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"Do You Want to Live Forever?" – Sherwin Nuland

Post comments/questions in response to the reading


After reading "Do You Want to Live Forever?" I was impressed with the kinds of discoveries that we have made over the year, like de Grey's. However, I do not really believe that this is a good idea or necessary. Especially in regards to the topic of religion does this idea seem a bit absurd. Life, from a religious perspective, is a kind of gift, from some kind of god, and it seems to go against "the plan" that people often believe in. This process is a scientific one that would make it pretty controversial. Since aging is a naturally occurring process it just makes us seem controlling and/or greedy to need to continue our lives for any longer than our body naturally allows. I do believe that if this process could be somehow used to repair the bodies of people that have aged faster than normal due to the wear and tear of severe illness that that could be beneficial. It is always hard though to have a great idea and make exceptions for only a few circumstances because people are always left wondering, especially in this case where people would like to live much longer. I am not religious so this process does not go against my beliefs in regards to that, however, I do not believe in overstaying one's welcome on earth because they would rather live longer.

Relating back to one of the topics we discussed in class today, this article gives an interesting perspective on education. In class we talked about the social pressures associated with education, such as going to college after high school. It was brought up that people feel the need to be taught instead of simply teaching themselves and therefore go to college to be educated in a subject that has previously not required a college degree, for example agriculture. However, after reading this article, Aubrey de Grey comes up as an example of the possibilities of self-education. Although he comes with a highly educated background, his area of expertise and life’s work is in a field he taught himself.

His self education gave him a different perspective on the scientific research which allowed him to have different motivation for making his discoveries. As one with no credentials in the field of biogerontology, he had no dreams of being promoted as accredited scientists employed by a research facility would. Now, he is practically an authority on the matter and one of the leading men in this field.

The author did say that de Gray “is a possessor of special abilities? but his success still makes me wonder if his success in teaching himself has anything to do with his being English. Perhaps he did not face quite the same social pressures as one would have in America and therefore was not ashamed to try it.

The notion life may be manipulated so as to persist indefinitely does not come without merit. Nuland’s ideas seem scientifically sound---to the extent our knowledge can reach. However, Nuland’s arguments for reversing or eliminating the aging process seem to lack the involvement of fundamental principles when it comes to feasibility. Nonetheless, in itself, when it comes to eliminating the aging process, Nuland is on to something. In order to examine Nuland’s theory, I think it must be approached from two perspectives, that is a central persepective, considering Nuland’s and only Nuland’s theory, and also a wholistic approach including everything outside of Nuland’s theory.

Yes, I believe aging can be slowed, or even stopped given the 7 points discussed in the reading. There is no question in my mind that it can be done. However the feasibility of such a hypothesis out of context is borderline impossible, not to mention impractical. The most basic point is this: We as humans must die in order for life to persist, along with every other organism on earth. Life can only exist in an equilibrium where too much or too little of something leads to cease in persistence. Finite life, for human beings that is, leaves room for defined purpose, which leads to progression and productivity. Finally, one last point to mention is that where Nuland talks about the Human Right to life and Human Right to length of life. All I can say is if given the chance I am not sure I could choose how long I will live. Of course I hope to live until and beyond 100, however, I can only hope, and never know, which introduces a new dimension into Nuland’s argument.

One question that the reading “Do You Want to Live Forever?? brought up that I had not asked myself before was that of the two human instincts of reproduction and survival. The question for me, however, was not so much about whether or not I could give up having children, it was whether I could make myself want to live forever. I do not think that in any circumstance I would want to have this, or anything close to it, as an option. Even if the debilitating effects of aging could be prevented or reversed, it does not mean that life would not take on a highly depressing tone. If I lived forever, I would have to watch every person I love die (unless they, too, had reversed the aging process) and who is to say that humans, after so long with the same people, don’t get sick of each other? For me, I have very little desire to outlive everyone around me, and I think that realistically, not many people would want to live forever either.

Also, it is interesting that de Grey has ideas about not overpopulating the planet with kids, but thinks that every human has the right to live as long as he wants to, which would also contribute to the overpopulation problem we have today.

