Article link: http://www.sentientdevelopments.com/2013/03/would-it-be-boring-if-we-could-live.html
Article Title: Would It Be Boring If We Could Live Forever?
First of all, under what circumstances are humans being granted ‘eternal life’ in this article? Would our aging process slow down, or would we live for hundreds and thousands of years in a decaying body? This article is missing several key points. It mentions that the human being would still be prone to accidents that can lead to an early death, but by those means, humans would be nowhere near immortal, since most deaths are ‘accidental’, aren’t they? Is this article stating that humans would no longer get ill? Because if it is, then I guess it should not mention suicide as a likely alternative to the boredom of living a thousand years, since suicide is often a concequence of a mental illness, such as chronic depression or bipolar disorder. It also states that working in the same profession would be extremely dull after many repetitive decades, but if I could live for a long while, I would surely try many different jobs, and so would everyone else, I assume, so the job market would be in constant movement. Those who have a talent with numbers might even get a large sum of money in their early hundreds, and could live off of that for the rest of their seemingly endless lives, using that money on trips and entertainment. As much as this topic is of great interest to me, this article seemed rather flawed and superficial, and although I might be a bit reluctant to question specialists on the matter, it seems as if a lot of major information was left out, in order to make the article more basic for a broader audience. I most certainly agree, however, with a point brought up in this article: by the time humans achieve an indefinite life span, technology and the human biology itself will have evolved far beyond our current state, for better or worse. So, we might not get bored, because the future might be entertaining enough to keep us amused for millennia.
Your reasoning is flawlessly logical, and your observations insightful. Thanks!
Article: Does Your Language Shape How You Think?
This article approaches the connotations and different interpretations that can be derived from each language and how it impacts its speakers and their way of thinking. Firstly, it examines what it terms as "gendered language", in which, the sex or gender of nouns can change the understanding of the word. For instance, in German "bridge" is feminine so its speakers ascribe female qualities to it while in Spanish "bridge" is masculine, which entails male characteristics. Meanwhile, English offers no gender differentiation. I found this observation to be very interesting because a word can imply much more than its denotative sense and it changes for each language. Personally, I don't think a person's way of thinking is determined by his/her mother tongue. Even so, there is only a limited dissonance or disparity between them that could ever entail a radical change of thought. Furthermore, speaking multiple languages since an early age allows for a multifaceted approach to self-expression, one that is not limited by the boundaries of language. Additionally, the article also expounds upon words relating to space and geographic location and how a specific group uses only cardinal directions while the rest of us use egocentrical geography (left, right, etc.). The most fascinating example would be the hotel room divergence which shows an actual different way of thinking because of vocabulary. In this case, and in others, I believe language plays a role in your wordly perceptions but its repercussions are not broad enough to warrant further studies or even superficial marveling.
Very interesting, thanks.
The idea that this article shares needs to be taken into real consideration given the circumstances that nonhuman creatures live in our modern society, where they have no way to defend themselves as a consequence of human authority and superiority to these creatures. The nonhuman creatures need to be protected such as children and disabled persons are protected in our society. First these nonhumans creatures need to be defined in different categories; like a domesticated house animal that influence our emotions, and our daily lives so until a certain point this animal is part of our society to the point we have build services to take care of their specific needs, and socially, people show disagreement to abuse and violent cases against this animals. Another category of nonhuman creatures could be farm animals, which daily die in violent ways to be served at our dinner tables, but not so many people care about this animals because there is not an emotional link with them, and so many consumers and farmers just see them as a product rather than a living animal. I consider this animals still play an indirect role in society or at least play a role in human survival. This makes us question on how society could defend human rights to this nonhuman creatures when there is not an emotional link in between. Also it makes us think that sometimes non-alive objects play more important roles in our lives than living creatures. As well it is necessary to reflect until what point are we desiring to protect this non human creatures, because it could mean from converting the entire population into vegetarian and to stop using chemically developed products to simply making some laws to the conservation of species and specifically protecting home pets from any kind of abuse.
You mention non-living objects that play important roles in our lives. Does that mean that these objects deserve special consideration under law? What rights might they have, and how should those rights be protected?
Should emotional links to animals help determine the degree to which the animals are protected by law?
