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IEET > Rights > Life > Vision > Contributors > Dick Pelletier

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End of Death


Dick Pelletier
By Dick Pelletier
Ethical Technology

Posted: Jan 20, 2013

Is the end of death in our future? Positive futurists say it is. Infectious disease, accidents, starvation, and violence have kept average life expectancy at 20-to-30 years throughout most of human history. However, the quest to live longer and enjoy good health is one of the most ancient and deep-rooted hopes ingrained in our species.

Infectious disease, accidents, starvation, and violence have kept average life expectancy at 20-to-30 years throughout most of human history. However, the quest to live longer and enjoy good health is one of the most ancient and deep-rooted hopes ingrained in our species.

It underlies religious teachings of dreams of an afterlife and up to now, people have had no alternative but to accept death as an inevitable part of existence. Even Humanists view death as not such a bad thing, and ultra-conservatives maintain that death is necessary to give life meaning.

That people should make excuses for death is understandable. Until recently, nothing could be done about it and it made sense to create comforting philosophies that dying of old age is a positive thing.

Now, stem cell, genetic engineering, and nanomedicine technologies promise to one day eliminate most diseases and even abolish human aging. It is becoming increasingly evident that research scientists are getting ever closer to making indefinite lifespan become reality.

Today many of us future watchers have accepted the challenge of keeping our bodies in shape to maneuver through the next two decades when many experts believe that science could eliminate most unwanted deaths, allowing nearly everyone to live a technology-rich life filled with plentiful resources.

The things I value most – freedom, joy, friendship and fun of discovery are all limited by my lifespan. I want more. More time to think and do all the wonderful things I can imagine. A “magical future” that could arrive in as early as 20 years promises to help me obtain these things.

I do not want these things for myself alone, which would be an empty and lonely existence. No, I want this additional time for friends, relatives; every human on Earth who might also enjoy a longer lifespan. I want more time to learn, grow, and follow a path without death constantly looming its ugly head.

 This driving force encourages me to write weekly articles depicting a positive and optimistic future. Let us enrich ourselves by believing that an extended lifespan without fears of unwanted death will soon be ours to enjoy. Comments welcome.


Dick Pelletier was a weekly columnist who wrote about future science and technologies for numerous publications. He passed away on July 22, 2014.
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COMMENTS


It’s time to put death behind us.  I’m afraid it will take longer than we think or hope—quite possibly longer than my current expected life span—which is why I’m signed up for cryonics; if I don’t make it this go-round, cryonics is a chance at extra innings.  Currently it’s the only chance, which is why I don’t understand why anyone who loves life hasn’t sprung for the life insurance it takes to buy a ticket on that lifeboat off today’s Titanic of aging.  And aging isn’t the only thing that can get you—Kim Suozzi was just cryopreserved after succumbing to brain cancer at the age of 23(!).

Life is the most precious thing you’ve got—keep it!





Once again, transhumanists don’t get it. You can’t test the effectiveness of “life extension,” “anti-aging” or “immortality” treatments on humans any faster than the rate at which humans happen to live. That shows the absurdity of claims that we’ll have indefinite life expectancies by 2045 or whatever age the singularity fantasists have come up with lately. No one can know if he can live longer than 120 years, and in good physical and cognitive shape, until he actually does so.

Perhaps it takes me longer than average to figure out certain things, but from hindsight I can see the nonsense promoted by Dirk Pearson and Sandy Shaw 30 years ago with their “Life Extension” book, which I can remember generated a lot of enthusiasm in the early transhumanist/cryonicist/L-5er/libertarian culture of the time. (Yes, I go back far enough to have witnessed that.) Dirk & Sandy wrote this book in their late 30’s and published it around the time they turned 40. Most 40-year-old Americans who have taken care of themselves still look good and enjoy good health, so Dirk & Sandy’s photos at the time proved absolutely nothing about their success in “life extension” at that age from all the chemicals they consumed. Their self-experimentation simply lacked enough of a baseline, and we didn’t have good biomarkers for aging in the early 1980’s any way.

Look at them now, instead. They look like other 70-ish Americans to me, which suggests that their experiment on themselves has failed.

So don’t fall for this delusion about “conquering death” or whatever in your current life expectancy. The knowledge of the results can’t arrive any faster than the way humans function organically across time.





Perhaps like Steve Jobs we might want to question ending death as our ultimate goal:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1R-jKKp3NA





@Rick Searle,

I believe that Steve Jobs and all those who believe that death gives meaning to life, are wrong.

Life and all its intricacies provide enthusiasm and a zest for living that I enjoy. I will admit that my positive outlook helps; but I view death as inhumane and cruel. Humanity deserves better, and I am convinced that we are on the verge of achieving a life without the Grim Reaper looking over our shoulder.

Am I wrong? Time will tell.