When I first read this article, it made me a little agitated at the way that de Grey would react to people's criticisms of his ideas. There are many different reasons to do or not to do something, and it seems as though he always just assumes that he is correct and everyone else is either lazy or short sighted. I would also be interested to know what de Grey's religious beliefs are. I kind of assume that he is an atheist because of the way he talks about the human life and what we "all" want. For me it seems as though he thinks that what is best for him, would be best for everyone. This comes into play when he discusses child birth and he says that it is just what we are told to do. In my point of view, and I don't think that I'm alone, raising a family is one of the things that I look forward to most. Without a family, we are just furthering the notion of the individual being the most important thing, as apposed to God or family. The world that de Grey is describing sounds to be very narcissistic and not one that I would want to live in, even for a normal life span.

The article "Do You Want To Live Forever" raised many interesting points, but the argument I found myself struggling with is de Grey's theory of reproductive choice. I do agree with his theory that humans have been primarily driven to reproduce due to a lack of choices. For example, after the fall of the Berlin wall, women in Eastern Germany were provided with vaster employment opportunities and the birth rate has dropped drastically because raising a family is not the only option.
In the current economy, many people are also deciding to ignore their urge to have children for monetary reasons. However, I do not believe the suppression of the urge to have children will be fulfilled by the option to live well beyond nature's intentions. de Grey uses the overpopulation problem as a scientific reason to defend why reproduction needs to be slowed, but in my opinion it is only a cover to justify his own personal perspective and to further his prophecy of creating an unnatural fountain of youth. Though de Grey has convincing arguments of why anti aging treatments must be furthered, it makes me question why humans who are ignoring their innate urge to have children due to monetary reasons, will instead place their interests towards expensive treatments with unknown consequences.

Initially this article appealed to me. I don't want to have children, I like drinking ale, ect... There are a lot of presumptions that de Grey has about human nature. First off nobody really knows anything about human nature. It's just all kind of guessed. I mean, scientists barely know the nature of single celled organisms, in terms of predicting what they're going to do anyway. By the time we get all the way up to humans it gets way too complex. So, to presume that the, "basic to humankind to want to live forever regardless of consequences," is pretty tough. I have a conscience of what's right and wrong, the wrong leading to consequence. I wouldn't want to live forever disregarding consequence. I don't find my ideals too outlandish either. They are probably pretty mainstream actually.

One thing that did appeal to me about living forever, given that we'd make the choice to not bare children, is that we could see evolution of the mind within a life. That's exciting though kind of fantastical.

Also, quickly, it says nothing about not being able to die. It just says, if you happen to keep living you can live for a thousand years, or whatever. It says nothing about not ever getting shot in the face or getting in a killer car accident. With that said religion comes into play, or destiny. If people are so religious, and you're already predestined to die when you're maker says so, why not take the chance to live to be 1000? To me your choice to live that long, if you do, given your maker doesn't have other plans, is completely your prerogative. You'll die when you're meant to die anyway, right?

Nuland and de Grey brought up many important topics during their discussion, one of which I found to stand out... if humans were able to prolong life, how would we cope with the ever-growing population? Indeed this was something I did not think of when I initially read the article's title. I immediately thought of the deer population control. Hunters are allowed to kill deer on the basis that if we did not, they would over populate and eventually exhaust their food supply. This same scenario could become a reality if humans were allowed to live forever. It is a natural cycle that you live and die, just like the sun rises and sets. It would upset the balance of nature. De Grey’s answer to the question is simply “we will deal with the problems as they arise?, not always the best philosophy… vis a vie our current economic crises. I originally thought this was a very interesting topic to read about, but the more I probed at the article, the more apprehensive I became.

Another point to touch on was Nuland's thought on how the world would end. It is very confounding to me, because I had never thought about it before from his point of view. He mentions that in his early years, he felt humanity’s demise would be the result of some cataclysmic event taking place. I would assume this is how most people think too (myself included). However, in his most recent years he has come to believe it will be induced by the "do-gooder" geneticist or scientist trying to further progress our existence. It is a very scary and real thought though, that is why it has stuck with me. As I pondered that notion... the "natural plan" philosophy came to mind. What if genetic tampering is against the plan of nature/god? Playing with the very foundations of how we are created could lead to very disastrous things. Nuland mentions that DNA selection could possibly “breed out variety, [and] may alter factors necessary for the survival of our species.? It is a very real theology, for that I am disturbed.

