Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Quest to Live Forever: A Searcher's Findings!

Everyone seems to be eagerly discussing the topic of "immortality," so I might as well join the bandwagon (and because it's actually something that interests me). Immortality is a concept that's been ever-present in all of our lives, in some shape or form. The link below takes you to a book called "Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How it Drives Civilization" by Stephen Cave.

The book reveals to us how immortality has driven us in the past, present, and will continue to drive us well into the future. It's been done through the use of religion, to instill faith and hope that our human bodies are nothing but shells protecting immortal souls. And the strange thing is that actual believers have, in a sense, achieved immortality. By convincing themselves of eternal life, they will die with the hope that they will reach the other world. And no one has come back to tell the tale in our day and age so one can't completely rule it out. It's a weird way of thinking about immortality, especially if you're unconvinced of a "heaven" or "reincarnation", but hey it works for some people! And to me, it's crazy to think about how long ago these thoughts transpired and that such thoughts give people the will to live and do good. 

There's also the bountiful number of antibiotics and vaccinations that have been created simply to prolong our earthly existences. In addition, there exists the concept of a "legacy," or gaining immortality through our descendants. And all of these things have driven humans towards finding out more and more about this world we inhabit, throughout the ages.

Despite all this, the author believes that "everything the soul was supposed to explain - thoughts, consciousness, life itself -- has been shown to be dependent on the body. We therefore have every reason to believe that all these facilities --from memory to emotion to the most basic form of awareness --cease when the body ceases. There is simply nothing left over for the soul." 

Any thoughts on this? I personally think that not existing one day is absolutely frightening. However, the fact that I have no recollection of the past before my human birth means that I did not exist. But now that I do, I cannot fathom no longer existing again (I think too much about this - It's a problem). So, living forever sounds pretty sweet to me (except for overpopulation ...and a number of other things). 

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