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Happiness is the way.
by saminal

previous entry: Strengths and Weaknesses

next entry: Good Ol' Entry Fodder

TOTW - Immortality


If you could live forever, would you? Why or why not?

There are two answers to this question for me. One I can give you know, and one I'll have to let you know in about 50 years.

Right now I would have say: maybe. It's a very broad question. Can we narrow it down a little?

At what point do I stop aging? If at all?

1) If I just think about the first thing that occurs to me regarding immortality then I would say that from a human perspective, immortality would most likely involve a cessation of the aging process at the point it was gained. That is to say, if you are offering me the choice to live forever today, and I say yes, my body will stop aging today. But is that what immortality is?

2) It could be that this immortality will be virtual, referring to a renewed life after death - perhaps a virtual reality you will be given once you're on life support in an 'immortality clinic.' But if so, what would happen if your brain was the first part of you to fail? Your conscious continuity could not be maintained if you were hit in the head by a bus, there would be no mind into which to project the virtual reality. So that's out.

3) Perhaps it's an inability to die, but without limiting other factors like aging, disease, or injury. If this is a Faustian deal with Lucifer then you could be granted eternal life with some very nasty side effects: you could age forever, long past the point where your heart ought to give up, shrivelling away to an immobile, ineffectual, but nonetheless intelligent wreck; you could be hit in the head by a bus and spend eternity with your lights on but nobody home; or you could develop cancer and have your entire body die while your mind stays alive, feeling it all. If this is the immortality you're offering, I am going to say no. Not now, not ever.

There's more. What is life anyway?

At least, what is required for life to continue? Bodily continuity? Mental continuity? Spiritual continuity?

I read a book several months ago that while not attempting to answer this question did discuss it. I don't remember it exactly but it was along these lines:

First you are transported to Mars to help start a new colony. As part of the transport your thought patterns and memories are downloaded into a computer to be stored. Your body is then placed into stasis that completely stops your mental activity, allowing the weeks of travel to pass instantly. Upon arrival your body is revived and your mind is uploaded, and you begin your life on Mars as if you'd stepped onto the spaceship minutes ago.

Years later you are diagnosed as suffering from a disease that results in the decay of your brain. Fortunately, the technology used when you first travelled to Mars has progressed to the point where your mind can be downloaded and installed on an implantable circuit board which acts as an electronic brain. You are only under anaesthesia for a few hours and you wake up with no impairment to your mental ability whatsoever. If you had never been told, you would never know.

While working in the mine you've been assigned to you are involved in an industrial accident which leads to a complete loss of sensation and movement from your neck down. You are offered a new body which is created from carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms bonded and assembled based on a complete molecular scan of your body. Your electronic brain is inserted and your new, 100% organic heart is started. You wake up a bit stiff but otherwise feeling completely normal.

Now I'm sure it's changed a lot since I read it. It was at least a year ago and I don't even remember what I had for dinner last night. Actually I do, it was lamb cutlets with pesto, but the point is, I generally have a poor memory. The idea behind the story is that at three points your life could be considered to end. Do you die when your brain stops processing information, even though it starts again a week later? Do you die when your brain is replace by a computer, even though your stream of consciousness is uninterrupted? Do you die when your body is replaced by a replica, even though you have the same brain you did before?

OK, assuming you are being given the opportunity to maintain your body and your health at the level you're currently experiencing, would you take it?


I like my life right now. Even if I didn't like the life I had right now, I know that given time I could improve it to the level where I did like it, a lot. And immortality would definitely give me that time. So yes, that sounds good. I could stay healthy, work out and get my fitness level where I'd like it (unless fixing my health where it is means I also can't get healthier, and if so, I'm still quite happy with my body) and work on the other things. Professional success, material possessions, honing my hobbies to fantastic new levels...

But is that what I want? I do want to do well at my job. But if it takes me 100 years to get that success then is it really going to be fulfilling? Or is it just going to make me think that compared to everybody else, I'm still a failure? I would like to fill my house with nice things. And I'd like a nice house to fill with things. But I don't want to sacrifice other, more important things for that.. And that's the biggie:

Immortality has serious drawbacks. If I was granted eternal life, then presumably it's going to be a special deal just for me. And if so, that means Laura is just going to get older and then die. And so are all my friends. And it's going to be hard to make new friends because they'll all be freaked out by a) my incredible wealth b) my incredibly out-of-date dress sense and c) the fact that I don't seem to be getting any older since they met me. And also that they watched me get hit in the head with a bus and it didn't seem to bother me. So yeah.. after 70 years I'm going to be a lonely, rich, virtuoso multi-instrumentalist. And if you think that being a rich multi-instrumentalist will help avoid the loneliness then.. maybe. Maybe for the next 70 years I'll enjoy buying friends and more specifically girlfriends, and wowing crowds at concerts and reaping the groupie rewards. And then even that will get boring, as will playing the ukelele with my feet, and I'll be a lonely, rich, hermit. That doesn't sound all that great to me.

