A cure for death and its effects of theists - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-03-2008, 04:48 PM
 
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An interesting hypothetical question, especially for religious/supernatural/spiritual people, and other others that believe that their life will continue after death.



There is a man, possibly a genius, maybe a crack-pot. Myself, I'm skeptical of course, but who wouldn't be in the face of such amazing claims as the ones he makes.



This man is Aubrey de Grey. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aubrey_de_Grey



Now Aubrey believes that we are very close to curing aging, and making it possible to basically live forever.



Now given this choice... If you're say a Christian or Muslim, would you be willing to risk death in the belief that you'll die and go to heaven, or would you opt to take this treatment that could keep you alive forever?



I think that most people, bar the most zealous fundamentalist, would naturally opt to not die. Now if you're a Christian or Muslim or Hindu or many other things, if you opted for that, then I would say that you really don't believe what you claim to believe.



Now for a plea... If you would opt to live longer, please be honest enough to admit to yourself, and maybe in time admit to others, that you do have doubts about your beliefs. That you don't really believe it, that it's actually a comfort blanket for you, and eventually you may with the help of people here and elsewhere, be able to let go of these childish ideas, and accept the world as it is. It's time for us to all grow up and be mature sensible adults, our future society really depends on this. We only need to look at countries where religion in law to see what will happen. Pakistan and India being good examples, Pakistan under strict Muslim rule is not a very nice country, India under secular rule is really improving, it's the same all over the planet, religious rule gives horrible results.
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#2 Old 01-03-2008, 05:05 PM
 
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At the risk of sounding like a childish, religious fundamentalist, no I would not want to live forever.
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#3 Old 01-03-2008, 05:10 PM
 
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I would not want to live forever. **** no, that sounds disturbing as hell.

"and I stand

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made of weak and useless men"

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#4 Old 01-03-2008, 05:12 PM
 
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I'm not sure. Hub is very into this stuff about downloading human consciousness into computers (essentially), and is quite convinced that it's not that far off. I have not done much reading about it, and I don't know how I feel. I think I would like to keep on truckin', but I don't think any of us really understand the implications of that. So much of our life is based on the structure of our bodies - how we age, and how long we'll be here - that I think the shift from that perception would be pretty intense and could cause some pretty serious issues.
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#5 Old 01-03-2008, 05:13 PM
 
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Well it doesn't have to be forever, it could just be 500 years.



The point is, with the fear of inevitable death gone, what would be the effect on peoples religious beliefs. I think with the fear of death gone, religious leaders would have lost one key card in their hand.
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#6 Old 01-03-2008, 05:14 PM
 
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I'll also say that I myself would choose to live for a lot longer, there is so much for me to study, to experience and see. Also the other benefit of this possible cure, is that you don't get old, aging isn't what it used to be.
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#7 Old 01-03-2008, 05:18 PM
 
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Oh - I agree that the effect on people's religious beliefs would be quite interesting. I think we'd see some fairly strong opposition to the idea from certain places.
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#8 Old 01-03-2008, 05:22 PM
 
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I think, we'd probably see a lot of religious people saying 'sod this' and taking the treatment.



I myself would, learn more, see more, see how technology progresses... Later I can make a decision of if I want to go on living, but 80-100 years is not enough for me.
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#9 Old 01-03-2008, 05:30 PM
 
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I don't want to live 500 years.

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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#10 Old 01-03-2008, 05:37 PM
 
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Why for?
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#11 Old 01-03-2008, 05:42 PM
 
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I dunno, 80-100 years is sufficient for me. I guess you could call me a somewhat morose person

"and I stand

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made of weak and useless men"

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#12 Old 01-03-2008, 05:42 PM
 
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I don't want to live 500 years.



Okay, but you're not religious, I guess you've come to terms with your mortality... I myself don't like it. Once I die, I can't do anything... That sounds horrible to me.
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#13 Old 01-03-2008, 05:47 PM
 
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Once I die, I can't do anything...

Like play some ancient-looking wizard in a B fantasy horror movie when you're 480.

"and I stand

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#14 Old 01-03-2008, 05:55 PM
 
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Like play some ancient-looking wizard in a B fantasy horror movie when you're 480.



No like looking in to unanswered questions about the big bang, especially to do with the initial state of it. Perhaps learning about, _maybe_ even working on space-craft that could transport us to other solar systems, maybe other galaxies even.



Ooh, I'd even learn to paint, that would be nice.



I'm sure there would be many things I'd like to do given the time.
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#15 Old 01-03-2008, 06:01 PM
 
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Those things are nice and all, but they don't really compare to playing a wizard when you're 480.

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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#16 Old 01-03-2008, 06:04 PM
 
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Those things are nice and all, but they don't really compare to playing a wizard when you're 480.



Indeed, they don't... Working of inter-solar-system travel or cutting edge physics is much better than playing chess as a wizard at 480 years old. They don't compare.



Now back to topic... I think that a lot of religious people are worried about death... If there was nothing to worry about, I think the effects on their religious beliefs would be could deep... But maybe I'm hoping too much?
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#17 Old 01-03-2008, 06:13 PM
 
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Indeed, they don't... Working of inter-solar-system travel or cutting edge physics is much better than playing chess as a wizard at 480 years old. They don't compare.

