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Who Wants to Live Forever? And Why?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by muichimotsu, Feb 24, 2013.

Do you want to live forever?

  1. Yes, in all possibilities

    1 vote(s)
    12.5%
  2. No, in all possibilities

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Yes, with some possibilities

    5 vote(s)
    62.5%
  4. No, with some possibilities

    2 vote(s)
    25.0%
  1. muichimotsu

    muichimotsu Holding All and None

    Messages:
    314
    I had a thread before elsewhere called "The Desirability of Immortality", though I think this Queen song works much better

    The basic question is this: do you want to live forever and if so, why? Make an effort to defend the position of immortality as something we as humans desire and/or should desire. Ethics are of particular import here, not to mention aesthetics, metaphysics and epistemology to a certain extent.

    I would argue that immortality is probably the worst curse one could wish on a person, since there is no real sense of progress, time, etc. I would sooner wish to be reborn/reincarnated, if there was no option for nonexistence, than to live forever, either as a disembodied spirit, or in some immortal body.

    I'd say there are 5 variables that are important to the discussion, though there are likely more.

    Material Vs. Immaterial-Whether the immortality is corporeal in nature or whether you have gone beyond the physical and have some sort of at least semi spiritual body.

    Communal vs. Individual-Is the immortality a part of a large society or is it something an individual has, by one of many methods or traits associated with that state?

    Innate vs. Innovation-Has the immortality always been a fact of life or has it come about by some outside source?

    Permanent vs. Provisional-Can you never cease being immortal or is there a way to stop the state and render yourself dead?

    Resistant vs. Nonresistant-This is probably one of the traits least thought about. Are you physically indestructible or even resistant to disease, or are you subject to all or most of the human weaknesses, but are simply unable to die naturally, such as the elves in Middle Earth?
     
  2. haribol

    haribol New Member

    Messages:
    88
    Life is appealing just because there is death. Or else we would not have written immortal lines on life. But to think to live for ever or to be immortal is to diminish the value of life and make it cheaper and less romantic. The price of a good is determined by the scarcity of it and if it is easily and effortlessly available few will worry about it.

    When one sick the value of life becomes very high and those in their deathbeds will indeed want more of life, and every second counts and give serious thought to every second of life
     
  3. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Atheist Capitalist Engineer Libertarian

    Messages:
    63,773
    I have things to see & do.
    I don't even know what they all are yet.
     
  4. muichimotsu

    muichimotsu Holding All and None

    Messages:
    314
    QFT. I found little to no agreement in the other forum, but here I'm finding much more common minds, it seems.
     
  5. Straw Dog

    Straw Dog Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,547
    It sounds like a good idea at first, but when was the last time you heard of a vampire that wasn`t depressed?
     
  6. Penumbra

    Penumbra Well-Known Member Staff Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    14,622
    Immortality would likely be a curse, especially if the person could not choose to die even if she wanted to.

    So I'll pass on immortality.

    If there was a way to extend the health of a person in the prime of her life for a few extra decades that might be cool though. Like living as a 30 year old for a lot longer and having some extra resistance against disease or damage.
     
  7. savagewind

    savagewind Something

    Messages:
    15,715
    I do not mind my own death. It bothers me that other people grow old, get sick and die. It is unjust that some people, good and wicked, live an enviable long life while other people, no different than those, have a relatively miserable existence. There should be a reward for bearing under abominable conditions.
     
  8. Straw Dog

    Straw Dog Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,547
    I believe that the eternal and the temporal both permit the same potential degree of bliss and contentment to the wise person living within the moment.
     
  9. muichimotsu

    muichimotsu Holding All and None

    Messages:
    314
    Probably one of the best examples, though vampires are immortal only to the extent they don't get exposed to sunlight or are otherwise incapacitated by a weakness. Some might argue true immortality is being invulnerable as well, though that's an extra qualification, technically. Highlanders were immortal except for getting their heads cut off, for instance
     
  10. muichimotsu

    muichimotsu Holding All and None

    Messages:
    314
    The issue is that with the eternal, you'd lose perspective, nothing would really change and it'd be as if you're trapped in a single moment of time. Not sure how I could be content or happy knowing that I can never die without either some outside force intervening or myself committing suicide, assuming that's a valid method in this case.
     
  11. Twig pentagram

    Twig pentagram High Priest

    Messages:
    1,832
    I would only want to live forever if I could be thirty & healthy forever. And I Am already
    three years past thirty..............Go figure.
     
  12. Madhuri

    Madhuri RF Goddess Staff Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    15,067
    Religion:
    Bhagavad Gita - SD
    I'd rather be alive forever than dead forever thanks. If I get tired as an immortal I could always go to sleep for a good long while. Immortals probably have this ability.
     
  13. Madhuri

    Madhuri RF Goddess Staff Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    15,067
    Religion:
    Bhagavad Gita - SD
    What would make it a curse?
     
  14. Twig pentagram

    Twig pentagram High Priest

    Messages:
    1,832
    I forgot to add my reason for wanting to be thirty and healthy forever;
    I just think the positives out weight the negatives. I think living forever
    in a young & healthy state of being would better serve my purpose.
    Too bad I have to be subservient to the laws of nature.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  15. muichimotsu

    muichimotsu Holding All and None

    Messages:
    314
    Probably, but you can't be certain. If you could hibernate or go into stasis that'd be better. You can't force yourself to sleep forever. Death is a natural part of life. Why would you want to deny people the eventual confrontation that you don't exist? Instead you'd suffer as everyone around you dies.
     
  16. muichimotsu

    muichimotsu Holding All and None

    Messages:
    314
    Seems to me there's still problems, some of which I've brought up. If it's just you, everyone else you know and love will die, while you remain young. It's the tragedy of the Immortals in Highlander.

    The biggest problem is the prolonging of life beyond what one could argue is a basic limit. It's life in excess, which by the golden mean, is no longer a good. 30 and healthy forever, but still able to be killed, I hope? Because otherwise, I would not wish it on even my worst enemy.
     
  17. muichimotsu

    muichimotsu Holding All and None

    Messages:
    314
    Many things, the most obvious of which is not really experiencing life in the fullest sense, with the existential awareness of your inevitable demise. You'd have no real motivation if you could never die naturally, though if we assume you can't even die by trauma or such, that would make me into a virtual nihilist. And pain would no longer have the same significance, since you could never die from it. In that sense, prolonged pain could drive you completely mad because there would be no release.

    An example might be being stranded on a desert island with no food or water. If you cannot even die from this, but merely come back to full life somehow, your life would be a living hell. Similarly, what if you were buried alive? Not only would you starve and dehydrate, but you'd be in an enclosed space for all eternity until you were unearthed.
     
  18. Madhuri

    Madhuri RF Goddess Staff Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    15,067
    Religion:
    Bhagavad Gita - SD
    I think I misunderstood the OP.
    The immortality I am thinking of is regarding the afterlife. I wouldn't want to survive in this body in this world forever and very much for the reasons you mention here.
    Immortality in the afterlife is much more preferable and according to my beliefs immortality is for everyone so you wouldn't have to suffer through others dying.
     
  19. NIX

    NIX Daughter of Chaos

    Messages:
    1,761
    If I retained the physique of say mid thirties and had a wonderful imortal companion and didn't have to live in hiding- could use the banks - 'own' what I earn... sure.

    And also a way to finally 'off' myself. There's got to be some way to go. :shrug:
     
  20. no-body

    no-body Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,656
    It's not that I want to live forever it's that I don't want to die.
     
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