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Thread: Immortality

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    Immortality

    I do not wish to start a debate so anyone who is religious or believes in souls or the afterlife please stop reading...

    I started thinking the other night about immortality and how it could be achieved through Science. I believe that the human body has no soul. The only 'soul' it has or is, is simply a series of brain connections. These brain connections create a spark. This 'spark' is the essential 'you' which cannot be pictured in the imagination. This spark was created by your brain in all of its complicated brain connections. I do not believe in 'souls' because if we did really have a soul that moved from body to body wouldn't it be justifiable that we would 'remember' these past bodies and experiences?

    Now if all we are is brain connections then we are essentially a organic machine. We are not our body or our brain..the only thing we are is those brain connections which created ourselves. What if before we die our brain was preserved and fed oxygen and blood and everything else it needed - couldn't we be kept alive until we had the technology to do a body transplant ?

    Ok - taking it a step further what about finding those 'brain connections' which make us up. couldn't we somehow transfer those connections to another brain when technology permitted it ? Could we then achieve immortality ? When you think about the body and Science you understand that the body and brain is nothing more than a machine. What if after death those 'connections' were turned back on - we would essentially come back from the dead.

    Taking it a step further one more time.. what if once we have those brain connections which are 'consciousness' what if we found some material or liquid which can preserve and keep it in a timeless state - then once the person is ready to come back to life it is simply connected into a new brain.

    Any thoughts?

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    Senior Member BeijaFlor's Avatar
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    Re: Immortality

    But I do remember some of my past bodies and experiences.

    At the same time, I realize that my say-so is no more than "anecdotal evidence," and therefore fit to be ignored.

    I grew up believing that we are not our bodies, or our brains - we are immortal "sparks of life" or "sparks of thought," not part of the physical universe of Matter, Energy, Space and Time, but living life after life in and "as" physical beings within this universe. I've explored some of my past lives, and I've had one "physical malady" (asthma) disappear after I recalled the past death when my husband caught me cheating on him and smothered me with a feather pillow.

    But as I say - that's "anecdotal evidence," and you're fully entitled to ignore it.
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    Senior Member Mr Wombat's Avatar
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    Re: Immortality

    There's been a huge amount of speculative SF on exactly this topic for many years. Catching up on that, as well as being enjoyable, will help inform you about where the state of this question is at. Grab a Phillip K Dick anthology. He wrote a lot of bite-sized short stories, they are an easy read, and he was very interested in the question "What does it mean to be human? What is a self?".

    As to the practicalities of putting a our brains in jars - that's a bit further off. Grab the SF.

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    Re: Immortality

    Even if that were possible it probably won't happen in our lifetime. Man-made religions still have too much influence in most societies. However, there is a Doctor in Italy who says he will soon be able to transfer a human head to a new, better body. So who knows.

    First full body transplant is two years away, surgeon claims | Science | The Guardian
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    Re: Immortality

    the value of life would decrease with infinite supply.

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    Senior Member John Deer's Avatar
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    Re: Immortality

    We could be taxed forever.

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    Re: Immortality

    Quote Originally Posted by ShogunRonin View Post
    I believe that the human body has no Soul.
    That's right but the human Soul has a Body, or has the Body. When your Body can't hold it back it will go.

    Immortality -- Who wants to live forever ?

    I don't want to , not in this world. But it always reminds me to the movie Highlander, just the first movie, when I am thinking about immortality.

    How would it be when you experience all the Invention to come. It would be great, I know it. But, the Society which I live in isn't it worth and this Society shows no appreciation to all the Inventions, they take it for granted.
    Don't get me wrong, I do not expect prostrations because of things that men, engineers, scientists etc. have been invented and will invent. But when I see how it is used by the Society....just against men who created it all....mmmh.

    If Society would change to a trustworhy one, a sincere one, witty and charming, I guess immortality would be great with all this inventions.
    The brain connection could be real, just considering a kind of telepathy driven by your subconscious.

    Maybe it will happen, but I guess then I am already gone.

