Would You Opt for Immortality?

#1
Nope -- not literal zillions of years type immortality, for the same reasons as episodes of some Twilight Zone category show have probably illustrated in the past.

http://quillette.com/2018/03/02/would-yo...mortality/

EXCERPT: . . . Would you opt for immortality? Most people say they would not. In surveys that ask people how long they would like to live, most say that they would not want to carry on much past the current average life expectancy. [...] And these findings were consistent regardless of income, belief (or not) in an afterlife, and (in some cases) even anticipated medical advances.” [...] Respondents were more likely to favor life extension if they are younger, believe that future medical treatments would provide a higher quality of life, if they could still be productive by working longer, if they wouldn’t be a strain on our natural resources, if older people were not seen as a problem for society, and if living longer did not result in debilitating diseases and disabilities.

[...] The idea of living forever, in fact, is not such a radical idea when you consider the fact that the vast majority of people already believe that they will do so in the next life. [...] So powerful and pervasive are such convictions that even a third of agnostics and atheists proclaim belief in an afterlife. Say what? A 2014 survey conducted by the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture on 15,738 Americans between the ages of 18 and 60 found that 13.2 percent identify as atheist or agnostic, and 32 percent of those answered in the affirmative to the question: “Do you think there is life, or some sort of conscious existence, after death?”...

MORE: http://quillette.com/2018/03/02/would-yo...mortality/
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#2
The weight of such questions had a part in how I think it might have been better to not have been in the first place.
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#3
(Mar 7, 2018 11:27 AM)elte Wrote: The weight of such questions had a part in how I think it might have been better to not have been in the first place.

Better?  Better for whom?
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#4
I wouldn't mind immortality as long as there was a continuous progression of myself either thru technology or spiritual consciousness towards higher and ever more challenging modes of being. The fear of living forever is ofcourse that of ending up bored to death. But given the nature of the opened mind and its capacity for near infinite creativity and novel experiences, that might not be such a problem.
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#5
(Mar 7, 2018 05:26 PM)Secular Sanity Wrote:
(Mar 7, 2018 11:27 AM)elte Wrote: The weight of such questions had a part in how I think it might have been better to not have been in the first place.

Better?  Better for whom?

For me especially, and others who see life and the world the way I do.
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#6
(Mar 7, 2018 06:23 PM)Magical Realist Wrote: I wouldn't mind immortality as long as there was a continuous progression of myself either thru technology or spiritual consciousness towards higher and ever more challenging modes of being. The fear of living forever is of course that of ending up bored to death. But given the nature of the opened mind and its capacity for near infinite creativity and novel experiences, that might not be such a problem.

That's a good point, MR. That might eliminate some of the predictive boredom.

(Mar 7, 2018 06:47 PM)elte Wrote: For me especially, and others who see life and the world the way I do.

How do you see it, elte?
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#7
Actually, since I'm heavily doubtful about presentism, I'm left with being inclined that we're already immortal anyway. Just not in the sense of lacking boundaries to our being, in a similar way that continually walking along a dead-end road in the applicable direction will eventually take one to just that: its end (but the road doesn't magically cease to exist upon arriving at its limit). Even quantum immortality would eventually fizzle out of survival options as the body deteriorated in age; and largely only from personal perspective would one live the maximum possible number of years, though the versions of the other people around up to the final seconds would obviously be sharing the same sub-universe in that multiverse dependent perspective.

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(Mar 7, 2018 06:47 PM)elte Wrote:
(Mar 7, 2018 05:26 PM)Secular Sanity Wrote:
(Mar 7, 2018 11:27 AM)elte Wrote: The weight of such questions had a part in how I think it might have been better to not have been in the first place.

Better?  Better for whom?

For me especially, and others who see life and the world the way I do.

Antinatalism? As Professor Benatar says: “Perhaps the most common misconception is that anti-natalists think that we should all kill ourselves. [...] it’s still a serious harm – and one that does not and cannot befall those who are never brought into existence.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style...65591.html

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#8
(Mar 7, 2018 07:14 PM)Secular Sanity Wrote: How do you see it, elte?

C C covered it it well above in the paragraph on antinatalism. Thank you CC.
Quote:Antinatalism? As Professor Benatar says: “Perhaps the most common misconception is that anti-natalists think that we should all kill ourselves. [...] it’s still a serious harm – and one that does not and cannot befall those who are never brought into existence.”  
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#9
I would reject CC's 'zillions of years' immortality assuming that I had to remember all of it. That would get really, really, old., cosmic-scale boredom... eventually. I don't know how long that would take, but I'm sure it would happen eventually. I much prefer wanting to learn, not wanting to forget.

But yes, I would jump at the more realistic chance at immortality if it wasn't mandatory and forever, if it merely meant an end to aging and that I could still commit suicide any time I chose. I'd choose it right now even if it doesn't come with some physical rejuvenation process (I'm in my 60's now, but reasonably healthy and comfortable).

