rethinking-cryonicsCryonics and our ongoing effort to build the ultimate life-extension toolbox

 

No person should ever die…. EVER!

Is that the direction we’re headed?

There are many reasons why people die, yet these reasons may all disappear as we develop fixes and cures for everything that ails us.

Aging is currently our biggest problem. Over time we’ll likely be able to fix the aging problem and delay aging indefinitely .

Injuries and disease are also problems. Over time we will likely be able to prevent and fix the issues associated with injuries and disease.

Perhaps the most perplexing problem to fix will be deviant behavior, because the idea of fixing deviant behavior presumes we will have a good way of sorting out the dividing line between deviant and non-deviant behavior. But there again, over time we will likely develop medical or behavioral strategies that address deviant behavior.

So, if we had the ability to fix the problems involved with aging, injury, disease, and deviant behavior, theoretically we could create a society of people capable of living forever.

Is that our goal? And if it is our goal, and we become very adept at fixing all of these problems, at what point does it become a right?

At what point will the notion of living forever become an inalienable right, a privilege of legal significance, similar to those rights granted to citizens in every country on earth.

If we solve the problems associated with aging, will prisons still work as a form of punishment? Since incarceration is a universal form of punishment for criminals, will criminals someday have the right to “hibernate” during their time in prison?

Recently an editor for Morning Calm, the in-flight magazine for Korean Airlines, contacted me about an article they were preparing on the future of cryonics, the science of freezing human bodies and placing them in a state of hibernation. They were looking for arguments both for and against the technology.

Cryonics is a technology that will serve as a stepping stone towards the ultimate goal of achieving individual immortality, of cheating death. Preserving life in a state of suspended animation, a state where Einstein’s laws of space and time are temporarily put on hold, is just one tool in a much larger toolbox that we are creating.

While a few wealthy individuals want to preserve their legacy by preserving their bodies and minds through cryonics, we have yet to prove that it is indeed achievable.

In most cases, freezing bodies doesn’t fix problems associated with aging. It only delays them.

For some, the idea of preserving a body through cryonics is no less formidable than fixing the problems of aging, disease, and injury.

Naturally the first argument against living forever will be the “too many people” argument. If no person ever dies, we will quickly run out of room. The earth will quickly fill up and we will have no place to put all of the people, their homes, cars, and belongings.

This argument, however, changes quickly when we change perspective from an over-populated earth to a very under-populated universe. The limitations of earth resources become a non-issue when we begin colonizing other planets. And our push to colonize other planets is one of many driving forces behind the fledgling science of cryonics.

The plan for creating hibernation chambers aboard vehicles designed for deep space travel and exploration has some appeal, but an argument can be made for building spaceships large enough to allow people on board to grow and develop as a society, in situ. So once they arrive at their destination, many years – even decades – later, they will be a fully functioning society, a more durable people, better prepared for the unknown challenges they will face while trying to establish a new civilization on another planet.

By Thomas Frey

11 Responses to “Living Forever”

Comments List

  1. Kyle

    Nice article! An interesting take on the immortality bit is presented in Richard Morgan's book "Altered Carbon" wherein people can have their consciousness digitized and then implanted into another body, if you can afford it. No need to worry about aging, just get a new, even custom, body. But a whole slew of other problems arise. Good story, anyway. How long is any one consciousness meant to persist? Forever is a very long time. I probably could be considered a "deviant" by some, and I'd sure hate for them to decide where that line would be and subsequently "fix" me. I shudder at the thought. Thanks for the thought-provocation!
    Reply
  2. <a href='http://kwikmed.com/prodinfo1.asp?p=chantix' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>Stop Smoking</a>

    Thats a crazy idea but we are NO WHERE near the point of colonizing other planets so how far in the future are we talking before this technology becomes feasible, 100, 200 years?
    Reply
  3. Rich

    Are you crazy ? You want to keep people alive longer...We are already producing at a rate that is so ridiculous we have made our population jump from 1 billion to 6 billion in one hundred years. We do not need anything else to help this number rise any faster. Resources are becoming scarce and overpopulation is imminent. Unless you have a plan to start shooting frozen bodies into space as soon as your cryogenics starts working you may want to spend your time helping the people that are struggling to survive without age related health issues
    Reply
  4. <a href='http://www.accolo.com/insights_and_expertise/bright_papers_detail/rpo_the_ins_and_outs_of_recruitment_process_outsourcing/' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>RPO</a>

    This was great article. I enjoyed it tremendously.
    Reply
  5. Yogi

    Interesting article but your picture is of a man who plans to jump from 40,000 meters up in the stratosphere. It has little to do with Cryogenics. The two are unrelated other than his balloon capsule looks slightly like a cryogenic chamber. Need a better image Mr Blog Writer ... Michel Fournier's Jump - http://www.legrandsaut.org/
    Reply
  6. <a href='http://violinyew@yahoo.com.au' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>yew m choo</a>

    Are we humans and its spirit are really living forever in different kinds of space and time. Examples are related to duplicate universes after death. The sensation in my nightly dreams indicates endless time and space.
    Reply
  7. <a href='http://essentialmeat.blogspot.com/' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>Luke</a>

    I'd be happy to live in space if that's the only place where there is enough room. In fact, I think I'd prefer it anyway. There's tons of room out there, much more than on any planetary surface. The earth will probably be at most a tourist attraction by then -- perhaps a reserved wilderness area.
    Reply
    • admin

      While some would argue that we live on an over-populated planet, no one is arguing that we live in a very under-populated universe. However much we wish for it, space tourism will remain a playground for the wealthy elite for decades to come
      Reply
  8. <a href='http://yewmchoofacebook' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>yew m choo</a>

    I believe a person can live forever in normal health if one is free from negative emotions. It counts mainly on greed and jealousy. The first step is to get rid of all minor and major negative emotions. Today negative emotions are mainly money concerned. During the time of the garden of Eden God or ET gave everlasting life in the garden of Eden. Then Adam made a mistake of greed by eating an apple from the tree that belongs to God. That is greed because you have your own apple tree and why you must eat the apple tree that belongs to GOD. They were told from the voice from the sky not to eat it It was a test of the human mind concerning the practice of discipline. That is why all humans today are facing aging. Today the practice is getting worse especially the monetary system. In my opinion no Science can make people living forever. The mind needs to be trained in order to get rid of aging before moving to next step. Increase in negativity only increase natural disasters on this planet.
    Reply
  9. Dave Hinbest

    I don't believe it's cheating death as much as it's mastering life. Great article, great ideas, now let's go and do it, there is a huge universe out there awaiting our arrival. Live forever, populate the universe!
    Reply

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