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verawench
Lately I've been facing down some personal anxieties, tied to the inevitable mortality of myself, my parents and everyone close to me.

As is usually the case with these tides of emotional dread, I seek solace in reading as much as possible on the troublesome topic.

So I read about death and aging and before long stumbled upon Aubrey de Gray, a researcher out of Cambridge.

This is a rather eccentric fellow who believes in 20 years cell therapies will "cure" aging and allow for lifespans that run into millenia.

Read: http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/0…e_aging.asp?p=0

Aubrey may be nuts. I don't know enough about genetics and molecular engineering and other whoopta to pretend to know whether he has a point.

My question for you is: if you could, would you choose a life that postpones death indefinitely?

crosby
No, I would not. One life is certainly enough for me and being old for a long time has no appeal.

A friend of mine summed up the mortality issue pretty well:

Mommies and Daddies die. Get used to it, you’re next.
Jaded Prole
There are already far too many poeple.

Death is nothing to fear.
Helfrich
A thanatophilic drinker, I simply cannot afford it to live forever. But human existence appears to be sort of a Sein zum Tode. You'll have to achieve some kind of fulfilment within a span. If you fail, you lose -- but hey, most people do!
Donnie Darko
If they can get around that whole turning into an indigent slobbering looney thing that goes with very old age, then I'd certainly choose to live forever. I want to be around when we have spaceships, teleporters, alien contact, etc., after all…

Ray Kurzweil also recently wrote a book that theorized because technology grows exponentially, in about 40-50 years we should develop technologies that would halt or even reverse aging. Scientists have already figured out how to turn off certain aging genes in mice, prolonging their lives by 30%.
Stroller
After 80 or so years on earth, I think I'll be ready for a dirt nap.

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verawench
QUOTE (Donnie Darko @ Oct 9 2005, 10:54 AM)
If they can get around that whole turning into an indigent slobbering looney thing that goes with very old age, then I'd certainly choose to live forever.

Well that's the thing: some view aging as a disease and propose aging therapies to halt and reverse this degenerative process. If we could keep our cells all fresh and scrubbed clean of the molecular mothballs that drag us into the grave, we could theoretically remain young and vital for centuries.

If I had that option I think I'd take it. Not necessarily because I don't want to die but because I disdain the idea of not having a choice in whether I die or not. But hey, that's just my ego throwing a fit in the cosmic sandbox.
Kirk
If I could live an unhealthy lifestyle and yet live out a normal lifespan with no complications, (and still look good) I'd be thrilled to death.
Head_prosthesis
I don't want to have to work that long.

Jaded Prole
Fukkin' - A!
Fredie
user posted image
"You know I'm born to lose
and gamblin' for fools…
But that's the way I like it baby,
I don't wanna live forever…..
& Don't forget who told ya!!"
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Selmac
On one hand, I agree with Donnie, I would love to see the future. My curiosity about death would eventually get the better of me. Forever? No. 500 or so, I could do that.
Pataphysician
QUOTE (verawench @ Oct 8 2005, 10:57 PM)

My question for you is: if you could, would you choose a life that postpones death indefinitely?

Absolutely. The only problem I see is: without the fear of death driving me on, what would motivate me? (And, hey, Prol, what proof do you have that death is nothing to fear?)
Donnie Darko
There's a relevant line in Phillip Pullman's Golden Compass along those lines. There's these Witches who live close to 1,000 years, and one says "opportunities can be passed by, since they will inevitably come again".
Jaded Prole
If life was a thing that money could buy --

the rich man would live and the poor man would die. . .
verawench
QUOTE (Pataphysician @ Oct 10 2005, 02:33 PM)
QUOTE (verawench @ Oct 8 2005, 10:57 PM)

My question for you is: if you could, would you choose a life that postpones death indefinitely?

Absolutely. The only problem I see is: without the fear of death driving me on, what would motivate me? (And, hey, Prol, what proof do you have that death is nothing to fear?)

Well, the flip side of that is that we would take the time to do things better. How many of us skim books, learn something half-assed, cut corners on enjoying thngs or simply not bother with some things at all simply because we're always rushing?

thegreenimp
I'd like to last long enough to see the U.S. absinthe ban lifted, so forever might just about cover it.
verawench
I sat around at lunch with a gay ex-Mormon friend of mine who very much believes (unlike me) in the afterlife. "Well, because it's logical". His argument was that overwhelming complexity of life and the universe dictates that there is a greater purpose and that the "soul" has a future outside the mortal shell of the body.

Oh, how I envy him.
verawench
QUOTE (thegreenimp @ Oct 10 2005, 07:31 PM)
I'd like to last long enough to see the U.S. absinthe ban lifted, so forever might just about cover it.

