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  1. #1
    perdu fleur par bologne Martoon's Avatar
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    Default Perception of death if we were "medically immortal"

    Let's say medical science had this enormous breakthrough that allowed us to cure any illness and completely stop aging, cheaply and easily. No more death by natural causes. For the sake of this discussion, let's say overpopulation isn't an issue (we've developed interstellar travel and are filling up other planets, or we have dimensional phase shifting that allows multiple people/things to occupy the same space simultaneously and independently - or whatever).

    Even though people would no longer die of natural causes, people could still be killed (accidents, homicide, war, etc.). I read a little sidebar article in a magazine a while back. It said that the chance of an adult in the U.S. getting killed in any particular year was some small fraction of 1%. Taking the inverse of that, it came out to something like 1400 and some odd years being the average lifespan if old age and disease didn't kill people.

    If people only died from non-disease related extreme physical trauma, what would our perception of death be? As it is, we seem to view the tragedy of death as being somewhat proportional to the remaining years that were taken from a person. If someone dies at 60, we see it as very sad, and it doesn't seem right. But if someone dies at 30, we generally perceive that as more tragic (she was so young, I can't believe she was taken at that age, etc.). And if a child is killed, we see that as even more tragic.

    If people lived indefinitely until they were killed by something external to them, how would we view death differently than we do now? How would safety concerns be different? What about war?
    I'm not a procrastinator. I'm a long-term planner.

  2. #2
    ~dangerous curves ahead~
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    It'd make dying a lot more painful physically, since there is no fading away.

    It'd also mean perhaps, for the survivors, we'd never be prepared / never really have a chance to say goodbye, since the death will be a violent one.

    It could also mean we'd always have to be prepared then, to say goodbye.

    Perhaps it'd make us live harder, faster, for the first few hundred years, since you know you're practically immortal.

    Thereafter, comes a period for reflection, thought. We'd slow down. Be more at peace with ourselves. Or perhaps, merely satiated with sensations, and jaded.

    After, if any reaches, mayhaps enlightenment. Neither fearing death, nor seeking sensations. Just a state of being.

    I'd always viewed death as a mercy.

    Living for 1,400 years is a blessing only if you've enough to fill that time with.

    Re war: Perhaps more of it. The younger a nation. The more it will wish to fight. "Liberty is a whore that must be bedded on a mattress of corpses" Also. The longer one lives, perhaps the cheaper life becomes. There'd be more people to waste anyway.

  3. #3

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    I think that suicide would become by far the biggest cause of death. After all, in a life of hundreds of years, one is bound to exhaust a lot of life's excitement. I think it would even become somewhat routine and lose a lot of its current stigma; it would become an event free of the traditional sadness. Suicide would be more of an "I've had enough now, thanks" thing than a rash act of despair, although that kind of suicide would likely increase as well. I can imagine people hosting going away parties for themselves before the act and planning a suicide like they plan a wedding. This view of suicide would dovetail nicely with the increasing sense of self-determinism in the world today.
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  4. #4
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    ^ yes, FM. Suicide becomes the ultimate symbol of self-expression and free choice, isn't it.

    Because there is no natural death. You have to choose it.

    Technically. It'd mean that those who cannot make up their minds, would live forever?

    We'd have a world dominated by Ps. Well done.

  5. #5
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martoon View Post
    ...As it is, we seem to view the tragedy of death as being somewhat proportional to the remaining years that were taken from a person...
    That would suggest it would be seen as an even greater tragedy - considering the increased lifespan. I wonder if people might become more neurotically cautious against external dangers? I think I might.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
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    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
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  6. #6
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    I think that if this were the case, death would be inexcusably tragic... simply because we know it wasn't inevitable, and something/someone caused it. Basically, all death would seem emotionally similar to a teenager or child being killed.

    I would probably be a lot more patient if that was the case. I prefer taking a lot of time to contemplate my actions, and hate feeling so rushed by my short life-span. There are many things I would have spent 20 years instead of 2 months planning if I could live that long. We could have school assignments that took a year instead of a week. We might have the same classmates for whole decades. We would finally have the opportunity to focus on quality instead of quantity. The way our lives are now, we don't have time to learn everything we might need to know to make particular insights. There are probably things that we could know easily if we just had time to learn them. That 100 year cap is harsh. Imagine if we could instead spend 100 years studying one idea! I'm excited by the thought.

    So I would see the effect as being beneficial overall, provided we didn't run into space/resource limitations.

    But my ideal world would be one where death and aging beyond 20 don't occur at all, and no new people are ever born.

  7. #7
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    I think it could make people take things for granted and also make them paranoid. Everything loses perspective and meaningless. Plus, the world would get awfully crowded fast and you probably would have a lot of people dying from 'external' causes like riots and murder and assassination. I think if this immortality were sudden, it would throw the world in chaos. I would take a few generations for people to sort things out, which would apparently be a century?? as opposed to less than a hundred.

    I don't like the idea of immortality. I imagine it would make you wasteful, cruel, frustrated, and spoiled. Like vampires.

    Life is only precious for the fact that it's fleeting and unpredictable. Can you imagine living forever and saying, "I'll do it tomorrow" everyday? Oh man. What level of purgatory is that.

    Wait, I just read the 'interstellar travel' -- even if population density isn't a problem, quality of life is. Can you imagine someone being poor and exploited for 250 years straight? That's fucking inhumane. Not to mention it would shoot holes through any idea that with hard work everyone gets a fair shake. And considering the great majority of world wealtha and resources are hoarded by a very small minority/elite -- I really just see 'immortality' making current system untenable. I can't imagine people wanting to wait 100 years to inherit wealth or paying their dues for 50 years to get that corner office.

    Also if there were no mortal repercussions to vice, mang -- I'm just imaging a planet of narcotics saturated, oversexed, chain smoking, permanently inebriated, morbidly obese peoples...hmm...nice.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux

    Johari/Nohari

  8. #8
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    I recon it would be great! No more feeling gulity for being in bed at 12pm LOL

    But seriously, if theres no death, what would drive us to do anything?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mooky View Post
    I recon it would be great! No more feeling gulity for being in bed at 12pm LOL

    But seriously, if theres no death, what would drive us to do anything?
    Jness.

    Ps would dither happily for most of their lives until they get hit by a truck I guess.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by aelan View Post
    Jness.

    Ps would dither happily for most of their lives until they get hit by a truck I guess.
    That would be me Just lazy i guess

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