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Old 01-17-2012, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
2,834 posts, read 4,035,067 times
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I watch a show last night called "Through the Wormhole" it was about "Immortality", I'd like to discuss this on a philosophical sense and not a religious sense. I'm not talking about immortality as in indestructable but in the ability to live forever.

Questions:

How would immortality impact relationships? Would relationships with families stay intact. If you knew that people lived forever how would your approach be toward them.
My answer, I think that society would become emotionless, most emotions stem from the temporary nature of life, our fear of loss.

How would the human species evolve to deal with overpopulation?
We are products of our envionment, would be evolve to have less children, instead of the female being born with about 400 eggs could the female evolve to have only 2 or 3 eggs.

If you had the chance, would you want to live forever? For me, maybe not forever, but a few hundred years would be interesting. I'd love to see where human nature is going to take us.

These are just a couple of questions, I'd like to hear your questions and thoughts on this subject.
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:36 AM
 
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I would not want to outlive my children. However, I think I could take up a few dozen lifetimes doing interesting things.
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
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Sounds awful. Maybe a few more decades of vibrant living would be interesting, but the idea of living forever is just unappealing for many reasons, several of which you've already hit upon.

That said, one of my greatest "regrets" is that I won't be able to know how it all ends, in terms of human history. It'd be like reading a book and having the ending taken from you. Of course, I'll be dead so it's not like I'll be around to worry about it, but still.
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:49 AM
 
Location: South Africa
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Saw my folks both hit their 80's and really after 70, their lives sucked. They had outlived most of their relatives and friends.

If cloning were possible with memories and experience intact, that could make for and interesting perspective. Being a horny 20something with knowledge would make a huge difference to do it over and not make the same mistakes.

Alas hindsight is always 20/20.
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:55 AM
 
Location: The Milky Way Galaxy
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Depends at one point immortality sets in and you don't age anymore...like would your body state be at age 20 or 80? Big lifestyle difference for how you'll eternally live.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgt04 View Post
Depends at one point immortality sets in and you don't age anymore...like would your body state be at age 20 or 80? Big lifestyle difference for how you'll eternally live.
I could forsee us aging, but at a very slow rate, couldn't you just going through puberity for 300-500 years. LOL
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:47 PM
 
Location: playing in the colorful Colorado dirt
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Being in my 20's for a few decades might be fun but being immortal actually sounds kind of boring.
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:29 PM
 
4,994 posts, read 7,782,503 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terryj View Post
I watch a show last night called "Through the Wormhole" it was about "Immortality", I'd like to discuss this on a philosophical sense and not a religious sense. I'm not talking about immortality as in indestructable but in the ability to live forever.
There was an episode with Adam Savage a few months back about immortality on the Curiosity series.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Terryj View Post
How would immortality impact relationships? Would relationships with families stay intact. If you knew that people lived forever how would your approach be toward them.
My answer, I think that society would become emotionless, most emotions stem from the temporary nature of life, our fear of loss.
Thinking about the Highlander, one of the problems faced was that the highlander always outlived those he loved. While they grew older, he remained the same, knowing that the day would come when they'd have to part because of death. I suppose a person could become insensitive to emotions and just not care who comes and goes in your life, but it seems hard to imagine that a person would really become emotionless, if for no other reason than it's a part of their own humanity. Your perspective would probably have to change, just to cope with the neverendng parade of losses through the passage of time though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Terryj View Post
How would the human species evolve to deal with overpopulation?
We are products of our envionment, would be evolve to have less children, instead of the female being born with about 400 eggs could the female evolve to have only 2 or 3 eggs.
It depends. It might not be a matter of evolution. It might be more a matter of using advancing technology to prevent disease and to repair or replace body parts that wear out. Even though the brain can store an incredible amount of information, it's not infinite. You'd reach a point that you can't store any more memories. Enter technological memory banks that can store excess memories which you can tap into as needed. Ultimately, you might not end up being much of a human anymore, but more of a hybrid moving more toward becoming a machine with intelligence.

Apart from such a scenario, overpopulation might not be an important issue assuming we could successfully move off the planet and spread throughout the galaxy, even if it takes hundreds of millions of years. If your life expectancy is potentially immortal, what's a few hundred million years, or a few billion years?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Terryj View Post
If you had the chance, would you want to live forever? For me, maybe not forever, but a few hundred years would be interesting. I'd love to see where human nature is going to take us.
As an option, perhaps the idea that you could live forever might sound like a great idea. As long as you're healthy and active, how much difference would it make? Of course, there are unforseen and unexpected events could still change such plans in a flash and end your life. Assuming you could live on for an unspecified length of time, it might be a good idea to have a backup plan to end the immortality if it gets so boring or bad that you just want to bring it to an end. Different people might have different outlooks about it. Some may be content with a few hundred years, some might prefer much more. Having the option to discontinue your immortality and die naturally might be desirable if you so choose.

Here's a thought. How many planets could you hop around on before it all starts looking pretty much the same old "been there, done that" thousands of times? You might live to see the mysteries of the universe solved and end up thinking, 'Oh, so that's all it was.' Then what? If nothing else, the end of the universe would pretty much bring an end to your existance whether you like it or not, unless there are other universes that you can figure a way of getting to. If not, then your effort at immortality would eventually come to an end whether you like it or not. Even so, such an end might be so slow that you wouldn't really know the difference, or you might not really care anymore and think of it as part of a natural process to endlessly rest.
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
7,855 posts, read 7,597,213 times
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Truly immortal, as in forever? No.

Living for a few hundred years? Yes, I could go for that.

I am sure that relationships would be different. It is a reality that many people engage in a type of serial monogamy, and I think that this is because of our longer lifespans relative to most of human history. Not only is marriage delayed, but divorce is endemic.

After all, nobody is fascinating enough to hold one's interest for a couple of centuries. So I think that we would probably go through a longer series of 1,5,10 and 50 year relationships.

I think that the evolution question is moot. We already reproduce too rapidly, and there is little that will be done, in an evolutionary sense, in the near future. If we suddenly started living 200 or more years, we would simply have way too many people hanging around.
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Old 01-17-2012, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
2,834 posts, read 4,035,067 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbrains View Post
Truly immortal, as in forever? No.

Living for a few hundred years? Yes, I could go for that.

I am sure that relationships would be different. It is a reality that many people engage in a type of serial monogamy, and I think that this is because of our longer lifespans relative to most of human history. Not only is marriage delayed, but divorce is endemic.

After all, nobody is fascinating enough to hold one's interest for a couple of centuries. So I think that we would probably go through a longer series of 1,5,10 and 50 year relationships.

I think that the evolution question is moot. We already reproduce too rapidly, and there is little that will be done, in an evolutionary sense, in the near future. If we suddenly started living 200 or more years, we would simply have way too many people hanging around.
I think that along the reproductive cycle, genetic engineering would have to be introduced to reduce the birth rate, then after a time, it would become typical. Then, of course, the next thing to happen would be an event that bottle necked the human species and we would become extinct due to we couldn't reproduce fast enough.
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