Welcome to Objectivism Online Forum

Welcome to Objectivism Online, a forum for discussing the philosophy of Ayn Rand. For full access, register via Facebook or email.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
ds1973

Immortality, would you take it?

Rate this topic

103 posts in this topic

Speaking of immortality... one of my very favorite passages from TF deals with this very topic:

You know how people long to be ethernal. But they die with every day that passes. When you meet them, they're not what you met last. In any given hour, they kill some part of themselves. They change, they deny, they contradict - and they call it growth. At the end there's nothing left, nothing unreversed on unbetrayed; as if there had never been an entity, only a succession of adjectives fading in and out on an unformed mass. How do they expect a permanence which they have never held for a single moment?

(any errors mine)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gosh, I would love to live indefinitely. There's so much I want to do! :dough:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gosh, I would love to live indefinitely. There's so much I want to do! :dough:
Okay, why would you want to do anything, if you were immortal? I mean, my whole understanding of value is based on benefits to my life. The think that would worry me about immortality, well, apart from the while Cryptkeeper look, is that I don't know what my central purpose could be, if I were immortal. I can see the appeal of living 500 years or more, but actually being immortal? I think being immortal means being immoral.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think being immortal means being immoral.

I would think ammoral would be more accurate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Okay, why would you want to do anything, if you were immortal?

I didn't mean I wanted to be immortal. I was using JMeganSnow's definition of "living indefinitely" from the last page (Post 2): that I had the choice to live as long as I found value in living.

Edited by Mimpy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I didn't mean I wanted to be immortal. I was using JMeganSnow's definition of "living indefinitely" from the last page (Post 2): that I had the choice to live as long as I found value in living.

I would also want to live indefinitely. Keep replacing my body parts as they wear out. Use stem cells to replace dying brain cells. Hook me up to artificial hearts, kidneys and livers. Replace my knee joints and hip joints. I am in favor of the maximum deployment of biomechanical and medical technology to allow me to live longer.

That is a lot different from being immortal, which is an impossible concept for living creatures. I wouldn't want it; I couldn't get it; it is a metaphysical impossibility. The Twilight Zone had an episode that made that point. The immortal person repeatedly and unsuccessfully tried to kill himself. Ironically, once he became immortal, he found his life was no longer worth living.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given that life is the standard of the Objectivist ethics, I am somewhat puzzled by the apparent ambivalence of some (presumably Objectivist) individuals on the incredible prospect of the indefinitely-continued successful achievement of precisely the ultimate end that all moral human action is directed toward.

Leaving aside the question of the metaphysical impossiblity of literal indestructibility, the interesting point here is that there is every reason to expect that, given an appropriate level of scientific advancement, human beings will be able to achieve practical immortality.

To begin with, the aging process is not a metaphysically unalterable curse of the human condition; it is not imposed on us by the natural order of things or by the will of some deity. It is rather a biological process with fully intelligible causal mechanisms, mechanisms which in recent years we have made spectacular progress toward understanding on the evolutionary, genetic, and physiological levels. When we understand them sufficiently we will be able to intervene and control them. We are already able to acheive dramatic lifespan extension in model organisms, including mammals, by both environmental and genetic interventions. The lifespan of rodents has been extended by 50%, that of roundworms by 600%. The essential plasticity of aging is the most exciting and overwhelmingly unavoidable finding in the recent history of aging research. If Man is left free to pursue this monumentally important area of scientific inquiry and to apply its findings to the service of human life, then in the not-so-distant future we will begin to treat aging from a medical standpoint as we would any other degenerative, invariably fatal disorder, i.e. we will cure it.

Similarly, there is absolutely no reason to accept the idea that we will be forever vulnerable to the onslaught of those pathetic, piddling, contemptible little microbes and specks of aberrant molecules that currently have the affrontery to destroy human life on a vast scale. Nor is there any basis for assuming that we will not be able to take charge of the proliferation of our own bodies' cells, or to maintain our cardiovascular system in good working order.

These are all merely technical biomedical challenges that we can be certain will eventually succumb to the scientific conquest of nature, should that pursuit survive the hostility of the present culture.