I agree, playing chess as a wizard is simply implausible. If a movie features a wizard with ancient wisdom, and magic even more ancient, why feature him squandering his time by sitting down and playing chess?



A wizard playing checkers, on the other hand.. Even the greatest accomplishments in physics can't top a wrinkly little man in a funny hat playing checkers.

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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#18 Old 01-03-2008, 07:22 PM
 
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100 years??? Hell no. When my partner goes, I'm going (give or take 5 years). We only want to live to be about 55.



If it matters, partner is agnostic, I'm a pagan who hopes that reincarnation is bull**** and we actually go to nothing when we die.
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#19 Old 01-03-2008, 07:28 PM
 
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.... We only want to live to be about 55.....





Crazy talk. How old are you now?
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#20 Old 01-03-2008, 08:59 PM
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I guess you've come to terms with your mortality... I myself don't like it. Once I die, I can't do anything... That sounds horrible to me.



That sounds like something a closet theist would say. Once you die, so what? It won't be horrible - it will be nothing. Nada. Zilch.



Are you sure you aren't really harboring some subconscious vision of an afterlife for yourself? Otherwise, why should dying matter? Learn to embrace non-existence.
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#21 Old 01-03-2008, 09:01 PM
 
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That sounds like something a closet theist would say. Once you die, so what? It won't be horrible - it will be nothing. Nada. Zilch.



Are you sure you aren't really harboring some subconscious vision of an afterlife for yourself? Otherwise, why should dying matter? Learn to embrace non-existence.



Uhh what? I'm saying once you die, that's it, good bye, game over, see ya.



I don't like that idea, I like the idea of going on living and doing things.
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#22 Old 01-03-2008, 09:21 PM
 
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My beliefs aren't based on the promise of life after death. Heaven is just a bonus, and a hope that if we die, or don't see the fruition of our labor, Christ will allow us to enter into the promised destination.



It's all about today, and ushering in the "kingdom of heaven" on earth. Peace, renewal of the planet, helping the poor and destitute, working to change society for the better - that stuff.



I would still have to think and pray very hard about taking a life expansion treatment. Especially since I would be at mid life + before the opportunity would present itself, AND well, to think about what diseases have presented themselves to people living to 90+, just think about the expansion. If, right now, 1-80, many experience decreased mental and physical ability from say, 70-80. Expanded to 500 years, that would last like an eternity. Our generation, or the next, and next, would be the test subjects, and then in 300 years we find out that it makes everyone sterile or something - after half the population has taken it.



And you know only the wealthiest of the wealthy would even be taking it - because they would and could charge whatever they wanted. (Another black plague perhaps? Where the poorest end up inheriting the land?)



There are a lot of ethics that goes into this.
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#23 Old 01-03-2008, 09:38 PM
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Uhh what? I'm saying once you die, that's it, good bye, game over, see ya.



I don't like that idea, I like the idea of going on living and doing things.



But death won't matter to you one way or the other. You won't know you're dead, you won't miss anything. Your death won't make any more difference to you than a stranger's death half way around the world does now.



There won't be anything not to like about it.
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#24 Old 01-03-2008, 09:45 PM
 
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I dunno, I kinda want to stick around and see how this Global Warming thing turns out...
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#25 Old 01-03-2008, 09:46 PM
 
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I dunno, I kinda want to stick around and see how this Global Warming thing turns out...



Ever see Day After Tomorrow?





I hope it turns out nothing like that movie.
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#26 Old 01-03-2008, 10:44 PM
 
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Are you sure you aren't really harboring some subconscious vision of an afterlife for yourself? Otherwise, why should dying matter?

If he were to "harbor some subconscious vision of an afterlife" for himself, then don't you think he wouldn't be concerned about dying?

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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#27 Old 01-03-2008, 10:47 PM
 
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Given that I could at least do the same things as now (jog, walk, run, not be dependent on others or machines to live) -- I'd want to live forever. Actually that's a goal.



I figure in a few hundred years or so (well, after most of the population gets wiped out within the next 60 or so years), humanity would finally be up to my ideals. And I'd kind of like to see it. Plus I want to explore space. And unless something major happens quick -- that's not going to happen in my lifetime or probably until the 2100s or later.



And something about being able to say I've outlived my great-great-great-great-great-great....great-great grandkids is appealing to me. That way I could yell at anyone about bad taste in music, and they'd be nice to me since I'm old
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#28 Old 01-03-2008, 11:11 PM
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If he were to "harbor some subconscious vision of an afterlife" for himself, then don't you think he wouldn't be concerned about dying?



He seems to think that somehow not being around to do stuff is going to make any difference to him when he isn't around to do stuff. That's a sort of afterlife. It's not like there's gong to be any "damn, I wish I'd done ______" moments after the fact. Your simply gone and what you did or didn't do doesn't make any difference.
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#29 Old 01-03-2008, 11:23 PM
 
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I would do it, knowing that in the absence of aging I'd be healthier for however long I decided to live, even if it wasn't any longer than average.



But then I don't believe in any afterlife.
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#30 Old 01-03-2008, 11:29 PM
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I would do it, knowing that in the absence of aging I'd be healthier for however long I decided to live, even if it wasn't any longer than average.



At some point then, given that you had the option, would choosing not to prolong your life be considered a form of suicide?
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