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Living forever. Will it make you happier?


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#1 medicineman

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 07:20 PM


Heidegger once said "Would living forever add meaning to life?"

what you think?

#2 brokenportal

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 07:46 PM

Well, will tomorrow make you happier? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on what you do with it.

Will eternal obliteration make you happier? One thing is for sure, that will definently not allow for you to be happier.

Living indefinently gives you the chance to know what I call the big 8. to know how we got here, -how the universe got here, -if there is a god, gods, no god, or something else, -the nature of infinity, -the nature and extent of all pleasures discovered and yet undiscovered, -to have all your dreams, living on a fishing boat, climbing mountains, being a mayor, owning a ranch, going to the moon etc.. etc.. etc.. -and thats all I can think of right now. I think there are two more.

To be fully satified, fully satiated before we die is the purpose of life isnt it? A person may think they can pull that off in their current life span, and mold their expectancies around it, and pretend they are satisfied with what they have but to cover up the truth is just an illusion thats selling yourself short.

To know those 8 things is the meaning of life isnt it? To have the chance to know them but to die before hand renders all of life trivial except for reproduction. The only purpose in reproducing is in hopes that one day humanity can figure out how to live indefinently.

#3 forever freedom

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 07:58 PM

I want to do, be, and know so many things, and with my current lifespan i'll never be able to be/do/know it all. If i knew that i would have time to do everything that i want to do, i'd be much happier, yes.


edit: As for adding meaning to my life, knowing that i had unlimited time would change it all and definitely make my life better. I'd replan my whole life, change goals, values, and assumptions. I'd be much happier. Eternal life is a gift, and we should replan our lives to maximize the benefit of it. But a large part of people are too dumb to do that. It's the same with winning the lottery; they receive a huge gift and what do they do? They keep on living with the same mindset, without rethinking their lives in a way that will maximize the gift's value and benefit in their lives, and end up losing it all or really unhappy.


So i say, eternal life is a gift but the person has to be smart enough to change his view/way of life in a way that will make this gift be a positive thing for him.

Edited by sam988, 07 November 2008 - 08:09 PM.


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#4 Luna

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 08:08 PM

Yes, most definitely yes.
It will make me very happy to know I can go outside sit under a tree and look at the cloud's shapes without worrying about dying later.

#5 A_FITZ

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 09:55 PM

1 Simple Answer. YES.

Im not even 19 yet, nor 20, and I still have that thought in the back off my head that it sooner or later everything I just did on this planet means nothing, because later, you are going to decay very slowly..you are going to degenerate... you are going to get weaker... , your going to not become who you were at your best, but only worse over time...

I try to keep the thought in my head that we ARE in the 21st Century, and that are technlogy and medical advances are at an all time high, and continue to grow, and there is a very good possibility of living forever.

Stem Cell Research is a good place to start, always something to look into. Once Obama goes into Office in 2009, this bill on Stem Cell Research will finally get passed, and Stem Cell Research and such will finally be legal again.

I HATE when people use their own personal religion when it comes to making major decisions, especially in the health field. I hate mixing religion with state.

God isnt your next door neighbor that tells you exactly what he knows and says, and its not right for someone to reject something on behalf of this GOD, or thinks that this GOD would dissaprove, even though you really dont know.

I strongly believe 2009 is the year we should advance at a very good rate, with no one stopping us, or them, or whoever.

-Alex Fitz / A_FITZ

#6 RighteousReason

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 02:00 AM

Here's a better question:

Dying. Will it make you happier?, Just opinions



#7 Moonbeam

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 02:23 AM

I don't know, but I'd like to find out.

#8 Cyberbrain

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 02:29 AM

Heidegger once said "Would living forever add meaning to life?"

what you think?

Living makes me happy, there's no other perpetuation of happiness, can one continue happiness in death?

But will living forever keep me happy? Like Moonbeam said, we'll find out :~

Edited by Kostas, 26 November 2008 - 02:31 AM.


#9 Korimyr the Rat

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 02:36 AM

I am already happy, because I choose to be happy. My happiness does not rely on external factors.

