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   Author  Topic: Immortality?  (Read 11613 times)
Royen
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Immortality?
« on: 2002-10-20 11:53:22 »
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Johan Royen Larsson
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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #1 on: 2002-10-21 01:57:19 »
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Quote from: Royen on 2002-10-20 11:53:22   

In the 'about' section, CoVs doctrine is described as a means for attaining immortality ("...without resorting to mystical delusions.")

This sounds, to me, very much like a mystical delusion.

Of course, procreation means your genes remain in the gene-pool, which can be interpreted as immortality in a way, but the above formulation leads me to believe that "classic" immortality a la live forever is what is meant. Have I just made a fool of myself or do you know something I don't?

I suppose it all depends on what you think qualifies as immortality.  From my limited PoV, I would think of someone living to be 400 years old to be effectively immortal.  The life experiences would span such a vastness of cultural change, that the person does not seem to live in any particular time in the way that I and others do. 

One could suppose that the quest for longevity is indeed itself a legitimate non-delusional quest for immortality regardless of whether immortality is ever achieved.  The ideal of immortality has sufficient force to drive real and effective change.

And then of course there is memetic immortality, achieved whether "rightly" or not by numerous historical figures.  Some through military conquest, others through wealth, some through discovery, and others through chicanery.

I think that there are many non-delusional ways in which you can think about immortality.  These are only a few examples.

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-Jake
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David Lucifer
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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #2 on: 2002-10-21 10:36:18 »
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Quote from: Jake Sapiens on 2002-10-21 01:57:19   

And then of course there is memetic immortality, achieved whether "rightly" or not by numerous historical figures.  Some through military conquest, others through wealth, some through discovery, and others through chicanery.

When I wrote that part of the doctrine I was thinking of memetic immortality. It would require a reformulation of the conception of self. Can we learn to identify with our memes rather than our bodies? I think it is quite possible.
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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #3 on: 2002-11-09 01:06:21 »
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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #4 on: 2002-11-09 06:45:29 »
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Oh CooL!  A Christian Memeticist!!  I've been waiting for one of them. 

Love,

Jake


Quote from: slithy on 2002-11-09 01:06:21   

Remember the you of 1995? That person is already dead.

Any kind of immortality that implies changelessness is no better than being dead; any immortality that does not offers only continuity of experience between selves.

The mystery of religious resurrection is that it is true - the memes lift jesus out of his grave. Put him back and live forever yourself.

But seriously here, . . . the memes are true?  or the resurrection is true?  And don't you think if Jesus, then probably a lot of other historical figures just wait in the netherworld until the right memes start firing in the Human population pullling them back into the fray in yet another incarnation?

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-Jake
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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #5 on: 2002-11-17 03:33:06 »
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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #6 on: 2002-11-18 13:01:09 »
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Quote from: slithy on 2002-11-17 03:33:06   

The resurrection is true - just not in the form that christians believe. Jesus is arguably more alive than anyone reading this: his memes are everywhere; his words and actions relived in a billion minds. I mean nothing more as far as that goes - much the same as you already said, Jake.

I don't think the continuity of a POV is really immortality; that was my real point. It is one of those "obvious" truths that isn't true at all. It is closet dualism that posits that there is a "self" that exists outside of time, with an identity that transcends the utterly different nature of, for example, the child of 10 and the woman of 50 years. The woman remembers the child, but cannot understand or think as the child did. The child is even less able to understand how she will be in 40 years - they are not the same person, they share some memories (but even those are mutable with time) and attitudes, but less than each might do with, say, a twin sister of the same age.







Hmmm.  I was actually relishing the idea of Christian Virian, something many here might take as an outright impossibility, but I personally hold out the possibility for. . .

But on to your point about imortality. . . I agree that we are indeed different people than we started out, but I think your final comment about a twin sister brushed up against the issue a little more closely in my mind.  I do think we tend to have recurring themes in our lives, and I would guess that our genetics remaining fairly constant thru-out our lives might have something to say about that.  No I am not the same person I was, say 23 years ago, though I can still see myself doing similar kinds of things or reacting in similar ways socially and environmentally.  Certainly with considerable more thoughtfulness, but still noticible as variations on a theme.

Indeed it appears with perhaps continuing application of cloning technologies, both stem cells, and reproductively, that a certain kind of genetic immortality may already be within the grasp of those with the resources to pursue that.  I would say anyone extending their life span to say 300 years, will have already tasted a slice of immortality whether they ultimately die or not.

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-Jake
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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #7 on: 2002-11-19 15:14:55 »
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Quote from: slithy on 2002-11-17 03:33:06   

The resurrection is true - just not in the form that christians believe. Jesus is arguably more alive than anyone reading this: his memes are everywhere; his words and actions relived in a billion minds.

What if no historical person said those words or did those actions? Then who is immortal? A fictional character?
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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #8 on: 2002-11-19 22:49:52 »
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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #9 on: 2002-11-24 15:02:47 »
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Quote from: slithy on 2002-11-19 22:49:52   

David Lucifer - The immortal jesus is a kind of fiction regardless of whether he was the originator of even some of the memes attributed to him, all of them, or none of them. Memetic immortality necessarily is a simplification of the originating intellect(s); yet either Jesus lives or some other people who wrapped their ideas around his name live instead.


So then perhaps one could simply say, "I like this model regardless of the actual circumstances behind the story, and for me Jesus lives in my heart and inspires my actions."? And be considered a Christian?

-Jake
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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #10 on: 2002-11-25 01:40:58 »
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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #11 on: 2002-11-25 10:08:33 »
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That sounds like a very reasonable argument for the physical immortality meme, Bruce. I can only argue on three issues.