LOL, eyes on the prize, Mr. Imp.
Pataphysician
QUOTE (verawench @ Oct 10 2005, 07:39 PM)
I sat around at lunch with a gay ex-Mormon friend of mine who very much believes (unlike me) in the afterlife. "Well, because it's logical". His argument was that overwhelming complexity of life and the universe dictates that there is a greater purpose and that the "soul" has a future outside the mortal shell of the body.

Oh, how I envy him.

Sure, the way I sometimes envy the mentally retarded.

I just don't see how his theory is logical.
Donnie Darko
Me neither.

A belief in the afterlife seems to me even less comforting than dreaming about what it would be like to win the lottery. It's nice to fantasize about what hitting the jackpot might be like, but in all probability it will never happen to you or anyone you know, which means it's ultimately a waste of time, energy, and money.

It's a nice idea, but I haven't seen one shred of hard evidence that convinces me that an afterlife like the ones described by our human mythologies exists.

Besides, if one lives every day as if complete death were inevitable, wouldn't that make each day alive seem all that more valuable? I'd rather make choices based on how they will affect my living self rather than wagering my actions on some hypothetical thing I might get after death…
Selmac
There is nothing logical about it. Because life is too complex to understand, there must be an afterlife? Pure dilusion. I think (or maybe hope) that verawench envies the bliss that such thinking affords a person. It's fine to believe in an afterlife, if that's what you want. Just don't try to feed me baseless arguments for it. I prefer not to "know", I will wait and see.
Selmac
You beat me to it, Donnie.
verawench
QUOTE (Selmac @ Oct 11 2005, 07:16 AM)
There is nothing logical about it. Because life is too complex to understand, there must be an afterlife? Pure dilusion.

Unfortunately I agree. I envy the peace of mind that comes with his certainty, even if that certainty is based in self-delusion.

It doesn't mean I'll pursue the same opiate path.

But right now I'm just in a place where I don't see how I'll ever find peace of mind as an agnostic with no belief in the afterlife.
Pataphysician
I'm in the same boat. So I decided that peace of mind is over-rated, possibly unnecessary.
celticgent
QUOTE (verawench @ Oct 11 2005, 01:03 PM)

Unfortunately I agree. I envy the peace of mind that comes with his certainty, even if that certainty is based in self-delusion.

It doesn't mean I'll pursue the same opiate path.

But right now I'm just in a place where I don't see how I'll ever find peace of mind as an agnostic with no belief in the afterlife.

i couldn't have put it better myself.
Fredie
just imagine….pushing up ALL THOSE DAISIES!!!
wormwood.gif fennel.gif anise.gif hyssop.gif coriander.gif melissa.gif wormwood.gif genepi.gif veronica.gif gentiane.gif
celticgent
i'd much rather be pulling down daisies

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Donnie Darko
QUOTE (Pataphysician @ Oct 11 2005, 10:05 AM)
I'm in the same boat. So I decided that peace of mind is over-rated, possibly unnecessary.

A) If there is no afterlife, then I'm in charge and it's up to me to discover all I can about the universe, develop my own morals and live life to the fullest.

B) If there is an afterlife, then I'd have to worry about how to have a good one, how to avoid being punished by deities, running into unpleasant ghosts or angels or demons, how to communicate with the living, and how to cope with the likelihood that all my earthly pleasures would be forever lost to me once I'm dead.

Column A gives me the most peace of mind.
Wild Bill Turkey
This casts God in the role of boogey-man. Judgement day as the threat placed over the heads of little chiildren in order to keep them from beating up smaller children and taking their absinthe.
Gertz
QUOTE (verawench @ Oct 11 2005, 03:39 AM)
His argument was that overwhelming complexity of life and the universe dictates that there is a greater purpose and that the "soul" has a future outside the mortal shell of the body.

I can't see how the complexity of life, the universe and everything proves anything else than that we're too stupid to understand it.

One of the scariest novels I've read was about a guy who somehow finds out to communicate with souls of dead people - not exactly a plot never heard of before, but well enough written to make one accept that it's actually going on while reading.

He finds out that there is an afterlife - not eternal, but for a month or so. Just as nails, hair etc. continues to grow for a while, so does some kind of soul live on. It doesn't realize that it's dead, it's just like stuck in a dream that it cannot wake up from. Gradually, it forgets about life, and the dreaming turns into panic, as the notion of the big nothing becomes more apparent.
celticgent
what's the title?
Gertz
"Death"

In danish. Not translated.
verawench
QUOTE (Gertz @ Oct 11 2005, 12:26 PM)
He finds out that there is an afterlife - not eternal, but for a month or so. Just as nails, hair etc. continues to grow for a while, so does some kind of soul live on. It doesn't realize that it's dead, it's just like stuck in a dream that it cannot wake up from. Gradually, it forgets about life, and the dreaming turns into panic, as the notion of the big nothing becomes more apparent.

Sounds like a recurring nightmare I had for years when i was a teenager. I dread that more than anything.
celticgent
QUOTE
In danish. Not translated.


i must have ESPN

i knew you were gonna say that
Kirk
QUOTE
and the dreaming turns into panic, as the notion of the big nothing becomes more apparent.

