TyOmaha

Why is society complacent with death

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It makes me so upset that society is so content with their DNA degrading, calling it old age, and then dying and having arrangements to be guaranteed to never exist again from decomposing underground or being incinerated.

In the unfortunate event that you do stop living unexpectedly, you can be cryopreserved where they replace the water in your body with an anti-crystallization fluid to preserve the structures of your cells (vitrification) and then be put into liquid nitrogen to prevent you from decomposing. This field is called Cryonics. It is expensive, but most people pay for it with life insurance. The hopes are in the future there will be technology that will be able to fix your original condition and bring you back.

"Death/old age is just a part of life" - so are diseases but we actively combat those everyday.

"I will go to heaven" - How can people blindly trust religion when that caused us to drill holes in mentally ill people's skulls to "release the demons", instead of trusting what has progressed us to this day and age surrounded by incredible levels of technology?

DNA degrading over time is equivalent to endlessly photocopying a copy of a copy etc., over time the quality will continue to get worse compared to the original. Our DNA has many corrective and safety measures but over time it can't correct for that much. 

Cryopreservation, if it ever advances to a simple on/off state, we will be able to explore the universe. Same with stopping our DNA from degrading. 
 

Spoiler

 

Here are some links if you want to learn more about DNA degradation:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetic_clock  & https://stresscenter.ucsf.edu/measures/epigenetic-clock

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA_methylation

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA_repair

https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/basics/dna

Here is a link for what (in my opinion) is the best Cryonics company that currently exists: https://alcor.org/ With the 1120 living members currently signed up, if each one of them stops living they will have $137,000,000 USD in available funds. I do not recommend the cheaper Cryonics Institute in Michigan because they can take over a month to get your body into long term storage and by that point you have already decomposed too much.

 

 

The idea of never ever existing again I find to be absolutely horrible. I love existing and always want to exist. I wish more people shared the same sentiment, so we would have more funding and research towards fixing DNA degradation.

What's your thoughts with all of this?

Edited by Ty Omaha
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Because cryonics is a blind gamble and not everyone has insurance willing to pay for a blind gamble.

Everyone will eventually die, even the universe will inevitably cease being what we know it is and the next one could have completely different laws than our current. Its just a fact of well existing.

Even if I could prolong my life I wouldn't want to for these reasons.

A) There's no guarantee I'm coming back. Technology does advance and they could bring me back to cure me of whatever it is I'm suffering from but its also just as likely for a meteor to strike the Earth and for everything to be wiped out. Or more plausibly since I'm putting my now suspended life in other people's hands, human error could end up screwing me over in an interesting and horrifying way.

B) If I was able to come back and be cured/continue living everything I know will be different. My knowledge will be horrendously antiquated, all the people I know or care about will be dead and gone if they haven't undergone the process themselves. The diet and food consumption may be entirely different and be inedible to me (Remember hundreds of years ago people ate food with trace amounts of poo. Hygiene was very different back then.) And even if in the incredibly lucky off chance my country is still around when I come back I will have little to no money with which to establish myself with. Can't get even the most basic of jobs if I'm unable to understand even the most basic of things provided by decades if not centuries of technological advancement.

C) No guarantee the things I do for recreation would persist. For all I know even the most basic of recreational activities will cease when I wake up and hell even humanity's approach to reproduction may take a more clinical turn instead of the classic insertions. That kinda puts a massive damper on the idea of visiting the future.

So yeah, not exactly the most ideal thing. In fact I would rate it even worse than having innate immortality where my genetic code didn't degrade over time since at least with innate immortality I'd be able to learn as time progressed and wouldn't be quite literally a babe amongst adults, who bonus, have no obligation to teach your dumb ass a single thing.

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That's an interesting topic, as well is the advancement of technology in general - whatever it could bring us in the future.

Will life change? Will people change, affected by many things improving like they never were improving before? Brace yourselves, essay coming because I love typing, honk.

Personally I believe that not much will change for the most of the people. By all means I could imagine of, basic things of life will be the same - as long as it lasts the way it has been going on, and that has been going as long we can know history. Basic things, namely, growing, occupying oneself with "work", ageing, dying - it does matter, how these will go, it's better to be in a Western country enjoying all the good things in life we have, than to be, say, in wartorn mideast living in tents made of rubbish. Those things have been improving worldwide for long and we should strive to improve them - our lives - more, for ourself, our nationals and as an international community for the world as whole. That's kind of an imperative for what to do with oneself, doesn't matter much how one would argue it - there's many ways for it, philosophical and-or religious.

