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If you could live forever, would you want to ?

  1. Jul 20, 2003 #1
    Mentat's post on cloning brings up a good point. Let's say you could simply do a brain transplant periodically into a new body. Using this technique and nanotechnology we could theoretically extend life indefinitely once we figure out the regeneration of brain tissue. So you could live 1000, 2000, or more years, if not forever. It's difficult to even concieve of a 500 year old, let alone more. After living that long, would you want to continue?

    From my standpoint, it would be a complexed thing. You have to consider would everyone else you know live that long? certainly if friends were dying, there goes that incentive. After a few centuries you'll have seen and done everything there is to do. Of course new technology brings new and interesting things. To see the year 2500 is to fullfill all the dreams that science fiction can conjure. Space travel, warp speed, matter replication, teleportation, computers that do all menial tasks for us(ie robots, AI, etc). It's exciting, but at the same time, does even that get old after a few centuries? Obviously after living 500 years money becomes meaningless (a few mill in a standard bank account would generate enough interest to live off comfortably indefinitely). Money may become obsolete in time.

    If you could live as long as you wanted, how long would you choose to live? Already there are cryonics labs promising to bring you back from the dead. Would you want to ?

    Any thoughts?
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  3. Jul 20, 2003 #2


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    i would only want to live longer if my body could remain active...i am not sure i want to be 160 with no ability to walk...
  4. Jul 20, 2003 #3
    I think that i would like to be able to live as long as i like, but with out ever being old an decrepid staying the same age physically as i am now, but always learning more and becoming wiser than everyone else. But i would like to be able to choose when i die that would be cool.
  5. Jul 20, 2003 #4
    i would only want to live until a minute after my true love died
  6. Jul 20, 2003 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    Its not so much that I wish to live forever, but I would sure like to know what happens. But then it may not be necessary to live in order to know what happens...

    I could go for at least 500 years anyway. Who wouldn't like to know the physics of 2503?

    To find happiness in such a life is another thing entirely. Perhaps one could learn to be re-born. People can adapt. Oh geez here's a dark thought: Immortality causes insanity. You get to live forever as a raving maniac.
  7. Jul 20, 2003 #6
    well to live happily is the goal. Or at least to come to terms with your prolonged existence. Wouldn't life after a while become a pointless exercise in futility and repetion from which death was the only escape? Man if you hate your job now, picture working there in 200 years even!

    As far as the "true love" thing, Assuming that your true love wasn't enternal also, I can imagine having dozens of true loves. I can picture THAT conversation- oh how many for you? Ohhh just a few thousand - oh you're inexperienced " However if my love, and my friends were also enternal, it would make life much more bearable.

    But personally I don't think the human mind is built to withstand a millenia. However we have an innate ability to adjust to our environment, so I assume we'd just get used to it.
  8. Jul 21, 2003 #7
    Well if everyone was doing it, I'd probably hop on that bandwagon. Although the world would probably become severely overpopulated, I'm sure ways will be developed to counter it.

    I'd like to go maybe 700 years or so. If we can currently develop so much within 300 years or so, the advancements could be exponentially better. I guess I'd also like to see what the kids of the "future" really can do... But once the world becomes a living hell filled with Chaos, then I think I'd start to want out.
  9. Jul 21, 2003 #8
    One scientist in australia has already successfully transplanted the head of one monkey onto the body of another. He said he just wanted to see if he could do it, and that the quality of life for the monkey was rather limited. However, with recent advances in stem cell research nerve cell regeneration and healing of spinal injuries may become feasible eventually. Technically, you could even grow a clone body of yourself, give it a lobotamy, and keep it handy and healthy for the day you need it.

    The reality today is that people tend to grow mellower, more compasionate, and less adventurous over the age of thirty. This process can be reversed by brain damage and just slowly falling apart. The lack of oxygen and sleep are two of the leading problems with aging. Stress, of course, kills many prematurely as do accidents. One in something like a hundred and ten people dies every year (how many people have you met this year? Think about it.)

    Would I personally want to be immortal even if others around me could not? Sure, but I'd want to use my immortality to look for ways to offer them the same option.
  10. Jul 21, 2003 #9
    You have to have a purpose in life, or life is meaningless
  11. Jul 21, 2003 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    And you may get the chance...

    "I think we are knocking at the door of immortality," said Michael Zey, a Montclair State University business professor and author of two books on the future. "I think by 2075 we will see it and that's a conservative estimate."

