What ramifications do you think will result from finding a cure to death?

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    Dec 17, 2009 5:28 AM GMT
    Ok, first of all, this discussion is not "is there a cure to death?" or "how long will it take until there is a cure to death is discovered?"

    The question is: when a cure to death is found, how do you think the government and general public is going to handle the fact that people now have a CHOICE to live "forever"? ("forever" meaning in the sense that living a healthy life will never lead to the deterioration and dysfunction of any part of any system unless destroyed by something externally like multiple gun-shots, explosions, drowning, etc.)

    Do you think the government will decide who CAN live forever and who can't?

    Do you think the government will try to cover this up as QUICKLY as possible, kill anyone who knows about, and run experiments secretly?

    Do you think nature is correct and should supersede our modifications to it and thus take a life if we can extend life?

    Even if you don't want to live forever, do you think other people have the right to chose to live forever if that is an option for them?

    So far we HAVE extended the average human lifespan by doubling it in the last 100 years in the U.S. And yes much of it is due to finding cures to diseases. But as we find cures to more complicated diseases (and other diseases we think now are just a "natural" course of life), the life expectancy will increase as well. Do you expect to see a cap on life expectancy?
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    Dec 17, 2009 6:18 AM GMT
    what about resources? if nobody died population would explode. this rationally assumes that you can't live forever without replenishing yourself with whatever technology is used to keep you living, which will require resources. we'd strip our planet bare. is the technology to live forever greater than technology that allows us to leave our planet or start use other planets?
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    Dec 17, 2009 6:22 AM GMT
    It will never happen. Pharmacies have too much money to lose to find a cure.

    And anyways the whole world will mandate a child bearing limit law to 2 kids.

    aaaaand there will also be more gay people in the world, since the stigma of being gay will be gone. So declining population.

    Oooor maybe the machines will take over and it will be the Matrix all over again.
  • mcwclewis

    Posts: 1701

    Dec 17, 2009 6:24 AM GMT
    Well..... it would be ok for a while, everyone could just go gay,

    But imagine being alive forever.... it would suck.


    The government wouldnt allow the general public to hear about it.

    People like Walt Disney would be the only ones to be given the option.
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    Dec 17, 2009 6:31 AM GMT
    sexylatinboi said
    aaaaand there will also be more gay people in the world, since the stigma of being gay will be gone. So declining population.



    Errr, declining from what? War?

    Let's assume (for my own purposes) that breeding was negated. Not by random homosexuality like latinboi said, but by government mandate... or the "immortality serum" - you become sterile.

    The people accepting this Immortality would have the feasible ability to accumulate a ton of knowledge, but I guess with the internet, who needs immortality to do that? With no clock ticking, one could learn every skill they wish... Visit every place they wish... jobs would become so specialized that, after a hundred years or so, anyone born henceforward will never be able to find a worthwhile job (assuming the immortals have used their time on this earth productively..).

    I guess the religious folk would want to die, this would seem apocalyptic to most religions. Their eternal life seems much more favorable than true eternal life. So it may cause tons of religious wars to begin, religious suicides, sacrifices, etc... Those left of the religious would likely be Evangelistic, how selfless of them to accept tangible immortality for the good of the world?!?!?! Spread the news of how great death can be!!!



    Anyway, there's a few things that instantly popped into my head, incomplete thoughts... maybe I'll come back and expand on them.


    P.S. Looking at it again, it kinda looks like I just wrote a synopsis for a movie script. hah. *Goes off to finish thoughts and write script*



    P.P.S - Suppppooooosedly the life expectancy was over 600 years in Noah's time. Teheehee.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 17, 2009 6:51 AM GMT
    infinite douchebaggery.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 17, 2009 6:55 AM GMT
    Life would lose all purpose and meaning.

    I don't think there could be a greater plague upon the earth than to grant every person eternal life.
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    Dec 17, 2009 7:06 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    And just because we've prolonged life expectancy doesn't mean the quality of life we are living is so much better. Just look at all the obesity and chronic illnesses people are living with.


    So much of the obesity and chronic illnesses were caused by what most would consider an increase in quality of life. icon_wink.gif
    ***Walks 2 blocks to 7-11 to grab a doughtnut and pack of ciggarettes***
    ---Mmmmm, tasty smokey comfort.

    Some people realize that quality of life can't be provided, it's all perspective.
    ....Perspective and:

    imagination2.jpg
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    Dec 17, 2009 7:22 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidYour screen name evokes imagination for me.

    I keep seeing how you cleverly spelled PENIS in your screen name...


    Am I just a dirty whore for seeing this? Is this just me? icon_twisted.gif


    My pen is there always - as inner dreams.

    My penis - the real ways a sinner dreams.


    Yes, you're dirty. You're the only one. 15 Hail Marys!
  • imperator

    Posts: 626

    Dec 17, 2009 8:02 AM GMT
    If tomorrow some scientist discovered a treatment that could indefinitely prolong the human lifespan, I think first- in his excitement- he would announce it. Then a ton of other scientists (out of skepticism or jealousy) would set out to debunk his claim. The government of whatever his country of origin was would try like a motherfucker to find some way to covertly seize control of it (for national security or somesuch) while publicly asserting that they didn't believe it.