 

Question was about death and the effect of preservation and prolonging life, instead of simply ageing and dying. To answer that, I'd say, it is needed to take a look to life itself. That for, the previous. It's not only a question of technology and funding I'd say. But: will life - human biology, psychology, society, nature - make it possible to live it "eternally" or at least longer?

I'd say answer is no. Not because of it's an utopy - by the moment it is, but indeed it can become true just as a fun spess game which we have time to play, truely unbelievable thing for people that wrote their things hundred of years ago (or even at the times of 90's before our brilliant platform of Build Your Own Network Dream had seen the light). Yeah, maybe long preservation could happen, given that technological advance will permit it. Maybe long for sizeable group of people, if things develop in the society along with tech so that preservation could be funded extensively. But I wouldn't believe,  that anything like that, would change the basic elements of life (death an stuff) and be a reasonable hope, a thing to strive for, for many.

 

Some arguments, in order of dependency:

1) Life runs in the cycle of borning, ageing and dying. It runs in this cycle quite monolitchically I'd say. It's really hard to change anything in life. It just can't afford many things. You know, even personally, just as well as life as all the life, from an hypothetical viewpoint of observing it all - people, society, nature - from a distance. Maybe some people could be kept up but not everyone.

2) That so because of the questions, that would appear when the thing starts to be possible for not only the super rich. Not only ethical questions, but political as well. Questions that can't be answered reliably, namely, you can't know will you exist or not. Or if you do, will it be well, existing, thinking what Bryan wrote.

 

 

Some arguments for arguments:

Currently people do absolutely crazy things to each others due their life as it is now - crazy things, instead of helping each other in life the most optimal way and funding things like cryopreservation and other good studies. Wars are waged, in small personal just as well as in grand international frameworks, and why? Seems like just because of how people happen to see the life, how they happen to think who they are, what is right and something to strive for - and above all just because nobody knows what is happening and how things will work out. That will end up to precautious acts that are completely reasonable in a sense of the "real politics", but are often bad and wicked otherwise, or will become partly known as bad later when things have passed, and something can be said on what has happened.

Knowing things, to know how to do the good (doesn't matter how would you state what good is - here, let's say it's about emphasizing the preservation of life, DNA study an stuff) instead of bad (hindering the previous) is incredibly hard. In small scale, which derives to the big scale.

I'll draw a caricature. I've been a peacekeeper officer in a zone of conflict, a conflict that was and is wicked, twisted and complex to the heart and calm as it was calm in the trenches when doing anything were considered too costly by the parties involved. Unforgiveness, rage, military confrontation against other people just for some dry land, different religious and political beliefs, languages, social networks - as well as indifference, good, unharming faith and will to live in peace. I drove through tents made of rubbish from the Western countries, billboards and stuff, next to them standing refugee children, smiling and waving to us happier than I could have smiled as a patrol commander driving though that area. I led a footpatrol through an open waste dump, because of if somebody not-a peacekeeper would happen to go in the nearhood of the fence next to the dump, he could be shot from the other side of the fence, and after that, the combatants would start shooting each others and so the place would back up another couple of years of peace and rebuilding process, or worse.

This all, for reasons I couldn't really understand - even if, as a part of a society made to obstruct the possible bad processes at the zone, I could have done some actions against the bad process, for the good of life. Also I had the will to do whatever I could, but it was unknown to me whether and in what extent I would have been able to do, that is, whether our organization would have been able to do, what it was supposed to do, in time of shit and the fan - or whether I would have been just bitting the first bullets or been rendered unable by fear in a critical moment. And then again personally, me, a foreign, green-nose 2LT at the time, ended up doing that - along with wondering the big questions of life and eating hamburgers - due that I wanted to go the hell out of my own life, as I couldn't stand it and couldn't change myself and the people concerned, due things that would sound silly if I'd utter them aloud.

Though, it's not that romantically black-and-white. That's a caricature of the scene. The people on the said place really just wanted to live their lifes in peace, but still many of them would start to do the pew pew if a situation prompting it would come. Just as well as I was there because of I love soldiering. So you won't even know yourself what you're doing and why. You believe things instead. To know is a big word, and I'd need to know, that I exist forever to lay the hope for that and thus forget the other things to be content with life and death. Such knowledge, I'd say, is irrational, impossible. So I need to get, well, content with the memento mori an stuff somehow. And well, with life too - the fact, that so little is possible, even if in theory, it would be just up for people to do it. Theory is always a hypothetical thing if the subject is human, probably even if it's just something that needs to be observed, or so my astro physics nerd friend kept saying back in the day. Why you couldn't keep order as space security anytime, anyplace, or even often? Why I can't be what I want to, concerning ideals and the less ideal things that I would so like to have?