To me, the main point I gained from this article was the fact that choice is the most significant decision a human being has to offer. Choice could lead us down a path of unbridled joy, or deep sadness. I know I keep repeating this, but it is a very scary thing to think that we could control our lives (picking our childrens' genes, choosing to live forever, etc.) It almost feels that it was not what was intended.

Yes, de Grey may be brilliant, but in all honesty I do believe he is nuts. He has taken something as complicated as reversing the process of aging and makes it seem simple when he talks about it. I will admit that takes skill, but that doesn’t make his argument any more valid. It is not our duty to prolong the human life span at any cost. I do not believe that is our purpose here, if we even have one at all.

I was fascinated by de Grey as a person, but do not agree with his objective. Allowing humans to live for thousands of years would take all the humanity out of being human. It simply isn’t natural. All the progress that has occurred in the past to prolong the human life span has only affected the outside causes of death, like disease. However, I feel that none of it will matter in the end. De Grey will try, and I believe he will fail. All the possible effects of each tweak in each individual cell will be too difficult to control, and that is only one of many problems he will encounter.

The article “Do You Want to Live Forever?? was less fascinating than originally expected, but still provoked some interesting questions. The first question I had, before even reading the article, was why would anyone want to live forever? The idea of eternal life not only mentally exhausts me and brings back memories of all of those zombie movie marathons, but brings me full circle to ask myself why don’t I want to live forever? Theoretically I could accumulate enormous wealth, a vast set of skills, and achieve an understanding of things I normally wouldn’t have time to look into.
After reading the article I feel like de Grey has some unique perspectives. First off I feel that if the technology was developed to extend the human lifespan beyond even 200 years it should not be accepted without consequence. Relating back to the article I think that if one were to apply for a “life extension? one should have the ability to reproduce removed. This would not only combat a seemingly inevitable over population issue, but could also address any freak mutations that could develop over time as a byproduct of genetic alteration.

Another issue of mine stems from Nuland and de Grey discussing choice and human nature. Assuming that this kind of technology will exist in 100 years, I can say with almost 100% certainty that not everyone on the planet would be given the choice to use the rejuvenation technology. I’m going to guess that the wealthy would get the option first, and who knows how much restriction would be placed on it once developed. Not only that, but I feel like de Grey’s grip on reality is slightly not “in tune? with several global issues when he makes claims such as “What does count is that the right to live as long as you choose is the world's most fundamental right. And this is not something I'm ordaining. This seems to be something that all moral codes, religious or secu¬lar, seem to agree on: that the right to life is the most important right.? It is quite clear that not everyone shares his feelings about a right to life, given all of the genocide and war that has plagued mankind for over 10,000 years.

I did feel like I gained a new perspective about advancements in technology. If we’re really as close to halting the aging processes as de Grey thinks we are, I can only imagine what other types of medical remedies will be a result of all of the research conducted on behalf of the goal to stop aging.
After reading the article I feel like de Gray has some unique perspectives. First off I feel that if the technology was developed to extend the human lifespan beyond even 200 years it should not be accepted without consequence. Relating back to the article I think that if one were to apply for a “life extension? one should have the ability to reproduce removed. This would not only combat a seemingly inevitable over population issue, but could also address any freak mutations that could develop over time as a byproduct of genetic alteration.

Another issue of mine stems from Nuland and de Gray discussing choice and human nature. Assuming that this kind of technology will exist in 100 years, I can say with almost 100% certainty that not everyone on the planet would be given the choice to use the rejuvenation technology. I’m going to guess that the wealthy would get the option first, and who knows how much restriction would be placed on it once developed. Not only that, but I feel like de Gray’s grip on reality is slightly not “in tune? with several global issues when he makes claims such as “What does count is that the right to live as long as you choose is the world's most fundamental right. And this is not something I'm ordaining. This seems to be something that all moral codes, religious or secu¬lar, seem to agree on: that the right to life is the most important right.? It is quite clear that not everyone shares his feelings about a right to life, given all of the genocide and war that has plagued mankind for over 10,000 years.