We can have certainty on this question because none of the requisite technological advances involve some arbitrarily-postulated discovery of hypothetical laws of physics, none of them await the uncovering of unknowable revelations that contradict known science--rather, the existence of solutions to these problems of biology is a necessary implication of our current knowledge of the causal mechanisms by which these various insults bring about the death of the human organism. There of course remain vast obstacles in applying this knowledge practically, but here one might point to the virtually miraculous rate of progress we've witnessed since the birth of modern science some few centuries ago, next to the endless millennia of squalor and carnage that came before.

So now that aging and disease have been eliminated, all that remains to dispatch us is injury. But here too we will hardly be resigned to accepting the terrible fragility of the human body. The seriousness with which people take accident as an insuperable barrier to a radically-extended life seems premised on the idea that humans are doomed to remain as delicate as they are now, so that one unlucky trip onto a hard surface can wipe you out of existence. But the physical durability of the human machine will be fully as amenable to reengineering as will be its immune system. Tougher materials can be incorporated. Wound healing can be improved. And medical technology will be better able to repair the damage that does occur--that at this early stage we already have such things as organ transplants, regenerative medicine, and functional thought-controlled prosthetic limbs is suggestive. Moreover, the technological devices we deal with will become safer. I for one am confident that humanity will devise a saner means of transport than via daily hurtling head-on several feet past hundreds of massive speeding metal vehicles directed by strangers of unknown capability, sobriety, or emotional state. And importantly, if we are to make it to a society in which anything like this level of science can continue to exist, then we will be living on a radically more-rational planet, and the threats of random crime or of foreign barbarians with explosives or of nuclear-armed dictatorships will not be significant. About the only things left are perhaps stray meteoroids (we'll shoot them) or the death of the Sun (we'll move).

My point here is that, however unfathomably distant some of these advances may be, there can come a time in human existence when the risk of death is truly negligible, and this for all intents and purposes would be practical immortality. The mere metaphysical possibility that some extraordinary cataclysmic event could still kill you would not mean that any actual individual's life could not continue long into the indefinite future. This would unequivocally be a magnificent achievement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me to want immortality (or living indefinitely, whatever), it requires three criteria:

1. Never aging.

2. Ability to die if I so desire.

3. Cognition never diminished.

In this particular context, the nanobots seem fit my criteria. Therefore I would definitely take it without hesitation. Complete control over your body can only be a good thing.

My question is whether these nanobots can have further applications other than helping you live indefinitely. For instance, if it can build and resupply cells to your body, it could reasonably mean it could also alter things like your strength, speed, body mass, and possibly even your appearance and/or intelligence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My point here is that, however unfathomably distant some of these advances may be, there can come a time in human existence when the risk of death is truly negligible, and this for all intents and purposes would be practical immortality. The mere metaphysical possibility that some extraordinary cataclysmic event could still kill you would not mean that any actual individual's life could not continue long into the indefinite future. This would unequivocally be a magnificent achievement.

I agree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't foresee myself wanting to live forever, but I can say with certainty that I'd rather the choice be in my hands than subject to nature. I enjoy my life far too much - and death, not to mention the aging process, are two things I wouldn't mind missing out on.

I also admit I'm hanging on for commercial space travel. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That reminds me of a class I had where we discussed the mechanisms of aging in baker's yeast. I think it is partly still a hypothesis what we talked about in that class, but it really is quite interesting and there seems to be a whole lot of experimental data to back this idea up.

What currently seems to be the prime reason human beings age (giving us an upper age limit of about 120 years) is the fact that human cells can divide approximately 60 times. Most likely because of the nature of the division process, this has the consequence that a group of new cells will divide 60 times, and at that point all the cells will stop dividing and die off, instead of just the "oldest" ones in the bunch. My professor said that they think something accumulates in these cells that ultimately shuts down the division process, although they do not yet know what exactly this is. There are some indications, however.

From what they currently know, it looks like the silencing of genes is the weak link in the aging process. This control mechanism is necessary to keep cells differentiated, as it determines which genes will be active and therefore which proteins are expressed in that cell. Because most of the human genome is transcriptionally silent (i.e. the genes aren't active), it is especially crucial for us. The main weakness in human cells seems to be the telomeres, the ends of our chromosomes. In previous years scientists believed it was the length of the telomeres that mattered, or that the reason human cells stopped dividing was that the telomeres weren't present anymore. However, it looks now as if the problem is more that the silencing of that region starts to break down which causes regions of the DNA to become transcriptionally active when they are not supposed to be.