That scared me. shock.gif
Selmac
QUOTE (Wild Bill Turkey @ Oct 11 2005, 11:13 AM)
This casts God in the role of boogey-man. Judgement day as the threat placed over the heads of little chiildren in order to keep them from beating up smaller children and taking their absinthe.

That is It's primary function. However, the effect on violent behavior seems to be quite the opposite where the adult population is concerned.
thegreenimp
And so Castles made of Sand, slips into the sea,
Eventually.

Jimi Hendrix
Artemis
As New Orleans found out. The original city (the French Quarter, surrounded by a wall) was built on the only high ground suitable for building a town in that area - it was as stupid as stupid could be to put houses on the rest. It was only a matter of time until the water claimed them.

Maybe:

"Death ain't much." - Harvey Keitel in Shadrach.

Or, you should make death your closest friend, says Carlos Castaneda's Don Juan. Always picture him standing just behind you, ready to reach out and ………. tap you. Then everything else is like a picnic.

Vera, do you want Dr. Artemis to send you a copy of the Dao De Jing? "Heaven and earth will pass away, the Dao will never pass away" - Lao Dze
Donnie Darko
Fuck, now you're gonna make me quote (abridged) the very dead Nick Drake:

Life is but a memory
Happened long ago.
Theatre full of sadness
For a long forgotten show.
Seems so easy
Just to let it go on by
Till you stop and wonder
Why you never wondered why.

Safe in the womb
Of an everlasting night
You find the darkness can
Give the brightest light.
Safe in your place deep in the earth
That's when they'll know what you were really worth.
Forgotten while you're here
Remembered for a while
A much updated ruin
From a much outdated style.

Fruit tree, fruit tree
No-one knows you but the rain and the air.
Don't you worry
They'll stand and stare when you're gone.

Fruit tree, fruit tree
Open your eyes to another year.
They'll all know
That you were here when you're gone.
Artemis
I visited a gardening group once - an idiot there used as his signature line something along the lines of the following gibberish - there must be God, because Jesus came back from the dead. I flamed the idiot without mercy, but then he had said Habaneros have no flavor, so his perception was lacking, to say the least.

The complexity of the Universe means nothing. A clock that big better be ingenious, it's got to run for billions of years. It stands to reason the works might be pretty complex as well.
AndrewT
I think it's possible that there is some sort of afterlife, i.e. that consciousness can exist in some form outside the physical body. However, I'm willing to bet that if there is some sort of afterlife, it's just as confusing and complex as this one. People who think they get to meet some deity or deceased loved ones or get to watch the living taking showers, etc. have a bit too much wishful thinking.

And if nothing else, just look on the bright side: once you die you share an important experience with most of the greatest human beings who ever lived.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE (Artemis @ Oct 12 2005, 06:58 AM)
"Heaven and earth will pass away, the Dao will never pass away" - Lao Dze

After reading the Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra (it's no coincidence he mentions Castaneda as an inspiration repeatedly), it blew my mind that a few thousand years ago, someone was able to poetically describe realities which science is just now acquiring the ability to describe (although science is still only just scratching the surface).

Here's a question: By attempting to achieve immortality, are we fighting the Tao? Or are our efforts to fight our own passing away actually bringing us closer to the Tao, which never passes away?
Absomphe
Perhaps, when we reach for immortality on an indidual level, we're fighting the Tao, but when we, as a species, reach for the same goal, we are bringing ourselves closer to it.
Artemis
In fact, the pursuit of immortality was a key facet of Daoism as practiced in China. I view it as a corruption of an orginally pure concept, the same thing that happened to Jesus when a religion was constructed around him. The Dao De Jing teaches not to chase after anything, so I guess that answers the question.
verawench
Who/what made the clock?
verawench
I'm asking merely to gain insight. I keep thinking there's some explanation I can settle for and stop these violent panic attacks I've been having.

Or maybe I need a Xanax rx.
Artemis
The clock is in a perpetual process of generation/entropy. The clock and the clockmaker are not two different things.

Drink an absinthe and forget about it. Or maybe get laid …..
Donnie Darko
QUOTE (verawench @ Oct 12 2005, 10:46 AM)
Who/what made the clock?

But if anybody answered that, then you'd have to ask who/what made the who/what that made the clock.

I'd say the clock IS the who/what. It's representative of the dualistic rules that govern pretty much everything. If it wasn't there, nothing would be here.

There are only beginnings and endings because one can't exist without the other. If there were only light and no darkness, nobody would know what light was. If there were life and no death, nobody would know what life was.

Xanax will stop you worrying about it, but that's because it will stop you from thinking. Zoloft will probably keep you thinking but greatly reduce the anxiety associated with these vexing questions.
Fredie
wonder if they have Xanex in Xanadu?
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