives to help people, and some of these people have died in the process. Strictly speaking, their deaths didn't help.
  • thewonder
    345

    I honestly suspect that people naturally desire to live indefinitely. For me, there is no question as to whether or not anyone wants to live longer. They just simply do. No amount of reason can change this.

    We all incessantly avoid death. Human beings are incapable of acting otherwise.
  • PoeticUniverse
    282
    I honestly suspect that people naturally desire to live indefinitely.thewonder

    Yes, I would love to.

    Methuselah was well on his way, at 969 years old, but, alas, he didn't look both ways when crossing a horse-cart path; however, I just ran into Adam the other day and he was fine.
  • TheHedoMinimalist
    166
    I honestly suspect that people naturally desire to live indefinitely. For me, there is no question as to whether or not anyone wants to live longer. They just simply do. No amount of reason can change this.

    We all incessantly avoid death. Human beings are incapable of acting otherwise.
    thewonder

    What about individuals who commit suicide with little or no hesitation? I would argue that those individuals either never had a desire to live or had lost their desire to live due to immense suffering or some other type of disenchantment towards life. Personally, I can’t imagine myself not committing suicide if my life was completely torturous all the time.
  • thewonder
    345

    Someday, it will be an actual reality. The future is so strange to think about even though it has already arrived.


    I think that a suicide actually requires an extraordinary event. All suicides must be accidents. A person can not consciously choose to commit suicide. There's that the person creates the situation that makes for suicide possible, but that it ever actually happens is simply by chance. I just think that people unremittingly desire to live. It's sort of the case that it is impossible to go against what could be regarded as human nature in this regard.
  • PoeticUniverse
    282
    Someday, it will be an actual reality. The future is so strange to think about even though it has already arrived.thewonder

    For starters, we will keep the protective DNA ends from wearing away upon cell divisions, so as to never have the real DNA get ruined by tearing into it when the strands split.

    Yes, I will be receiving social security payments for zillions of years.
  • Grre
    113
    Yes, I will be receiving social security payments for zillions of years.
    @PoeticUniverse

    Maybe that's why there has been such uproar since the beginning of time about the 'possibility' of ~immortality~ !

    Regardless there will be pros and cons. My great great grandmother died of 'poisoning' from an infection got from "bumping her knee" (at age 25 in 1910). Obviously in 2019 she would have survived. But is that "immortality" or merely, finding solutions potential threats? Yes we have solutions now that we didn't have before, but to create some ideal scientific narrative where we are constantly linearly progressing towards "the best" = immortality is false; the road to hell is paged with good intentions.

    We all incessantly avoid death. Human beings are incapable of acting otherwise.
    We DENY death. Not avoid it. If people avoided it, people wouldn't do harmful actions, like smoke cigarettes or eat junk food..and we don't always deny death. Sometimes we are confronted with it. Sometimes we even consider it as an out. I think @thewonder me and you are on a similar page, I do agree that something must occur to shake, or otherwise disrupt this "faith" in life, or as I termed in a paper, "Immortality Projects"-incidents, trauma, neurological issues, ect. But people do consciously choose to die. IN many examples. Not because they want to die necessarily, but because death is a better choice than life for them.

    But one can just as well argue the opposite - that all you do is meaningless, because death is the great equaliser. Nothing you do matters once you're dead, and since everyone else also dies, nothing ultimately matters to them, either.
    @Echarmion

    I am arguing that. I'm arguing that by default, the nature of our lives (its inherent meaningless in a vast universe that is random and chaotic and devoid of meaning) means that our lives are-well-from an objective sup species aeternitatis MEANINGLESS, leaving us only with what we have; finite and transient lives, that then, we must find/create some meaning in (existentialism)-must find meaning in spite of (absurdism), or as you put it, there is no meaning and we will all die (nihilism). All approaches are equally valid reactions to this predicament (other philosophers have called it the tragedy of the human condition). Regardless, death is the great equalizer, and is what forces us to choose one of those options, and more often than not, people choose to find/create meaning in their lives, it is incredibly difficult to live a functional life while silmultaneously holding that there's no point to; generally that is where depression or other issues present themselves. Maybe I am being confusing, but I hope someone gets my point. Death guarantees that eventually we will be (permanently) obliterated as individuals, and in response to this, this allows us how we want to confront and react to this reality. That is why I am against "immortality"-because life is about death, if about nothing else.
  • TheHedoMinimalist
    166
    I think that a suicide actually requires an extraordinary event. All suicides must be accidents. A person can not consciously choose to commit suicide. There's that the person creates the situation that makes for suicide possible, but that it ever actually happens is simply by chance. I just think that people unremittingly desire to live. It's sort of the case that it is impossible to go against what could be regarded as human nature in this regard.thewonder

    Well, there appears to be many suicides that happen without an extraordinary event. For example, sometimes immature teenagers commit suicide to get revenge on their parents for grounding them. This would seem to be a suicide without an extraordinary event. Another question I would have to ask is how exactly can someone accidentally commit suicide. Do they just become philosophical zombies when they are in great distress and just pull the trigger? It seems that they would have to have some awareness of what they are doing and the will to do it. Finally, it’s not clear to me if we can say that there is a universal human nature. After all, human beings have a very diverse set of preferences and it’s not safe to assume that if you cannot commit suicide that means that no one can. After all, I might have a difficult time understanding how any man can enjoy having sex with another man and this may lead me to assume that homosexuality is some kind of an accident and no man can really choose to have sex with another man. But, this judgement would be a mistake on my part because I can’t assume that what I want says anything about what other humans want.
  • PoeticUniverse
    282
    death is the great equalizerGrre

    The Great Equalizer stalks all creatures made,
    Lying ever just ‘round the corner, in the shade,
    Taking both human and the beetle as one,
    After their lives are spent from rolling some dung.
  • Drazjan
    23
    I am “going out on a limb” here, but I suspect those who have voiced belief in, and or, enthusiasm for future immortality achieved through technology, are forum contributors under the age of 45. It is a subject not unlike the conjecture that life exists on other planets. That is, it relies entirely on mathematical probability while completely ignoring a fundamental element human existence. Irony is something not appreciated until we have had a healthy dose of it.

    Fantasy fiction is perhaps the most popular subject in publishing today, and the market demographic is well under 45, and if popular culture is any indication, this is a generation, or two, who are intoxicated with humanity’s technological prowess, something that should be remembered was also true of the Victorians. The future the Victorians planned and expected, and even fought to death for, never happened. That’s irony.

    Can technology restore the North American bison migration? Can it stop microfibres of polyester from your laundry getting into the flesh of the fish we eat? Can artificial intelligence grasp the irony of a situation, let alone its humour? If it cannot, what’s the point?

    PS I thought the "Great Equaliser" was Ketchup. It makes good food bad, and bad food good.
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