The ideas proposed by the ethicist David Pearce of eliminating the human ability to feel pain are not only unimaginable, but also damaging to all living populations. David argues that the lives of hundreds of millions of people are damaged due to continues daily pain, however, this pain is obviously happening for a certain reason, that there is something going wrong in the organism, something is happening which isn't supposed to. Pain is necessary, in a biological point of view, for one to be aware of the occurrences of ones own organism. The first signs of a myocardial infraction, as example is usually gradual and instantaneous pain. Pain also radiates along the left arm, along with the jaw and neck. If pain was to be eradicated and being able to be felt by a human organism one would not know when they where in fact having a myocardial infarction. Other silent diseases are identified through the painful symptoms. And as one knows, most human nature is to only worry once something threatening occurred. Pain is used as an instinctive reflex, and coordinates the pain to seize whatever action taken.
I do agree however with the author's explanation on Nietzsche quote line of "That which does not crush me makes me stronger." One going through constant conical pain does not tend to develope more empathy, if not at all, generate depression and pessimism. However, the use of Nietzsche's famous quote here is manipulated to the actually physical pain, while Nietzsche was in fact making reference to emotional and moral pain.
We can reach therefore, the conclusion that pain is in fact necessary as in biological terms for the human organism.
For some people, pain is idiopathic, meaning that its cause can not be determined, therefore it can not be treated. Paid is felt continuously and for no identifiable cause. Would this type of person be an exception to your argument?
The first thing we come across as we read the article is a question: would it be so boring to live forever that, as a consequence, we shouldn't even attempt it? Well as I see it, that is an extremely stupid motive for preventing an endeavor on such a huge matter. First of all, I believe this would be, it definitely should be, optional. If the opportunity of living for more than two thousand years ever comes out, people should most certainly have the right to decide for themselves. And in case boredom becomes such a big issue, it would not be impossible to take things back to how they originally were. Not to mention that, we shouldn’t generalize it; many people would be bored, sure, but many wouldn’t. It all depends on the person, just like nowadays. There are people who can’t handle living for 20 years, but there are those who, like the article mentioned, were glad to be living for more than 120. So as the article began by presenting the point of view that was completely against a life extension, I became slightly annoyed. Saying that death is what pushes people forward into reaching their goals is, in my opinion, not correct at all. Nobody really thinks about when they are going to die. It’s not like we wake up every day morning “Oh, I have to study and get good grades because one day I’m going to die” or "I really need that job, because I might die any day now"… It’s just not like that. People always say that we never realize how short our lives might be, or how easily we can die, until something bad happens to someone close to us, and then all of a sudden we actually do think about our deaths so much that it actually is our incentive for living? Definitely not, our incentive for being successful in life is society and our desire to achieve plain happiness. Well, so as the article came forth with the other point of view, which was much more supportive of the whole idea, most of my opinions were brought were brought to the table and the article became less biased, making me actually enjoy reading the rest of it. After all, the author's conclusion was basically the same as mine: Why not try?
I like your reasoning - let individuals decide for themselves.
Would It Be Boring If We Could Live Forever?
Immortality is a very interesting topic due to the fact that there are many different opinions about it. This article tries to answer a very unique question: would life turn out to be boring as the years go by if we could live forever? Throughout my life, I have thought about being able to live forever and have wondered on all the different possibilities and opportunities immortality would provide. However, I never thought of it in a negative way and didn`t realize that boredom could have a great impact. Before digging in this topic, it is important to note that the article doesn`t talk about immortality, but about halting the aging process. It is and will always be impossible to make someone immortal because there is no way to eliminate all the threats to someone`s life like accidents or murders. Halting the aging process will cause everyone to remain young forever and therefore neutralize deaths caused by aging, but not death itself. My opinion is that boredom would not reach a suicidal point if we could live forever. As Dr. Walker said, if technology reaches such an advanced point there is a high chance of diminishing or even eliminating boredom. In addition, why does it need to be boring? I heard so many people say that life is so short that you do so little and leave so many things undone. The world is huge and there are innumerous things to do. I don`t see how boredom is such a crucial point in age halting. I believe that if it is possible to stop your aging process, people should be able to try it because we will only know for sure once we try.
Article: Would It Be Boring If We Could Live Forever?