I did feel like I gained a new perspective about advancements in technology. If we’re really as close to halting the aging processes as de Gray thinks we are, I can only imagine what other types of medical remedies will be a result of all of the research conducted on behalf of the goal to stop aging.

Aubrey de Grey proposes abstract theories, like many scientists and researchers do, but does not hold any type of credibility. The article states that his primary objective for studying natural science and the laws that govern these processes is to extend the lives of human beings. Yet, he has not dedicated himself to the time and research it takes to find these answers. He humbly states that he does have the proficiency (education) to carry out the work at hand. What then is the purpose of these theories? I find it difficult to believe that he is the only person who has proposed the extension of human life and discovering what the body is capable of enduring.

The aging process, as we have come to know it, is a natural process in which our cells deteriorate over time. It is inevitable and must be accepted. De Grey’s views, however, seem to conflict with this process and has constructed seven rules that should be followed in order to achieve twenty-five more years of life. While reading this article, I could not help but notice the distinct tone of the reading; one in which seems to concur with de Grey’s views and supports his ideas solely based on de Grey’s personality. Nuland’s opinions seem biased and are derived from admiration. The question at hand then is whether or not society should invest in de Grey’s theories based on the reports of one person. In my opinion, I believe it is necessary to consider these possibilities but they must be researched and proven false or factual with strong evidence.

From a religious perspective, many would argue and disagree with what de Grey is proposing; protesting that it is “God like? and should be ignored. I am religious but I also believe that with the advancement of technology, society will be given more opportunities to better their lives.

The first thing I would like to bring up is the connection between De Grey and the novel Dorian Grey. For those of you who are not familiar with the book it was written by Oscar Wilde and is the story of a man who through the use of magic stops aging and instead a painting of himself ages. The book is a wonderful piece that deals with many interesting things. Also in the recent movie the league of extraordinary gentleman Dorian Grey is a main character who betrays his friends in order to preserve his own eternal life only to end up losing it in the end. So the connection I am making here is that De Grey is in some ways trying to do the same thing and has a similar name. The connections between the two stop there. I feel that De Grey is a great humanitarian who has little care about his outward appearance. Dorian Grey is a man obsessed with his own beauty that doesn’t care for anyone else. In response to the article itself I feel that the author really painted De Grey as a pie in the sky type of individual who has good ideas but doesn’t understand that they are unattainable. I was mildly offended by the authors framing. I think that if we all unified our energies behind De Grey we could obtain everything he wants and much more. I often feel that the greatest obstacle to achieving things is our own minds. I revere De Grey for his unyielding dedication to the preservation of human life. This brings me to an interesting point. Susan Jenson (or Gopika as she likes to be called) a devotee of Krishna told me that in the Vedic tradition of India human beings originally existed on a purely spiritual plain in which we all worshipped Krishna and then we created the physical plain due to our desire to be worshiped and a lack of desire to worship Krishna. So when humans first hit the scene as it were we lived for a very long time because we still had a deep connection with Krishna and now we live for a very short time because we are so disconnected with Krishna. I don’t know if I believe all that but I do see it as an important metaphor. When we desire to be right and have people accept us for being right we must prove someone else wrong. So I think that De Grey is an amazing individual who I will now fallow closely in the hopes that we obtain his dreams. The article did bring up some mildly valid arguments about the potential for problems in our attempts to live forever but I agree with De Grey that we will deal with them as they come up. When people started using non-organic fertilizer and pesticides on crops they had no idea what kind of effect they would have but were acting on the concept of the preservation of human life. And they accomplished there goal. So, I see the advancement of human using De Grey’s plan in much the same way. Of course we are unsure of what will happen but the important thing is that we try and are open to the possibility that it might work.