    180 years old? Experts debate limit of aging: CNN
  12. Jul 21, 2003 #11
    Why do we have such a hard time accepting our mortality? Is this something which is only inherent with humans? And why don't we see such things expressed with the other "beasts?" Or, maybe it's just their "inability" to tell us so? Hmm ...

    If death is just a part of the natural process of living, then what's the big deal? I don't get it? Besides, there's only so much we can do on this "earthly plane," that after awhile it would get pretty "boring."
  13. Jul 21, 2003 #12
    Well according to that article, you wouldn't want to live past 120 anyhow. I mean even if you cure all disease, the natural process of decay eventually takes over, and organs(including the brain) start to fail. Personally I wouldn't want to live that long if I had to endure that much suffering(see 122 year old blind, deaf, incomprehensible)

    The only acceptable solution is to find a way to actually reverse the aging process (or slow it down) through gene manipulation, and that won't happen in our lifetimes.
  14. Jul 21, 2003 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    Edit: After double checking the article I realized that they don't mention why some scientists are looking to 500 years or more. We are learning how to stop the decay. I have heard otherwise reputable scientists who are doing reserch in these areas that mention the idea of true immortality as a possibility. I will post some references when I can find them.

    But this science is an infant that grows at an exponential rate.

    In 1960 or so, when the Univac, or Omnivac, or one of those early computers was first used to analyse the presidential election returns, one guru announced that this miracle of technology - probably comparable to a $5 caculator at the grocery store today - could one day fit into the back of a pick up truck.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2003
  15. Jul 21, 2003 #14
    I think true immortality is too strong a word, because infinity is just a too long time for us to comprehend and see too.
    More likely, some day they will prolong our lives with say 50, then many experience that, then say another 200 years pass by, and they learn how to prolong it 200 years. When we've become so old, we as individuals would get so information in just one man we would probably have a much bigger chance of making up another say 500 years. Then we're doomed to learn how to 1000, etc. And then you would have it going on. Of course, the numbers is only a showthing.
  16. Jul 21, 2003 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    Yeah I agree. I was really citing the most extreme claims for effect. But this claim has some credible support. I would expect that extreme life extension is some time off, but that immortality is even mentioned is quite striking! I once met a fellow who did research on this at Princeton. He worked on the issue of telomere failure – I think this is the correct term??? Telomeres act as sort of caps for chromosomes; and start start to fail after about 25 replications. This accounts for one primary mechanism of biological aging – the failure of cell replication. At least, this is how I understood things. This was his field, not mine. So I apologize for any erroneous statements, but I believe this is an accurate representation of the concept. I have read many other reviews of such research. I am sure that quite a bit can be found.
  17. Jul 22, 2003 #16
    I'll tell you what, if I even made it to 200 and was still on this rock, and we hadn't mastered space travel or at least colonized mars, I'd be ready for death. 200 years is more time than I need to experience life on earth, without any significant discoveries, or expansions beyond earth.
  18. Jul 24, 2003 #17
    A silly question....

    Humans all over the planet currently die at average around the age of 60-65 at most. A great part of humanity even does not get to become 50.

    Let us first try to increase human conditions in such a way that everybody can life safely, decently and healthy up to the age of at least 70-75.

    Living much longer then 80 or 90 is not in anyway increasing the value of life itself. I see no reasons why one would want to become older as 90.
  19. Jul 24, 2003 #18
    A lot of valid reasons have been mentioned. You get to see more, do more, experience more. And this would increase our scientific knowledge and understanding. Imagine if someone of Einstein's magnitude could live to be 200. All those ideas that would have been gained, all the knowledge, advances. Einstein could very well have solved unified theory if he'd lived even an additionl 10 years or so.
    In fact he had a horrible diet, and it caused his death, and he knew it was coming, but refused to take steps such as an operation to fix it. Imagine all that would NOT be lost if people had more years.
  20. Jul 25, 2003 #19
    I wonder how old his mother lived
    to be?
  21. Jul 25, 2003 #20


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    Sure I would ! Bring it on !
    Of course, only if the scenery changes and I'm able to
    turn the wheel though...:wink:

    Actually, I've heard of intresting research in the field.
    The idea is to do tricks with the cells (or was it the DNA/RNA ?)
    and eventually make'em reproduce at maximu rate all the
    time. This will make you 24 (peak of cell reproduction)
    for as long as the proccess is applied (enitially you
    could be of any age, I think). Sounds like fun...:smile:

    Live long and prosper.
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