I'm comfortable with the idea of dying, but most emphatically not ready yet.

But maybe there's a limit to human memory. Maybe when somebody is old enough, old memories of long ago are lost as rapidly as new memories are created. (I might be at that point now. When my 50th high-school reunion came up recently, I realized that I couldn't remember most of my old classmates from the 1960's. I chose not to attend.) So I can imagine an effectively infinite timeline for somebody, but their memories of it only representing a finite line segment that progresses along the line as time progresses, growing at one end but unraveling at the other trailing edge. We would be reborn continuously as we have new experiences, and die continuously as we forget the oldest ones. Who we are far in the future might be very different than who we are right now. I'd definitely opt for that.
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#10
(Mar 7, 2018 07:34 PM)elte Wrote: C C covered it it well above in the paragraph on antinatalism.  Thank you CC.

Woah! So that’s a far cry from "the glass is half full."  It’s more like, "Hey, who in hell put water in my glass?  I didn’t ask for any water."

Well, from where I stand, nonexistence only exists in your imagination.

There was a world before you, and there will be a world after you, but a world without you doesn’t exists.  To be or not to be was never the question.  To be was never your choice.  

Sorry, elte, but you’re stuck with us now.  Wink

Makes me think about what you said in regards to freewill.  For some reason parts of Nietzsche's "The Vision and the Riddle" remind me of determinism.

To you only do I tell the enigma that I saw- the vision of the most lonesome one.-

***Gloomily walked I lately in corpse-colored twilight- gloomily and sternly, with compressed lips. Not only one sun had set for me.
A path which ascended daringly among boulders, an evil, lonesome path, which neither herb nor shrub any longer cheered, a mountain-path, crunched under the daring of my foot.
Mutely marching over the scornful clinking of pebbles, trampling the stone that let it slip: thus did my foot force its way upwards.
Upwards:- in spite of the spirit that drew it downwards, towards the abyss, the spirit of gravity, my devil and archenemy.
Upwards:- although it sat upon me, half-dwarf, half-mole; paralysed, paralysing; dripping lead in my ear, and thoughts like drops of lead into my brain.
"O Zarathustra," it whispered scornfully, syllable by syllable, "you stone of wisdom! you threw yourself high, but every thrown stone must- fall!

***"Halt, dwarf!" said I. "Either I- or you! I, however, am the stronger of the two:- you knowest not my abysmal thought! It- could you not endure!"
Then happened that which made me lighter: for the dwarf sprang from my shoulder, the prying sprite! And it squatted on a stone in front of me. There was however a gateway just where we halted.
"Look at this gateway! Dwarf!" I continued, "it has two faces. Two roads come together here: these has no one yet gone to the end of.
This long lane backwards: it continues for an eternity. And that long lane forward- that is another eternity.
They are antithetical to one another, these roads; they directly abut on one another:- and it is here, at this gateway that they come together. The name of the gateway is inscribed above: 'This Moment.'
But should one follow them further- and ever further and further on, think you, dwarf, that these roads would be eternally antithetical?"-
"Everything straight lies," murmured the dwarf, contemptuously. "All truth is crooked; time itself is a circle."
"You spirit of gravity!" said I wrathfully, "do not take it too lightly! Or I shall let you squat where you squat, Halt foot,- and I carried you high!"
"Observe," continued I, "This Moment! From the gateway, This Moment, there runs a long eternal lane backwards: behind us lies an eternity.
Must not whatever can run its course of all things, have already run along that lane? Must not whatever can happen of all things have already happened, resulted, and gone by?
And if everything has already existed, what think you, dwarf, of This Moment? Must not this gateway also- have already existed?
And are not all things closely bound together in such wise that This Moment draws all coming things after it? Consequently- itself also?
For whatever can run its course of all things, also in this long lane outward- must it once more run!-

I could be wrong but I think that what Nietzsche meant by his eternal recurrence was not to live a life that’s worth repeating, but about self-overcoming—to climb, to struggle even though we know that "what goes up must come down."  Everything waxes and wanes especially, our innermost thoughts, and moods, but not all is bad.  

When I think about moments like these, "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins always runs through my mind. He said that he wrote the lyrics spontaneously. "I'm not quite sure what the song is about, but there's a lot of anger, a lot of despair and a lot of frustration."

(Mar 7, 2018 07:15 PM)C C Wrote: Actually, since I'm heavily doubtful about presentism, I'm left with being inclined that we're already immortal anyway. Just not in the sense of lacking boundaries to our being, in a similar way that continually walking along a dead-end road in the applicable direction will eventually take one to just that: its end (but the road doesn't magically cease to exist upon arriving at its limit).


What do you mean, C C? Do you just mean that we won’t experience death or something altogether different?
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