Immortality: Where did God go?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by spaceboots06, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. spaceboots06 macrumors 6502a

    spaceboots06

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    #1
    You can read the article here, but that's not why I made the thread. I made this thread because I'd like to discuss the good, bad and ugly of immortality.

    Although some may be doubtful of the entire immortality idea, there are several ways of this happening. I think transferring one's brain from a body to another is the most likely way for this to happen. (At least over living forever in the same body) The only problem I see with this is, we either would have to grow bodies (test tubes, anyone?) specifically to give to people that want (can afford it) to live forever, or, one could buy one's body (let's say someone wants to pay for an expensive treatment for a loved one but can't afford it, so said person could sell his/her body to someone who wants to transfer their brain to the body in question, ultimately killing the person who's being bought)

    So,

    Do you think faith would cease to exist if immortality became the new thing? Why would one need to believe in God or an afterlife, if, well, you're on earth forever. (Or at least in our universe/galaxy/human state of mind, whatever)

    Do you think these controversial methods could start a violent war between people who believe in this treatment and not? Something similar to the war between Abortion Doctors and citizens who are pro life.

    I had a few other points I wanted to make but when I was thinking of them I was drifting into sleep and can't remember them.

    What do you think?
     
  2. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #2
    There was an episode of "that's impossible" that went over this. I personally think it would be great, but we obviously would have to control the populations "manually".
     
  3. Shotglass macrumors 65816

    Shotglass

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    #3
    If right now there were some scientists researching immortality and they published the results of their research saying they were close to a breakthrough, they would be dead within the day, killed by religious fanatics.
     
  4. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    From a biblical perspective, Jesus would still be coming back someday, so immortality would not override the need for faith.

    I imagine that immortality would come in rather small steps that would simply expand our life spans to extreme lengths. Those advacnes in medicine and technology would not be controversial for most people because extend our lives would be considered a good thing by most people. If we started to try to transfer our "brain" into another body or machine, things might get a little touchy for a lot of people.
     
  5. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #5
    I think any plausible reality is still just elongation of life, not immortality. People will still be able to be killed or even die of accidental natural causes. I think repairing the body you have is still going to be the best approach. Life expectancy growing to 100 years or 200 years. Transferring a brain to a new location doesn't sound like a terribly good or plausible idea.
     
  6. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #6
    We may not have to do a brain transplant, soon enough we will probably be able to code it somehow to a computer and then just transfer that.
     
  7. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #7
    I don't see how that would mean that the transferred person is still alive. It sounds to me like the person is being simulated on a computer.
     
  8. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #8
    More so being reproduced by the computer. They did it with a rat brain not too long ago (given it took up a whole office building of mainframe computers if I recall correctly). Obviously we couldn't say for sure if we would be "conscious" but I wouldn't put it out of the realm of possibility. Our brains are pretty complex, but once the complexities can be mapped out I don't think we would have any problem with the mechanics.
     
  9. spaceboots06 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    spaceboots06

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    #9
    No idea if we finished mapping the human genome yet or whatnot but if we haven't I'm fairly sure we'll be done soon. I can see the above happening but would it be hard to pinpoint an individual's specific brain chemistry?
     
  10. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #10
    Suppose you had a procedure that replaced exactly one neuron in your brain with an artificial alternative that performed exactly the same function in exactly the same way as the neuron it replaces. Are you still you? Repeat for a second neuron. How about now? One by one, keep replacing neurons in situ. At what point do you think you would stop experiencing the world and start pretending to experience the world?

    You're already being simulated on a computer. It's just one you happened to be born with.
     
  11. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #11
    Hold it right there, bub. :)
     
  12. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #12
    Well, think how easy it will be to fix Social Security when the retirement age is raised to 200.

    Seriously, I look at the idea of immortality skeptically. Both in whether it is possible or desireable. Much of life's meaning seems connected to it's finite nature.
     
  13. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Well, from a biblical perspective, you definitely need faith. :)
     
  14. spaceboots06 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    spaceboots06

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    #14
    Imagine if we lived in some sort of dystopian society where, because people lived forever, birth would be controlled and not be necessary. Where would Jesus come from? :eek:
     
  15. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #15
    There's a sticky question worthy of a few dozen science fiction novels.

    Are we mental beings being simulated on a biological construction? Or are we inherently biological and thus, without the body, we cannot exist.

    We won't be able to answer that question with any seriousness is when, or if, we're able to build an AI and I believe that will be far weirder an entity than we'd ever expect.
     
  16. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Biblically, Jesus has already been born, died and resurrected. He is now at the right hand of the father. When he returns, he will come from the sky. He does not need to be born of a human again.
     
  17. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

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    #17
    I would not want it (then again I'm 20 :p) but I believe that one life is more or less enough, living functionally for 100 years is enough for me.
     
  18. barkomatic macrumors 68040

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    #18
    It might be possible to transfer someone's consciousness to a computer or a new body someday -- but I wonder if a state of consciousness that lived past it natural lifespan might go insane or breakdown.

    I'd be much more interested in simply living out my natural lifespan in a body that doesn't age past 25 or so. :)
     
  19. spaceboots06 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    spaceboots06

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    #19
    I was thinking, if some people like to say "age is not a number but rather a state of mind," wouldn't some people be TOO mature? Or know TOO much.

    I.e. you may be 250 yr/o but in a 30 year old's body. Won't you feel out of place?
     
  20. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

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    #20
    With time, all degenerates/erodes/wears out.

    The problem with the concept of brain transplantation is that the brain ages also.

    Your body is a machine we can repair, and get some more mileage out of, but with use will wear out, break down, and cease to function. Sorry to break it to you hoping for immortality.
     
  21. spaceboots06 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    spaceboots06

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    #21
    Well I would much rather accept Ray Kurzweil's predictions or Kevin Kelly's because they're not just someone posting on an internet forum. (although there are a few futurists and scientists skeptical of eternal life.)
     
  22. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #22
    Ray Kurzweil posts on the internet. :D
     
  23. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

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    #23
    To answer the OP's initial scenario "If one person gave up there body for another's" : I think that would not be considered the norm, and rather a special case. So I wouldn't see wars being started over such things. Though I could imagine it taking on a similar disagreement to abortion.

    Immortality shouldn't concern God should it? From my understanding a Christian's God lives in the mind of the Christian and forever he will live there. However long man is living, God will be there.

    Though I, personally, would go so far as to state that 'Man made God'.
     
  24. eawmp1 macrumors 601

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    #24
    This is the internet! Whose to say I am not Kurzwell or Kelly? Or someone with even more (or less) authority on the subject? In any event, don't you worry your pretty little head about it because "perhaps in 300 years" YOU won't be alive.

    The great thing about being a futurist discussing things that far in the future is that you won't have to hear them mock you when you are ultimately proven inaccurate.
     
  25. spaceboots06 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    spaceboots06

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    #25
    Haha, I must agree with the last part of what you wrote. If you watch the Transcendent Man trailer on Youtube, Ray reveals that he's planning on bringing his father back. :eek:
     

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