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Culture & Religion

Why Immortality Would Be Bad for Your Soul

Even if we develop technologies that preserve our lives forever, we should still decline the offer, says metaphysician Stephen Cave. Meaningful lives require a time limit, he argues.

What’s the Latest Development?

Our quest for more life has already resulted in a doubling of the human life span but some modern technologists want to take an even bigger leap, radically extending our life spans through modern technology. Transhumanist Aubrey de Grey, who has devised the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) program, wants to use “genetic interventions to rejuvenate cells, stem cell transplants to replace aged organs and tissues, and nano-machines to patrol our bodies to prevent infections and kill nascent cancers.”

What’s the Big Idea?

In the new book Immortality, metaphysician and former British diplomat Stephen Cave argues that even if were were presented with an offer of immortality, we should turn it down to save our soul. Though not in any fire and brimstone sense. “Cave argues that on the one hand, boredom and apathy would eventually set in after one has done and seen everything, and other the hand, the prospect of an infinite future means that there is no urgency to do or see anything resulting in paralysis. Meaningful lives require a time limit, he argues.”


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