An organism that is used as a model to study aging is baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). This yeast reproduces by 'budding', which means that a new yeast forms on the outside of the first one. The big advantage this has is that you can track under a microscope which yeast is the mother, and which is the daughter (so to speak). This allows you to seperate the newer and the older yeasts, and therefore to know how long any particular cell lives. Most yeast strains have an age limit of about 20ish divisions. Now, the interesting thing is that for yeasts the daughter cell can also divide twenty times on its own. This is a clear difference between this organism and human cells, because it means that a colony can live indefinitely. Another big difference in yeast is that almost all of the genome is being transcribed at a certain point in time. The only three regions that are silenced are the telomeres, the sequence that determines the sex of the yeast, and the sequence where ribosomal RNA is produced.

The main weakness in this system of silencing for yeast is the ribosomal RNA sequence. This part of the genome consists of approximately 120-140 repeats of the same sequence. Repeated sequences in DNA are inherently unstable because one of the repeats can circularize and 'jump' out of the DNA. They found that in aging yeasts there were many more of these circular pieces of DNA present compared to the new ones. The reason the new yeasts were born with 20 divisions left to go, was that these circular pieces of DNA remain with the mother (which, apparently, doesn't happen in human cells with whatever mechanism exists there that determines aging). However, this process of circularization only occurs when they genes are transcriptionally active; the better they are silenced, the less it occurs.

The next thing they did was study mutants that had mutations in the genes that encode for the proteins responsible for the silencing of this area. Indeed, some of these lived anywhere from half as long (in generations) to twice as long as normal yeasts. I think that so far, they've managed to get mutants that live for about 40 generations. Translated back to human terms, it would already be really nice if you could double our current age limit of about 120.

Now, the hypothesis of how these circular pieces of DNA cause the cell to stop dividing after a certain point is that transcription factors and other proteins necessary for the cell bind to these DNA molecules instead of to where they are supposed to bind. This means that at some point the amount of circular DNA becomes large enough that the rest of the cell is deprived of these essential proteins, and they think that this is what causes problems in human cells, as well. Indeed, if the areas of DNA around the telomeres were no longer silenced effectively in older cells it would draw away proteins from other parts of the DNA, which would ultimately make division impossible.

The main difference between human aging and yeast aging is that different parts of the genome seem to be most vulnerable, but there is good reason to believe that at least in essence the aging process is highly similar, even though the specifics may vary per organism. It definitely offers interesting prospects for the future!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's interesting that someone mentioned Tuck Everlasting. (Although I can't figure out what that person is trying to say otherwise.) In the movie, William Hurt's character, commenting on his family's magical inability to die, laments to Winnie, the girl who has discovered them and has learned their incredible secret: "We're like rocks. We just exist."

The film is impressive for how much it gets right. One particularly memorable line, spoken by Hurt, itself ought to be immortalized: "Don't fear death," he urges Winnie: "Fear the unlived life." Tuck and family ought to know.

Man is nothing if not a being in constant process.

Tuck Everlasting is one of my favorite movies specifically because of how it deals with this theme. The Tuck family, however, is not universally nihilistic in their attitude about immortality (again, a form of immortality that is a metaphysical impossibility) the younger Tuck loves his life, travels the world over and over again, and tries to get the girl he loves to join him on his journeys. He is the emodiment of a rational lover of life, not Tuck Sr. The elder son was perpetually depressed about it because he lost his wife and children, the mother was portrayed as rather indifferent to it, she appeared to just like her life and content to keep living it. When Tuck talks Winnifred out of immortality, it must be kept in mind that in the original story, Winni was much younger, and so he might have been trying to say whatever he could to talk her out of it, lest she be a child forever.

One could live indefinately and still live a vibrant and rich life. To imply the choice is between 'fearing death' and 'living life' is a false dichotomy. Look to the younger Tuck sibling for a model on how a rational life loving person would respond to 'immortality'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as my life is worth living, I'll take every extra minute of it I can get. ;)

I have no reason to believe that hte act of living longer will make any portion of my life "less" worth living.

Edited by KendallJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As long as my life is worth living, I'll take every extra minute of it I can get. ;)
Yeah, but seriously, how do you decide if it's worth living? In the context of a being which exists regardless of his efforts, where you can't die, what is the meaning of "worth it"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, but seriously, how do you decide if it's worth living? In the context of a being which exists regardless of his efforts, where you can't die, what is the meaning of "worth it"?

