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Immortality - Morally right?

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Immortality - Morally right?

Tsubasa & Wen Tien
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So then this is a (rejected) topic that I proposed for an essay for a logical thinking class: Is physical Immortality morally right or wrong?

According to the views of Buddhism, physical immortality would block the path to enlightenment. According to what I have read, Christianity views physical immortality as the condition of Adam and Eve's bodies before they ate the fruit of the tree and as such may likely be undesirable. On the flip-side, there are organizations in Israel, the Netherlands, Russia, and the United States that are dedicated to increasing the human lifespan so that people can live for as long as they wish at whichever age they wish to be.

Do note that I specified physical because each religion, philosophy and various blogs/wikis have different types of immortality that do not have to do with the physical body. Also, the topic is human immortality, not jellyfish, hydra, or planarian worms.
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Re: Immortality - Morally right?

Marvelous Miscreant
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I don't think immortality has any moral implications. To me, its not right or wrong.
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Re: Immortality - Morally right?

WonderDrow
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This post was updated on .
It's morally dubious.

If immortality can be granted then it would either become available to the masses, or just the select few( the rich, the powerful).

If it's available to the masses then this would increase the overpopulation exponentially.
Even if it would be coupled with forced infertility of the immortal.  The world can't support that on the long term.

If it only becomes available to the few then it would be unfair to the "mortals".
But it could still work on the long term.

From the point of evolution immortality is immoral.
The circle of life and death brings renewal. And death is crucial to that process.

Anyway, this question is also about the meaning of morality.


True colours always shine brighter within darkness. ~ WonderDrow ~
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Re: Immortality - Morally right?

Marvelous Miscreant
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Evolution is not itself a moral process, so how can immortality be immoral in relation to it?

That like saying not blinking is immoral because blinking is a process vital to your eyes not drying out.
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Re: Immortality - Morally right?

Gentleman Vaultboy
Just popping in to agree with everything Marv is saying here.

Hey son, wanna' learn how ta' make witch balls?
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Re: Immortality - Morally right?

WonderDrow
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This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Marvelous Miscreant
Something immoral is something that is not conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior.
In the process of life and death, immortality is not conforming with the standard of what is right.

Not blinking is ... almost impossible to do ...
True colours always shine brighter within darkness. ~ WonderDrow ~
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Re: Immortality - Morally right?

Marvelous Miscreant
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Morality is the right and wrong, good or bad choices in "Behavior". Life and Death do not rely on Behavior and therefore cannot be immoral or Moral.
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Re: Immortality - Morally right?

Celadon's Penultimate
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In reply to this post by Tsubasa & Wen Tien
Immortality is not, in and of itself, right or wrong.

It all depends on 1) means you achieve it, and 2) what you do with it.

For example, the legends of Stingy Jack (who would later go on to become Jack O'Lantern) was so wicked that he had no chance of being admitted into Heaven, and yet temporarily also weaseled his way out of going to Hell. He got his immortality through a means that even the Devil thought was underhanded and sneaky. He is, in and of himself, evil, and thus his life during the course of his immortality, would be evil. Something similar could be said of Dorian Gray, the fictional immortal, whose painted likeness aged in his stead.

On the other hand, if somebody were born to a hypothetical immortal race (ie Asgardians or Olympians) or were genetically modified to be immortal, then the immortal him or herself could not consider their immortality to be morally wrong. They had no hand in it, and it isn't something they can change about themselves.

And in the case of the genetically modified person, the only one who could possibly be considered morally wrong are the ones who helped to artificially engineer such a biological state. In that they 'play God', they are bypassing what has occurred within the natural cycle of birth, life and death. In the case of my faith, Christianity, it would be preferable to live out a short mortal life, face Judgment, be deemed worthy of God's rewards, and gain access to Heaven, where there is no question of suffering of death again. In essence, immortality in a utopian state a privilege, not a right.

Not to mention, within the Christian faith, true immortality on Earth is impossible, because the day of Judgment will come, and folks will be divided up, according to their works and the content of their hearts, between Heaven and Hell, the only places where true (spiritual) immortality is possible. That being said, Earthly immortality, if not used for the good of God's will, is a waste of time.

Hopefully, you can follow my logic.
“…Judge not what a man has done, but judge what he could have done if he was a different bloke altogether. For art thou a leper? And a leper can changeth his spots…”   --Rudy Wade, Misfits (Series 4, Episode 8)
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Re: Immortality - Morally right?

Myself
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I have to support the points brought up here by Marv and Wulf. In my opinion, it does not have any inherent moral implications.
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Re: Immortality - Morally right?

