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Immortality

Debate and discussion of any biological questions not pertaining to a particular topic.

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Postby Jondice » Mon Apr 24, 2006 6:08 pm

Poison wrote:I know this is not such a biological thing but what about soul? How to transfer/clone that? ;)


I used to think that there was an epimorphic map from physical minds to souls :oops: Yeah I'm a nerd.
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Postby kiekyon » Tue Apr 25, 2006 7:37 am

Is it possible to live forever ? Well, honestly, you have to define "live" and "forever" to get a good answer.

First of all, in order to live beyond a reasonable lifespan, let's say, one hundred years, you'd have to have some organs replaced, and probably all of them over time.

Let's say you do, and have everything replaced, including your brain. Are you still you ? Are you still "living" ?

Let's assume that medicine finds away to simply reverse damage and ageing.

You could be around for one thousand years.

Wouldn't you get tired ? Wouldn't you start to miss all of those loved ones who didn't make it ?

I believe, as do a great many people, that we do live forever. We die, but our soul lives on, going to another life or maybe reincarnating here.

Eventually, you may find, as I have, that the real question is that of time.

How long do we get ? Who knows. Don't worry about it, time doesn't matter, time is irrelevant, only living your life to the fullest is what matters.
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Postby mith » Wed Apr 26, 2006 12:08 am

And I think it also promotes greed and selfishness.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
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Postby Zeneth Entorion » Wed Apr 26, 2006 10:12 am

kiekyon wrote:First of all, in order to live beyond a reasonable lifespan, let's say, one hundred years, you'd have to have some organs replaced, and probably all of them over time.

Let's say you do, and have everything replaced, including your brain. Are you still you ? Are you still "living" ?


Meaningless questions. "living" and "same" are not absolute properties; they are words used for vague communication. So long yourself and the people you are conversing with believe you to be alive and the `same person', that is all that matters.

kiekyon wrote:Wouldn't you get tired ? Wouldn't you start to miss all of those loved ones who didn't make it ?


Ideally your loved ones would live for as long as you. Otherwise, you make new ones. People get over the deaths of their loved ones.

kiekyon wrote:I believe, as do a great many people, that we do live forever. We die, but our soul lives on, going to another life or maybe reincarnating here.


The `soul' concept is an outdated one; we now have a good understanding of how neural nets function. The brain is a very complicated piece of machinery, yes, but it obeys the standard laws of physics.

kiekyon wrote:How long do we get ? Who knows. Don't worry about it, time doesn't matter, time is irrelevant, only living your life to the fullest is what matters.


The more time you have, the more `full' a life you can have. There are an innumerable number of things people simply don't have time to do in their current lifespan.
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Postby kiekyon » Thu Apr 27, 2006 3:07 am

Zeneth Entorion wrote:The `soul' concept is an outdated one; we now have a good understanding of how neural nets function. The brain is a very complicated piece of machinery, yes, but it obeys the standard laws of physics.


While the brain has its role in emotions, intellect, and will, and while people's bodies are essential, we must always remember that the person is the ultimate unit of analysis: you, me. Thought, feeling, action (involving the body, as well as relations to others) are ultimately dimensions of the person. And it is the soul that combines all the dimensions of the person to form one life. It is like a computer system that runs an entire commercial operation.
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Postby Martian » Thu Apr 27, 2006 5:59 am

Zeneth Entorion wrote:The more time you have, the more `full' a life you can have. There are an innumerable number of things people simply don't have time to do in their current lifespan.


Not necessarily. You could live forever in a prison, being kept alive and having no happiness. That is not very full. But living forever would give one plenty of time to do whatever is needed to make life "full."

But other than that, I agree with what you said, Zeneth.

kiekyon wrote:How long do we get ? Who knows. Don't worry about it, time doesn't matter, time is irrelevant, only living your life to the fullest is what matters


Time is very relevant, IMO. If time were to go away, the brain wouldn't operate and living wouldn't have anymore meaning because there wouldn't be any more thought to worry about it.

I believe that immortality is completely plausible with biology. Many people here have said that it wouldn't work because DNA gets shorter every time it's used, and it will eventually be nonfunctional. True. But is this necessary? I think not. Eventually, there will be a way to avoid this issue through biological engineering, I think.

I also think that if people had a way of being immortal, they would go through with it. You can never have enough time. :wink:

mithrilhack wrote:And I think it also promotes greed and selfishness.


