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Legosi (Tani Coyote)

Immortality - A Decision

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Say in the near future, Dr. Gerald Vitano has perfected a really nifty treatment with a mixture of stem cell and nanite research. Undergoing the procedure, which has been made relatively inexpensive, allows you to live practically forever: your immune system is given a boost due to the DNA and nanites, killing all viruses and repairing all damage, eliminating disease and age. You can still die from the third cause of death, trauma, but even that is very difficult as the nanites work so quick they'll patch up open wounds. Because of the way the system works, it also eliminates the need for sleep, damage being repaired near-instantly.

 

So, sounds like a sweet deal overall, right?

 

Well, the government has its grievances due to population concerns. So it regulates the process. You can get the procedure if you like, but under one condition: you must be sterilised. Presumably you will still be able to have sexual feelings, but fertility is gone, permanently.

 

To make up for the people who die from accidents, there's sure to be a small group of people with breeding licenses, but that's besides the point: would you give up your ability to have children if it allowed you to be rendered immortal? You are free from disease, aging, and with some luck, death itself, but you will never be able to have a child you can call your own.

 

Before one says yes to this heavily slanted side of options, consider the emotional reward any parent will tell you having children has brought them. There is nothing comparable to the love one feels seeing one's offspring grow up, and you will be forever denied that pleasure if you choose the procedure.

 

So. Would you take it?

 

Bear in mind you CAN still die from injury. Aging and disease are just out of the picture now.

Edited by Ogilvie Maurice

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It's a hard choice, but I don't think I would take it.

Sure, I want to keep on living, but death is just something you have to accept. It's something natural. I'd rather live my life to the fullest, then to have one that never ends.

Edited by Cola

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I'd rather just take longevity than complete immortality if I can't have kids. I DO plan on having some, but I'm not entirely keen on outliving my family and living through the psychological stress of that.

 

Just to be clear, you COULD euthanise yourself later in life. It's the most scientifically plausible form of immortality: immunity from disease and age, but injury's still very lethal in the right situations.

 

Basically, we get to choose when we perish, rather than having luck decide it for us.

Edited by Ogilvie Maurice

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Hmm. Never being able to sleep, dream, or have children of my own vs. never getting sick, dying, and having an infinite amount of sex without the fear of disease or pregnancy...

 

Where do I sign up?

 

To be honest, I don't know. I personally believe I don't want kids, but seeing my friends and co-workers start or add to their own families has resulted in me getting very broody the last few years. I still think I don't want them, but I can't possibly rule that out.

 

Secondly, from what I've read on immortality, that's precisely the downside to it. You live on, but you get the unwanted bonus of seeing everything you love or held dear die, including any children you may have had. I can see why sterilization would be a requirement as it'd spare you the pain of making that emotional connection, tenfold. An immortal with children probably wouldn't just be burying their wife and kids. They'd probably be burying their grandchildren, relatives, and future generations. That would probably wreck a hell of a lot of havoc on one's mind.

 

Thirdly, from what I've also read in immortal related fiction, they have this very big tendency towards growing apathetic to the point of wanting to destroy the world ten times over. Insanity from loss, listlessness, whatever - for some reason, they just get to a point where the world no longer interests them, so they decide to have their own fun. I don't think I'd want to get to that point of wishing death on everyone else. x_x

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The point about immortals losing relatives is a fair one, but presumably one's relatives would get the procedure as well. If the grief ever got to you, furthermore, you'd still be able to die peacefully in this situation. The procedure allows for rapid recovery from most injuries, but there are some that it just couldn't protect you against (blow to the heart or brain in particular since those are instant).

 

Though religious beliefs likely would cause many to reject the idea out of hand, so we can definitely say goodbye to a lot of our friends and family on this basis alone. As for those who come in the future generations... well, they won't have to worry quite as much. Death becomes entirely a basis of really, really horrible accidents or murder, rather than something we cannot escape no matter what we do.

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I don't think I'd take immortality. Sure, it'd be nice to experience for maybe a short time period (maybe a hundred years or something? I don't know.), but I'd just probably want to die, because I'd be bored serve no true purpose staying on Earth forever, and I'd just feel depressed. Death is a natural part of life, and that can't be changed.

Edited by Felix

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I would take it. I refuse to have children anyway. I wouldn't have to be ugly anymore especially if the form of my face could be child-like. I wouldn't need to fear The Reaper taking my identity away from history. And maybe..... look for my grandma's reincarnation.

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I think I'd miss sleep more than the possibility of having children. Sleep's pretty rad.

 

Presumably we would eventually get a technology that could replicate it (some gnarly virtual reality). If not having some ability to turn off the nanites for brief periods so you become exhausted, thus necessitating rest.

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The only thing appealing in that is good health. I wouldn't mind being healthy until the day I die naturally, and that's it. Life isn't life if it doesn't end, so to speak. It'd get awfully lonely, living forever. At least that's what I would think. Definitely wouldn't give up being able to have kids for what I view as more of a curse than a blessing.

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The only thing appealing in that is good health. I wouldn't mind being healthy until the day I die naturally, and that's it. Life isn't life if it doesn't end, so to speak.

 

Well, the good news is you'd basically be able to live until 80 or 90 or what have you, and then simply terminate the process in some way. I wouldn't be surprised if it was like Futurama and we actually had an organised business for people who decided they'd lived long enough and were ready to go on.