    If they succeeded at getting their hands on it (and I suspect they would, by whatever means necessary), the treatment would be monopolized by the political elites and their business buddies in secret until the rest of the population noticed their leaders had stopped ageing and dying. There'd be civil unrest and the threat of an uprising as people tried to get it for themselves. Eventually public pressure ("give it to us, too, or we'll find one of those ways that will still kill you") would lead to its commercial release but at a price so high as to limit distribution to the privileged, who- once they got what they wanted- would then help prop up the politicians and businesses to maintain a new geriatric regime. All of this I'm assuming based on the supposition that the discovery gets made in a 'first world' country; if we grant that, then- given what we know about how the birthrate's been declining as affluence and lifespan increase- the now-immortal upper-classes would continue hoarding as much as they could and stop reproducing so they didn't have to divide their wealth between offspring, while the 'lower classes' in the first- thru third-worlds would continue breeding until wars over food, new infectious diseases, or whatever emerged and decimated the population of poor people, who would subsequently be pressed into servitude to the rich (their population growth no doubt strictly curtailed) if they wanted food and water from whatever exclusive means of production the rich established to sustain themselves (secluded farming settlements, etc).

    As for me, if I was offered a shot to live as long as I wanted to (barring injury/suicide) I'd absolutely take it. I'd love all that time to learn whatever piqued my curiosity. Plus with 'eternity' ahead of you you can all but guarantee that eventually another medical breakthrough would offer to restore you to your physical prime, and then you could be immortal *and* (fake) young. Though if anything did drive me to suicide it would probably be anxiety at not being able to keep up with the rate of technological change; all the kids would be talking txt gibberish, I'd sink into despair at my obsolescence and finally try sky-diving... sans parachute.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 17, 2009 8:20 AM GMT
    Life is kinda already insufferable, I'm shooting for around 60 and that's it folks I'm gone!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 17, 2009 9:01 AM GMT
    Awww Ciarsolo don't say that!
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    Dec 17, 2009 9:09 AM GMT
    wushu18t saidwhat about resources? if nobody died population would explode. this rationally assumes that you can't live forever without replenishing yourself with whatever technology is used to keep you living, which will require resources. we'd strip our planet bare. is the technology to live forever greater than technology that allows us to leave our planet or start use other planets?


    This also leads to another important topic. If people can live forever and are allowed to, then there has to be a cap on babies.
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    Dec 17, 2009 9:12 AM GMT
    won´t happen.
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    Dec 17, 2009 9:14 AM GMT
    MeOhMy saidLife would lose all purpose and meaning.


    Only your life would lose meaning because you don't care to live past 120. I do. I have plans to get a PhD in dozens of fields but I can't because of "nature." Well, fuck nature. I want to live forever and explore the universe.
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    Dec 17, 2009 9:15 AM GMT
    sexylatinboi saidIt will never happen. Pharmacies have too much money to lose to find a cure.

    And anyways the whole world will mandate a child bearing limit law to 2 kids.


    Well, with the exception of Muslims and Mexicans spreading like flies, many developed societies don't even have 2 kids per family today. Example: Spain is like 1.3 kids per family.
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    Dec 17, 2009 9:19 AM GMT
    imperator saidIf tomorrow some scientist discovered a treatment that could indefinitely prolong the human lifespan, I think first- in his excitement- he would announce it. Then a ton of other scientists (out of skepticism or jealousy) would set out to debunk his claim. The government of whatever his country of origin was would try like a motherfucker to find some way to covertly seize control of it (for national security or somesuch) while publicly asserting that they didn't believe it.

    If they succeeded at getting their hands on it (and I suspect they would, by whatever means necessary), the treatment would be monopolized by the political elites and their business buddies in secret until the rest of the population noticed their leaders had stopped ageing and dying. There'd be civil unrest and the threat of an uprising as people tried to get it for themselves. Eventually public pressure ("give it to us, too, or we'll find one of those ways that will still kill you") would lead to its commercial release but at a price so high as to limit distribution to the privileged, who- once they got what they wanted- would then help prop up the politicians and businesses to maintain a new geriatric regime. All of this I'm assuming based on the supposition that the discovery gets made in a 'first world' country; if we grant that, then- given what we know about how the birthrate's been declining as affluence and lifespan increase- the now-immortal upper-classes would continue hoarding as much as they could and stop reproducing so they didn't have to divide their wealth between offspring, while the 'lower classes' in the first- thru third-worlds would continue breeding until wars over food, new infectious diseases, or whatever emerged and decimated the population of poor people, who would subsequently be pressed into servitude to the rich (their population growth no doubt strictly curtailed) if they wanted food and water from whatever exclusive means of production the rich established to sustain themselves (secluded farming settlements, etc).


    hahahaha holy shit. Good prediction. Sounds about right to me.
  • trl_

    Posts: 994

    Dec 17, 2009 9:47 AM GMT
    JakeBenson said

    Do you think the government will decide who CAN live forever and who can't?


