When Death Becomes Optional

When Death Becomes Optional

When Death Becomes Optional 602

The year is 2032. You have just celebrated your 80th birthday and you have some tough decisions ahead. You can either keep repairing your current body or move into a new one.

The growing of “blank” bodies has become all the rage, and by using your own genetic material, body farmers can even recreate your own face at age 20.

In just 20 years, this is an industry that has moved from the equivalent of Frankenstein’s laboratory to the new celebrity craze, with controversy following it every step of the way.

The combination of a few high profile “accidents” along the way, coupled with those in the religious community who claim that body farmers are playing God, and asking “where does our soul reside?” has given it thousands of top media headlines around the world.

Every person on the planet has a different opinion about this moral dilemma, or whether its safe or dangerous, or whether we should just get better at repairing our existing bodies.

As medical advances continue, and we devise an entirely new range of health-enhancing options, I propose we set a new standard, raising the bar to the highest possible level. I propose we put an end to human death.

Tough Choices Ahead

In the coming years we will find ways to fix human aging, cure diseases, find solutions for deviant behaviors, and even rebuild people after an accident.

In short, no person should ever need to die… EVER!

Is that our goal? Is that the direction we are headed in? If that’s not our goal, then we will need to hear the pro-death arguments, and why people should die when they don’t have to.

Is the goal of the medical community to improve health, or to completely eradicate health problems? In Star Trek terms, what is the prime directive for the health profession?

In the years ahead we will have an unbelievable number of tough choices to make.

Dealing with the Issues

It becomes an interesting exercise to look closely at each cause of death and think through not only how to reduce its influence, but how to eliminate it completely. Here is a small slice of the issues that will surely rise to the top.

For trauma cases, the medical profession will be grappling with the ethics of making simple repairs versus making better, longer lasting humans. These questions no longer belong to the realm of science fiction. In a few years, we will be able to replace our frail parts with parts that are made of superior materials. Recent medical accomplishments include everything from re-growing bladders and throats to using 3D printers to “print” new bones and arteries. Entire body replication can’t be far behind.

We may have to ask if the path we’ve taken to this point in medical history has come too quickly. Have we really absorbed the impact of what these changes will mean for society?

We have wrestled with certain ethical questions, sometimes for centuries. Some issues that are clearly outrageous in our in minds today, such as slavery, had to be abolished at the point of a gun in this nation. Now we are about to be presented with the question: Will we become something else? Do we have a right to live indefinitely, or is it a privilege?

Life, death and years of painful adjustment, all can be avoided. Families will be spared the emotional turmoil of deciding life and death for the brain damaged. The horribly burned can re-grow and shed their charred skin.

In a nation where health care is afforded to some, but not all, are we prepared to take on such questions as to who lives forever? And more importantly, who will pay for it?

The prisons and jails are strained. Science may even address the morally and mentally challenged. Is it realistic to think we can fix the underlying behavioral issues, turn criminals into productive, well-intentioned people? Should they live forever, too?

The Death Row Question

Question: You find yourself on a jury, deciding the fate of some heinous criminal, such as Ted Bundy or Josef Mengele. You have the choice of either sentencing him to the electric chair or to total amnesia. Which would you decide?

Total amnesia involves wiping the brain clean and the people will have to start over from scratch, relearning how to walk, talk, and even how to feed themself all over again.

The question is a good one because it gets to the essence of what we value in human life. Do we value the life itself or the personality that exemplifies it?

I’ve asked this question of many groups, all of whom gave me different answers and different reasons for justifying their thoughts.

My favorite answer came from my son Kyler when he was 11 years old. After thinking about it for a while, he said, “I don’t think amnesia is a good idea because people will still hate him and he won’t know why.”

Definition of Death

So what exactly constitutes death? If we can somehow preserve our mind digitally by uploading it onto the Internet, are we still alive? If we upload our essence into a machine, such as a sophisticated cyborg, are we still alive?

Will insurance companies of the future have different policies for “death of the body” and “death of the mind?”

Will the funeral industry offer different options for “burying the body” and “saying farewell to the mind?”

The religious community will certainly be wrestling with issues surrounding the parting of the soul. When does it occur and how can we tell?

Is it even possible to come up with a comprehensive definition of death that covers all future variables?

