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    Thread: Should humans stop aging?

    1. #1
      D.V. Editor-in-Chief Original Poster's Avatar
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      Should humans stop aging?

      I'm not concerned with whether or not it's possible to live forever, my concern is whether it's wise.

      "The fact that we drop dead is not a bug, it's a feature. It's how we get rid of all the old assholes." - Louis Black.

      I've had this debate before in a different thread but it got sidetracked so I'd like to focus more prominently on the ethics of immortality. I think that while people can continue learning new things, as we age our perspectives grow narrow. The more we learn, the harder it is to see things from a different light. Just as a biologist or a mathematician spends decades focusing solely on one field has trouble viewing the world without applying everything to biology and math, so do the elderly have trouble viewing the world apart from whatever they've come to believe.

      In other words, if we stopped changing the generations, our ethos would have difficulty evolving. Blank slates are necessary for better belief systems to be incorporated. Take racism, it's much more difficult to teach a 90 year old tolerance after they grew up where they were essentially expected to be intolerant. Allowing a new generation to replace them that didn't have the same racist indoctrination is necessary. Or take war and revenge. The easiest path to peace between two warring people is to wait for enough of the embittered to simply die off and be replaced by a generation that does not feel the same condemnation.

      Response?

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    2. #2
      Member Photolysis's Avatar
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      I'd avoid the term "immortality" because it usually ends up leading to confusion. "Indefinite lifespan" is more accurate if we're considering being able to halt ageing.

      Take racism, it's much more difficult to teach a 90 year old tolerance
      Even if we accept this point as true for the sake of argument, are you really arguing that racist people should be indirectly killed off? Let alone a bunch of innocent people who are not racist/warmongering/[insert label here]?

      Just as a biologist or a mathematician spends decades focusing solely on one field has trouble viewing the world without applying everything to biology and math, so do the elderly have trouble viewing the world apart from whatever they've come to believe.
      A scientific mindset requires an evidence-driven and open-minded approach to new ideas. No part of my training stated "be open-minded, but as soon as you hit 50 close that off and refuse to listen to anything new".

      I don't believe this is an intrinsic part of people's psychology as they age. I think it's more a fact that most people don't subject their beliefs to much scrutiny and are reluctant to change their minds. I've met plenty of people who barely reconsider their views across all ages, and likewise I've met plenty of intelligent older people who are willing to reconsider their views and learn new things.

      The easiest path to peace between two warring people is to wait for enough of the embittered to simply die off and be replaced by a generation that does not feel the same condemnation.
      Yet all too often old hatreds propagate across the generations due to childhood indoctrination.


      Really this reads more like standard rationalizations about death rather than a legitimate argument in favour of not developing anti-ageing medicine.

      And in terms of growth I'd also argue that the loss of people due to ageing sets us back. You've got to train new people to replace that lost knowledge. And what about those like Einstein? Who knows where we might be today if they were still around.
      Last edited by Photolysis; 06-18-2013 at 04:07 AM.

    3. #3
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      Trust me, this is not a rationalization. I believe that clinging to transhumanism is avoidance of mortality. If I needed to rationalize death, why not just join the transhumanists and believe it can be stopped? I would advocate meditating on death, actually, and meditation is like the opposite of rationalization.

      I argue death's usefulness because we live in a society where scientists do not consider the long term potential harm in their actions. People only wish to escape death because they believe in the illusion that they are nothing more than the person within their skin. To understand what one truly is, is not a rationalization either, it is realization.

      As far as Einstein goes, perhaps he would not have been so driven to effect humanity to such a great extent if not motivated by the fact that his life was temporary. Without death, one is not required to ponder what they wish to do with their life. Life becomes an irrelevant word because there's nothing to compare it to.

      And no, I do not believe in indirectly killing racists, I'm just saying imagine if the generation where racism was encouraged got to be the ones to live forever. You now have an idea of what I'd find wrong if this generation lived forever. I find that a frightening thought. Evolution works through generations, as everything one learns, they learn in a slightly different way than another person. It is this endless variation which life thrives upon. You cannot argue that the same people can just continue collecting all the information, for the same information changes depending on the mind that contains it.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    4. #4
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      Being someone who belives in an afterlife, I do not belive that death should be avoided.