    No because the more people living, the more taxable income.
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    Dec 17, 2009 11:33 AM GMT
    we would lose our humanity
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Dec 17, 2009 11:45 AM GMT
    It won't be pretty. Just ask this man.

    cabfcb4c-0270-4f8e-aff9-d942b4480c3a.jpg

    The resources on earth are limited. We're dealing with scarcity. By extending life to immortality, we increase the rate at which those resources will be consumed.
  • imperator

    Posts: 626

    Dec 17, 2009 5:04 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said[...]
    It's not natural to have a beginning with no end. That's what life is, there's a beginning and then there's an end. [...]


    I always have a problem with these statements-- that immortality would pose some existential dilemma because that's "not how things are meant to be." It's kind of a chauvinistic, human-centric and anthropomorphizing view of 'nature.' Just because limited lifespans have been our experience doesn't mean that nature dictates that's how it has to be. Scientists have already discovered at least a couple of species-- hydras and a kind of jellyfish-- that they consider functionally immortal. They're born, and thanks to their biology they appear to have no built-in expiry date. The jellyfish in question actually mature, breed, and then their cells 'regress' to their youthful state until they prepare to breed again, and so on and so on, indefinitely as far as anyone can tell.

    So if 'Nature' allows for it, it's a misconception for us to call it 'unnatural.' And if there's a way that we could figure out how that works and assimilate it into ourselves, then that's 'natural' too because we used our natural gifts to do it. We don't get to dictate what nature is or what it allows-- nature just is what it is, we just get to figure out what that is.
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    Dec 17, 2009 5:10 PM GMT
    imperator said
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said[...]
    It's not natural to have a beginning with no end. That's what life is, there's a beginning and then there's an end. [...]


    I always have a problem with these statements-- that immortality would pose some existential dilemma because that's "not how things are meant to be." It's kind of a chauvinistic, human-centric and anthropomorphizing view of 'nature.' Just because limited lifespans have been our experience doesn't mean that nature dictates that's how it has to be. Scientists have already discovered at least a couple of species-- hydras and a kind of jellyfish-- that they consider functionally immortal. They're born, and thanks to their biology they appear to have no built-in expiry date. The jellyfish in question actually mature, breed, and then their cells 'regress' to their youthful state until they prepare to breed again, and so on and so on, indefinitely as far as anyone can tell.

    So if 'Nature' allows for it, it's a misconception for us to call it 'unnatural.' And if there's a way that we could figure out how that works and assimilate it into ourselves, then that's 'natural' too because we used our natural gifts to do it. We don't get to dictate what nature is or what it allows-- nature just is what it is, we just get to figure out what that is.


    This post is spectacular, imperator, and I completely agree. I wonder if a society – even one that peacefully implemented the technology and bought the birthrate down to allow prevent overpopulation (contrary to your earlier post) – would lose its ability to develop intellectually. I suspect that intellectual development would slow dramatically, at least until they decided to develop intelligence-augmenting technologies that improved their creativity and empathy.
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    Dec 17, 2009 5:16 PM GMT
    sexylatinboi saidaaaaand there will also be more gay people in the world, since the stigma of being gay will be gone. So declining population.


    more gays != declining population.

    In fact, my gay friends are sprouting babies all over the place. Seriously, about 5 coupled friends of mine are having surrogate babies.

    To the OP: It's such an abstract (and unlikely) concept that it's really hard to comment on it.
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    Dec 17, 2009 5:34 PM GMT
    The thought that we'd ever be able to find a way to stop the breakdown of organic materials.... well, it'll never happen.
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Dec 17, 2009 6:22 PM GMT
    For this hypothetical situation, I suspect its ramifications would include one of the deepest religious-philosopical schisms in our species between those who would embrace the newfound immortality and those who would deem it blasphemous, seeing it as a profane mean toward achieving godhood or as the nullifier of the meaning of life.

    As for a government controlling its application, that would depend on the government in question and who has made the discovery: a private corporative researcher would probably be more inclined toward keeping it a secret due to corporate interests; a publicly financed research project would probably result in its becoming public knowledge. At least immediately, I imagine the relevant public authorities would put a moratorium on its use, awaiting further research.

    As for a government turning it into a black-ops mission, that would again depend on what government we're talking about, both in terms of nation and then-contemporary make-up.

    I don't think nature is "correct"; it just does whatever works at a given period without any conscious regard of anything.

    If the option of eternal life is there without any excessive resource costs, I don't see what grounds I have to deny another person that choice.

    As for human life expectancy, I imagine there is a cap and that that cap can be modified over time; I don't think there is a unchangeable cap that has been on us since time immemorial. Human bodies degrade over time and death by old age is death by a worn-out body, not because you've hit a seemingly arbitrary number of years lived.