I'm not arguing the immortality angle. I'm arguing the life extension angle.

As soon as someone comes up with a pill for true immortality, I'll consider the consequences. Right now I consider that one of those too-fantastic hypotheticals upon which reasonable philosophy gets very little added value for the amount of time everyone wants to spend discussing it.

Edited by KendallJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Given that life is the standard of the Objectivist ethics, I am somewhat puzzled by the apparent ambivalence of some (presumably Objectivist) individuals on the incredible prospect of the indefinitely-continued successful achievement of precisely the ultimate end that all moral human action is directed toward.

Leaving aside the question of the metaphysical impossiblity of literal indestructibility, the interesting point here is that there is every reason to expect that, given an appropriate level of scientific advancement, human beings will be able to achieve practical immortality.

Great comments Sponge, I never cease to be amazed by the people who seek to find some value in death. I have participated in a few discussions on indefinate life spans on Rand inspired forums and am always in the voice of the minority, people almost always end up appealing to some form of "without death life has no meaning" etc, I think these psychological knee jerk reactions to philosophically accepting indefinate life spans are defense mechanisms which have come from the fact that for 90,000 years mankind has had to pyschologically deal with his own inevitable demise. A difficult thing so we make up all sorts of nonsense religions and philosophies, an ever lasting after life, convince yourself life has no value and so you wont be bothered by death (the Buddhist tactic) or even as a secular atheist convince yourself that you cant truly appreciate life without death looming over you, or something similiar.

Here are some of the conversations I have had with 'Objectivists' who want to die

http://rebirthofreason.com/Forum/ArticleDi...ns/1166.shtml#7

http://rebirthofreason.com/Forum/Quotes/0859.shtml#0

http://rebirthofreason.com/cgi-bin/SHQ/SHQ...amp;Thread=1166

And an ongoing one - http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/in...ic=3586&hl=

I am glad to see on this forum that many people are accepting of the idea.

- Michael

“…You must want to live, you must love it, you must burn with passion for this earth and for all the splendor it can give you—you must feel the twist of every knife as it slashes you desires away from your reach and drains your life out of your body.” - Ayn Rand

“The rapid progress true science now makes, occasions my regretting sometimes that I was born so soon. It is impossible to imagine the height to which may be carried, in a thousand years, the power of man over matter. We may perhaps learn to deprive large masses of their gravity, and give them absolute levity, for the sake of easy transport. Agriculture may diminish its labor and double its produce; all diseases may by sure means be prevented or cured, not excepting even that of old age, and our lives lengthened at pleasure even beyond the antediluvian standard."

"Your observations on the causes of death, and the experiments which you propose for recalling to life those who appear to be killed by lightning, demonstrate equally your sagacity and your humanity. It appears that the doctrines of life and death in general are yet but little understood. . . . I wish it were possible . . . to invent a method of embalming drowned persons, in such a manner that they may be recalled to life at any period, however distant; for having a very ardent desire to see and observe the state of America a hundred years hence, I should prefer to any ordinary death, the being immersed in a cask of Madeira wine, with a few friends, till that time, to be then recalled to life by the solar warmth of my dear country. But . . . in all probability we live in an age too early and too near the infancy of science, to hope to see [such] an art brought in our time to its perfection. . . ."

- Benjamin Franklin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, but seriously, how do you decide if it's worth living? In the context of a being which exists regardless of his efforts, where you can't die, what is the meaning of "worth it"?

What is the purpose of ignoring the distinction between indefinitely long life and literal indestructibility? The actual issue raised by this thread, and the only one relevant to human life in reality is the potential for achieving, through technology, indefinitely long lifespans. That is simply not an issue with any resemblance to Ayn Rand's indestructible robot.

I find it completely astounding that some individuals seem to have conluded that if the alternative between life and death is the ultimate basis of human values, then the actual failure to meet that standard, the actual occurance of the complete annhilation of all your values is somehow necessary to make them values in the first place. That is spectacularly fallacious.

The point of an ultimate end is to achieve it. The fact that the potential to fail to bring about that end is what necessitates a code of values to guide your actions does not mean that you therefore should fail at your acheiving that end. It means precisely the opposite--you should always acheive it.