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    Re: Immortality

    Quote Originally Posted by Shrug the Script View Post
    Even if that were possible it probably won't happen in our lifetime. Man-made religions still have too much influence in most societies. However, there is a Doctor in Italy who says he will soon be able to transfer a human head to a new, better body. So who knows.

    First full body transplant is two years away, surgeon claims | Science | The Guardian
    Science-fiction - Heinlein - got there first: I Will Fear No Evil
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    Senior Member Mr Wombat's Avatar
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    Re: Immortality

    My philosophy is this: you cannot step into the same river twice.

    Every thought we think, every sensation we encounter, leaves a small mark on the brain. It's called brain plasticity - any time any neural event happens, the neurons make that event more likely to happen again. That's what memory is. We don't have some sort of library in our heads: the smell of a rose is remembered in that cluster of neurones that does smelling.

    To be a person, to think, to be aware, is to change and be changed (another argument against the existence of God, BTW).

    Thus, the me of today is subtly not the same person as the me of yesterday. Like a tree growing. The me of ten thousand years of immortality from now?

    So what does this desire for immorality mean? Well, it means that I don't want to die later today. Why not? Well: why does a strawberry taste so good? Because it does. Because we are wired to want sweet things. A consequence of aeons if living things passing on their genes. Nevertheless, I am what I am.

    Life is sweet, and death is bitter.

    Nobody wants to die. But everybody does. It's what Camus was talking about. Immortality? At the end of the day, it's not something that concerns me. Fun to speculate about, perhaps. But not worth more than a few minutes or so of your precious time.

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    Senior Member John Deer's Avatar
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    Re: Immortality

    There was that science show that said everything is aware of you even when you're pulling your goalie. So we're safe in the harbour of infinite love. It was a 2 DVD set from the What the Bleep series.

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    Re: Immortality

    Bible version : We were made to live forever by our creator, lost this gift through Adamic sin. Christ shed his blood to repurchase this sin ( atonement ) and soon will install his Fathers Kingdom, so yes everlasting life is possible but it depends on our present actions and our relationship with God. Read the Lords prayer, it's all there. Animals and other life forms will always be part of the life / death cycle of the earth as vegetation and other processes are. All this is bible based, easy peasy simple, too simple for most.
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    Re: Immortality

    Quote Originally Posted by wool.wizard View Post
    the value of life would decrease with infinite supply.
    something like this was asked in the film "Galaxy Express 999" by Leiji Matsumoto....... Tetsuro ended up realizing that life is valued because it is finite and will end eventually... (and this is after his encounter with Count Mecha.. the mechanized man who killed Tetsuro's mother for "sport" when he was younger...)

    the question that really stuck... "What value would life have to you if you couldn't die?"
    Last edited by Eiji; August 3, 2016 at 12:06 AM.
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    Re: Immortality

    Quote Originally Posted by wool.wizard View Post
    the value of life would decrease with infinite supply.
    On an individual scale, yes. I fully believe sloth cold become rampant.

    On a societal scale? Would we be as eager to kill if we knew we were snuffing out a flame that might have burned a thousand years?
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    Re: Immortality

    The connections are not the problem. Nanotechnology or cellular engineering could be developed to replicate the cellular processes that makes the brain. I think the problem would be the spark. The connections come from the spark I think, rather than the spark coming from the connection. After all, electricity makes the light go on, the wires merely ferry the energy to where it is designed to go. The key then is the spark. Which then indicates that immortality according to your definition, would be found in the direction of the DNA. Which strains perhaps lead to the 'spark' forming at conception in the womb. How to extract, preserve those strains. Then finally, the transference of those strains into a new body, held together so as to ensure the stability of the 'spark'.

  15. #15

    Re: Immortality

    I've come to wonder if people choosing to have children, or just having them as happenstance isn't 'Life Privilege'.

    Oblivion was just fine and dandy before our parents made us and we became living (as we know it) and aware (as we know it) beings. Who the hell are/were they to decide to inflict existence upon unsuspecting building blocks of life.

    They either weren't aware of what they were doing (the consequences) or they chose to inflict this thing called life on us. Wannabe gods with the power of creation - in their tingly/dangly bits...