Boredom is one of the human beings' greatest gifts. If we never felt bored, meaning, having nothing to do, then we would never know how amusing it is to feel engaged and excited. That's what makes us want to live. For example, imagine if the sun came out every single day, we would never know how wonderful it is. That's why we have rainy and stormy days. So, yeah, it sucks being bored, however it makes us explore things, get to know people, accomplish our goals, etc. For example, the soccer player, Neymar. He has impressive soccer skills, however he does not know how to cook as the British chef, Jamie Oliver does. Life provides us with a sequence of opportunities to enrich our learning and discoveries; hence humanity would reach a point of absolute boredom. My point is, being bored is a choice made by the human. So, I disagree with the bioethicist, Nigel Cameron, who states "extreme longevity will cause people to become listless and utterly dissatisfied with their existence owing to a complete lack of engagement, novelty — and purpose." In fact, in my perspective, extreme longevity will only stimulate people on reconnoitering the world. So why not grant them with this option of having an "everlasting life"? As the movie character, Forrest Gump once said, "Life is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you are going to get."
Article: Should we eliminate the human ability to feel pain?
When one thinks of beings that cannot feel any pain, one automatically thinks of robots and zombies. These "numb" and "painless" beings are usually depicted as fighting a war against the humans or taking over the world in movies. It is perfectly normal for people to not be comfortable with the idea of not feeling pain. It is associated to monsters and inhumanity. Even if this bad image was not created, however, the idea would still not be wholly welcome. Many may say that such changes go against God’s will, or that it goes against nature, but the core of these arguments is not a sense of religious or moral righteousness, but rather Fear. Humans have an innate fear of the unknown. Even if someone is offered a clearly better option, they will still be hesitant to leave their comfort zone, to what they are used to. This is as natural to humans as feeling pain is. I do not exclude myself from this. Frankly, the idea of not experiencing pain, albeit very appealing, scares me.
David Pearce has very convincing arguments. It is true that pain destroys more than ennobles people. It is also true that a resistance to pain would decrease abuse worldwide. Going to the more extreme cases, serial killers (from what I have seen in horror movies) will no longer be able to get their high by hurting others. Deaths in general would be much more pleasant. He even manages to answer the argument that pain is necessary since it is our body's way of telling us that something is wrong and that we should do something about it. He provides two long term options, one of them a mechanism that would convey signals instead of pain is doing so, making us realize that we must help our bodies. Even if I was given this option though, I would not agree to it. Again, it goes back to an instinctive fear of the unknown. I myself find it hard to explain why I would say no. It can be argued that true happiness can only be experienced when true sadness is experienced. Much like in the book Brave New World, people would live pleasantly but no true human happiness would be found. It can also be argued that these scientific mechanisms (which I do not understand in the least) may fail, putting thousands of lives, including mine, at risk. The main reason I would say no though, would be because I did not grow up with this idea. I am unaccustomed to it, and so have the natural inclination to reject it. If I had grown up in a community that despised pain and wanted to get rid of it as by any means possible, I would probably be more open to the idea, even eager for it. But that is not the way that I was raised. So no, in my opinion, pain should not be abolished.
Very interesting reflection!
Why people act out of line with their beliefs?
By Tom Stadfford
This Article has been one of the most interesting articles I have already read. First, I was a little confused by Leon Festinger's Dissonance Theory, until I went on Youtube and researched the documentary based on the experiment made on the the 1950`s. Please Mr. Smith, correct me if I am wrong about Festinger’s experiment. In a quick summary, “Festinger and Carlsmith were interested in testing what happened when people acted out of line with their beliefs” (Stafford). They believed that each human has an inner drive that synchronizes our beliefs with our attitudes. Meaning that our attitudes are in harmony with our beliefs in order to avoid dissonance, or inner struggle. Their experiment was based on assigning 70 students a dull task. The students did the task for a couple of hours, until they were asked to lend their “duty” to the next person, by telling them that the experiment was fun instead of tedious. For half of these students, they paid 20 bucks for them to say to the next person that they liked the task, while for the other half, they only paid 1 dollar. After, the students were done with the experiment, they were asked to answer a few questions about the experimentation. Funny as this might seem, all students that gained 20 bucks concluded that the experiment was “profligately dull”, contradictory to all students that received one dollar. The 1-dollar students said the experiment was actually fun!!!!.