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At most I think I'd only accept around 20 or more extra healthy years to pursue the things that I'd want to, as I don't think 70something is really enough once a life of constant work kicks in and saps most of all one's time until they retire. 

 

And no need to sleep? Meh, as long as I still could if I wanted too then that'd only mean more time to be the workaholic I wanna be and crank out stuff.

 

No kids? An iffy one, but as I am right at this very moment and for what I like to do which requires plenty of me-time, I can't see any benefit of having kids anytime soon, but I can't say that I'd never want kids ever though, like, years down the line after I've already accomplished the things I'd want too.

 

But for what the thread's asking? Nah, I wouldn't take it at all, only if it was a "dip your toe in the water and get some of the benefits type of thing rather than a "you've gotta go all-in" type of thing.

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I don't know if I'd take the option, but it's not the lack of children that would stop me.  If you take most possible deaths away you leave only some of the worst considering what you talk of is not true "immortality". Would I rather die to a disease, heart attack, old age, etc.  or would I rather burn to death, be crushed to death or drown?

 

That's what it comes down to for me. Such I could live a 1000 years, but no matter what I can't escape some horrible accident forever.

 

Sure I could already die in those ways, but there is a chance I won't whereas with what you speak of it'd almost be guaranteed.

 

If it were not for that I'd take it and not think twice.

Edited by SkyLlama

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I'd take it in a heartbeat.

 

I never was really sure if I wanted children in the first place, and if I did want to later but was sterilized, I'd be honor to adopt a kid in need. The fact I wouldn't need to sleep would mean I can definitely get a lot more done in my life and experience a bunch more. Sure watching your loved ones that didn't want it die eventually would suck, but I think I'd get past it one day. I'm more won over by the fact I'd get to stick around to view a lot of awesome things in the world and see it advance without having to die off first. Maybe my views on life are all about myself, but I can't imagine saying no to an opportunity like that. Especially if I didn't need to worry about being sick with things and having speedy recoveries.

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Wait...why the fuck would you worry about sleep if your immortal?

Just to be clear, you COULD euthanise yourself later in life. It's the most scientifically plausible form of immortality: immunity from disease and age, but injury's still very lethal in the right situations.

 

Basically, we get to choose when we perish, rather than having luck decide it for us.

Yeah, luck is a son of a bitch, so that's not all that comforting.

 

And if I could trade back my fertility for mortality, I think I'd likely take it. I mean, sounds odd that you can have nanites that can repair damage to make you immortal, but that same tech can't be used to regain your fertility...

 

At any rate, I'm still undecided.

Edited by ChaosSupremeSonîc

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Wait...why the fuck would you worry about sleep if your immortal?

 

I imagine It'd be like taking a walk somewhere for fun even though you may have a car. Just because you don't need to do it doesn't mean you'd never want to, maybe even to pass the time.

Edited by Inferno

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If you're saying that your friends and family can also get this procedure...doesn't that put the earth's population in danger of dwindling? Say everyone in our current generation, ages 18-30 got this immortality procedure done. We give up the right/ability to have kids, and we mosey on down like it's 1999 for say, 50-100 years. The generation below us, the ones who were 17 and under see the "success" of this, and let's say about half of them go on to get this done as well.

 

Give or take another 50-100 years, and our generation starts to dwindle, due in part to the hindsight/regrets that might come from this decision. Some commit suicide. Some euthanize themselves. Others still might come across a delightfully painful, but happy accident. All the while, as they die, their names/histories are faded away into the background and forgotten. Their genetic material is forever lost as they gave up the right to procreate as the price for immortality.

 

...

 

Dramatic example aside, I don't see how the world could go on if we couldn't procreate. Granted it might help at first with overpopulation, but what if we got to a point with immortality that we needed to procreate in order to insure the continuation of society?

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I probably wouldn't take it, but there's something about these things that always have me thinking.

 

Imagine if someone did take this opportunity and lived for say 400 years. I'm just thinking of how many changes in the world that person must have witnessed. Establishment of new countries, the development of current world crises, warfare, the collapse of older countries, the evolution of technology, the advance of literature, changing society and cultural values...man, that'd be an interesting experience, literally living the world's history. 

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I'm going to say no for the same reasons as everyone else, but as sappy as it may sound, I can't help but think I'd change my mind if I were in a serious romantic relationship with someone I really care about and never want to lose.

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The upsides are: Infinitely more time and physical ability to indulge in hobbies I've had interest in but realistically no time to fully engage in and master, more time to travel and see the world, the privilege to experience technological and cultural revolution the likes of which I can't even imagine now, and being spared the agony of a slow death from disease or ailing health, instead only being able to die by instantaneous obliteration.

 

The downside is that I will become sterilized from ever biologically experiencing a "joy" that I currently have no personal experience in nor any desire to experience.

Yeah, I'd take the deal. If I ever wanted a child, I can adopt.

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I don't know if I would take it. Yes, it would be nice to live forever and have infinite time to pursue interests, but I have a feeling that life is meant to be transient; it's not something we're designed psychologically to enjoy forever. I could see my sanity gradually fading away as I step past old age, into living a life my mind was never prepared to live.

Also, on a related note, I've heard of scientists' efforts to actually achieve this in the real world. I hope they fail, I hope very much that they do. The world isn't ready for anything like that; death is a counterbalance to overpopulation. Remove it and we have a really big problem on our hands. Until we reach a certain level of society (specificallly, post-scarcity), humans gaining immortality would literally destroy the world.

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