The End of the End

Let’s play a game of “what if.” What if we could turn our attention from fixing problems of the past to pondering a new kind of future? What if we could become possessed with a genuine interest in advancing our evolution as a society?

I propose something quite radical in today’s world – that we declare war on human death.

In the past, advances for cures for even minor diseases moved glacially. From Leeuwenhoek’s invention of the microscope in the late 1600s to Louis Pasteur’s discovery of germs, those great achievements took centuries. Today, breakthroughs are arriving at greater speed and accelerating to the point where barriers to near-term immortality are falling daily.

The most dramatic advancements have been seen in the quickening speed of communication, and the spread of knowledge across the Internet. Breakthroughs are commonplace. Online, science accomplishments are building on other accomplishments as never before. Virtual collaboration has led to global teaming. As information speeds to all corners of the world, the approaches to solving some of our most perplexing problems have multiplied.

Warring with human death requires a far different mindset. The current trend of paying to live is not the model for defeating death. Here are a few examples of the hurdles that would have to fall:

  • Redefining Aging – Humans will need to be re-engineered to stop the aging process at around 25 years of age when bodies are in their peak condition. Humans could live indefinitely at the peak of health.
  • Keen Minds – Human mental condition deteriorates as brain cell death takes its toll. Scientists have discovered a replicating switch in individual optic and brain cells that for some reason is turned off soon after birth. Throwing the switch back on is in the cards. Epilepsy, blindness and dementia will be relegated to the past.
  • Accidents – Yes, accidents are inevitable. Is it reasonable to think that all can survive accidents?
  • Mangled Bodies – Should we rebuild bodies that become hopelessly damaged by today’s standards? Falling into a wood chipper or stepping in front of a steam roller need not be fatal. Is it possible to reassemble the body and reinstall memories?
  • Terminal Illness – Can we put an end to viral and bacterial diseases that ravage our bodies from within? Will pathogens become harmless artifacts? With the advent of blood-roaming nanobots, the future will be bleak for the little animals that ravage bodies. Cancer will be forgotten.
  • Criminal Minds – Are evil people really worth saving, even if they can be reformed? Science has barely scratched the surface when it comes to understanding the brain. Is it possible to live in a placid society that has forgotten the fear of crime by sociopaths and others lumped under the rubric of the criminally insane?
  • End of War – We will always have conflict. So, how do we resolve such disputes among societies that no longer know or appreciate the meaning of death? If war becomes convenient and non-traumatizing, can it be loathed as it is today?
  • Death as a Motivator – Nothing motivates like the anticipation of a deadline. With no fear of death, what will become of our humanity? With no need to appreciate death, what becomes of the forces that drove generations to confront such weighty matters as meaning and challenge? Will our imperatives lose their potency, even disappear? Will we pursue achievement in the absence of these possibly extinct drives?

Final Thoughts

Knowing what you know today, but suddenly living on with the body of a 20 year old, doesn’t that sound magical? Wouldn’t that be the perfect solution?

But what if there was a catch. What if it cost $1 million for your new body, and you somehow had to qualify to be a candidate?

Ironically, we may end up with protests, even killings, if new bodies were only for the rich and famous.

These may seem like distant concerns. But change is coming – this time, at lightning speed. We don’t have the luxury of mulling such matters for decades.

Most importantly, if death is no longer viewed as inevitable, our attitude towards life will shift dramatically.

Our generation may well be the last where death is not optional. Though the challenges seem overwhelming, I believe this is the time to establish a long-term directive, a prime directive for all – the end of human death.

Even if it’s not achievable, shouldn’t it still be our goal?

By Futurist Thomas Frey

Author of “Communicating with the Future” – the book that changes everything

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23 Responses

  1. Very good article although in my opinion you have not exploited enough the role of reliigion in a deathless society. Although I am not religious myself I live by the rules of my religion as many other people. Naive as it may sound, religion acts as an ethical barrier to thousands of humans seeking “immortality” through good deeds. What will happen if this motivation is led to extinction?

    Any way I do not think that seeking immortality is the answer .. To my opinion quality of life that derives from mental and physical health is what we do need today and also the feeling of completeness that anyone should feel when the circle closes. Thank you for letting me sharing my thoughts with you.