Every Mass Format Is Convertesd Into Energy In A Natural-Selection Universe…

Natural Selection
Beyond Historical Concepts
Natural selection is ubiquitous. It is E (energy) temporarily constrained in an m (mass) format. Period.
The drive and goal of evolution of ALL mass formats is to enhance their energy constraint, to postpone their reconversion to energy, which goes on at a constant rate since the Big Bang. Every mass format either takes in energy/mass or is taken in as energy/mass by another mass format.
Dov Henis (comments from 22nd century)
http://universe-life.com/ 





@Dov Henis,

If there were only one universe, your comments may make sense; however, many believe that our universe is one of an infinite number of cosmos’, and that many of these ‘other worlds’ wield influence over our existence.

A recent post:

Acclaimed scientists Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku, and others believe that an infinite number of universes exist; and that in some future time, it may be possible to explore these other worlds, which many believe might one day be connected to our cosmos through a wormhole.
Einstein suggested that wormholes are created as gravity bends space-time, which in theory allows shortcuts, connecting two points in space, two places in time, or two universes.
Although most theorists do not believe that civilization will ever control the massive amounts of energies necessary to create wormholes that can transport matter, many predict that tomorrow’s scientists may be able construct a futuristic portal that would allow the transmission of information.
Should this happen, the possibilities would be amazing. We could send information through a wormhole to scan another universe, recognize its makeup, and return that data to Earth. This would allow us to determine the advantages, if any, that this parallel world might offer humanity.
Kaku says this would be a good way to escape in the far future when our universe, as it continues to expand, becomes so thin that all matter – even information – freezes and disappears into a void.
After locating a universe with life-friendly planets and similar laws of physics, we would send a version of tomorrow’s nanobots, to re-create our life species on this new home, including ourselves.
Today, it’s difficult to predict if exploring other universes will ever happen. But with help from the “golden age of intelligence,” which positive futurists believe will take place from 2035 to 2050; developing technologies that allow us to derive information from another cosmos could be achieved.
So, will exploring other universes ever become possible; and will it happen during this century? Those who see the future through positive eyes believe that it will. Comments welcome.

 





I’d acclain whoever explains their real actual whence and whither rather than imaginary mysteries…

Since the early 1900’s ALL “science” has been taken over by the Technology Culture of the religious Americans, represented by the trade-union-church AAAS. Plain and simple. There has not been any science in the world since then except “religious-American-science”.

On the blissful religious science ignorance…:

USA-World Science Hegemony Is Science Blind

Since the early 2000s I have been posting many articles on science items surveyed and analyzed by me, without religious background-concepts. I have been doing this because I was deeply disturbed by the religiosity of the 1848-founded AAAS trade-union and by the consequent religious background-tint of its extensive “scientific” publications and activities.

On my next birthday I’ll be 88-yrs old. I know that I’m deeply engaged in a Don Quixotic mission-war to extricate-free the USA and world Science from the clutches and consequences of the religious-trade-union-church AAAS, adopted strangely by the majority of scientifically ignorant religious god-trusting Americans and by their most other humanity following flocks…

But I am sincerely confident that only thus it is feasible and possible to embark on a new, rational, Human culture (Scientism) and on new more beneficial and effective technology courses for humanity…

Dov Henis (comments from 22nd century)
http://universe-life.com/





Dov Henis,

As a fellow octogenarian (I am five years your junior) who also shares your non-religious beliefs, I think it horrible that 80% of Americans believe in God.

However, I suspect it may require brains enhanced with non-biological materials (carbon nanotubes), circa 2050, which will provide faster and more in depth processing of thoughts before religion can be recognized for what it is: a plague on humanity – an impeding force that makes technological progress more difficult to achieve.

I visited your website (http://universe-life.com/) and I commend you for your efforts to bring attention to activities that affect our lives – both positive and negative. Keep up the good work.





Dick Pelletier,

Sincere thanks…
and
Decide Humanity: Scientism Or Natural Selection

http://www.sciencemag.org/site/special/conflict/index.xhtml http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/05/roots-of-racism.html?ref=em

Scientism:
A doctrine and method characteristic of scientists, and the proposition that scientific doctrine and methods of studying natural sciences should be used in all areas of investigation and in conduct of politics-social-cultural-civil affairs in pursuit of an efficient practical, as fair as possible, civics framework.

Natural Selection:
All mass formats, inanimate and animate, follow natural selection, i.e. intake of energy or their energy taken in by other mass formats.
All politics and economics, local, national and international, are about evolutionary biology, about Darwinian evolution, about survival, about obtaining and maintaining and distributing energy.

Religion:
is a virtual factor-component in human’s natural selection. Its target-function is to preserve-proliferate specific cultural phenotypes.
Natural selection-religion are compatible with technology-capitalism but are obviously incompatible with science-scientism, that targets preservation-proliferation of the genotype.

Science-scientism is an obvious threat to the survival of a cultural phenotype.

Dov Henis (comments from 22nd century)
Universe-Energy-Mass-Life Compilation
http://universe-life.com/2012/02/03/universe-energy-mass-life-compilation/
For A Scientism Culture
http://universe-life.com/2011/06/11/for-a-scientism-culture/





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