If the highest moral purpose of your actions is to ensure the continued existence of a life proper to a rational being, then how, at some arbitrary number of years in the future, will it suddenly become desirable to extinguish that life?

A good general rule is that when you start sounding like Leon Kass you should check your premises. "Finitude" (i.e. a short lifespan) is not a value.

And the idea that you'd "get tired" or bored and simply give up after a few centuries is one of the most apathetic, unambitious, passionless, unimaginative statements of pathological ennui that I can conceive of. It represents a seriously impoverished view of the future that is possible if a rational philosophy takes hold, of the values that one could potentially pursue and create given a radically advanced state of science, and of the phenomenal extent of the human potential. More often than not, simply to make the claim is indicative of a lackluster sense of life and an inert mind.

It's often been said that in the scenario of longer lifespans, only boring people will get bored...

For the record, I certainly don't think that anyone who ever makes this claim is boring, etc., but I do think they haven't thought the matter through or considered its nihilistic implications.

These attitudes have life or death consequences for all of us, because their prevelance in the general population contributes to the widespread indifference or outright hostility toward the incredible promise of aging research. But whether such research will go ahead with sufficient funding, and whether it will escape being stifled, through the force of the state, by its many ideological enemies has real bearing on whether we will see any practical benefit from it in our own lifetimes.

Edited by Spong
Severinian likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Great comments Sponge, I never cease to be amazed by the people who seek to find some value in death.

I'm not suggesting that you haven't had conversations with people who seek to find some value in death, but I think the viewpoint may not be that death has value, but that death is what gives life it's value. You and bobsponge may certainly disagree, but I think I understand why life would lose it's value when it has no alternative, when the choices one makes truly can be inconsequential.

To be clear, I am not questioning anyone's conceptual capability here, as mine could be equally flawed in what I'm about to say as well. My concern about the immortality position of the "yes" people is that they are only speaking from a perspective of fantasy. As we examine the question "would you want to live forever", we do so from a whole lifes worth of perspective and experience that that will not be the case. I'm not sure that I would trust the imagination in saying "yea that would be great." Actually being immortal is so far outside of our existences frame of reference that I think at best any answer is just wild speculation. Thus, I make my decision based on the frame of reference I know, the one that reality dictates. Saying that I don't want to die is not saying the same thing as saying I want to live forever. It's not valuing death, it is recognizing how death makes choice valuable and purposeful. It's a recognition that there not are endless options of "do-overs".

Edited by RationalBiker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What is the purpose of ignoring the distinction between indefinitely long life and literal indestructibility?
What is your evidence that I have ignored that distinction? Are you speaking of the problem of "context", whereby knowledge and statements or questions about knowledge occur in a context and not, say, in a vacuum?
The actual issue raised by this thread, and the only one relevant to human life in reality is the potential for achieving, through technology, indefinitely long lifespans.
Huh. Your comment is simply irrelevant, in that the actual immortality and indestructability issue is at the heart of the question. Please note the number of posts that explicitly acknowledge the difference between staving off body degeneration versus bizarro immortality type claims. Insofar as there is insufficient evidence that all participants grasp the relevant distinctions, it is entirely appropropriate to emphasize the relevant facts. The most relevant fact is that the concept of "value" is possible only because of life, and the fact that it is not metaphysically given and immutable. It seems to me that you misunderstand the importance of Rand's indestructible robot point.
I find it completely astounding that some individuals seem to have conluded that if the alternative between life and death is the ultimate basis of human values, then the actual failure to meet that standard, the actual occurance of the complete annhilation of all your values is somehow necessary to make them values in the first place. That is spectacularly fallacious.
I'm unaware of any examples of that fallacious reasoning. Please provide a reference to the claim you're making, as well as a defense of your assertion that the reasoning is fallacious (I wouldn't even care if it were "mildly fallacious" rather than, as you claim "spectacularly fallacious"). Were I in the mood to engages in utterly irrational rationalizations, I would say that your statement is utterly fallacious. However, I am not that kind of guy, so I would certainly not say such a thing.

Can I then assume that you reject Rand's robot argument? I admit that it's one of the more difficult arguments of Objectivism.