  2. Immortality is not possible. Death brings meaning to life; without death we will not value life. Let us find value & meaning in the life we have, learn to clean up after ourselves and explore the stars instead of searching to live eternally on this planet, sucking the life from it. Immortality is the ultimate selfishness.

  3. admin

    Theresa,

    Nicely stated and thanks for your input. Am I correct in interpreting what you said as – “we haven’t earned the right to become immortal.” Perhaps not. But have we earned the right to live an additional 10-20 years on average? Maybe in the future we will have earned the right to live 40-50 years longer, or more.

    Would you also agree that people will still dream of becoming immortal? And that someone, however wrongly intentioned they may be, will attempt to create the technology?

    If immortality is not our goal, then what is? Even if its not attainable, wouldn’t you prefer to have doctors err on the side of the living?

    Thomas Frey

  4. Tom,
    Did I miss reading something about population? How on Earth (literally) can we live on and on while those coming up behind us continue to bear children? And what about old timers like me who could be tempted to bear children in our fifties, in the bodies of twenty-somethings? There is no room on this planet for such a future.

  5. David Willson

    I have been fascinated by these developments for a long time and believe them to just be a logical next evolutionary step. For many years I have been asking people around me what their thoughts re living forever are. I personally see it as an awesome chance to develop skills and perspectives that are currently undreamt of, however the vast majority of people that I have asked have thought that anything more than 80-100 years is terrible, unnatural, boring or “against Gods laws”. Particularly at first this will be an expensive option open to only a few and therefore increasing class issues and unfortunately I also can see many being killed by religious people who refuse to allow others the option of life extension. Instead of being celebrated as a wonder, I think that for a long time this issue will just increase the strife in the world.

  6. admin

    Cheri,

    The great part about this topic is that its controversial on so many levels. Nobody personally wants to die, yet if everyone has this option, it creates enormous complications. Whether you’re conservative or liberal, religious or non-religious, young or old, everyone can find valid reasons why it shouldn’t happen. Yet, if it truly does become a viable option, virtually everyone will be waiting in line for it.

    Admittedly, I don’t have all the answers. But the questions fascinate me to no end.

    Thomas Frey

  7. Barry Becker

    Very interesting article. It makes one think about the possibilities, that is refreshing and good for one’s brain cells. I don’t believe it is possible if human beings lose their physical characteristics (body components, bones, ligaments, muscle, veins, arteries, features), emotional and spiritual characteristics. In other words – their human dimensions. Keep stimulating the conversation. Thank you.

  8. Spikosauropod

    Thomas:

    I thought for a moment you were going to place all the blame for ignorance about life extension on people of faith. I am glad you did not. A lot of “green” liberals are adamantly opposed to life extension because they believe it will lead to overpopulation.

    I have one immediate contention. No matter how well you extend life, you cannot extend it literally forever. The laws of quantum mechanics make it impossible for any structure to attain to such a guarantee. It may take 10^1000000000000000 years for the structure to fail, but it will inevitably fail. Of course, you may realize this and intend, “In short, no person should ever need to die… EVER!” in a less mathematical sense.

    You are asking the right questions, and I am confident that no one has all the answers.

    I am extremely skeptical that a “mind” can be uploaded. I just hope that no large number of people attempt it before we are sure. Of course, if the procedure fails, those people will simply be dead and no worse off than the billions of people who died before them—whatever becomes of departed minds. I have heard the argument that everyone should be forced to upload because computer programs use fewer resources. Hopefully, those who hold this view will never get into power.

    The economic issue of paying for fresh bodies may never come up. If we are able to replace an entire human body, we will undoubtedly be able to do some other remarkable things. The materials for replacement are readily available and robotic labor could make the cost of production negligible.

    There is no religious issue. Very few religions condone suicide. The book of 2 Peter says, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” Properly understood, the prohibitions on suicide and the discussion of time in 2 Peter mean that one should live as long as one can and God will collect his wares on his own schedule. No person of faith with any level of sophistication believes a person can “cheat” death. Most likely, all of us will have several organs replaced before we opt for the whole body replacement. By that time we will have surrendered the nuanced distinction between a single organ, several organs at once, and every single organ in our bodies.

    It is true that having a deadline tends to make us more productive. Steven Hawking related that upon realizing he has ALS he became more motivated to work. However, there is another side to this coin. Sometimes people give up on their dreams because they do not believe they have enough time or energy to accomplish them. Vast projects take vast planning, but also vast amounts of time.

