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"New York Philosophy" Message Board › Immortality

Immortality

Kevin D. K.
kdkeck
Sunnyvale, CA
Post #: 22
(Apologies for digressing from the initial topic here...)
You do not make sense. Sense can only be derived from that which can be proven.
Proven from what premises? The problem with proof it is only ever brings you from premises to conclusions, it cannot establish premises. You have to start somewhere. And as Gödel demonstrated, wherever you start from will necessarily be incomplete, in the sense that there will always be additional premises which would allow you to prove more truths, if you were to accept them.

The value of dialogue, then, and the dialectic, is to take us beyond the impasse of (logically) incompatible premises, and consider new ones. And there is nothing mystical about challenging premises.
Kevin D. K.
kdkeck
Sunnyvale, CA
Post #: 23
Why can't we live forever?
It is philosophically impossible and would utterly change the nature and way of life on earth.
The first assertion needs to be justified. The second, while true, does not answer the question posed.
If we are immortal, then how could we conceive non-existence?
How can we conceive non-existence now? It's a contradiction in terms, to conceive non-existence. So this is not only irrelevant, it is non-sensical.
And if we exist without that, then we could not perceive good or evil.
Nonsense. Even if I accept that death is universally evil, death is not the only evil. If I were to imprison you without cause, you would rightly call me evil, even though I fed and sheltered you.
Reason is Man's basic means of survival or that which is rational is required for Man to survive properly.
Likewise, survival is not the only good.
A former member
Post #: 184
(Apologies for digressing from the initial topic here...)
You do not make sense. Sense can only be derived from that which can be proven.
Proven from what premises? The problem with proof it is only ever brings you from premises to conclusions, it cannot establish premises. You have to start somewhere. And as Gödel demonstrated, wherever you start from will necessarily be incomplete, in the sense that there will always be additional premises which would allow you to prove more truths, if you were to accept them.

The value of dialogue, then, and the dialectic, is to take us beyond the impasse of (logically) incompatible premises, and consider new ones. And there is nothing mystical about challenging premises.

If you embrace the dialectic process then that already illustrates a rejection of logic and reason, the epistemology along with the metaphysics of reality [which is objective] that are the basis for proving anything.

Example: according to you, Darwin is mistaken and Linmarck is correct.
A former member
Post #: 185
Why can't we live forever?
It is philosophically impossible and would utterly change the nature and way of life on earth.
The first assertion needs to be justified. The second, while true, does not answer the question posed.
If we are immortal, then how could we conceive non-existence?
How can we conceive non-existence now? It's a contradiction in terms, to conceive non-existence. So this is not only irrelevant, it is non-sensical.
And if we exist without that, then we could not perceive good or evil.
Nonsense. Even if I accept that death is universally evil, death is not the only evil. If I were to imprison you without cause, you would rightly call me evil, even though I fed and sheltered you.
Reason is Man's basic means of survival or that which is rational is required for Man to survive properly.
Likewise, survival is not the only good.

There is no point in us furthering this dicussion because you reject reason, the only absolute that there is.
Kevin D. K.
kdkeck
Sunnyvale, CA
Post #: 24
If you embrace the dialectic process then that already illustrates a rejection of logic and reason, the epistemology along with the metaphysics of reality [which is objective] that are the basis for proving anything.
No, I do not need to reject reason and logic in order to find value in the dialectic.

Yes, reality is objective. But we are imperfect knowers, if for no other reason than we cannot ever collect enough information about the state of the world to make perfect predictions, and this will be true even if/when we find a way around Heisenberg Uncertainty. The universe is much too big for us to ever know it perfectly. But recognition of this fact does not constitute a rejection of reason!

Again, though, there is a problem, then, of establishing premises. A problem which you still have not addressed.
Example: according to you, Darwin is mistaken and Linmarck is correct.
What?? Where did that come from? What does the dialectic have to do with Lamarckianism?
Kevin D. K.
kdkeck
Sunnyvale, CA
Post #: 25
[To return now to the original topic...]