I had thought that the direct opposite would happen at the end of the experiment. I assumed that the person that received 20 bucks would put so much effort to the task that she or he would end up believing that the experiment was fun, and wouldn’t have to “lie”. Nevertheless, Festinger wanted to prove that our unconsciousness worked the other way around. He drew that because these man had received a quantity such as of 20 bucks, they came to believe they were being well paid to ‘lie’”. They stood to the belief that the task was so boring, that people had to pay them to lie in order for the next person to do the dull task. While the people that only received one dollar, had their dissonance reduced due to the fact that heir unconsciousness believed that they weren’t being paid enough to lie, and that maybe his or her beliefs were wrong. Thus, she or he ended up changing their beliefs, and considered the task as fun.
Festinger drew that as the dissonance was reduced, these people ended liking the experiment since they didn’t have A REASON, or FACTOR that would indulge them to think that the experiment was dull otherwise. Meaning that the 20-dollar quantity was regarded by our consciousness as a factor that forced people to believe that the task was dull and that’s why they were being paid to ‘lie’. While the people that were paid 1 dollar, believed that the quantity was an insufficient amount to ask someone to lie. Hence, they became mentality convinced that their views were probably wrong, and that’s how some people can act out of line with their beliefs. You can end up being convinced!!!!
If you think about this in our modern capitalist world, constantly we see that cognitive dissonance is constantly taking place. There always seems to be a conflict between our views and our actions. And naturally, our mentality tries to pacify this inner struggle or by changing our actions to shape our views, or shaping our views in accord to our actions. However, our metacognitive senses are never in alert, because apparently we tend to change our beliefs to shape our actions, instead of shaping our actions towards our beliefs. Obviously not only is it easier, as well as it is practical, as you consider factors such as pride or arrogance that can discard changing your views, as an option. Most humans tend not to like to think they are wrong, and this dissonance will lead people to pacify their struggle by acting according to their views regardless of what society’s morals or beliefs may say. In politics for example, through corruption, we can see that people tend to stick to their beliefs. A very rich politician may steal, even though he knows its wrong, but may pacify this as to thinking of what he could buy with this money: maybe another yacht while people starve in the streets, or another house in Barbados or even bribe other politicians that aren’t in accord with his political beliefs. Like this actually happened during Lula’s government through the MENSALÃO.
As I read this article I tried to think how many times did I deal with cognitive dissonance, and I came to discover that I practically dealt with it daily. For example, when I am asked to do summer work, even though I didn’t want to, I pacified my dissonance by thinking
As I read this article I tried to think how many times did I deal with cognitive dissonance, and I came to discover that I practically dealt with it daily. For example, when I am asked to do summer work, even though I didn’t want to, I pacified my dissonance by thinking that even though this can be boring as hell, it is for my own good to acquire and exercise my critical thinking. Thus, I end up doing it. However, what I am a little confused is how do we end up knowing when we are changing our actions in accord with our views, without being purposely manipulated by society? Just think. The fact that I didn’t want to do my homework reflects upon my dissonance with my thinking. However school makes we think this way; so the thought is not even mine to start with. I am having my agency manipulated, to think that such thinking is generated from my wants when it isn’t. Thus, I am not having a struggle with my actions and cognitions, but yes with society’s cognition and my actions. I am still having cognitive dissonancy since I realize that the struggle is not within my thinking, but yes with society`s thinking and my actions?
Article: Should we eliminate the human ability to feel pain?
We are all unique, in every way. To be successful, you do not have to be the best at something, you just need to survive long enough to be happy. As if we should`t be worrying about not feeling pain, but being healthy and happy in order to survive. Pain is something you can ignore. Although it is such an uncomfortable and compelling feeling, motivating you to immediate action, being in our instinct. After reading Pearce analytical response towards ignoring physical pain, its possible on actually agreeing with him. Any pain is psychological even the physical. You just need to be smart enough on controlling your feelings. However, it is not possible on ignoring all of our pain. Among us, I believe that only God can do this to us. Concluding yes we can control pain (not one-hundred percent), although we should not eliminate our ability ability to feel pain.
Article: Would It Be Boring If We Could Live Forever?
