A Defense of Immortalism
I *want* to live forever using scientific methods if they become available. There are many others who now are willing to make that claim too.
When we talk about science reversing aging, and/or creating other possible ways to survive from death, (cloning, Transhumanism, uploading, & others), we are sometimes admonished by our fellow “Extreme Life” advocates not to use the “I” word, (Immortality). They say it will be impossible to become immortal because they claim that even if science can create an un-aging body, (or other suitable containers), for YOU and/or I to live in, (in the future), it will still be impossible to be immortal (to live forever) for several various reasons. I will discuss their reasons below and give my reasons why they may be wrong and it just MIGHT BE POSSIBLE TO BECOME SCIENTIFICALLY IMMORTAL in the future.
1. Some claim the universe will someday quit expanding and gravity will begin to pull the universe back into a single point where all matter and energy will be compressed into a space smaller than the head of a pin, (called The Big Crunch), and that it will be impossible for anything to survive in that situation.
2. Or, they claim the universe will keep expanding, (due to dark energy?), pushing the planets and stars so far apart that the temperature drops to close to the temperature of absolute zero, everything is turned into black holes or tiny particles, and nothing can live in this situation called “The Big Chill.”
3. But there is another possible fate for our universe, called “The Goldilocks Universe.” In this more probable situation the expansion rate of the universe gradually slows down to where expansion forces and gravity offset each other just right, and our universe goes on forever.
What a beautiful concept – An Immortal Universe filled with Immortal People.
Afterthought: In my many years on this planet discussing cryonics and other options for scientific immortality, I have found that many opponents claim they know of reasons why cryonics or immortality, or very extreme life extension, won’t work. But they really have other reasons to make these negative claims where they either don’t want Scientific Immortality to work, or they don’t want us to talk in public about these great advancements working while the extreme life extension movement, (or Immortality movement), is so small compared to the tradition religions with their exclusive, hopeful methods of immortality. They (perhaps correctly – I don’t know) don’t want scientific immortality prospects to accidentally appear to compete with traditional religious philosophy for immortality while our movement is so small and vulnerable.
I say that this is a valid concern because we have seen historically how brutal one traditional religious group can treat different (usually smaller) religious groups when the more powerful group feels the smaller group’s existence is creating growing competition for the minds of the masses.
I don’t see why Scientific Immortalists have to say that they think their options might lead to scientific immortality, AND THEN ADD that they also think that people who hope for traditional religious immortality are wrong or stupid.
Personally, I hope both groups are right. Live and let live.
Freedom for everyone to pursue their own paths as long as they don’t harm others on their own personal venture.
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David Pizer was Vice President and Treasurer and a Director of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation for 11 years.He is presently President of The Society for Venturism www.venturist.com and associated with the Facebook group WE ARE CRYONICISTS.