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Singular Immortality

Singular Immortality

Ratings: (0)|Views: 85 |Likes:
Published by Henry C Alphin Jr
In this essay, I argue that an immortal existence could be desirable. Taking the accounts of Williams and Smuts under careful consideration, I agree with Fischer that an immortal existence could be gratifying. When Fischer argues that it is unfair for Williams to posit that an immortal life must have self-exhausting pleasures and, overall, a better experience than mortal life, he gets to the crux of the argument for immortality: as long as there are positive categorical desires for the individual, then such life-affirming desires will provide an impetus to carry on. In moving past the Teiresias model of a phenomenon that retains memories while changing characters, I argue that a life of intellectual inquiry – which essentially alters the character of the individual while maintaining memories – offers an outward looking existence which provides internal pleasures. Accordingly, with the use of technology, computer simulations have the potential to provide pleasures and experiences that escape reality. In this sense, technology has the potential to supplement an immortal life. We cannot say whether there will be a pinnacle of such learning and pleasure which leads to decreasing returns, but it seems plausible that an immortal being who incorporates learning and pleasure that could potentially lead to innovation and discovery would seek to continue such intellectual inquiry and varied experiences until all learning potentials were exhausted.
In this essay, I argue that an immortal existence could be desirable. Taking the accounts of Williams and Smuts under careful consideration, I agree with Fischer that an immortal existence could be gratifying. When Fischer argues that it is unfair for Williams to posit that an immortal life must have self-exhausting pleasures and, overall, a better experience than mortal life, he gets to the crux of the argument for immortality: as long as there are positive categorical desires for the individual, then such life-affirming desires will provide an impetus to carry on. In moving past the Teiresias model of a phenomenon that retains memories while changing characters, I argue that a life of intellectual inquiry – which essentially alters the character of the individual while maintaining memories – offers an outward looking existence which provides internal pleasures. Accordingly, with the use of technology, computer simulations have the potential to provide pleasures and experiences that escape reality. In this sense, technology has the potential to supplement an immortal life. We cannot say whether there will be a pinnacle of such learning and pleasure which leads to decreasing returns, but it seems plausible that an immortal being who incorporates learning and pleasure that could potentially lead to innovation and discovery would seek to continue such intellectual inquiry and varied experiences until all learning potentials were exhausted.

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Published by: Henry C Alphin Jr on Dec 12, 2011
Copyright:Attribution No Derivatives

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02/14/2012

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