Zaleramancer
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In reply to this post by WonderDrow
Actually, Evolution doesn't give two shits about anything. It's just an explanation for why things change over time.

You have kids, kids have kids = good.

Not have kids or help with kids = bad.

This is all it cares about.
“She'd become a governess. It was one of the few jobs a known lady could do. And she'd taken to it well. She'd sworn that if she did indeed ever find herself dancing on rooftops with chimney sweeps she'd beat herself to death with her own umbrella.”
― Hogfather
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Re: Immortality - Morally right?

Gentleman Vaultboy
Reminds me of a video.

Hey son, wanna' learn how ta' make witch balls?
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Re: Immortality - Morally right?

WonderDrow
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Of course Evolution doesn't care for morals.  It's a process, not something that can see the difference between right and wrong.

In a question about morality it's not about what it affects.

For example.  If I were to claim that it's not moral to pee inside a church.  Would it then be right to point out that church building don't care about morals?   Of course not, that would be missing the point.

Btw, I don't see obtaining immortality for yourself as immoral.
But if it could be granted to the masses that would cause problems.
True colours always shine brighter within darkness. ~ WonderDrow ~
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Re: Immortality - Morally right?

Marvelous Miscreant
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You are right that Morality doesn't apply to a process. That's what I've been saying from the start. But the question was, "Is Immortality morally right?" and so I answered the question. To argue matters of morality you have to debate from a constant and universal viewpoint otherwise it simple becomes an argument over opinion. In that case, everyone is right and nobody is wrong because Morality really comes down to an individual's opinion.

Does the church itself care about morality? No, but it does carry with it certain behavioral expectations from years of Human history and actions. These expectations are what define an immoral act in this particular case. Evolution carries no such expectations because unlike a Church, it is a concept that does not rely on human action. It happens regardless of what people do and so has no attachments to morality.


WonderDrow wrote
Btw, I don't see obtaining immortality for yourself as immoral.
But if it could be granted to the masses that would cause problems.
Then it is the act of granting immortality that is "immoral", not immortality itself. Note my air quotes around immoral. They are their because again, a different opinion may argue otherwise.
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Re: Immortality - Morally right?

Zaleramancer
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In reply to this post by WonderDrow
From the point of evolution immortality is immoral.
Then?
“She'd become a governess. It was one of the few jobs a known lady could do. And she'd taken to it well. She'd sworn that if she did indeed ever find herself dancing on rooftops with chimney sweeps she'd beat herself to death with her own umbrella.”
― Hogfather
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Re: Immortality - Morally right?

Zaleramancer
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As a thing in and of itself, there's nothing really wrong with being immortal.

However, giving people immortality in a way that does not result in them fucking themselves over would require you to change them to the point that they might not be recognizably human anymore.

At least not mentally.

You'd have to negate or shift the desire to propagate: Otherwise you end up with sudden, exponential population growth that will not go down from deaths. You'd also have to make sure that society doesn't dissolve into a zero-sum game of the elders holding almost all of the resources from the younger generations. And give people a way to solve massive arguments that don't turn into horrible undying wars.

And make it so people don't get stuck in a rut for eternity.

And help people cope with eternity itself, which people want but don't really understand.
“She'd become a governess. It was one of the few jobs a known lady could do. And she'd taken to it well. She'd sworn that if she did indeed ever find herself dancing on rooftops with chimney sweeps she'd beat herself to death with her own umbrella.”
― Hogfather
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Re: Immortality - Morally right?

Mik_Hael
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The term “morality” can be used either

descriptively to refer to some codes of conduct put forward by a society or,
some other group, such as a religion, or
accepted by an individual for her own behavior or
normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons.

stanford dictionary online.

 Morality is something I don't care about at this point, but I'll throw my hat into the ring. Immortality is only immoral if you think it's immoral, because morality only exists within your own perception of the world. And shadow, I'm surprised at you for not pointing out that Adam and Eve were not immortal as they had not yet eaten fruit from the tree of life.
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Re: Immortality - Morally right?

Celadon's Penultimate
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Mik_Hael wrote
And shadow, I'm surprised at you for not pointing out that Adam and Eve were not immortal as they had not yet eaten fruit from the tree of life.
 It didn't really call for that, I thought. Though, the argument is certainly a valid one.
“…Judge not what a man has done, but judge what he could have done if he was a different bloke altogether. For art thou a leper? And a leper can changeth his spots…”   --Rudy Wade, Misfits (Series 4, Episode 8)
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