Let me extend the offer of immortality to a select group of friends though, and I might just take you up on that. I'm sure some of my other friends would be a bit annoyed when I didn't let them live forever but good friends don't require immortality to maintain friendship.

What was that about 50 years' time?

Well, I don't know what life holds for me. Maybe in 50 years time I'll be a lonely, rich, OLD multi-instrumentalist and I'll wish I'd taken that deal, if only so I still had some teeth left.

previous entry: Strengths and Weaknesses

next entry: Good Ol' Entry Fodder

0 likes, 26 comments

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It worked!!! You wrote an entry!!! lol

As always, you make some good points!

That question was definitely too broad to answer. And only you to actually dig into.

Lol @ the dinner comment.

Interesting... when do you die there, if at all.

Immortality doesn't sound as wonderful to me... all options considered, what keeps getting to me is all the people I'd have to say goodbye to.

Great entry as always.


[internationalStar|0 likes] [|reply]

As you pointed out, my main thing would be friendships/family relationships. If these people didn't have immortality, then I wouldn't want to constantly have to form new friendships, just to have them die off in 50 years & start again.

As for me...from a Christian's standpoint, I can't wait to die, so I wouldn't choose immortality.

[An Unfinished LadyStar|0 likes] [|reply]

immortality sounds alright, but what happens when the world eventually ends? you just float around forever? how lonely and boring.


[& skull.Star|0 likes] [|reply]

will return when less wine in me

[marty|0 likes] [|reply]

One of those commenters can't wait to die??!! Is that the way all Christians think about death?! I am missing out on something here. I am happy to wait to die... I've got AT LEAST another 40-50 years in me

Now for 0822 hours this was quite a mind boggling entry and really I think I may just have to come back and read it when I am more awake haha! I really did just come by to say Happy Birthday!! Again!!! But on the right day this time, and minus the bottle of port and your new lover, Ty

Ok back to the entry, well thought out... very interesting read indeed. to me immortality would only be appealing if I got to choose at least 10 people to share it with me. Mind you after 100 years I'd prolly need to reassess those 10 people... how do you choose!

[Lady Blue BellaStar|0 likes] [|reply]


HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAMI! From all of us here in this zoo-house!!!!

Now you must write an epic entry about real life and not this immortality stuff. Life in Brisbane, awesome people like me and Ty , and of course, the fact that you need a new guitar for guitar hero because you yellow key is not being nice and it ruins your expert percentage!

[Lady Blue BellaStar|0 likes] [|reply]

If it's the night of the 21st here, then it must already be the 22nd there, sooo........

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SAMI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


[internationalStar|0 likes] [|reply]

I liked this entry. I think that - along the lines of the 'special deal' thought - you won't really be able to compare yourself on an even playing field to everyone else because they all have finite time, but you have infinite time. So any success you do achieve (when it involves doing better than other people) will feel sort of empty.

If I were immortal, I think the only way I'd achieve fulfilment is by helping others. Sure by that time I'd be rich and have all the comforts I could ever want, but I think I'd have no need for it. However it'd be quite rewarding to use my possessions/money/skills to help other people - and I don't think that'd get old.

[lithium layouts.Star|0 likes] [|reply]

Oh, and happy birthday. xD

[lithium layouts.Star|0 likes] [|reply]

happy birthday to ewe
happy birthday to ewe
happy birthday to SAMI
happy birthday to ewe!!!!
you think too much, although its a question i would read into it alot too..
hope melbourne was fun!!

[e|jaih|0 likes] [|reply]

Happy birthday!

[*just me*Star|0 likes] [|reply]

Happy Birthday! =].

[Lady ElphabaStar|0 likes] [|reply]

So you know me well, I didn't read this I skimmed through and I hope I'm still alive in 50 years, 73 and a half is too young to die. Though you may have done a Sami and killed me by then. If you do I'll be mad and haunt you throughout your whole immortality so you won't be that lonely.