Despite numerous very impressive advances in science within the last couple decades alone, I do believe that there are some limits to what humans can alter, especially when the topic turns to life’s natural processes. Any individual who has read this article will likely agree that de Grey is an extremely intelligent man whose has unlimited ideas about how to improve human life, but I personally think his claim that we can live for hundreds of years will never be a reality for both scientific and social reasons. In my opinion, most of de Grey’s claims seem to lack a great deal of scientific support and exist mainly as his personal fantasies of discovery. Even though they are very briefly outlined in the article, it seems that most of the steps of de Grey’s proposal have huge holes where procedures and information have not been discovered and have little chance of being so.
If we were somehow able to stop aging, what would happen to the way we view life and how would we alter the world we live in? In the article, it seems that de Grey simply expects to deal with the potential negative consequences of his plan “as they come up.? The fact that he seems to have overlooked the effect of no aging on our culture, social views, health and wellbeing is slightly unsettling. Another point to bring up is how would a discovery like thus effect the way people view religion? Would the fact that we can control our entire existence by preventing death for hundreds of years scare people because they think that science has the final say and not God?

My answer to this question would have to be no. Mostly because I think after 200 years of life I feel like I would be very bored.
While reading this article, and it seems many had this oppinion, de Grey is very well read and smart, but his eccentricity makes him come off a bit crazy. From what biology I have taken I can make sense of what his "seven distinct ingredients in the agining process" and how they may work but it still does not make it ethical. If people could live forever, and decided to stop procreating, then there would not be any new blood entering the gene pool. I feel that with out any new people, there would be less new ideas, or less building off of old ideas by a new generaltion. And how will we be able to for see all the dieses and viruses that may come in future. We will be able to build up immunities with in the human speces with out us reproducing.
I do think the research that de Grey could possibly help in cell research and could possibly help find a cure for a certain kind of cancer or heart disease. I do not think I would fund his research, I could see the money going to something a little more helpful to mankind.

As unlikely as it is for something of this magnitude to come to pass, with such huge odds stacked against it and with an extremely low chance of success rate, I can't help but be drawn towards De Grey's reasonings and logic behind his proposal. I cannot determine whether it is based on his manner and the way the author portrays De Grey's character, or if it's because of the idea itself and that it's one (slight) step closer to becoming more than just a science-fiction topic.

Before, during, and after reading this article, I still can't formulate a true, whole-hearted answer to the question of whether or not I buy into it. However, same as any other theory or scientific question, I believe that it must be tested to prove it wrong. Partly I believe that one cannot use fear as an excuse to ignore or stop advancements in technology or science. At the same time, I believe that society as a whole would need to live up to the challenge of deciding if living for centuries is ethically or morally sound... similar to the issues of cloning, stem cell research, human origins, etc.

In perhaps some twisted state of mind, I can't help but wonder at how society would manage if De Grey (or some other scientist in the future) was successful in extending life. How would various religions react and/or adapt? How would government attempt to control it? Would society embrace or condemn it? How would it affect population growth and already mounting environmental concerns?

The portrayal of De Grey as the scientist with absolute faith in his quest for eternal life is reminiscent of the alchemists’ timeless work, albeit with a modern twist and less gold involved. There is one major difference between the “traditional? alchemist and De Grey that brings to a head a large problem I had with the idea of physical immortality, namely the marketability of De Grey’s work. While the alchemist’s quest to create the philosopher’s stone took place on a very individual level, both in production and theoretically in its eventual creation, De Grey speaks of a discovered means to eternal life as an inherent human right. Eternal life would become a possibility not only to the scientist who discovered it, but to humankind en masse. There would no longer remain any tangible reason to maintain a healthy lifestyle (due to the promise of perpetual rejuvenation), or to work hard to meet goals (after all, you have eternity to reach them). Essentially human life would become a farce because, after all, what is life if there is no death? Immortality takes away the meaning and the utter preciousness of human life because there is no antonym to grant it meaning.
This is of course not to mention the problems it would cause with history (what would instigate change in an unnaturally immortal world?), murder (if no one can die of “natural causes? there is no other way, apart from sheer accident, to take someone out of the picture) and hubris (man overcoming nature or god to obtain immortality places man at the top of the universal food chain. Something that, quite honestly, I’m not so sure man is equipped for). Furthermore, were constant rejuvenation to require any sort of complex process/drug/etc it could easily be monopolized by any major group and become a tool used to extort humankind in any variety of ways because, despite all the reasons immortality is a bad idea, what wouldn’t you do to live forever?

