# immortality is closer than you think

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by shacro, Nov 26, 2017.

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## do you think it's a good idea to give people immortality

27.3%

54.5%

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1. ### StrangerInAStrangeLandSubQuantum MechanicValued Senior Member

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^^^
Considering the incapacity of people to handle pain well, it is a tricky thing to determine whether we are better off with it or would be without it. It seems to me to cause at least as much harm as good & is 1 of the major problems of humanity.
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3. ### Andrew256Registered Senior Member

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I think all humanity will benefit from making certain advantageous people immortal. Just imagine what immortal Einstein, Stephen Hawking, or Elon Musk could achieve?
I certainly don't think we should give immortality to anyone who wishes it. Just look at how many useless people there are. But, if we make useful people immortal, than slowly, over time, the percentage of useful and useless people will shift. Imagine if countless genius immortal brains are working day and night to cure cancer, to invent warp drive or quantum computers, instead of smoking pot in mom's basement. If I, personally, will not be judged as worthy of immortality, I will gladly give up my life for the greater good.

You might say I'm borderline with faschism, but I disagree. I'm totally against harming or eliminating anyone using force.

Now, as to countering overpopulation, I think if we achieve immortality, birth rates should be strictly controlled. I do not believe that unborn human equals non-existent human (I argued about that extensively in couple of other topics some months back). So we should only make babies to accommodate available resources, and only then. It's much more important to achieve happiness for everyone, even if it means lowering the overall population numbers.

5. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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So who gets to make the judgments on how "worthy" people are? And how do you avoid a segregation of Golden People from the rest of the second-class citizens?

7. ### sculptorValued Senior Member

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8. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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A lot of people will be very miserable if they are not allowed to have children. It is one of the most fulfilling experiences in most people's lives.

9. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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Agreed. I think the best long term solution to population growth is to make contraception the defacto standard - everyone is infertile until they do something to make themselves fertile. A 20 year implant? A genetic change that requires a vitamin supplement for men to be fertile? Something like that. Simply by making sure that only people who _want_ to have kids will have kids will both drastically reduce the birthrate and not deprive anyone of the experience (who wants to have it, that is.)

In the short term by far the best solution is to educate women. Educated women have a far lower birthrate than uneducated women for several reasons. Tostan is a good charity dedicated to educating women.

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10. ### sculptorValued Senior Member

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and
It's about as close to immortality as we are likely to come.

Without children, we are an end product of evolution, also known as an evolutionary dead end.

11. ### kx000Valued Senior Member

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As long as there is a universe, there are only so many shapes and colors so we can be reborn forever, God willing.

12. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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We've had this discussion. A retread of me - even at an atomic level - is not me. Certainly not me being "reborn".

13. ### kx000Valued Senior Member

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You have a permanent nature.

14. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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If every molecule in your body is replaced with a similar (not even identical) one - are you still you?

15. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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Do I now.

Maybe over in the religion forum, but not here in a science forum.

16. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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That's a digression. The OP was suggesting that with, a large enough and long-lived enough universe, it would happen again naturally, not with purpose.

I suppose that would mean a body would have to naturally recur right down to the neurons that store all my memories. Which means the world (and some amount of the surrounding universe) would also have to be identical, to have given rise to those memories.

17. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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Thank you very much for this.

I am drafting my will at the moment and have been wanting to include a bequest to a charity dedicated to the education of women in the less developed world. I have for several years been convinced that that is the most beneficial thing we can do to solve many of humanity's problems.

18. ### Andrew256Registered Senior Member

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That is the \$1 000 000 question and I don't have the answer, unfortunately. But there are universal milestones which can distinguish certain people, like academic and scientific achievements, and we could start going off these. Of course there is a huge risk of something going wrong, that's why no single person should decide or build such a system, but a collective effort.

Okay, bear with me on this one please. You're right, but also, a lot of people became very miserable because they were harmed in an effort to take their resources (and life) away by another group of people who needed those resources to feed the ever growing number of mouths. I'm talking about countless wars over the history. People are propagating to avoid misery only to create more misery. Yes, we observe this on every level (microorganisms fight for survival and propagation, animals fight for survival and propagation). Am I the only one thinking the way it was "designed" by the nature is far from ideal?

Yes, I 100% agree, but I'm not sure this will be enough. We at least need a backup plan.

19. ### spidergoatVenued Serial MembershipValued Senior Member

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Not if they don't know they can.

20. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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There is a collective effort: we collectively think that there are not two classes of citizens: the worthy and the worthless.

21. ### exchemistValued Senior Member

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And how would they not know they can have children?

22. ### Andrew256Registered Senior Member

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"Worthless" is not the correct word. More worthy, and less worthy.

So, an unemployed pot junkie insisted on dying young, an office plankton making just enough money to cover his mortgage and loaned car, and a scientist who makes real progress in researching new sources of renewable energy, are all equally worthy? Well, from the humanitarian point of view, certainly yes. But, from the economy point of view? Even the economy that we have right now doesn't deem them equally worthy, since it gives them different amount of money and different quality of life, which is based on their achievements.

Let's bring morality in here, and also imagine a Wall Street con scheming to swindle people of their money and a dirty politician who takes a dump on his duty and only wants to buy a new yacht.

I'm not proposing anything radical. I'm just suggesting to invent a new form of currency. The currency that you earn not only by being an active participant of the economy, but by having the potential to solve real and significant humanity problems. The currency which can buy you immortality.

I strongly believe there is a real difference between altruistic people wholeheartedly devoted to working for the good of humanity, and scumbag people who only want to take everything they can from others for their own gain. And those two types of citizen have a very clear and different levels of "worthy" in my book.

Disagree?

23. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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You're quibbling over a space character: worthless ... worth less.