One of the answers suggested for why we can't live forever is that mortality is the (only) thing which gives our lives meaning. I beg to differ. Clearly our lives are today largely framed by our mortality. But would there really be nothing left if that framing were removed? I think not.

First of all, I fail to see how death can give our lives meaning, per se. If our lives did not have a priori value, then death would clearly be of little significance. Suggesting otherwise is rather like claiming that money is of value because it can be stolen. It is true that we guard money much more jealously because it can be stolen, but that still is not the source of its value.

I was also reminded this weekend that death, and awareness of mortality, has been integral to coming-of-age and other spiritual practices, all around the world, for millennia. Clearly the end of mortality would be very disruptive to all these traditions, and a new path(s) would need to be found to maturity and enlightenment. But I think other paths do exist. I believe that what is essential to maturity is not awareness of death, but simply awareness of consequences, more broadly. Again, death is not the only evil. Indeed, I would say it is hardly the greatest of evils in this world, as it is eminently preferable to sustained bondage, or torture, or even to "mere" dehumanizing prejudice. Thus is readily understood the expression: "a fate worse than death," as in the fates of Sisyphus and of Tantalus. No, we do not need death to create meaning.
Kevin D. K.
kdkeck
Sunnyvale, CA
Post #: 26
Matt wrote:
It seems that people are concluding that "living" and "existing" are the same things. Life is a biological process which by its nature ends in death. (I'm not sure if organisms like viruses should qualify as being "alive"), but life and death are symmetrical terms. Hence we cannot "live" forever because the concept of life mandates the existence of death. It is conceivable that we could "exist" forever, but then we would not be living and since life is part of being human we just wouldn't be human.
No, viruses are not the only example of life which can exist indefinitely. The least interesting counter-example is spores, which have been found to remain viable sometimes for millions of years. But spores do not exhibit any real metabolism, so they are not much more "alive" than viruses are.

But active bacteria are themselves also apparently immortal, being able to survive indefinitely as long as they are kept minimally nourished. So, notoriously, are cancer cells. And so also are various kinds of stem cells, including human germline cells?ova and sperm. In short, mortality is not intrinsic to life at all. It is instead an evolved trait, something life developed at some point in evolution. As such, it can also be turned off, just as naturally (if deleteriously) happens in cancer cells. The fact that nature so rarely does so should tell us that we also should not do so lightly, i.e. without otherwise mitigating for the underlying dynamics which have so strongly favored the retention of aging and mortality as useful traits; but it still is quite clearly within our power to do so in any case.
A former member
Post #: 9
Now if you can illustrate where irrational behavior results on a good result, then you are welcome to do so.

If you feel, believe or what ever, that objectivism is a good thing then you must consider that it's outcrop initiated from mind of the Ayn Rands reaction to what she considered irrational behavior by the Russian revolutionist. Cause and Effect. The irrational born out of, the result of other's irrational behavior. if you believed that their behavior and actions were irrational.

But why seek immortality? I guess one would grow tiresome, bored to death in the end. LOL OOPs..there would be no end..no end to eternal, ceaseless and forever and a day and then some ennui
A former member
Post #: 194
Now if you can illustrate where irrational behavior results on a good result, then you are welcome to do so.

If you feel, believe or what ever, that objectivism is a good thing then you must consider that it's outcrop initiated from mind of the Ayn Rands reaction to what she considered irrational behavior by the Russian revolutionist. Cause and Effect. The irrational born out of, the result of other's irrational behavior. if you believed that their behavior and actions were irrational.


You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. You are quite simply talking rubbish.
Kevin D. K.
kdkeck
Sunnyvale, CA
Post #: 27
But why seek immortality? I guess one would grow tiresome, bored to death in the end. LOL OOPs..there would be no end..no end to eternal, ceaseless and forever and a day and then some ennui
Well, if you're a passive observer of the world, then I believe that's true. But if you're a scientist, or a technologist, or an artist, then living longer means more time to explore, to explore deeper, to discover more. The world doesn't get old, because the more you discover, the more unexplored territory you also discover. And each day is different from the previous, because you have found somewhere new, and have made today different.
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