 

 

So the key here, what I'm trying to say:

complexity. Life is too complex to be preserved, I'd say. It's not just biology.

1) Wouldn't believe the complex stuff, natural to life, would not happen and hinder a scenario in which life of many could be preserved for ages, just as in the conflictzone example complex odd stuff hinders people's present short life to be even more short. I've read Harari's recent books, though, on the subject. What he says, is that maybe an idol-god human society, a small club of medium elite role play like the Paradise mentors, would be possible at some point. Fair enough - even if theories are hypothetical, it can't stop us making them. We try to do the good, we do theories that are rational and useful and practise them the best way we're able to - but whatever is done, it can't reach the God's word level of to know. That's wording of Hawkings in his old book about time, by the way. As well of Aristotle's, though he moves God, the hypothetical class of "God", out of this world completely because of moral questions, and hence takes it as given there is no God and no knowledge in a Platonic sense, but only practical and irredeemably incomplete. So the knowledge to make things well for all won't be "perfect", and thus basic things of life wouldn't change and most wouldn't make it to be a Harari's idolhuman.

2) That's why I'd do, instead, that blind and simple faith. Or actually - not instead, but along. A religious belief would be kind of above the question, in my opinion. One could believe in say, Christian resurrection and still buy oneself a place at some cryo institute. For the former is, by its nature, a belief in a thing that certainly happens (as irrational it is, due a divine promise), and the latter would consider complexity of everything and it would be just another investment in life, which maybe gets fulfilled or perhaps it doesn't. Personally, if I had really a choice to do the latter, I'd refuse it just as firm as I'd refuse giving up or doing some other things due what I consider holy. Or so I would think now, with the "know"ledge of society I have now,  just as I've thought as a soldier that I'd give whatever I could for the mission.

 

 

Not saying that studying life preservation is bad or such, or wouldn't be happy to tax fund universities doing that - it's a good thing. The question is real aswell. This kind of viewpoint isn't either the only way to inspect the matter. Hawkins, for example, was ambivalent to the question about knowledge, in which I think the issue lies; he thought, at least in that book, that maybe it would be possible at some point to know stuff. Or then the thing could be apprehended completely otherwise. I'm very interested on what and how people think and word their thoughts on the matter and subjects like this.

Edited by Regular Joe

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Imagine stumbling over this thread before going to sleep.

Really interesting and will definitely keep me awake thinking for a while now...

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I read this after I got off work today and I must say...this is a deep and touchy subject. I personally believe that given the advances of medical technology in the last 20 years even and the life expectancy doubling over the last 200 years or so that give it another 20 years or so and people will regularly be living to 100 and beyond as opposed to it being just an abnormality these days.

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I used to be a big fan of cryonics and leveraging technology to become immortal.
Today, I am the opposite. I take comfort in the fact that I am certain to cease to exist at some point.

On a broad scale, immortality is bad for human progress.
Look back in history and pick your favorite era to live in, forever.
Think of the people in power in that era, they will not grow old and die, they will never be forced to abdicate their power or resources to the next generation.
Their ideas of morality will be enforced to protect their monopoly on power.
Or worse, it will be replaced by the first group willing to do such enforcement and 'weed out' those 'unworthy' of immortality.
Want to live under the rule of King Whoever, long may he reign?
Want to live under the moral code where dark skinned people should be owned as property?
Want to live under the moral code that kept women barefoot and pregnant and never voting?

If we have immortality, our moral code stops growing, and we become the tyrants that rule future generations.
We like to think of ourselves as inclusive and progressive, but we've still got a long way to go.
How do I know? There are still people in the world who are suffering.

On a more personal scale, understand that immorality is the same as simulation.
Re-instantiation (creating another you) is how death is avoided.
This might be nanobots building or repairing a meat-based you.
Or it could be a very advanced quantum computer simulation of your consciousness as embodied in the neural network encoded in your meat.
If you think of modern computers running emulators for old video games, you're not far off;
just treat your own brain as the ROM, and imagine you're being 'emulated' so well that you don't even know you're not you.
(Here's an interesting side thought: What if you are already being emulated? How would you even know this vs. what you think is reality?)