Certainly it is the first time I have come across with such an intellectual approach to the subject of life prolongation or immortality. Honestly I was not aware that biologists, futurist and gerontologists were studying the possibility of "living forever". As much as being immortal would fulfill one of my childhood dreams I do not think that prolonging human life will be a good thing under any possible circumstance. It's astonishing how humans misuse their time, money and energy focusing on hypothetical experiments that won't have a positive impact on society. As I read the article I thought of millions of reasons why humans should not be granted the opportunity of living forever. If this "significant medical breakthrough" does prolong human life, who would be the ones granted this privilege? Most likely the rich. Just like in the science fiction action film "In Time", in which humans stopped aging at 25 and time became the international currency, the lower class people would die on a daily basis while wealthy people would have a longer life expectancy. Now for the people who haven't watched the movie the story takes place in the year 2026 and as previously mentioned humanity has been genetically altered to stop aging at 25 and to be born with a digital clock. The clock begins counting down at the age of 25 and if it reaches zero the person dies. Sounds crazy, and a little drastic to relate the article to a science fiction movie but are we really that far away from this other reality?
Actually, its the first time I read about such a deep and interesting kind of thinking from the biologists, gerontologists and futurists. It came to my mind many times before about living forever, and if one day it was possible for it to become a reality. Being immortal, living decades, centuries, passing by many many and many phases of life would be actually a very interesting and amazing thing if you think about it. Much more time to accomplish dreams, and to fulfill duties. But lets put this in a table and balance the ideas presented. First, its a great and interesting idea, however, in the society that we live today, MANY people already does not use their time well, waste money on things that are not "valid" at all. If ALL of us are born with the same "privilege"of living forever, then maybe the idea would be great. But, if only SOME people are granted with that, I wonder who is gonna be those? Are humans stopping aging? The idea sounds crazy, and made me think a lot. Would I act the way i'm acting right now if I once knew that I would live forever?
Does Your Language Shape How You Think?
I have always known language to be one of the most important things in a person’s life; it influences how one is perceived and thought of, it dictates how one is understood, it creates barriers, it breaks down barriers and much more. What I did not know was that it influenced the way we thought; in fact the thought never even crossed my mind. This article gives examples of how a language can change the way you see something and makes one subconsciously adopt certain qualities or skills. The fact that a language can influence the way people see things, environments or feel in relation to the world, is quite thought provoking. This article backs up all its argument with experiments and what it says and proves is certainly worth reading, thought what is more interesting and more thought provoking is what it doesn’t say since there is no way to provide proof. How does a language like English or Spanish or French, the most common languages in the world, which address a person’s surrounding with the individual as it center, such as; “the table is behind me” me being the starting point in a persons world and so on, affect ones feelings about themselves? A question of that sort which cannot be proved, at least not yet, are definitely worth thinking about.
What do we mean by the "rights" of the nonhuman person?
Does the fact that we are “superior” mean that we can do what we want with other living beings? Animals can also be emotional and have their own sort of familial attachment. Some studies even point out that some animals are capable of rationalizing. Of course we can’t expect, as mentioned in the article, that they should be given the right to vote or something similar, because they don’t think the way we do. I agree that the purpose is not to treat them as if they were humans but to give them rights that protect them from bad treatment. Laws that are used to protect us humans can be applied to animals. Except for a few exceptions, animals don’t attack for pleasure or because they want to avenge their companion, they only fight for the need, either it being for feeding or defense. If animals hurt humans, for example, we shouldn’t take them into custody for 4 years or so, because they attack when they feel menaced or need to eat. Most animals usually won’t attack humans because they are afraid of us, so when they do it just means we are invading their space. We are often taking away from them the right we say we offer. They have the right to defend themselves from us.
Article: Should we eliminate the human ability to feel pain?
Well, this is a very controversial topic. While some believe that we don’t need to feel pain, I personally believe it is useful. Even though it causes discomfort and nobody likes to feel it, in most cases it is a fundamental warning that something is wrong in our body, which is described in the article as phenomenal pains. If you sit on a pointy and sharp object, you will immediately stand up because of the pain. If you didn’t feel anything, you would continue sitted there and get terribly hurt depending on the circumstances. I could give other more dreadful examples with fatal ends, but I think everyone gets the point. Right? Also, another factor to consider is risk. The article mentions the “risk form all sorts of health problems” and also that people would be willing to undergo greater risks if they knew the consequence wouldn’t be painful: “Studies have shown that people without the capacity for pain have shorter life expectancies compared to normally functioning people. Clearly, pain has a life preserving purpose.” Furthermore, I don’t believe that humans already have the intelligence or technology to make this plan of altering the DNA work. The explanations provided by the article didn’t convince me, and it looked like it would create more problems than the mere one that it is solving. Or maybe, I am only saying this because I haven’t ever suffered any extremely severe pain.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.