And yes, this would probably lead to greed and other selfish things. No problem. This is you: the most important person. You'll do what you have to. :D

But think for a moment. What would you think about death/ending of life, if you grew up never hearing of such rubbish in the first place. 8) I mean, what if you heard of death after you were immortal. Would you still choose death over a life that would go on forever? Because it seems to me that most people have come to accept death through religion and stuff like that because it is believed to be a necessary thing (it probably is though).

That's what I think. Correct me if I'm wrong.
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Postby Martian » Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:13 pm

^^ Whoa, did I post that?
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Postby kabuto » Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:14 pm

kiekyon wrote:
Zeneth Entorion wrote:The `soul' concept is an outdated one; we now have a good understanding of how neural nets function. The brain is a very complicated piece of machinery, yes, but it obeys the standard laws of physics.


While the brain has its role in emotions, intellect, and will, and while people's bodies are essential, we must always remember that the person is the ultimate unit of analysis: you, me. Thought, feeling, action (involving the body, as well as relations to others) are ultimately dimensions of the person. And it is the soul that combines all the dimensions of the person to form one life. It is like a computer system that runs an entire commercial operation.


the matter of soul is something which science cannot debate. It is a matter of belief and faith more than fact and hypotheses. Science uses a set of methodologies that enables scientists to study a wide varieties of natural phenomenon. It relies however on human senses like smell, touch, sight, taste, etc. If something is too small to be observed, we invent something to make it bigger (a microscope)... if something is too far away, we make something to make it appear nearer (a telescope). If we can't see it with our eyes, we devise something that make it visible to our limited eyesight (an IR camera, an oscilloscope, etc). Science must however rely on senses and cannot study something that is invisible, immaterial, with no smell, and no characteristic sound. Therefore, the matter of a soul will probably never be resolved by science.
But! it doesn't mean it does not exist! It only means that science cannot study it and prove its existence within the confine of its criterias.
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Postby Zeneth Entorion » Sat Apr 29, 2006 1:01 pm

kabuto wrote:the matter of soul is something which science cannot debate. It is a matter of belief and faith more than fact and hypotheses. Science uses a set of methodologies that enables scientists to study a wide varieties of natural phenomenon. It relies however on human senses like smell, touch, sight, taste, etc. If something is too small to be observed, we invent something to make it bigger (a microscope)... if something is too far away, we make something to make it appear nearer (a telescope). If we can't see it with our eyes, we devise something that make it visible to our limited eyesight (an IR camera, an oscilloscope, etc). Science must however rely on senses and cannot study something that is invisible, immaterial, with no smell, and no characteristic sound. Therefore, the matter of a soul will probably never be resolved by science.
But! it doesn't mean it does not exist! It only means that science cannot study it and prove its existence within the confine of its criterias.


If something cannot be interacted with, it does not exist. We define existence by the ability of something to interact with its environment. I can say that there is a host of invisible, immaterial purply monsters of doom sitting on my roof which can't be detected in any way, and it would have the same degree of truth as this invisible, immaterial soul nonsense.

Either it does interact with reality, in which case we can scientifically verify and create laws governing this interaction, or it does not, in which case it does not exist. End of story.
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Postby Pepper » Sun Apr 30, 2006 12:57 pm

I think immortality is a rather inevitable situation.
In the future (remote future) we will come to realise the severe limitations of a strictly biological existence. Bodies are a liability, they are also severely limited in their abilities.

Bio-mechanical or purely synthetic bodies and brains will be the norm in the distant future. Maybe not even human-like at all in their body plan. Perhaps even physical existence itself will be shunned by some ... living forever in a computer simulation is also a possibility.

People in the future will not have the same moral qualms and sense of "distaste" that this might have for us today. Remember all the moral issues over heart transplants?
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Postby Khaiy » Mon May 01, 2006 2:54 am

That doesn't necessarily mean that as time passes people give up all morals. There's still a moral stance against murder (well, generally), which has been around as long as humanity itself. But we can't predict for certain what will happen in the future. Besides, immortality would create some pretty serious space limitations-- at some point, someone may want to have offspring, and if nobody ever dies then that means that whatever resoruces we need will be stretched that much thinner.
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Postby Pepper » Mon May 01, 2006 5:38 am

I didn't mean that they would give up all morals.

I simply meant that in the future cutting all links with our biological past and moving into a new phase of humanity would not be the ethical/moral issue that would be for us today.

Also, colonising the entire galaxy would be relatively easy. Plenty of resources.
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