Here's the issue. People already have enough trouble treating each other right when they can see each other in meat form.
People love to divide themselves into groups and justify hurting the other group, even though they know those people are fundamentally no different than they are.
Now, enter the 'emulated' person. How do you think people will react to that?
I think they will treat emulated people just like characters in a video game; no empathy, it's 'just a computer'.
So sure, put that emulated consciousness in an emulated tank of boiling water, I mean, it's not *really* a person, right?

Your meat self will denature and die within seconds of being submerged in boiling water.
Your emulated self? That depends on whatever the person running the emulator wants; you might be 'boiling' for a long, long time.

And, one might argue that human morality will progress and simulated people will be given proper equal rights.
I refer back to my argument that our moral progress will stop (and probably decline) the moment humanity gains immortality.

I am very glad that my own meat shell has a limited finite existence.
For both my own selfish reasons, and for the selfless reason that in order for humanity to progress, I must die and let the next generation have their chance.
So it goes.

 

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I'm going to be very Frank here. More Frank than I've been to anyone, and probably more than I ever will to a living person. 

I am scared of dying. I am terrified of the idea of growing old and my body slowly degrading and being trapped in a dying body until it finally gives out on me. I am not religious because of this fear of death making me question all I knew when I was young. Two days before turning 10, to be exact.

I lost everything I had in a natural disaster, all gone overnight. I questioned why this could have happened, led one thing to another, and lost my faith and realised the truth of how little time I had to live.  Now, 20 years old, and I'm still scared, fearing something that most people I've met in their 30s and 40s haven't even begun to think about yet. 

My viewpoint has evolved to this: if I had a chance to become immortal, or even just live longer, I would take it. Whatever it took, be it cryogenics, synthetic infusion, whatever was needed, minus hurting others, I would do. I struggle to understand how society can be so complacent about such looming and, quite honestly, horrific things. The only response I tend to get is just "dont think about it", which infuriates me to no end. I cannot stand ignorance, let alone willful ignorance. People are too concerned with lining their pockets or looking for a partner to focus on not losing all that they've worked towards.

In a way, we've grown accustomed to looking the other way when death is brought up because no one wants to face the fact they're going to die and theres nothing they can do to stop it. We are discouraged from being open about it, which has likely led to many people freaking out when facing death. 

I think I went a bit off topic, but I hope my input was still helpful. But yeah, people dont give it enough thought. 

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I could post something philosophical about death, its a very deep subject and I could spend years talking about it and immortality but, I think this encapsulates everything wonderfully.

Life's too short to worry about these things. We're a bunch of tiny creatures crawling on a ball of heated rock being flung through space at roughly 30km a second or 67k miles an hour with quite literally millions of different ways that the entirety of the universe could end us before we could even blink with no doubt well over half of them being shit we'd never see coming.

Every second we're alive is precious. Don't live it worrying about when you're going to die. Live it making yourself and those around you happy because that's what really matters at the end of the day. Were you happy today or weren't you and if not how can you change that.

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for me at least immortal is just something i dont know what to do if i had the opportunity to become immortal 

1)your right people do say death is apart of life and so are viruses but we fight them but in all honesty we do try to fight death by trying to increase the average life span but no matter how hard we fight these things they will always be apart of life if you cant die of old age then you'll have to wait for the sun to explode and than maybe the universe to end and i never will think humanity will truly reach immortality

2)if immortal effects you it'll have its ups and downs like if there a heaven you'll never go to it(not saying there is a heaven or there inst might thought is might be) first everyone you'll ever meet will always die however you could easily use your immortal for plenty of good things as nothing can realty stop you and hey if the universe ends except you it'll be boring ya sure but if theirs a another big bang (idk if they'll be one if the universe ends) then hey you might just land on a planet and guide a whole species to greatness so ultimately it can be used for greatness but it defiantly has its downsides 

 

ultimately i'm defiantly going to die but eh i accept it.  all you can do is when you are gone from this world your name isnt and just overall had fun while doing it or something you can be proud of(as cheesy as this is always loved this little saying)

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Interesting...

i have not read all the other answers yet, so will address the first topic - finding nonexistance horrible.