But living longer will allow me to accomplish more of my goals. I'll have more time to practice qigong, to write more books, to watch more of my children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow up. Maybe it won't make me any happier, but it will give me the chance to make sure that my life matters more.

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#10 brokenportal

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 02:55 AM

As an analogy, its like a car battery. Sometimes the battery goes dead, like when we arent happy. If we smash that battery with a sledge hammer and bury it in a grave then we can never charge it again, but as long as its not smashed and buried then we can continuously charge the battery.

Life wont make you happier per say, but it will give you the potential to make it happier any time you choose to.

#11 Vgamer1

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 03:22 AM

I am already happy, because I choose to be happy. My happiness does not rely on external factors.
.
But living longer will allow me to accomplish more of my goals. I'll have more time to practice qigong, to write more books, to watch more of my children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow up. Maybe it won't make me any happier, but it will give me the chance to make sure that my life matters more.


You are a lucky man if you can simply "choose to be happy." Most people don't have it so good.

If all else is the same then yes, I believe living as long as I wanted to would give me the potential for great happiness (at least for the foreseeable future). I could also imagine a scenario in which I become so incredibly bored with life and become so depressed that I off myself. That doesn't sound very fun at all.

There is another point of conversation that I would like to add to this topic. I believe most people on this forum believe that the singularity is inevitably if not very likely to occur at some point. That means that if we were to live "forever" we would be guaranteed to see this singularity.

If this is indeed the case then I believe that living for an indefinite period in a post-singularity society will bring me many pleasures. On the other hand, I believe that I have more potential for happiness in a pre-singularity world. That is why I still plan to live this life to the fullest. Besides, I might die before the singularity occurs.

The rest of you may disagree with me, but I still want to accomplish as much in this pre-singularity life as possible. I want to finish my education, hold a good job, get married, have kids, continue to party and stay up late with friends, eat junk food, do drugs, etcetera. I believe that these accomplishments have more meaning in this life than in the post-singularity world because in the new world all of those things will be provided for you with no effort or sense of accomplishment. Of course we could "simulate" the old way of life, but after coming out of the simulation I believe I would lack a sense of fulfillment.

However, given all of this it is still my goal in life to see or even bring about the singularity, because without experiencing it I will never know what I might have missed. So to answser the original question... Yes, I believe it will most definitely make me happier, but I am pretty convinced that in the end boredom will overtake everything (unless we decide to become human again?)

This reminds me of the Star Trek episode (I think it was from the Voyager series) in which one of the Q's (the supreme god-like beings of the Star Trek universe) becomes unimaginably bored with existence simply because he had done everything there was to do. In the end the other Q's granted him mortality so that he could live life as a human, but sadly he contracted a terminal disease and died within days (lol?)

Well I managed to get way off topic, but I've actually been curious if anyone has considered this. Will immortality end in boredom? One way I could see getting around this is to "trick" our post-singularity minds into thinking it is human again and placing it in a simulation, but then that gets me thinking... What if that has already occured? Dun dun dun.... OK, I'm going off into way too many tangents, but I hope this topic gets discussed further because now that I actually wrote the ideas out I'm very interested in talking about them. New thread maybe?

#12 wydell

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 05:16 AM

I really don't know. For some people, it might do the opposite. If one had an infinite amount of time to accomplish goals, they might put off working towards them, and that might encourage sloth and depression.

#13 Korimyr the Rat

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 07:21 AM

You are a lucky man if you can simply "choose to be happy." Most people don't have it so good.


It takes work, and I am not always successful. But most people are conditioned to believe that their happiness is at the mercy of external forces, and thus never learn to truly love their lives; they cling to fleeting moments of pleasure because they don't know how to appreciate their suffering. They miss out on savoring the full range of their experiences.

#14 brokenportal

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 07:45 AM

Ill take possible sloth and depression, which can be remedied in any of a billion ways, over definite obliteration any day.

As for being happy, I agree with the rats conditioned comment. If you were to transport a king from say the 1500s to your apartment right now and tell him that he can trade his entire kingdom and everything he has to you right then in exchange for your life in your apartment then hes going to pick your apartment. The poor amongst us are vastly extremely more wealthy than the richest of the richest kings that have past through time.