    As for how to deal with criminals, I think that issue will take care of itself. Criminals who wish to live forever in prison will be allowed to do so as a matter of medical ethics. However, as mental illness is eradicated, everyone will gradually come to realize that all criminality is really just illness. The urge for retribution will also be recognized as illness and ultimately cured. In time, sooner than you may expect, all will be cured and forgiven.

    I agree with your resolution. Let us do away with death by old age and injury. I, for one, fully intend to celebrate my billionth birthday. I want to live at least the first million years more or less as I am now; but by opinion on that could change in a thousand years or so.

    There is another possibility. Given enough time to reflect, we may gradually come to realize there is another plane of existence beyond the one that is familiar. We may simply tire of this plane and choose to let go.

  9. Nem Chandra Singhal

    Thanks for the thought provocating article. Some of the questions are raised which we donot discuss in public as we fear the answers may be different. Though the death is the outcome, we still fear it throughout the journey of life. If we can find a solution to have optional-death, it shall be great benefit to the menkind.

  10. Remi Tippetts

    To population pessimists, note that as quality of life increases birth rates consistently decrease. Japan has a negative birth rate already. The US would be experiencing population decline if it wasn’t for immigration from poorer countries. As long as we continue to increase quality of life birth rates will decrease. With immortality, ubiquitous entertainment, and the elimination of accidental pregnancies, a childless life could well become the default mode of existence.

    I think life extension technology will make liars out of many people. We’re already unnatural. Our current average life expectancy has already more than doubled. Most people, including bio-conservatives, are not refusing insulin or blood pressure medication now and they’re not going to refuse an Alzheimer’s or cancer cure in the future.

    A great deal of natural acceptance of death comes from declining quality of life due to health problems. People who are happy and healthy rarely feel like slipping into the abyss. That “one more day” of living is going to keep extending for happy, energetic, healthy people until they find themselves 200 years old and discover they still don’t want to die. Of course there will be exceptions, but I think they will be rare.

    I must stridently disagree with those who say we only have motivation and meaning because of death. Imagine doing manual agricultural labor for the entirety of your short miserable life. That used to be standard. The brutal conditions of the past produced more peasants than geniuses. By comparison, we have more ambition and empowerment than ever before despite living much longer and safer lives.

    There’s also a theological argument here. Abrahamic religion doesn’t depict true consciousness destruction. Going to heaven is essentially an extension of your existence. Very few religious people are saying “It doesn’t really matter if my life is dull and I accomplish nothing because I’ll go to heaven forever anyway”. If the prospect of an eternity in religious heaven does not destroy motivation than the prospect of eternity in a secular material heaven should be no different in effect.

    Criminal rehabilitation through neuroscience would be an amazing advance and deserves a whole article of its own! Right now we’re lucky that the worst weapons of mass destruction are only available to a small number of nation states. What happens when a cheap weapon of mass destruction is invented that doesn’t require exotic materials(such as a pathogen created with a sequencer)? When small groups and individuals can access these things. instead of a mass shooting or bombings you could be looking at millions of people dead in a single attack. Would moral enhancement not only of criminals but society at large be justified in such circumstances? It’s controversial but I think futurists and ethicists should have the discussion, because those sequencers are going to be invented.

  11. Hi Thomas,

    Thank you SO MUCH for writing this! It’s great to hear this topic beginning to become a public conversation. I did my undergrad thesis on the genetic engineering of anti aging and have been obsessed & fascinated with it ever since. While my paper, which focused on the reversal of cellular senescence, was well received by the scientists, everyone else I knew looked at me like I was crazy when I told them about it or just laughed me off.

    This reality is coming much faster than we can possibly imagine & if we don’t start discussing the important questions you put forward we wil be totally blindsided & likely end up in pandemonium when these technologies become market-ready.

    I think the most interesting question will be ‘What happens to our morality when immortality is on the line?’ This could be the dime on which the human race turns for better or worse & I love the idea you put forth of choosing to take this on consciously, now, & with intention to guide it towards the best for all.

  12. ed russell

    Interestingly enough if death were prevented, then a current problem of starvation world wide would continue unabated.
    As the world is currently struggling to feed 7 billion people, how would it feed a future population exceeding 14 billion by the year 2032, when lands that would normally harvest food are being brought out of production by the thousands of acres annually to put new houses and town sites on the land to house the present population.

