erg. stupid essay question.

immortality is technically possible, eg being a machine which never runs out of power, or through genetic engineering being able to build a new a body to ‘move into’ once you’re current one is too old, but i think it is more of a question of why and would you really want to. if you are immortal there couldn’t be any babies (assuming we are still on earth) as the planet will become over crowded, you would eventually get bored of doing everthing and there wouldn’t really be any need for anyone to do anything as nobody would die from it. so you wouldn’t need to work as you could live anywhere and not suffer from the affects, you could go out and steal cars or whatever and know it wouldn’t really matter as you wouldn’t be ‘waisting’ time in prison as you would live forever. it would remove alot of the things that make us human, and i’d rather stay away from it.

I’m not sure I really understand the question. Seems a bit of a difficult one for a school philosophy course. I’m not even sure what it is in reference to! I’ll just say what I know on the subject.

Biologically, scientists/doctors are still unsure why we die of old age. Some of us die of disease which can be explained but why do our body parts stop regenerating after a certain amount of years, causing us to die. However, what we do know is that biologically we are not immortal, yet. There is genetic research on AGE-1 (i think) which is a longevity gene which claims to double the length of life of the organism it lives in. This has been tested on worms (nematode?) with successful results.

As macca has pointed out, the practical issues that would arise from immortality render it almost unthinkable.

Philosophically it would change our whole outlook on life. At the moment many of us conveniently slice our life into main areas of education, career, marriage, kids and the ages at which they happen are usually the same. Immortality would throw this out of the window. As macca has said, having children would cause overcrowding BUT if no-one can die what effect would this have? Would we find our way out of the problem and go and live on other planets?

I think the chances of immortality being a reality is unreasonable, but I don’t think the word “reasonable” applies to hope. I think it is foolish to hope for immortality because of the drawbacks mentioned above but I’m slightly confused at the idea of “reasonable hope”. Perhaps you can explain to us when you’ve done the essay Jen?

Jen wrote: the concept of a disembodied existence is not particularly desirable so it isn’t a “philosophically reasonable hope” because to put it simply: a body without a mind is useless but a mind without a body is pointless. so a disembodied existence would be a pointless existence.

Now I doubt that Jen even comes into this site anymore, but I largely disagree with this statement. a mind without a body isn’t pointless. A brain without a body might be, but not a mind. To me the mind is that which does the thinking. My largest fear is non-existence. And the only way I know I exist is through my thinking. I think, therefore… I am.

Rilke’s(?) frustrated Panther, roaming his cage, that’s a mind without a body.