Monday, July 30, 2012

[PHI 1000] Can We Live Forever?

If future technology will allow human beings to live forever, would humans then be immortal?

Watch Can We Live Forever? on PBS. See more from NOVA scienceNOW.

Is there a difference between being immortal and living forever?


  1. To be immortal and to live forever have the same result, but under different circumstances. To be immortal is to have the ability to live forever, but by means of self sustaining power. To live forever means you can't die, but that you are or were dependent on something for this result. For example replacing your organs with artificial organs, genes that impact aging, lifelike avatars, etc. To live forever doesn't necessarily have to mean you're physically alive, which is yet another major difference.

    Jeffrey Rico

  2. Wendy Chau (PHI 1000C-101)December 4, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    Immortality and "living forever" are very similar yet there is still a slight difference between them. Immortality is the continuation of a person's existence - even after death - while "living forever" is the ability for an individual to LIVE in the physical form. Immortality involves the after life while "living forever" ends at death. If someone did not physically died, then that person would be considered "living forever" since he physically still exists within the world. Regarding the video above, the car is not immortal, it is living forever because it is still functioning properly with new and replaced parts. Just like a human's body, when our cells duplicate and form new cells to replace old, dead cells. We simply continue to live, in the physical sense. Referring to the first question - if future technology will allow humans to live forever, would humans be considered immortal - I dont agree that "living forever" equals immortality. Therefore humans will not be immortal because they are still LIVING.

  3. If future technology will allow humans to live forever, I don't think that humans would then be immortal. In order to be immortal, one is immune to death. It is similar to the concept of vampires. Age, disease, accidents, and other life-or-death situations cannot kill a vampire, making them immortal. Note that vampires don't require something to support them, such as technology, to allow or help them continue living. But I think that living forever is slightly different. If technology enables humans to "live forever" then taking away that technology will end in death. There is no such thing as living forever in that case- only continuous living that is longer than the usual life span of a human. Once life support is taken away, you are no longer living forever. And because of this, humans cannot be immortal because there will always be something that can eventually cause them to die. Referring to the video, the car is only living forever because it is taken care of and parts get replaced frequently. If it were to live without such care then maybe it would be consider to be immortal. If the car didn't get this treatment, it would've stopped functioning a while ago which is ending its function in death. This would be just like humans who are living forever due to technological advancements. What if whatever technology they were using stopped working? Then of course they cannot be deemed as immortal since they would die. Therefore I believe that humans cannot be immortal, but can live forever if technology allows us to.

    Priyanka Patel PHI 3000C TF9-1030

  4. I don't believe humans will be able to live forever. There is a huge difference from being immortal and living forever. If you are immortal nothing can kill you. You are almost like superman. You wouldn't have any fears because you know that you are immortal. You can do anything you want. Guns and weapons would have no effect on you. Living forever would be aging and getting older and going though sickness. You would contently get older and have to keep replacing something on your body. When being immortal is living life through no fear because if someone tries to kill you it wouldn't be possible. You would still survive and i believe being immortal would keep you at the same age and not age physically. Technology can help you or make you different by living forever. But once technology isn't there things start to fall apart. Living forever with technology would take a long time.

    Amanda Alves PHI 1000C


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