    Unless of course we also forget that wars are often a consequence of overpopulation. The grabbing of lands from central European and Asian lands has gone on for millenia, so now if we consider that death will be prevented, then we will trying to feed the burgeoning teeming masses of populations in third world countries. Oh hold on, we already have that, so although the proposition sounds great, it is not as feasible as the futurist would have you think.\

    Another problem, if you have reached 80 plus and are farming for a new body mass, forget the ethical situation, how about the relationship situation. Your sons and daughters catch up with you in age and look like you looked at 80, but now you are 120 age wise,but look 25 to 30. Does this mean that you will also function with a libido like that age again, so that you can create your genetic, great-great grandchildren, while your own kids and grandkids, die natural deaths. Something out of the cartoon show Futureama for want of a better term.

    Sounds great, but for the friends and loved ones who have passed, it causes me to think that you would be like a lone person on the beach, unable to communicate with the rest of the world with the current jargon like a foreign language.

    It is an intriguing concept for those who are looking down the wrong end of the age barrel.

  13. Spikosauropod

    Remi Tippetts Says:

    “To population pessimists, note that as quality of life increases birth rates consistently decrease. Japan has a negative birth rate already. The US would be experiencing population decline if it wasn’t for immigration from poorer countries. As long as we continue to increase quality of life birth rates will decrease. With immortality, ubiquitous entertainment, and the elimination of accidental pregnancies, a childless life could well become the default mode of existence.”

    I am so glad you said that. You saved me the trouble. The truth is that if communication age populations do not extend their lifespans their genetic material will disappear. If the entire world enters the communication age, and we do not find ways to extend our lifespans, the species will disappear. Television and the Internet wreak havoc on baby making. When VR is perfected, the only children ever made will come from extravagant incubator/nanny facilities.

  14. Mike Hawk

    Thought of this about a year ago. Since then I have done everything I can to obtain as much wealth and power in my future as possible. Additionally I have become obsessed with my health (diet, exercise, ect.) so that I can live just long enough to reap the benefits. Friends and family think I’m crazy. They won’t be laughing when they’re dead though. 😉

  15. I like to focus on the positive benefits of life extension, immortality & blank bodies. If we compare what has taken place historically in our health care options, access and quality of care, we see illustrations of people in higher socioeconomic positions having more options, more access & perhaps better care. There have also been amazing medical breakthroughs which are sometimes challenged by barriers and lawsuits from those who have a product or agenda to protect. I am eternally grateful for this topic of discussion. :)

  16. Health care is not viewed as something that should be universally available in the U.S. If you’re a black woman trying to manage your cancer, you are twice as likely to die as a white woman – at least in Denver.

    This isn’t acceptable practice. I have to believe that the medical profession will respond in a positive way. But, it will be fighting a system that encourages this kind of disparity.

    If you’ve got your health, you might think about stressing yourself a little more to put a few extra bucks in the bank.

    For practical purposes, our longevity appears to be tethered to our bank accounts. Until there is genuine reform, we may as well just imagine life extension will be the fate for the wealthiest, and hope that there is something like an endowment for people who may make contributions to society. I hope former journalists are potential candidates.

    Many people, when asked, would respond they are quite content to have lived a full life. They might have had children and secured better futures for them. As their bodies deteriorate, they ready themselves for their ultimate demise. Some refuse treatment to get on with the business of meeting their end. It’s what many want. Some might say it is natural. It is what we have been conditioned to expect after a long life, which now is considered 75 years. Two hundred years ago, it was rare to reach such advanced age. So it was rare that someone of John Quincy Adam’s stature to be blessed with long life – long enough to appear before the U.S. Supreme Court to argue on behalf of Africans enslaved and brought here aboard the Amistad. It would be our hope that great men and women would use their lives for the good of mankind. Someone like Adams with his oratory prowess and sheer will would take on some future injustice. We would all like to think that there would be benefit to society as a whole, wouldn’t we?

    Would the doomed make a different choice if they won a lottery for extended life? If they could have their 20-year-old face and body, would they make the choice to live? It might surprise us how many people can’t imagine living their lives again. For many of us, we didn’t take up a life-long pursuit as say a Stephen Hawking who pursued the unifying theory.

