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Nov 19, 2010

Stoic Philosophy and Human Immortality

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, futurism, neuroscience

The Stoic philosophical school shares several ideas with modern attempts at prolonging human lifespan. The Stoics believed in a non-dualistic, deterministic paradigm, where logic and reason formed part of their everyday life. The aim was to attain virtue, taken to mean human excellence.

I have recently described a model specifically referring to indefinite lifespans, where human biological immortality is a necessary and inevitable consequence of natural evolution (for details see www.elpistheory.info and for a comprehensive summary see http://cid-3d83391d98a0f83a.office.live.com/browse.aspx/Immo.….=155370157).

This model is based on a deterministic, non-dualistic approach, described by the laws of Chaos theory (dynamical systems) and suggests that, in order to accelerate the natural transition from human evolution by natural selection to a post-Darwinian domain (where indefinite lifespans are the norm) , it is necessary to lead a life of constant intellectual stimulation, innovation and avoidance of routine (see http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/rej.2005.8.96?journalCode=rej and http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/rej.2009.0996) i.e. to seek human virtue (excellence, brilliance, and wisdom, as opposed to mediocrity and routine). The search for intellectual excellence increases neural inputs which effect epigenetic changes that can up-regulate age repair mechanisms.

Thus it is possible to conciliate the Stoic ideas with the processes that lead to both technological and developmental Singularities, using approaches that are deeply embedded in human nature and transcend time.

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Comments — comments are now closed.

  • robomoon on November 21, 2010 1:43 pm

    One among various messages at http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=4410586435&topic=7609 already contains the idea about a sensible form of discrimination. OK, OK, I only need to cite one sentence, pasted down below:

    “Women and children first” makes sense because saving a child’s life saves more years of life than saving the life of a middle-aged man like myself.

    Works for me too.

  • John on November 24, 2010 7:23 pm

    The essential key to understanding any possible keys to immortality is in the understanding of what we are in Truth & Reality, the nature of the body altogether, and the meaning & significance of death.

    http://www.adidam.org/teaching/aletheon/truth-life.aspx

    http://www.dabase.org/2armP1.htm#ch1 I Am the Body Is Love

    http://www.easydeathbook.com/purpose.asp

  • Marios Kyriazis on November 25, 2010 5:51 am

    Although you comment within a religious context and I within a biomedical one, I agree with you. We need to study and understand the physical/biological nature of our body in order to provide solutions for indefinite lifespans. We function within a wider physical/spiritual domain and the two enemies (hard empirical science and nebulous spirituality) must come together in oder to achieve an understanding of biological immortality.

  • Hilner Horneris on December 11, 2010 5:56 pm

    haha! you all are hilarious! Do you really think you will find the answer to attaining everlasting life? I am going to take a big leap and assume that none of you all are religious folks (and by religious I mean believe in God). But have any of you read the Lord of the Rings? Just so you know there is no such thing as “biological immortality”. Our bodies, each and every one of them, are corruptible. So that is one reason why this whole thing is hilarious.

    But seriously — think about the words “eternal life”…does that really sound so appealing to you? Do you really want to spend the rest of eternity on earth watching as all your loved ones pass away…seeing all the corruption and feeling it and being a part of it because you are always there to experience it? Tolkien was right when he pointed out that eternal life on earth is not living, it is existing; stuck in time. No way out.
    Why would you want to find a way to live forever?
    I know that my soul will go on forever in heaven or hell, and as a Catholic I know that what I choose to do in my life will reflect where my soul goes when I die. But why would you spend so much time trying to figure out how to be immortal?
    Have a little fun. Live a little. Before you know it you will be dead and you will have accomplished nothing in life.

  • Marios Kyriazis on December 12, 2010 2:08 am

    Sorry, but you miss the point. I am NOT talking about everlasting life, this is a religious term and I am a scientist not a priest. I am talking about puprosefully prolonging healthy human lifespan. The term ‘biological immortality’ with regards to humans refers specifically to the reduction of the rate of mortality as a function of age, and it does not mean living for all eternity. Lord of the Rings was written by a human, not God, and it is just a fictional story. It is interesting to read but it doesn’t reflect reality.

    Finally, one way for prolonging human lifespan is to ‘live a little’, have fun and experience life to the full. Scientific arguments support this line of reasoning.