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Mortality as a Metaphysical Fact?

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Faye
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Yes, you have to accept it. It's the truth. One important additional point is that without the life/death option Objectivist ethics would cease to be. It's this option that provides the objective foundation for morality.

Exactly, it's the option. Any man that accepts that there is no actual option, that man must simply accept that he will die, has renounced the basic premise of objectivist ethics.

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Of course we -can- die. We are not invincible. That is not the same as accepting death as a metaphysical fact.The first living organism was in effect, immortal. That is why we exist, because it never stopped living. Every living being is simply the biological extension of a previous living being, so it is clear that immortality is within the real of nature.It seems they do not understand -why- rationality is good. They have fallen prey to intrinsicalism.

Do you think any kind of life on Earth will survive the death of the Sun? In about five billion years, the Sun will become a Red Giant. It will expand and engulf the Earth which will be vaporized. What can survive that?

Bob Kolker

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Do you think any kind of life on Earth will survive the death of the Sun? In about five billion years, the Sun will become a Red Giant. It will expand and engulf the Earth which will be vaporized. What can survive that?

Bob Kolker

I think it's pretty safe to say that men can figure out a way to get out of the sun's way (or perhaps even something more ingenious) within five billion years.

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That isn't what "immortal" means.

im·mor·tal

6. (of a laboratory-cultured cell line) capable of dividing indefinitely.

The nature of life is to keep living. It can fail, but it does not have to fail. The fact that we all (well, almost all) can create offspring is a clear proof that there is nothing inherent in our nature as living beings to prevent us from living forever. I do not at all deny that there is a built-in system of death, and that this system is not easy to crack, but every person (couple anyway) can create multiple completely new and healthy bodies, which can create even more bodies, ad infinitum. There is even a sickness that results from our cell's ability to divide indefinitely, cancer. So our bodies are -capable- of extending life indefinitely.

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Sorry for not responding earlier, I've been quite busy. Oh boy, this thread has run away without me :lol: So, when I made the statement about whether or not we should "accept" death, what I meant was I think we should be at peace with the fact that we are mortal, that we can die. And also, at this point in time, it's quite likely that even if someone is able to fight off disease and avoid accidents, there body will give out after aging to a certain point. Perhaps "accept" isn't the right vocabulary for this, but I really can't think of a better way to say what I mean. I accept that I am going to die one day, and I choose to live my life to the fullest until this happens. I also make decisions to further this life as long as possible, and to make it as happy as possible. Death isn't something I really dwell on or think about too often; I see mortality as something I came to terms with a while ago.

So this is why I posted my question. I wasn't quite sure why this view would necessarily be at odds with Objectivism. Again, I also might not be stating this the best way.

-Faye

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Exactly, it's the option. Any man that accepts that there is no actual option, that man must simply accept that he will die, has renounced the basic premise of objectivist ethics.

So, I'm not necessarily saying that there isn't an option in every single case. I think you may be confusing what exactly the options are. The length of your life isn't the ultimate value in Objectivism. The quality of your life is just as important.

If you have a terminal disease, and have tried every treatment available, does it go against Objectivist ethics to accept that you're going to die at this point? If you decide that you'd rather live a shorter period of time, but be happy and not in a hospital for the rest of your life, I don't really think that flies in the face of Objectivism. I also think that context is important here too. This sort of acceptance of death wouldn't be the correct choice in every situation; not even in every situation where someone has a terminal disease.

-Faye

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If you have a terminal disease, and have tried every treatment available, does it go against Objectivist ethics to accept that you're going to die at this point? If you decide that you'd rather live a shorter period of time, but be happy and not in a hospital for the rest of your life, I don't really think that flies in the face of Objectivism.
You're right, nothing in Objectivism says that a truly terminally ill person should prolong his life as long as he can.
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Here's a question I'd like to throw into the mix, for anyone willing to answer it. What is the appropriate standard of proof needed to validate the claim that man can live indefinitely?

Probably none. It looks like apoptosis (programmed cell death) is genetically wired in. Our cells are structured to "commit suicide" under specific circumstances.

See

http://www.therubins.com/aging/procapoXI.htm

In addition to this article, several pointers to many related articles on aging are given.

See also

http://grove.ufl.edu/~cleeuwen/mtapoptosis.htm

Bob Kolker

Edited by Robert J. Kolker
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