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Saturday Conversations

TOPIC: Immortality

What are the implications of humans being able to live forever? And by "live forever," I don't necessarily mean endless biological life or endless existence in one's present body. Whether immortality takes the form of medically enhanced or technologically enhanced hominids, uploaded minds, etc., if one day individual human consciousnesses/minds are able to persist forever, what would be the philosophical considerations of such a possibility? Would individual existence be "better" simply by going on forever, or would it possibly lose value in important ways?

Would we still be ourselves in such a state, or would immortality so fundamentally change us that we would no longer be who we were as mortal beings? There is the argument that death gives form to human lives and that without the prospect of death, lives would be formless and lose most if not all of their meaning. There would be much less urgency to do anything in particular; one could always say "I'll get to that next decade" or "next century" or "next millennium." If death, to some extent, defines human lives, then removing that defining factor may change the meaning of lives. There is also the question of whether something is better just because it goes on forever. Temporal finiteness can give things greater value. Think of an endless symphony or sunset or conversation or hot bath. Is there anything that is good that would become that much better simply by going on forever?

On the other hand, if life is a good thing, isn't it better for that good thing to continue rather than for it to end? In response to this question, some who argue that immortality is not necessarily a good thing raise the analogy of eating ice cream. If eating ice cream is good, does that mean that an eternal ice cream binge is also a good thing, or even a better thing than ice cream binges that come to an end? But life is not analogous to eating ice cream. You don't get satiated with life like you do with ice cream, where if you eat too much, you get physically sick from it as well as psychologically sick of
it. And isn't extending people's lives a good thing? Who wouldn't opt for another year or two or ten of life (assuming that those extra years did not involve inordinate suffering)? Wouldn't being able to live to 200 be better than living to no more than 35 or 75? So that no matter how much the human lifespan could be extended, the greater the lifespan, the better. By that logic, infinitely extending it would be better than having it reach its end, no matter at how advanced the age. Or would it? And even if humans can become immortal, that does not mean that death could not always be an option. If one gets so tired of being alive, after having lived for 10,000 years or so, one can always opt out of the deal, or maybe go into suspended animation for a millennium or two! And it seems that most of the reasons why people would not want to live forever have to do with the physical and mental decline associated with getting older and not with living per se.

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  • Natalie E.

    Here is the answer, first the question is not wheather or not immortality is possible in any sense but the fact that if only for a moment, close your eyes when you open them again you find all of time as you know it...is...and when you realize the the "isness" of a moment time ceases and no question of immortality is necessary because only eternity exist. no matter how long humans are here as we understand it, we will never understand eternity, so just enjoy life, be compassionate and have deep love for all who come across your path. if you would like to capture a moment and discover eternity please contact me I will be happy to give more information.

    April 3, 2013

  • Tim

    I have to back out. Too many last minute grown-up kid issues. Sorry.

    March 30, 2013

  • Nathaniel

    The meetup will be upstairs in the sitting area. If its nice out, we can sit out on the balcony.

    March 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Jesus lives forever after Resurrection on Easter!!

    Are we trying to escape Saṃsāra or Sangsāra (Sanskrit: संसार) (in Tibetan called 'khor ba (pronounced kɔrwɔ [IPA] in many Tibetan dialects) literally meaning "continuous flow", is the repeating cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth (reincarnation) within Hinduism, Buddhism, Bön, Jainism, Yoga and Taoism[1]??

    March 29, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Did not realize that it is Easter this weekend. Have to do the egg

    March 29, 2013

  • Jim B.

    Where in the store are we meeting? In the cafe downstairs or upstairs?

    March 29, 2013

  • Rinda G.

    YEA!!! I'm able to come afterall.

    March 27, 2013

  • Rinda G.

    Can't come for health reasons. Looks like none of the organizers will be available so I'm suggesting we cancel and revive the topic at a future time.

    March 27, 2013

  • Dave

    Always have trouble finding out where the meeting actually is within the facility. Could that be included in the descriptions somewhere? I've attended the Half Price meetings but can never figure out which group is the DELPG group and have twice left without accomplishing anything.

    March 15, 2013

    • Jim B.

      Let me try this again. Sorry you missed us. If you enter Half Price through the east entrance ( on your right hand side as you face the front of the building ), walk through the cafe and we are usually just on the other side of the glass doors. We have a sign on the table that reads who we are. And if you're not sure, feel free to ask. Last night it was confusing with three meetups meeting there at the same time. I hope we see you at a future meeting! Jim

      March 15, 2013

    • Sherrina

      For a Saturday meet up, we will be at the Whole Foods on Forest and Preston. Upstairs in the wonderful sitting area.

      March 26, 2013

  • Sherrina

    I am unable to attend. I am so sorry, blanked on this being the weekend we are doing a household outing to play with dinosaurs.

    March 26, 2013

  • Sally R.

    I am very disappointed I will have to miss this meeting...I was really looking forward to this discussion. But I have to (get to!) babysit for my new grandbaby on that day...see you at the next Ex Life meeting!

    March 21, 2013

  • Sherrina

    Ok ok ok....I will be there.

    1 · March 4, 2013

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