Would you like to live forever?

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Faerie (May 25, 2011, 15:23:29 PM):
My youngest and I got into a discussion about afterlife/living forever last night. At 14, he has'nt much in the life experience department, and obviously the thought of living forever appeals to him at this point of time. He is in agreement that having to "repeat" a life doesnt sound too good (so much for re-incarnation), but that he would not hesitate to make use of any type of science that the future might hold that would prolong his life indefinately.

I, on the other hand, feel that this would be akin to hell.

What is your personal take on this? If the science existed, would you opt for eternal life in your current body?
BoogieMonster (May 25, 2011, 15:56:42 PM):
Well, current science precludes living forever because of entropy. One can talk about life extension but only until the universe runs out of usable energy. More pressingly, our stellar region will eventually succumb to a level of entropy beyond which we cannot survive, and any other galaxies may have moved so far away by then due to expansion that they're unreachable. Humanity (if it still exists in one form or the other) dies a slow protracted death until it exhausts it's last bits of energy. (OR chooses to end itself and spare itself the pain).

The only way out here is finding a way to reverse entropy. My hopes for that wouldn't be too good.

Granted that's billionses of years and as far as we're concerned "forever". So lets take that argument and run with it...

I'd like to live as long as I want given the opportunity to "opt out" at any point. I may find reason to wonder and explore for all that 'eternity', and enjoy it. Or I may succumb to being tired of life, bored, or something else I can't anticipate because no-one has lived that long. I mean with that opportunity it makes interstellar travel a possibility, etc. So I mean what wonders you could go explore! Possibly, who knows, finding life out there, alternate worlds... perhaps science discovers even more wonderous things to go and experience/explore: wormhole travel? alcubierre drive, who knows... but I could never find out if I decide to end myself, or by implication, not extend my life. Hence that decision would be a major one I wouldn't take lightly.

Basically I'm pro-choice eternal life. I'd love for humanity to have the tools to make that decision, and see where it flows from there.
Majin (May 25, 2011, 16:07:01 PM):
Yes, if I could I would live forever with a body that never ages.

A few reasons comes to mind: There is still alot of things I would like to experience in life, alot of things a would like to achieve, alot of places I would like to see.
I would like to explore other worlds other life, i would like to space travel.
I would like to experience and see all the interesting technology that would exist in the future. I would like to be able to time travel. And I think there is still alot to learn of life and philosophy. And I would never be able to get tired of nature.

Yes the world is depressing sometimes but it gets better the next day.
There is no life for me after I die. I fear death.

And the more athiests that live longer the better the world would be...
GCG (May 25, 2011, 16:34:32 PM):
i would love to live forever. i would hate to have to work forever though. and, even as you get older, and gain more experience, surely you can only get as qualified, and your mind can only concieve so many concepts. so you may start off being a rocket scientist, and it kick ass untill your are 864, but then rocket science and it's branches are obsolete, and there isn't a field in which you can adapt or learn sufficiently to make an awesome living. so you can to find what equates to a basically building novelities and toys, or running an antiques shop, or being a history professor (basic example, but you get the gist).
i allso want to travel space, find aliens, fall asleep watching jupiter's gaint storm in my window.
but with that, goes life enhancing/extending technology. nanos, consciousness transferral. how does the synanpses of the human brain deal with such prolonged functioning? and, how will technology change the human form and mind? morality will change, cultures will change. you may eventually find yourself unable to adapt to a new and strange world, and being ostracized for being 'normal' and 'outdated'.
Mefiante (May 25, 2011, 17:20:41 PM):
No, not forever, and for two reasons. First, read Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, especially the third part where Gulliver meets the immortal Struldbruggs. To them, there is no end of tomorrows — every day there’s another tomorrow — so they never feel any need to do anything today, and hence they never actually do anything at all (apart from being generally miserable as well as senile around the age of 80, the latter of which isn’t really relevant to this discussion).

Second, there isn’t much to live for once you have reached one of two nexus points, namely (a) you understand everything there is to understand (or at least everything that is of even the slightest interest to you), or (b) you come to understand all that is within your capacity to understand, including that there are many interesting things that are simply beyond your ability to grasp and which will forever remain so. I don’t see that life could be interesting after that. Forever, as that song says, is a mighty long time.

As an aside relevant to reply #1, if there was a systematic way to reverse the trend towards increased universal entropy, time would reverse (to the best of our current scientific knowledge). This would mean that “you” could be born and die as often as “you” like. I’m sure there must be sci-fi stories out there that exploit this theme, though I can’t recall any…



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