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."

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Keep reading Show less

Are we all multiple personalities of universal consciousness?

Bernardo Kastrup proposes a new ontology he calls “idealism” built on panpsychism, the idea that everything in the universe contains consciousness. He solves problems with this philosophy by adding a new suggestion: The universal mind has dissociative identity disorder.

We’re all one mind in "idealism." (Credit: Alex Grey)
Mind & Brain

There’s a reason they call it the “hard problem.” Consciousness: Where is it? What is it? No one single perspective seems to be able to answer all the questions we have about consciousness. Now Bernardo Kastrup thinks he’s found one. He calls his ontology idealism, and according to idealism, all of us and all we perceive are manifestations of something very much like a cosmic-scale dissociative identity disorder (DID). He suggests there’s an all-encompassing universe-wide consciousness, it has multiple personalities, and we’re them.

Keep reading Show less

New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
Keep reading Show less