The first issue is a technical one. Specifically, whether or not we are well on our way to seeing it soon. I'll just say I am sceptical about that for now.


The second issue is an evolutionary one -- physical survival of the fittest genes. Although it has been argued that science and technology have already made the evolutionary process obsolete by facilitating the lives of handicapped people, an evolutionary process for the survival of the genes most fit to our current technological/social environment seems to be still in place.


The third issue, for which I'll argue at some more length, is a social one.

Who gets to be immortal? When the technology is eventually developed, it may permit immortality for everyone or for just some people. In the first case, we will have problems of contention for resources. In the second case, we will have inequality/authority problems. In both cases, we will have social instability problems; in fact, a matter of life and death.

Also, who would be more likely to develop the technology some day? A quick answer is that a hi-tech corporation would. Taking into account the above as well as the importance of the issue and the way wealth and power work in society, in what way would such a corporation make the technology available? And how would other centers of pawer -- corporations, governments, trade unions etc react to that?

Also, imagine a society run by "experienced" 200-year-olds who know that they have the option of never stepping down from a position of power. Among other things, it could seriously hinder social evolutionary change through renewal.

« Last Edit: 2002-11-28 05:57:51 by rhinoceros » Report to moderator   Logged
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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #12 on: 2002-11-29 01:43:07 »
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First of all, I would like to thank Bruce for posting here, as I realize immortality is a very prominent meme in his operating set . . . but to respond more directly to rhino's points, which I am still interested to hear Bruce's take on this . . .

[Rhino] That sounds like a very reasonable argument for the physical immortality meme, Bruce. I can only argue on three issues.


The first issue is a technical one. Specifically, whether or not we are well on our way to seeing it soon. I'll just say I am sceptical about that for now.

[Jake] We already have achieved technical capacity in human cloning, which is just one of many paths to immortality of some sort which I expect we will attain in this generation . . .

[rhino] The second issue is an evolutionary one -- physical survival of the fittest genes. Although it has been argued that science and technology have already made the evolutionary process obsolete by facilitating the lives of handicapped people, an evolutionary process for the survival of the genes most fit to our current technological/social environment seems to be still in place.

[Jake] eliminating selection on one level, encourages selection on other levels.  Those people who might have otherwise lacked resources for immortality due to their physical condition may yet achieve immortality due to their mental prowess, at least those that have that to fall back on, like say the Stephen Hawking's of the world.

[rhino] The third issue, for which I'll argue at some more length, is a social one.

Who gets to be immortal? When the technology is eventually developed, it may permit immortality for everyone or for just some people. In the first case, we will have problems of contention for resources. In the second case, we will have inequality/authority problems. In both cases, we will have social instability problems; in fact, a matter of life and death.

[Jake] Hasn't it always been this way though?  Are not rich people destined to become the lab animals of tomorrow?  And isn't this better (volunteers with resources that is) than animals who lack even the capacity to value the research that we subject them too?  And in time after they have worked out the problems of this new frontier, won't we all, at least those who care enough to amass resources devoted to immortality, have essentially the same opportunities in time to pursue the same dream?

[rhino] Also, who would be more likely to develop the technology some day? A quick answer is that a hi-tech corporation would. Taking into account the above as well as the importance of the issue and the way wealth and power work in society, in what way would such a corporation make the technology available? And how would other centers of pawer -- corporations, governments, trade unions etc react to that?

[rhino]  Also, imagine a society run by "experienced" 200-year-olds who know that they have the option of never stepping down from a position of power. Among other things, it could seriously hinder social evolutionary change through renewal.

[Jake]  Now here is a real issue . . . but perhaps to outweigh the usual social change that death imposes, do you think that the condition of immortality, once realized and integrated by those achieving a slice of it, will work its own brands of social reforms that death did in the past.  People who know that they will die within a "normal" time, might have less commitment to social reform than those individuals who know and expect to live to regret and/or embrace the longer term consequences of their actions?

-Jake
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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #13 on: 2002-12-01 19:47:15 »
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Re:Immortality?
« Reply #14 on: 2002-12-01 22:25:30 »
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Quote from: BJKlein_com on 2002-12-01 19:47:15   

3.  Social.

The problem of who will have access.... in the short term, this will be a real problem.  Wealthier people will live longer.  But can the rich really bottle up immortality?  It's likely they'd not succeed, nor would they even try.

Quite the opposite, wealthy individuals will invest their money to promote anti-aging products in the hopes of making even more money.  And because of well understood market forces and economies of scale, people will benefit accordingly.

Thanks, Bruce.  I think you answered that part better than I did, but that was essentially what I was trying to say.  Generally these social inequality issues don't concern me.  As you say, and as past econcomics of new technology have indicated, the initial investements of wealthier people eventually opens the gates for many more of society to enjoy them at more reasonable prices.  However, we shouldn't forget the hordes of the world who still struggle with the hand to mouth aspects of civilization and things such as illiteracy, AIDS, and malnutrition.  They may not, for expectable reasons appreciate it as such an automatic march to immortality when they fail to see improvements in their own more obviously mortal lives.  Though I have no personal problem with this aspect of the issue, we shouldn't assume that the rest of the world will be sold as quickly.

A certain level of charity along the way here could more easily lubricate the eventual acceptance of these ideas.  Certainly I think we can all imagine some primadonna celebrity type benefitting from life extension, and taking it as their personal cue to build up charities that spread the wealth to less fortunate but otherwise deserving individuals.  I mean isn't that almost as predictable as gravity?

-Jake
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