I didn't reply to the rest of your comments, since they had no perceptible relationship to anything I've said, so I assume you were simply using your post as a springboard for addressing other aspects of the world which upset you, and that you weren't suggesting that I had some relation to those comments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
but that death is what gives life it's value. ... but I think I understand why life would lose it's value when it has no alternative, when the choices one makes truly can be inconsequential

As we examine the question "would you want to live forever", we do so from a whole lifes worth of perspective and experience that that will not be the case.

But think about that statement. Why does *death* (the opposite of life, the opposite of existence) bring more value to life? Also, there will always be an alternative, you can *always* choose to cease existing. So it's not fair at all to form the question as if it is a sentance to be forced to exist fore-ever, that will never be the case and is not a physical possibility. It's more accurate to form the question as "would you like to have the choice to NOT die?" becasue eventually we may very well have that choice. Most people use the death brings more value to life justification in the same manner that they would say you dont really know how good something is until you lose it, that to truly enjoy freedom you have to be enslaved, etc. But all of these other examples presume you are subjectively comparing the two states, that of having the thing and not having it, but you need to be alife in order to make this comparison. You cant do that with death, you simply cease to exist. In light of that, can you try to convey why you feel that the possibility of death makes your life have more value? And why the the option of living indefinately would make you feel like life was of a lesser value? I have difficult wrapping my head around that attitude.

"would you want to live forever" is not a fair question because it implies that if you answer yes, at this instant, you will in fact definately live *forever* (even if you spent eternity floating in a black void) A better question, and more accurate, is to say "would you always want to have the option to keep living the next instant"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why does *death* (the opposite of life, the opposite of existence) bring more value to life?
Can we start with smaller and more specific questions: what do you mean by "value", and what is the standard for measuring value? What distinguishes "positive value" from "disvalue"? I know you may think it is unfair to ask this question, but it would also be unfair if you failed to answer the question, and it was equally unfair of you to raised the fairness issue, so achieve fairness stalement, you have to at least answer this question (or admit that Vern's question is not unfair). I really want an answer to the implication that talking about "value" apart from life and the possibility of its negation is at all sensible, so I hope you won't just say "I retract my unfair question". Yah know?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does the fact that my car can get stolen raise the value of having it? No. My car is valuble because it takes me where I want to go and gives me freedom. Does the fact that I can lose my life raise the value of living it? no.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My car is valuble because it takes me where I want to go and gives me freedom.
You're confused about the ultimate source of value. The fact that your car take you where you want to go and gives you freedom isn't a rational standard of value -- that's really the whim-worshipper's standard. You can perhaps justify the car in terms of a short-term goal, namely the transportation function (sorry, I think the "give me freedom" argument is a complete non-starter except from the libertarian "freedom is the only moral absolute" perspective), but is "going where you want to go" really the ultimate moral measuring stick for you?

Please, directly answer the question -- acording to you, why is life intrinsically valuable? Alternatively, explain what your ultimate (final, irreducible) standard of value is. Especially in light of the fact that value for men only makes sense in terms of evaluating choices. What does it mean to evaluate a choice when the choice is metaphysically irrelevant? I think that you'll find that the concept of value only makes sense when there is a choice, meaning a mental discriminations between actions which relate to your ultimate purpose. If you cannot affect the outcome, then you have no rational basis for preferring one action over another, in terms of its efficacy in realizing that goal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can we start with smaller and more specific questions: what do you mean by "value", and what is the standard for measuring value? What distinguishes "positive value" from "disvalue"?

What do you mean by "value" do you think that death adds value to life or not? Regardless of whether I know your definition of value, you either agree with this statement (according to your own definition) or you do not?

What is the definition of "value" What is Rand's Definition- Something that we seek to acquire or perpetuate? That seems a limited definition to me. Something of 'worth' to us, something 'useful' to us? The most important things to us that we strive to acquire or keep? If you have an answer to the above question, you must also have a working definition of "value" Feel free to share it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But think about that statement.

The assumption here is that I haven't thought about the statement when in fact I have. And it doesn't bring "more" value to life, it establishes that life has value to begin with. If you reject that life is the ultimate source of value, that's fine with me, I have no qualms about that. But if you do then you must think about what that entails. I'm not assuming you haven't thought about, I just don't know what your standard of value is.

However, I don't think you have invalidate my main opposition. You can only evaluate the question of immortality from the perspective of someone who doesn't have it. Your entire frame of reference is centered around the inescapeable fact that you will die.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.