    It certainly would create a rather awkward situation for relatives. I watched a video last night of Clint Eastwood accepting his Academy Award for directing “Million Dollar Baby.” I think he said he was 75 at the time. He introduced his mother that night and revealed she was on the verge of 100. What if Clint paid for a body double for himself, his wife and mother? A waiter serving them all one night might be confused by the sight of a strapping Clint in the company of two very attractive women. He might wonder why one of them acts like she’s Clint’s mother.

    Reading the parade of articles in the popular science articles, I have no trouble believing that my generation will live well into our 90s and beyond.

    But, is this a good thing? The stressed planet might be in the first thoughts for a response.

    Would it be fair? Should minorities be ignored in this round of discussion, too. If they can’t pay, should they expect more? Many may respond with a resounding “yes.” So, a lottery might make it more fair.

    The fiction writer part of my brain produces all kinds of scenarios for peculiar relationships and social backlash. Not possessing the same body I had as a twenty-something, it’s still not difficult to imagine I might be distracted by others from pursuing the good things I did with my life. It is my sincere hope, I’ve become a more purposeful individual with the coming of age.

    What if we make life extension illegal? We put it in the U.S. Constitution as a right no one has. People would have to apply for life extension the way they would for a zoning variance, setting out all the benefits for the community and maybe science or journalism. Just an aside: Nanotechnology might make it possible for tiny machines to repair all your cells. Imagine the irony if the machines were powered by your own fat cells. If you’re overweight now, you might be even healthier when the nanos finish, having worked at a feverish pitch for much longer than your skinny friends. Growing a second body in some vat and retrieving it for implantation of your brain cells might not be the scenario science has in store. You could swallow a pill one day. Over the course of several months or a year, your friends would notice that you not only lost weight but managed to erase 40 years off your life. “Remarkable,” they will exclaim.

    If that pill or an injection were to cost $500, most of the Western World could participate. That’s not a solution if you believe for one thing that the planet is already stressed by a population of 7 billion. If not enough of these 7 billion die … This scenario might accelerate the world toward war or harsh decisions on birth control. The other might tilt the world toward inflaming hatreds of the Western Word. My son, who will depart from his service to the Army, might say the people who hate us now cannot possibly hate us more. We undoubtedly will spend more on resources for fighting wars and certainly just getting about the business of surviving the ravages of inflation. On the other hand, giving Ray Kurzweil another 50 years of life, might be just what the doctor ordered for our ailing planet.

    These discussions inevitably circle back to “if we can, should we?” Should we give people the “gift” of an extra 100 years to 500 years. I’ve ignored some of the deeper discussion on this subject. Perhaps many, many people won’t have to come to terms with postponing their meeting with God. Most of us admit to believing. If we don’t believe, our spouses believe for us. I can believe that many people who stayed with a partner for decades will choose to follow the wishes of their mate.

    Random thought: Since capital punishment has been mentioned, would someone have their variance cancelled if they commit a crime?

    That fiction writer in me wants to say yes to extended life. I love Clint Eastwood’s work. There are other artists and more than a few scientists I hope will live for decades beyond what is considered normal.

    A small population of extra-lifers might use their lives to make a strong statement for extending this privilege to others. What if life extension is an enlarging experience, they might ask? Suppose we become better with age … If we suppose that, we also have to consider, too, what if advanced age creates something like an intolerable arrogance – the frequently sighted malady of the powerful. Would the slightly crazy become crazier? Greater life spans may also mean far greater wealth for those who might have perverted the system over the past decade for their obscene gains. How many at Goldman Sachs or Countrywide, for instance, deserve to live longer?

    I think our minds might open to such possibilities as society improves. To ask our society to dare to embrace such a concept, demands that science and the powerful offer something for the average person. After all, one of the big check writers for nanotechnology is you. Investors bring a sizable contribution of their own. But, it’s our government and our science working together to improve the economy and benefit mankind that will present us with these sticky questions.

    The track record for government and corporations is unlikely to be sited as argument for extending what could be considered privilege. It’s a small problem because the pair has all the money in the world to convince us.

    I enjoyed reading all the comments and the very thought-provoking article by Thomas Frey.

  17. Hi Tom

    I’ve been thinking about this topic for 30 years now. And like you, I prefer to see it as a positive and inevitable.