    Why do babies cry? ...because they've been born into hell.

    do i really need a note about snark here?
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    Re: Immortality

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wombat View Post
    There's been a huge amount of speculative SF on exactly this topic for many years. Catching up on that, as well as being enjoyable, will help inform you about where the state of this question is at. Grab a Phillip K Dick anthology. He wrote a lot of bite-sized short stories, they are an easy read, and he was very interested in the question "What does it mean to be human? What is a self?".

    As to the practicalities of putting a our brains in jars - that's a bit further off. Grab the SF.
    Yeah could be one of the authors inspiring the most movies ever Screamers, bladerunner, minority report etc.
    Definitely give that guy a read, the stories are short but very well written and thought provoking.
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    Re: Immortality

    It's an old thread to add to, but this is one persons idea of immortality and I have heard it on more than one occasion, I personally disagree:

    Most people say they will live on after they die because they are "going to heaven" or something like that, but the reality is that a person's kids makes him or her immortal. Their blood continues even after they die.

    I find it strange for someone to believe that this somehow makes them immortal, I'm not buying into it.
    "Whoever has trusted a woman has trusted deceivers." .... Hesiod

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  18. #18

    Re: Immortality

    Certainly, I do not desire immortality if I’m condemned to an endless succession of human or animal lives. If any conceivable subsequent life must be of the same character as this—no freer from limitation, no richer in hope, no fuller in achievement—then I unequivocally desire extinction. Instead, the desirability of any future life must depend upon its character.

    Quote Originally Posted by William Noy View Post
    I fully believe sloth cold become rampant.
    I wish I had composed that phrase.
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    Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.
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  19. #19

    Re: Immortality

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Rodent View Post
    Certainly, I do not desire immortality if I’m condemned to an endless succession of human or animal lives. If any conceivable subsequent life must be of the same character as this—no freer from limitation, no richer in hope, no fuller in achievement—then I unequivocally desire extinction. Instead, the desirability of any future life must depend upon its character.



    I wish I had composed that phrase.


    Isnt it the irony of life that we complain about how dreary,cruel and repetitive life is and yet we desire to extend it to considerable lengths. Sometimes I wonder if what people really seek is not so much immortality as it is a life long enough to become disillusioned with the craving for extending ones existence. Because I cant really comprehend the misery one would feel knowing they are trapped in this human form for all eternity and are incapable of ending this existence no matter how unpleasant it becomes.
    But if one was immortal what really would one enjoy about life? If there was not some higher purpose else merely indulging in hedonism might be fun for the first 300 years maybe but the what else afterwards....and if one took on a higher purpose obviously as every thing in the universe is in continual flux, one would have to reestablish a pattern due to its inevitable decline in keeping with universal laws...




    so to all intents and purpose the persons life will become as predictable as the path of the moon....a cog in the wheel of existence....on a light note this site has some interesting ideas on achieving life extension might be of interest:


    joshmitteldorf.scienceblog.com

  20. #20

    Re: Immortality

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Rodent View Post
    Certainly, I do not desire immortality if I’m condemned to an endless succession of human or animal lives. If any conceivable subsequent life must be of the same character as this—no freer from limitation, no richer in hope, no fuller in achievement—then I unequivocally desire extinction. Instead, the desirability of any future life must depend upon its character.



    I wish I had composed that phrase.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hesiod View Post
    It's an old thread to add to, but this is one persons idea of immortality and I have heard it on more than one occasion, I personally disagree:

    Most people say they will live on after they die because they are "going to heaven" or something like that, but the reality is that a person's kids makes him or her immortal. Their blood continues even after they die.

    I find it strange for someone to believe that this somehow makes them immortal, I'm not buying into it.
    I don't buy it too,however if their genes and peculiar mental predispositions get passed onto their offsprings then from a strictly organic basis that's as close to immortality as its possible to get for a physically based life form. The replication of the patterns that constitutes an individuals identity on all levels and even if subject to alteration does not differ too much from certain established templates I suppose....just playing devil's advocate


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