So we should be explodingly ecstatic about our opportunities and good fortunes, not only material things but warmth, phone, social networks, that are safe, hospitals, no shortage of food, etc.. etc.. etc.. We are kings of the kings of antiquity.

#15 John_Ventureville

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 08:04 AM

Our current lifespans are just so damn short! And if you get the wrong education, go into the wrong profession, marry the wrong woman, etc., it can often take a big chunk of your available life to alter course and make the right changes. And choice number #2 may also be a wrong one and then you are back to the drawing board with even more of your life burned away. When you consider out of a 80 year lifespan you are only really "young" for the first half of it, things really look depressing. And even if you make the right decisions and maximize your potential, still so many paths will still have not been trod down due to lack of time and youthfulness. I see an age of indefinite lifespan as generally raising humanity's happiness quotient by quite a bit. People who have seemingly endless time (until an accident, war or crime claims them), endless youth, and endless health, will have vastly more hope for a better future.

But on the other hand I could see people with indefinite lifespans being extremely enabled (due to science) procrastinators! lol Because after all, they would have "all the time in the world to get around to their goals." On the whole, I envision near immortals who have years/decades of great focus and goal achievement, which are followed by sometimes fairly lengthy periods of relaxation and "kicking back." And a person could work relentlessly for many decades to get enough investments to live off the interest and then leave the rat race behind as a financially independent person. But with indefinite lifespan they could do this without the frustration of feeling they had wasted a short life by being so single-minded as compared to having lead a more balanced but perhaps less monetarily lucrative life.

Considering all the wonderful ways a person can employ time such as reading, music, sports, dating, boardgames, computer games, art, travel, eating, religious activity, education, work, family, children, friends, pets, volunteering, politics, running a business, etc., and how technological progress will effect and enhance them, I just don't see how life would get boring over even a lifespan of many centuries. Instead I see people building very rich and joyful lives.

My mother told me a story about a popular actor from her youth who committed suicide in his early forties. The note he left said he had eaten many wonderful meals and made love to a multitude of extremely beautiful women, but as he looked back on things he realized that from then on due to physical decline he would just go down hill and so while things were still good he decided to end his life. This is an example (though an extreme one) of how the fear of aging can break the spirit.

I still believe the future is going to be great. But as the old joke goes, when exactly does this great future actually begin? lol I don't view the "dark ages" as having ever fully ended. The best is yet to come...

John Grigg : )

#16 Korimyr the Rat

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 08:48 AM

As for being happy, I agree with the rats conditioned comment. If you were to transport a king from say the 1500s to your apartment right now and tell him that he can trade his entire kingdom and everything he has to you right then in exchange for your life in your apartment then hes going to pick your apartment. The poor amongst us are vastly extremely more wealthy than the richest of the richest kings that have past through time.


Funny, because I would take that same deal in a heartbeat. I would trade my wealth-- such as it is-- for power in a heartbeat.

#17 Vgamer1

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 09:05 AM

It takes work, and I am not always successful. But most people are conditioned to believe that their happiness is at the mercy of external forces, and thus never learn to truly love their lives; they cling to fleeting moments of pleasure because they don't know how to appreciate their suffering. They miss out on savoring the full range of their experiences.


Trust me I am one to savor pleasure and "appreciate" suffering as you put it. I happen to to suffer from clinical depression, which is not something I can just think my way out of. I have been institutionalized twice so far for severe depression accompanied by psychosis. Right now I take anti-depressant and anti-psychotic medication and go to therapy regularly. I don't really know why I am this way and neither my therapist nor my psychiatrists have been able to give me an answer. Sorry, this is turning into a bit of a confession on my part, but I've kinda wanted to get this out there since I became a member. I have some speculation as to why I have these mental issues, but I have trouble formulating these thoughts into coherent sentences.

So my point is, Korimyr the Rat, that it a person's mental state and well being is not always within their control. I do believe, however, that there is the possibility of more effective treatment for mental illness in the future, especially when technology becomes more integrated with the brain and we understand how it all functions better.