    Many of the comments are excellent.

    Yes, initially, there will be many new problems that come with the end of death. And that phase will pass too.

    I believe that if you want to understand the ascent of humankind, look at its deities. We are driven unconsciously to become our gods as we imagine them.

    Eventually, we will be able to exist, in matter or without matter as we choose, for we will be able to summon any form of matter at will. There will be no need to eat for energy nor will we produce waste. Who says we need to stay within a human biological body, or that we need a body at all?

    So sure, initially life without death in the form of replacement bodies or self-regeneration will raise all kinds of new issues and problems. It will all be messy and unsustainable.

    The end of death is a valley, not a mountain top. Our ascent will continue far beyond the limitations of our current form.

    We can’t help ourselves…our deities are our destiny.

  18. Adão Matos de Oliveira

    Olá Thomas, penso que será impossível a matéria sobreviver, além dos 120, pois, não podemos esquecer das Leis Universais. Não morremos, transformaremos…sairemos da gaiola ou prisão, o corpo físico, ascendendo para um plano superior, muito mais elevado, de acordo com seu despertar de consciência. Observe quando você dorme, seu espírito sai em viagem astral, porém,ligado com um cordão de prata, o que o traz de volta do sono. Não é diferente, a viagem após a morte, não haverá o retorno, em face da extinção do corpo, pois o cordão de prata se rompeu. Penso… Á Glória do G.’.A.’.D.’.U.’.

    TRANSLATION – Hello Thomas, I think the matter will be impossible to survive beyond the 120, because we can not forget the Universal Laws. We do not die, transform … we will come out of the cage or prison, the physical body, ascending to a higher plane, much higher, according to his awakening of consciousness. Notice when you sleep, your spirit leaves in astral travel, however, connected with a silver cord, which brings him back to sleep. It is not unlike the journey after death, there will be no return, due to the extinction of the body, for the silver cord is severed. I WILL … Gloria G. ‘. A.’. D.. ‘U.’.

  19. Maninderjit Singh Arora

    I am afraid there is no decision making. Suicide is a criminal offence in most legal jurisdictions. Moving into a new body is a religious issue of which scientific prediction does not appear to exist.Maninderjit Singh Arora

  20. Kimberly Weirick

    Where to begin? First I have to say that I doubt I have even a quarter of the education of any of you whose comments with which I have been so fascinated over the last couple of hours…so bear with me LOL! As amazing and wonderful as all of this sounds, why does it leave me feeling so sad? I thought the goal was to break free of the wheel of existence, to ascend to a greater existence in the afterworld, to oversimplify I guess. My question truly is simply this: if suicide is considered wrong then why would utilizing an option to live longer be any different? It’s basically suicide itself in a sense, turned inside out so to speak. Both are taking the decision out of God’s hands, point being that it is wrong and terribly faithless to end our own lives before we have fulfilled His purpose for us here, and so would it not also be wrong and terribly faithless to assume that our purpose here extends beyond that which God Himself/Herself has designed for us in the time alotted? Does that make sense? I know I am coming at this solely based upon what my soul believes to be true..and I would like to know what you all think of this idea. Thank you very much for this thought, and spirit, provoking issue..I admit I wish I had not started reading it at 2am haha Good Morning to All…

  21. Rob Ross

    Thomas,

    I’ve already discovered a plausible way to conquer death and live for a considerable length of time. It’s a technique almost anyone can perform. Email for a full explanation.

  22. Death is just natural part of life! People should accept it same like people in past did.

  23. Deb

    Death is already optional for all of us, yet the greatest majority of us let nature make the decision – so I guess that speaks to the acceptance of the technology if it were ever available to the masses.

    I would see a need to have immortality coupled with new life-experience horizons available in terms of knowledge to seek and other worlds to exist (grow and learn) in, be they real or virtual.

    Considering your point about who might be deemed worthy or fit for the privilege one can only judge by what we see around us – the rich will be the first in the position to decide for themselves without public debate – while the rest may never be asked or told.

    Regarding criminal penalties, illiminating all memory is akin to death so if that is the punishment why reboot the body? I’ve often pondered the reincarnation philosophy along those lines, what would be the sense if in rebirth you are wiped clean of all memories? I expect an immortal society would have a better solution.

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