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Immortality Definition: Attitudes On It

Don Ashley dashley at TENET.EDU
Thu Feb 16 09:03:12 EST 1995

'Immortality' refers to perpetual cell division and indefinite life 
extension, not eternal life through magic or divinity.

Death will still be available by choice (over-consumption, dangerous 
driving, lack of socio/emotional management) or by external imposition 
such as crime, insurgence, lightning.  Or by declining treatment to 
perpetuate their healthy cells. 

A passive suicide attitude exists when one resigns to letting 'old age' 
or 'God's plan' relieve self from the stresses of life. Just sit back and 
wait fot the end. It's a subtle form of depression.

On Wed, 15 Feb 1995, Patrick O'Neil wrote:

> On 14 Feb 1995, Vincenzo Nardi-Dei wrote:
> > First get life exstension and reduce the ageing illnesses; just
> > for this goal we will need many decades yet. then get a REAL
> > life exstension (and get the technology on how to do it); maybe
> > all of us will be already died by that time. Then start THINKING
> > about immortality
> Immortality can be forgotten about...wont happen BUT real significant 
> life extension is NOT a capacity that is that far off.  It is too late to 
> consider ramifications once you already start to conduct procedures.  All 
> too often we as a species acts first, waits for signs of a consequence, 
> THEN tries to dow something about it but only after much hand waving and 
> argument, while all that time the consequences proceed to get worse.
> > Ageing research, at this time, is focused to reasonably extend the
> > average human life span, and, mostly, to relief the deseases that
> > occur when people become old, in order to allow elderly people
> > to have a more enjoyble and fruitfull late part of the life.
> I have no problem with treatments or research into making the lives we
> have more disease free and productive up until the time of death, but the
> discussion has been addressing biotechnological means of increasing
> lifespan well beyond normal or average.  Again, such a capacity is not all
> that far off.  A researcher at the Univ. of Boulder, in Colorado stated in
> a Life magazine article devoted to life extension and research on ageing
> some three or four years ago that he thought they could produce a drug
> that would increase lifespan by some 40 years in about 15 to 20 years
> (based upon his then-current research)...  I believe his name was Tom
> Johnson, but I cannot quite recall.  Even that modest an increase WOULD
> have population effects. 
> On another note, do not mistake a reasoned interest in maintaining a 
> sustainable and enjoyable population size to being a recluse or 
> otherwise.  Just because someone would prefer NOT to have people piled up 
> all over the place does not make them antisocial.  The quality of our 
> life is not increased with quantity.  As a matter of fact, why, do you 
> suppose, that so many people flee high-density cities in such numbers, 
> seeking nice rural locations if tons of human bodies walking about is 
> soooooo desireable?  It is not simply economic nor crime-related...it is an 
> entire quality of life issue.  
> Patrick

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