Well, life as we know it always comes to an end. You were born in the world that knows that it will die. All the thousands and millions of generations of people and other ancestors before you knew they will die. Thats how things work, and you technically should not find something, that uncountable amount of creatures before you have experienced, horrible. Only recently we started to create concepts of immortality. But still, even if you can stop dna degradation, what will happen with you? The more years you live, the more chances you have to get killed. After millions of years of existence, it would be miracle  if you dont get killed in mass shooting or evaporated by random meteor. And those millions of years? They are still nothing compared to the lifespan of the universe. Even if you can somehow survive all the billions of billions of years up until the moment universe comes to its end, you will die anyway. And so what? What is  the difference between 80 years and billions of years? You spent eternity not existing before you were born, did you have any problem with it? Of course, making your lifespan longer is a good thing, but its just a concept right now, and people who have families to feed cant afford funding those research. One day we will come to people living up to 500 years, then we will have 10000 years old people, but things will stay the same. Those people will have the same problem, and there is probably no solution to that problem. Consciousness is an illusion, it is just a set of atoms that follows the laws of the universe, and according to those laws, at least as far as we aware today, consciousness will have its end. Because matter will have its end. Unless we somehow move our consciousness to another non-matter level. 

In conclusion - i had no problems non existing before i was born, and i probly wont have any after i die. All the fear of nonexistence comes from instinct of death living creatures have.

Also there is a great chance, after you die, you will take off your VR glasses and say - hell, that was a boring round!

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You know, I have this same argument with my friends. Its such an odd topic, and scary to a lot of people, as dying seems like the biggest question left unanswered you just gotta deal with. I for one, love the idea I have the potential to die, not in a morbid way, but in a trying to be something so people can either look up to or celebrate a good life lived, as well as be happy in the idea that I lived a "full" life no matter how long I live. 

But as to my actual opinion about trying to live a lot longer, I would love to live to see 300 or 400, hell 1000. I want to be everything, do anything, see the stars, spend time with all kinds of people, make someone/multiple someones happy. I want to see a time where our petty issues of diversity are wiped away and we see ourselves as one race with the greater goal to be the best we can be. I want to enjoy the thrill of traveling space, even if just from here to the moon. I want to meet all types of people and learn their stories, make friends with some and move past others. I want all these things and more. I dream of the day I can be a space freighter captain, because being a real freight driver isnt as spectacular to me anymore. I think its natural for us to be afraid of something we have always had to fear, death is inevitable, whether by natural causes or not so natural, we all die. Immortality, probably never possible in its truest sense. I think BryanR hits the nail on the head with live life for the moment or just live life and be happy. I think its great, and I really want to see my 200+'s, that we are making massive genetic/scientific leaps in preventing our aging from killing us so "quickly", but I am not afraid to die. Life is too "short" in the relative time of everything and if you spend too much time planning for what ifs, you'll miss the time now. Because, regardless of how you view view after death, you still gotta die to get there. And if you are living in the moment, then why is death your biggest fear (beyond obviously doing something deadly hahahaha).

On a societal opinion in regards to some peoples cynicism, I think we have a overly morbid view on humans a whole. There is quite a lot of studies that show that in the worst kinds of situations, we generally have a much higher chance to band together and get over the small differences. Humans are naturally social animals, and we crave companionship on a base level for at least evolution's sake. We will eventually move past being crappy to one another, and I think our rapid movement towards such equality, from what the world was for hundreds of years, is a testament to that fact. Tyrants naturally get taken down, and despite peoples view on "Big" business taking over, a lot of these giants have only been around for relative gas passing's of time history wise, and they will come and go until either the society evolves past them for whatever is the next step, or society stops existing. Society evolves as much as humans and life does, it learns and adapts to what the people want or need for the particular situation. We are just in the birthing stage of it all, and that is even relative to how old humanity is. Society as we know it has only been around less than a few thousand years, and so we are working out the kinks, getting rid of vestigial structures, and moving forward for bigger and better things. I think its obscene to think by living forever we will stick to our ways, the bigots and tyrants will get cast down whether by natural death or natural societal death, we as societal creatures evolve society to the current needs not the other way around. Are we at a great point yet, eh, maybe, kinda not really. I know in my case, we definitely are not, but I am always hopeful because my mom died at least having changed her viewpoints towards my choices, and I believe if she can change, anyone can. Unfortunately as well, or fortunately in some peoples eyes, the bigots of older generations will most likely die in a few decades anyways, so there is that. 

I've lost a lot of friends and family, I'm young, dumb, and my job has a slightly higher mortality rate, but I love to reference the roman societal views on death. Its not about grieving their death, its about rejoicing in their life, and thats how I approach life. I want to see it all, do it all, but I understand death will come naturally or unnaturally, and quite frankly I will pray I can live to see my 500's, but will be content with my 40's, as I will at least go to the grave knowing I tried to live my life to its fullest. And when I am buried by whoever still knows me, they will smile, knowing I was content with my life, instead of grieving for my loss.

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