#18 Korimyr the Rat

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 09:19 AM

Trust me I am one to savor pleasure and "appreciate" suffering as you put it. I happen to to suffer from clinical depression, which is not something I can just think my way out of.


I'm not trying to break your balls. I don't know exactly what's wrong with me, but I have severe anxiety issues that feed into an anger management problem that more than ten years of meditation has not allowed me to fully control; the doctors keep trying to diagnose me as bipolar, but they don't understand that I don't exhibit depressive symptoms at all. I'm on anti-anxiety drugs and anti-psychotics, and I'm still only sleeping four or five hours a night.

So my point is, Korimyr the Rat, that it a person's mental state and well being is not always within their control. I do believe, however, that there is the possibility of more effective treatment for mental illness in the future, especially when technology becomes more integrated with the brain and we understand how it all functions better.


I agree with you, that it is not always within our control. But the first step to gaining control is to recognize that our emotions are internal states that are largely independent of external factors-- that we are happy or sad because of us, not because of the world.

#19 Vgamer1

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 09:25 AM

I know you weren't trying to break my balls, I just disagree with you :)

So what are you doing up so late anyway, Korimyr?

#20 automita

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 04:03 AM

if i knew i could live forever every day would be 1999

#21 fatboy

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 02:30 AM

Heidegger once said "Would living forever add meaning to life?"

what you think?



No, I think it would subtract meaning. As someone who long ago realized that the concept of "post-mortem preservation of personal identity" was pure bullshit, the only meaning I have left to cling to is the artificial meaning I create from local personal interactions in response to my realization of my own personal mortality. Take that away from me and all bets are off.

P.S. But I do really enjoy reading Heidegger.

#22 brokenportal

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 02:51 AM

Heidegger once said "Would living forever add meaning to life?"

what you think?



No, I think it would subtract meaning. As someone who long ago realized that the concept of "post-mortem preservation of personal identity" was pure bullshit, the only meaning I have left to cling to is the artificial meaning I create from local personal interactions in response to my realization of my own personal mortality. Take that away from me and all bets are off.

P.S. But I do really enjoy reading Heidegger.



Im not sure if Im understanding this exactly, are you saying the artificial meaning you create from local personal interaction is the only reason to be alive that you can think of?

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#23 cyborgdreamer

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 04:31 AM

Of course. If I could live without death's crushing limitations, without every breath forcing me closer to oblivion, without having my every joy and love trapped on a timeline, how could I not be happier? And, if against all odds, I still found reason to be miserable, I would have an infinite amount of time to find a solution. If we could be immortal, we could outlive our problems (or at least we'd have a chance), rather than being caught in a world where happiness is fleeting and death lasts forever.

#24 fatboy

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 09:04 PM

Im not sure if Im understanding this exactly, are you saying the artificial meaning you create from local personal interaction is the only reason to be alive that you can think of?


No, just the primary reason.

#25 brokenportal

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 09:34 PM

Im not sure if Im understanding this exactly, are you saying the artificial meaning you create from local personal interaction is the only reason to be alive that you can think of?


No, just the primary reason.



Im glad you bring this up because the more I think about it the more I get the feeling there is a poignant, as of yet articulated concept to be pulled from this. It all goes along with this topic too.

It seems like socializing may be a lot like the sex drive. Its something your overwhelmingly drawn to want, but Im not sure I understand why it might be useful as a primary goal in an indefinite life span. In a definite life span yes, but I cant see it for an indefinite one. Maybe, Im not denying it, Im just saying. Useful as goals sure, but no more so than than any of the things catagorized by what seems like a list of about 8 main things to bring a purpose to an indefinite life span.

In the end though, say we were sailing through the cosmos pioneering the big 8, then I would certainly say that it would be a good idea to bring some people along with you for the trip, but that the trip itself is more important. I mean, finding a warp drive vehicle to do it in the first place would be something you would want to try to get right away, but it wouldnt make it the main focus of the point of the matter. It would just make it a lot harder.

