If you could live forever would you want to?

I am an athiest. I believe that when we die it is game over. No pearly gates, no eternal flames, no nirvana… nothing. That being said, I have been doing some thinking on the concept of living for as long as possible. I have pretty much come to the assumption that living forever (or damn near close to it) won’t be achieved in my life time, if ever. Although, I think that if someway were devised to keep myself youthful and mentally sound forever I would be the first one in line to try it out. Most people that I have talked to about this have told me that they probably would NOT take this if offered to them. They all seem to have different reasons(they believe in an afterlife, wouldn’t want to see friends and family pass, wouldn’t want to be around that long, etc.) for this. I personally think they are all talking out of their collective asses and they would jump at the chance if it was legit. What are your takes on this? Would you eternity if it was offered to you?

That should read: Would TAKE eternity if it was offered to you? sorry about that.

Yep, provided I also had access to exceptional healing. I don’t want to end up in a Death Becomes Her type situation. You’d have to throw a superpower or two into the bargain as well; I don’t want to be buried alive like in Interview With The Vampire either.

Basically, living forever sounds great, with the exception that once death’s door is closed people can do amazingly nasty things to you that they couldn’t before, simply because they can’t keep doing it for more than eighty years or so at the most.

I was thinking that nanotechnology would have something to do with living “forever”. If something were to go wrong with you the nanos would patch you up(yes, I understand that it sounds absurd). They would also be able to do routine maintenance to insure your top physical condition. I guess that this wouldn’t be technically living forever since you could be totally obliterated/suffocated or something. I figured as long as the machines were doing their job there would be no worries.

Yeah, but what if someone locks me into a tiny cell and walls the door shut? Living forever isn’t worth that risk.

Well… you would eventually die of starvation, no?

Not if they hook me up to an IV. There are some pretty mean people in the world.

So, the nanobots do not have a suicide mode? There’s no way out?

well… I guess you could put a suicide mode if you wanted to but I would definitely hate to accidentally activate that one :wink:

If there’s a suicide mode or another way out I don’t see the problem. I’ll take it, no questions asked.

On a different topic, apparently my last post was my 1500th. Hooray for me.

I certainly have plans for more projects that I can possibly achieve in a single lifetime, so a few thousand years would be handy, but whether I’d want actual eternity is another matter - would you want to witness the death of the universe?

Given that the human brain and memory is finite, there’s quite a strong argument that it wouldn’t actually be you that lives forever, but rather a series of overlapped/spliced persons inhabiting the same body - certainly at the end of ten thousand years, it is unlikely that anything significant of the you of today would remain.

Hmmmm… good point. I like the idea of seeing the end of the universe. I think that by the time it would roll around there wouldn’t be too much more to do.

This was the premise of a chapter in a book called, “The History of the World in 10 and a 1/2 Chapters”, which I would recommend to our friend drgnrdr07.

Actually the place was some sort of heaven on earth where everyone got pretty much anything they wanted, including eternal healthy life. So on arrival could do what they liked, have fast cars to drive, sleep with beautiful women, eat and drink the best food and fine wines, play golf on perfect courses.

Once they had slept with everyone, in every combination for decades, had perfected their golf so they could break 50 etc they moved on to reading all the great works they never got the chance to, learning all those musical instruments etc. etc.

In the end our hero discovers eventually everyone asks to be allowed to die. When you have all the time in the world, literally, I guess nothing is a challenge and without challenge our humanity slowly shivels up…

I too believe I probably only have this one shot, and am not banking on an afterlife, and would it quite a powerful fable.

Well, yes, it would be interesting, but cold and boring afterwards.

Eternal life? Nope. Eternal youth & health? There ya go.

An excellent book which I would recommend to anyone, but suppose the challenge is finding new and interesting things to do - this task would get more and more difficult and challenging all the time.

Yeah, I’d take it, but only with a suicide mode. Without that assurance, it would just be plain scary.

I’m thinking I’d probably “terminate” myself after a few hundred years, depending on how the progression and development of technology goes. I’d hate to live in a world where everything is done and operated by robots or machines because I feel that takes away what it means to be human.

I don’t think it would be scary or boring at all. Remember that the human mind has finite capacity. Some much more finite than others.

On my bookshelf right now I have maybe 300 books that are “good books”. Fierra has maybe a few thousand. Already I’m to the stage where I can pick up a book on the shelf that I read 10-15 years ago and only dimly remember the plot. Some books, all I can remember is if they are good or bad.

Now imagine after 100 years - it’s likely you’ve forgotten every book you read 80 years ago, except perhaps if they were good or bad. If you kept a log or database, you’d know and not waste your time re-reading them. You could probably endlessly cycle through 10,000 or so books, never getting bored, because you would always forget the oldest ones.

The same goes with movies, museums, art, culture. You could visit Paris every 20 years and sit in the same Cafes you used to, and you would only dimly remember them, so the experience would still be good. If you visited one major city a year, and rotated so you only repeated every 50 years, well shoot, the whole thing might seem new to you.

That’s why I would have no fear of living forever. I imagine that there are more than enough things that are new or old things I’d forget that would keep me interested.

The only bad thing would be forgetting the unique experiences that you didn’t want to forget. Like a first love, first or favourite cat, your parents, etc. That would be sad.

And, of course, living forever still means that you now get to worry about the heat death of the universe. Eventually, it’s just counting down the minutes, running out the clock, like most of us are right now regarding death.

Even if you did perfectly remember something, that doesn’t necessarily mean you wouldn’t want to repeat it - I can remember exactly how good is a hot fudge sundae, and yet I still might have another one sometime.

Since I already will live forever, I have no sane reason to take this option.

Now, I also highly doubt that humans could keep enough memory intact, nanites or no, to do everything, explore everything, and learn everything. If it actually came down to it, you could live forever and always have new things to see and do.

Living forever in perfect condition with a suicide mode - damn right I’d take it.

However, I’d rather just go around a few times. I’d love to get another chance at living a different youth as well as doing all the stuff I won’t have time for in my current life.

Not that I have any regrets about my life that I would want to start it all over again, but I’d just like to try being someone else. Get some variety in your eternity!