[|stripes|Star|0 likes] [|reply]

Interesting points. I think immortality is something a lot of people don't really look into too hard.

The point of memory is an interesting one - is the human brain really capable of coping with immortality? In a thousand years, would you still retain all your memories, or would your mind be overwhelmed? Would you start to forget bits?

What about if the world itself was ended? Would you just be left immortal, floating around among the wreckage?

Click and love please!
Adopt one today!Adopt one today!Adopt one today!Adopt one today!Adopt one today!

[Lunar Sea|0 likes] [|reply]

^ It is postulated that the brain has as many connections as there are particles in the universe, so it'd be able to create memories for a very long time (my guess would be longer than a thousand years), but not indefinitely. Some of the very old memories would probably start to crumble. I'd be inclined to think that the brain of such a person would be very, very interesting to look at under the microscope. xD

[lithium layouts.Star|0 likes] [|reply]

I always saw death as a gift. Immortality would be nice for the first few lifetimes, but then, not being able to die would take all the joy of life away. Isn't the exhilaration of living in the knowing that it could all be taken away at any moment?

I think immortality would take away my taste, and appetite for life.

[kein mitleidStar|0 likes] [|reply]

Sami you shit! You never update and the one time you do in MONTHS you get bloody RC

[Lady Blue BellaStar|0 likes] [|reply]

The claim that we use only 10% of our brain's "full potential" is iffy - having studied neuroscience for a few years now, I think it's more correct to say that we don't use all of our brain at the same time, but we do use all of it at one point or another (and at any given time, we are using much more than 10%). It doesn't make evolutionary or functional sense to have all this brain matter but only ever use 10% of it. But I do get what you're saying.

Along this same neuroscience tangent, I've learned that the 'choices' made between which memories to keep and which to dump already occurs constantly in the human brain - yes, in the mere mortal brain. xD It isn't possible for the brain to retain all its memories indefinitely. We only retain the ones that we spend more time rehearsing on a deep level (i.e. more time spent in working memory).

Hehe, about the particles in the universe thing - I meant to type 'galaxies in the universe', not particles. My silly mistake. xD But I don't even know how whoever arrived at that claim did so - we know neither the number of galaxies in the universe nor connections in the brain! (Well actually we might know the latter - I've heard that we have 100 billion neurons and each one has about 10,000 synapses...)

[lithium layouts.Star|0 likes] [|reply]

This is far too well thought out. You've had this thought before, haven't you?

I know I have >_>

[CWBStar|0 likes] [|reply]


[marty|0 likes] [|reply]

so according to Laura, "to do a Sami" means to KILL someone? Has this happened before ?

[marty|0 likes] [|reply]

look at you on rc.

[& skull.Star|0 likes] [|reply]

I've been thinking about this since I read Twilight, because try as I might, I couldn't figure out how becoming immortal could be seen as a 'happy ending' OR why a 17 year old girl would want to become immortal. (Particularly if that meant becoming a vampire!)

I think I'd hate to be here on this earth forever... I'm sure I'd get bored eventually, once I'd travelled the world and seen everything (assuming I had the money and means to do that). Plus my friends and family would all be gone. It would be extremely lonely as well as boring. So yeah, I personally don't understand why anyone (like Bella in Twilight) would want that.

[~RedFraggle~Star|0 likes] [|reply]

SAMI! YOU LEFT A COMMENT!! Are you ill? Did my food poison you in to it or something?! Heheh

[Lady Blue BellaStar|0 likes] [|reply]

RYC: I still havent had dinner! Bring me some down!

[Lady Blue BellaStar|0 likes] [|reply]

Hahaha, the house looks so much cooler on Bloop than on the website I am most excited about the kitchen which I think makes me very housewivey but at least I can turn my butt in the kitchen whilst cooking, or actually have other people standing next to me hahaha! Dude, I can DANCE in that kitchen!!

I agree with you and you agree with me haha. I am glad I am sort of making sense though, I just see this as the next logical step in our relationship but coming from a long distance one I have no idea if he'll still like me when I live with him, so YOU NEVER KNOW Hehe, to be fair though, I am not too worried but gotta stay sensible/realistic!

talking to you now so this is silly

[marty|0 likes] [|reply]

previous entry: Strengths and Weaknesses

next entry: Good Ol' Entry Fodder

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