The article above succinctly captures the dichotomy between science and religion, where religious beliefs abhor scientific endeavors such as life extension through genetic manipulation, regarding them as “playing God?. At first glance, the possibility and ability for a human being to live indefinitely seems like an attractive proposition. However, the fruition of any anti-aging technology as described by De Grey will stir a controversy to such colossal magnitudes that will dwarf any cause célèbre known in human history.
In some ways, the discovery of Science is like opening the Pandora’s Box with infinite possibilities, yet these prospects are displayed in a psychedelic blend of evil and hope. In other words, despite implicit societal assumptions that “scientific progress? along with human development is good(hope), there is forceful evidence to suggest much technological advancement made by men came at the expense of Planet Earth(evil). As such, global warming, industrial pollution, nuclear radiation and species extinction are all unintended consequences of “scientific progress?. For example, physicians hailed the discovery of penicillin as the end of bacterial problems causing over-prescription after WWII. What was not known at that time was that “unkilled? bacteria during a treatment cycle became stronger (i.e. Natural Selection), propagating for generations into “super-viruses? that can resist some of the strongest antibiotics of modern medicine. Thus, in my view the realization of anti-aging technology will open “a whole new can of worms?.

I was very interested in reading this article because I believe this is a topic that is talked about a lot but one that can never really be thought of as possible. I did, however, have some very mixed emotions after I finished. I am a strong supporter of scientific research and development and believe that a lot of “controversial? discoveries can help humanity. I am not saying, however, that I agree with de Grey’s work. Instead what I focused on in this article is what I found most troubling about it. I believe that there were a few points where de Grey was contradicting. He believes that it is our duty to find out how to live forever, as it is a fundamental human right. What startled me is that a lot of his other comments seemed to show that he did not care about humanity at all. He dismissed objections from others regarding his research as if the objectors were “ignorant?. He states that we will deal with problems, such as overpopulation, disruptions on family and society relationships, and rifts in the job market, as they come. It seems to me, that someone that would care about human’s “fundamental? rights should also care about their well being after they receive this right and this would include thinking ahead to other possible problems. I believe, from this interview, that de Grey clings to facts and support that can help his cause and rejects all else as being incorrect. Whether or not I believe it is morally correct to live forever, I believe that this is not the right mind set in which one should set the ball rolling.

After reading the article "Do you want to live forever?", It's interesting to see how De Grey with no common knowledge of the human biology or nature but to theorize that there is a possibility of living longer by figuring out the tissues or mitochondria mutation. Then later as if he is not committed to the theory and suddenly changed from computer science to human nature in ...a few months?
I never even thought for a second there could be a possibility to change how a person is growing or slowing down the process of aging. Even though i still think it's impossible and throughout time there was always a some sort of theory to be young or not aging as fast. Therefore I don't think it's possible to live longer even with what he found to conclude with the "7 ingredients of aging process" he has suggested.

As a religious person, the very thought of not dying is abhorrent. I do not agree with de Grey's assertion that all people want to live forever and that begetting children is wholly institutional. He smacked of selfishness and it was difficult for me to read his responses, and I thought that his absolute lack of self-doubt combined with his contempt for others' opinions made him a very dangerous man. Dr. Nuland spent much time describing de Grey's charisma, as if his charm and intelligence disarmed him. I agree with Nuland's thought, "If we are to be destroyed, I am now convinced that it will not be a neutral or malevolent force that will do us in, but one that is benevolent in the extreme, one whose only motivation is to improve us and better our civilization. If we are ever immolated, it will be by the efforts of well-meaning scientists who are convinced that they have our best interests at heart." And I was reminded of Michael Pollan's assertions in In Defense of Food, that for all of Nutritionists' tinkerings our food supply is unhealthier than ever, simply because science is not and cannot be complete. Even if the 7 horsemen were deshod, we cannot know what other consequences will arise.

My pervading thought was that immortality is the ultimate embodiment of selfishness, and that selfishness is the root of all evil.