Of course. If I could live without death's crushing limitations, without every breath forcing me closer to oblivion, without having my every joy and love trapped on a timeline, how could I not be happier? And, if against all odds, I still found reason to be miserable, I would have an infinite amount of time to find a solution. If we could be immortal, we could outlive our problems (or at least we'd have a chance), rather than being caught in a world where happiness is fleeting and death lasts forever.


This reminds me of the idea that life spans with aging make it so we are like disposable goods. Items that you spend some time acquiring, but dont invest anything in because they arent worth keeping around in the long run. Like you buy a napkin, but you dont try to clean the napkin when your done and keep reusing it.

Of course, lives should be like investment capital. Capital that you build on that maintains its value and can increase in value over time. Its something that you invest in so as to preserve the foundations of better and better things for the future. We are napkins, not the most efficient at what we do, and when we are done cleaning up a few neighborhoods and oils spills then we are thrown away. How much better off the world would be to invest in some permanent industrial strength cleaning machines.

Edited by brokenportal, 15 December 2008 - 10:22 PM.


#26 cyborgdreamer

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 10:01 PM

Of course. If I could live without death's crushing limitations, without every breath forcing me closer to oblivion, without having my every joy and love trapped on a timeline, how could I not be happier? And, if against all odds, I still found reason to be miserable, I would have an infinite amount of time to find a solution. If we could be immortal, we could outlive our problems (or at least we'd have a chance), rather than being caught in a world where happiness is fleeting and death lasts forever.


This reminds me of the idea that life spans with aging make it so we are like disposable goods. Items that you spend some time acquiring, but dont invest anything in because they arent worth keeping around in the long run. Like you buy a napkin, but you dont try to clean the napkin when your done and keep reusing it.


I wouldn't say we're like disposible napkins. The way I see it, human lives more are like priceless tapistries. And death is like the careless janitor that knows no better than to toss out the tapestries amoung the used tissues and disposible debris.

#27 brokenportal

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 10:21 PM

Of course. If I could live without death's crushing limitations, without every breath forcing me closer to oblivion, without having my every joy and love trapped on a timeline, how could I not be happier? And, if against all odds, I still found reason to be miserable, I would have an infinite amount of time to find a solution. If we could be immortal, we could outlive our problems (or at least we'd have a chance), rather than being caught in a world where happiness is fleeting and death lasts forever.


This reminds me of the idea that life spans with aging make it so we are like disposable goods. Items that you spend some time acquiring, but dont invest anything in because they arent worth keeping around in the long run. Like you buy a napkin, but you dont try to clean the napkin when your done and keep reusing it.


I wouldn't say we're like disposible napkins. The way I see it, human lives more are like priceless tapistries. And death is like the careless janitor that knows no better than to toss out the tapestries amoung the used tissues and disposible debris.



Exactly, aging treats us like disposable goods, napkins, but we are actually like priceless tapestries being used as napkiins, and so we need to be treated like long term investment capital like priceless tapestries are.

Well, and not just tapestries, reality shaping, seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, tasting, thinking, knowledge storing, concious, will driven, dynamic tapestry of all tapestries. We are the universe looking into itself.

Edited by brokenportal, 15 December 2008 - 10:28 PM.


#28 fatboy

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 02:12 AM

I wouldn't say we're like disposible napkins. The way I see it, human lives more are like priceless tapistries. And death is like the dutiful janitor that knows no better than to toss out the tapestries amoung the used tissues and disposible debris.


Fixed.

#29 brokenportal

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 02:18 AM

I wouldn't say we're like disposible napkins. The way I see it, human lives more are like priceless tapistries. And death is like the dutiful janitor that knows no better than to toss out the tapestries amoung the used tissues and disposible debris.


Fixed.


Im not sure I understand exactly what your saying again. Are you saying that its our duty to die?

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#30 fatboy

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 02:43 AM

I wouldn't say we're like disposible napkins. The way I see it, human lives more are like priceless tapistries. And death is like the dutiful janitor that knows no better than to toss out the tapestries amoung the used tissues and disposible debris.


Fixed.


Im not sure I understand exactly what your saying again. Are you saying that its our duty to die?


No, just that it's death's duty to clean up.




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