      Moreover, I think aging is useful in that it changes one's perspective on issues: it is hard to change so much physically without changing mentally as well, and I believe change is desirable, though obviously not all people change for the better as they age, but that is the risk with change and does not negate the fact that change is overall a good idea. I know I am not the person I was at 16 or at 25, and I am glad I am not. Yes, there are aspects of being 39 that I do resent, but I also resented aspects of being 16, and they were different aspects. Stagnation is a big issue in my mind, and people who do not change their views over the years are missing out on an important part of life, in my opinion.
      Karloky likes this.
      You may say I'm a dreamer.
      But I'm not the only one
      - John Lennon

    5. #5
      Sleeping Dragon juroara's Avatar
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      im kinda interest in the opposite question, how can one be YOUNG indefinitely?

      Youth means health and vitality despite your chronological age - something yogis already do. But it also means having a flexible changing and naive mind. And yeah nativity is really a part of it, becuase if youre too anal to be stupid or wrong forget it. Like you said, being old means being set in your ways. So youth must be the opposite. I think thats why a lot of civil unrest happens with the college aged adults. They're mature enough to understand the complex situations they live in, but have young minds that can toss everything out the door!

      I dont think its a good idea for people to live forever. But what really upsets me is that people have to be OLD for more than half their life. I mean if a human lives for 120 years, how many years were they bald and ugly and anal and stiff? Youth means changing, which is what life is always doing.

    6. #6
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      I am not convinced that old age means set in ways: I was more set in my ways at 16 than I am at 39, and I have known old people who were very open minded and changing and learning at a high age. If we assume that old age means set in ways, there is something wrong with that, and what needs to change is the "set in ways" part, not the old part.
      You may say I'm a dreamer.
      But I'm not the only one
      - John Lennon

    7. #7
      D.V. Editor-in-Chief Original Poster's Avatar
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      Your experiences shape you, and you become a particular shape. It's not accurate to state that old people are more stubborn than young people. But it is accurate to say that they do not learn new things with a blank slate, they apply it to what they already know and evolve their mindset. Evolution of ethos works better if one continues to introduce new blank slates into the equation, though.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    8. #8
      Member Tranquil Toad's Avatar
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      The death birth cycle is a natural and powerful rhythm of rejuvenation. The positive, or symbolically masculine, explosion into form - and then the negative, or symbolically feminine, withdrawal into formlessness. The introduction of frequent blank slate, as Original Poster said.

      This is not just a rhythm of the body, it is a rhythm of the inner self as well. Any creative thought comes first from that initial explosion, fed into the mind from subconscious depths. The mind gives it structure and applies it in concrete ways to physical life. However if there is no corresponding withdrawal back into formless or unity, an empty structure is left over to be tossed around endlessly by the mind. All religions stem from that initial burst of creativity, yet they lack the feminine death rejuvenation so the result is dogma.

      In terms of the lifespan of the physical body, it is my opinion that it could be increased substantially as long as individuals are able to introduce that blank slate. True immortality would result, eventually, in stagnation though, and would be clung to more out of fear of death than love of life.

      Furthermore, the body is a projection of the inner mind. Frequent dissolutions into unity rejuvenate the body as much as the mind, and lack thereof cause stress and increase aging.

    9. #9
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      I agree that an increased lifespan would not be a problem. In fact I think the human lifespan is currently much shorter than it ought to be. I see nothing wrong with increasing it up to say, 250 years. This wouldn't slow down the introduction of new minds into society. Rather you would simply have a living lineage all the way back to your great, great, great, great grandparents.

      I start to become a little nervous when people talk about projecting humanity into a computerized brain or virtual reality, possibly for the same reason tranquil toad pointed out. But I suppose if people wanted to, they can feel free. Nothing lasts forever and that experiment will eventually end, too.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    10. #10
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      From the experiences of the past, this planet should be a utopia by now.
      However a lesson learned through experience, often can not be passed on, or is ignored by the young.
      This condems the young to go through the same unneccesary pains that we went through.
      Anyone bringing up a teenager will know their stubborn ignorance first hand.
      Perhaps if experiences could be passed on, then we would not need to live longer lives.
      Or at the very least, we could choose to live longer, or not.
      We just need to get rid of ignorance, and the world will cure its self.

      Lets start with a drug that opens closed minds. Allowing fixed ideas to be softened a little.
      The immortality can wait a while.

      There is far too much suppressed knowledge, and technology out there for my liking.
      Call it greed, ignorance, or whatever, get rid of it, and a new world will emerge.
      This is not something that could happen in the future. It can happen now. ( Not the greed/ignorance bit, but the hidden stuff )

      Edward Snowden seems to be starting the ball rolling.
      We just need others 'in the know' to come forward.
      Maybe not so dramaticly though.

      I have noticed a trend developing on this forum that seems to be going in the right direction.

      When we have sorted out the minor problems, then I would go for the "Stop aging"


      N.B
      The choice to target teenagers was simply to avoid any direct confrontation with any particular group/s

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