Then I thought back to Genesis, and how death was not God's original intention. I skipped from there to the Twilight slogan "What do you live for when you live forever?" My conclusion is we need to solve the existing problems of the world--inequality, injustice--before we should start trying to kill death.

After reading the article, I was thinking why would anybody want to live forever. That defeats the whole human nature. Our bodies can only handle so many years. But who would even want to, we would just get bored. In the article, the author suggests as one of his 7 ways that humans could live long lives about changing your stem cells every 10 years. Right now there is a lot of controversy with stem cell research along. It goes in the middle of human nature religion and science. The author also talks about mutating our cells to live longer, which is actually pretty crazy because the natural body should be in my opinion left along with things like that. I don't think that you should change the human nature of the body and aging development. We are only meant to live for so long, and some live longer and some shorter.

Many people learn from a young age (I may go as far as to say with the most important things we are actively conditioned by society) that it’s in their best interest to tell themselves that they don’t want what they can never have.

We have been told our entire lives that we are going to die and so have developed cultures that justify, explain and even glorify this death. When we answer the question of “do you want to live forever?? we can’t answer it honestly, because while answering we still are thinking in a paradigm where it is not possible. I believe that what one must do to answer this question most honestly is a thought experiment of imagining a world where people are living forever. Don’t do what you are trained to do and think negatively when contemplating the eternal life you can never have, try to think positively and as if eternal life was a fact:

Don’t think about losing your family members behind, as they grow old and die. Think about not wanting to leave your loved ones when they choose to live forever, think about the possibility for actual eternal love.

Don’t think about how boring life would be and the lack of motivation you would have with all the time in the world. Think about all knowledge that you could acquire and the multitude of great experiences you could have.

Don’t think about the overpopulation of the planet. Think about the other planets that we could explore and colonize given lifetimes for infinite interstellar travel.

This article is a fantastic example of how science and religion can simultaneously clash and meld to form the fundamental assumptions that have shaped all that is "scientific" today.

Of particular interest to me was Nuland's ability to demonstrate through De Grey, the incomplete transformation of popular scientific thought from a practice used to understand god's world, to something that is touted by some to be the antithesis of theological thought. Nuland didn't miss a beat here, and as a result it appears de Grey's come down with a heavy case of split personality disorder.

His "forward" thinking about the "progression" of science, the rejection of formality and social rules which he demonstrates in his dress and actions, and the diligent utility with which he devotes himself to the future of the human species -despite his noted belief in the brevity of time we have to live... these things don't fit well at all with the underlying reasons why he is driven to a cause in the first place.

Human rights, the golden rule, free will and the (god given) right to choice, to life, to an extension of that, to happiness... and the only way to achieve these things is if he begins the effort now.

I don't think it's as crazy as it sounds, but based on the article itself it makes science and scientific reasoning sound just short of nonsense.

As if yesterday, I remember the first time I had doubt in God. It was the night before my first day of Kindergarten, actually. I remember having a scared, empty feeling. My interminable fear was so bad that I had to sleep on the floor in a sleeping bag in my parents’ bedroom. I kept thinking: What if there is no God? What is going to happen when I die? Will everything just stop? I don’t want to die! I could not tell my parents that I did not believe in God, so when they came to their bedroom in response to my crying, I told them it was because I was nervous about my first day of school (I’m sure I didn’t use the word “nervous,? as I was only 5 years old). I felt so alone. I cried myself to sleep.

Humans are the only beings (on earth) that have the ability to contemplate their eventual death. Deer, bears, ants, birds, grasshoppers – none of these beings knows that they will eventually die. As humans, we use religion to put ourselves at peace with death. We hope that maybe there will be something else after death, and therefore we adhere to faith. We can’t bear to believe that we are here for only a century at best and then after death, nothing, for all eternity thereafter. I agree with Ingersoll that we inherit our belief in religion from our parents. And then because of our visceral need to believe in a life after death, some of us maintain our faith. However, children eventually grow up. We eventually formulate our own opinions. And some us eventually see the stories of the bible or the Quran or others as impossible to believe. In the end, we all take our own separate journey toward or away from faith, no matter what we were taught as children. I began mine at only five years old.