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Encyclopedia > Eternal life

Immortality is the concept of existing for a potentially infinite or indeterminate length of time. Throughout history humans have had the desire to live forever. The most commonly conceived form of immortality involves a spiritual existence after physical death. Many people still believe in immortality of this type today. Infinity is a word carrying a number of different meanings in mathematics, philosophy, theology and everyday life. ... History is a term for information about the past. ... Binomial name Homo sapiens Linnaeus, 1758 Subspecies Homo sapiens idaltu (extinct) Homo sapiens sapiens Human beings define themselves in biological, social, and spiritual terms. ... See: Spirituality Spiritual music Spiritual dance The Age of Spiritual Machines Spiritual possession The Four Spiritual Laws Wholism External links Spiritual service This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Death is either the cessation of life in a living organism or the state of the organism after that event. ...


Many people believe that they can achieve "immortality" through their legacy and achievements they leave behind. This view of immortality is vastly different than the others in that it places value not on the continuity of one's physical, spiritual, or intellectual "self", but rather on how one will be remembered by generations to come. This view of immortality is embraced in many Jewish philosophies. Another view of immortality concentrates on leaving offspring, or immortality via evolution, which is curiously similar to Richard Dawkins' theory of the selfish gene. See the following articles for discussion of the self: Self (psychology) Self (philosophy) Self-concept Self programming language Self (book), a novel by Yann Martel Self (magazine) Soul discusses religious concepts relating to the self This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise... The Star of David, a common symbol of Jews and Judaism Judaism is the religion and culture of the Jewish people and one of the first recorded monotheistic faiths. ... Philosophy (from the Greek words philos and sophia meaning love of wisdom) is understood in different ways historically and by different philosophers. ... Charles Darwin, the father of modern evolutionary theory In the life sciences, evolution is a change in the traits of living organisms over generations, including the emergence of new species. ... Dawkins is the holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair in the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford. ... The Selfish Gene is a controversial book by Richard Dawkins published in 1976. ...


However, there has always been a different breed of "immortalist" one who believes it may be possible to avoid death altogether. These people believe in the possibility of immortality in a physical sense, rather than or in addition to immortality in a spiritual sense. Gilgamesh was one such as this, as well as many European and Chinese Alchemists (Gunpowder was said to have been invented by Chinese alchemists in pursuit of immortality). Juan Ponce de Leon supposedly was pursuing the fountain of youth when he travelled to Florida in 1513. Immortality is the concept of existing for a potentially infinite or indeterminate length of time. ... Gilgamesh and Enkidu, cylinder seal from Ur III According to the Sumerian king list, Gilgamesh was the fourth king of Uruk (Early Dynastic II, first dynasty of Uruk), the son of Lugalbanda. ... The Alchemist. ... Gunpowder is a substance which burns very rapidly and is used as a propellant in firearms. ... See also Agueybana Hayuya Jumacao Discoverer of the Americas Categories: People stubs | 1460 births | 1521 deaths | History of Puerto Rico | Conquistadores ... The Fountain of Youth is a legendary fountain that will render anyone who drinks of its waters permanently young. ... State nickname: Everglade State, Sunshine State Other U.S. States Capital Tallahassee Largest city Jacksonville Governor Jeb Bush Official languages English Area 170,451 km² (22nd)  - Land 137,374 km²  - Water 30,486 km² (17. ... Events January 20 - Christian II becomes King of Denmark and Norway. ...

Contents

Causes of death

There are three main causes of death: aging, disease and trauma. A British pensioner, 2005 Ageing or aging is the process of getting older. ... A disease is any abnormal condition of the body or mind that causes discomfort, dysfunction, or distress to the person affected or those in contact with the person. ...


Aubrey de Grey, a leading scientist in the field of aging, defines aging as follows: "a collection of cumulative changes to the molecular and cellular structure of an adult organism, which result in essential metabolic processes, but which also, once they progress far enough, increasingly disrupt metabolism, resulting in pathology and death." The current causes of aging in humans are cell loss (without replacement), oncogenic nuclear mutations and epimutations, cell senescence, mitochondrial mutations, lysosomal aggregates, extracellular aggregates, random extracellular cross-linking, immune system decline, and endocrine changes. This is a long list, but it also appears to be complete. Eliminating aging would mean finding a way to deal with each of these causes. This is indeed a formidable task, but progress is being made. Aubrey de Grey Aubrey de Grey (b. ... A scientist is a person who is expert in an area of science and who uses the scientific method in research. ... In science, a molecule is the smallest particle of a pure chemical substance that still retains its chemical composition and properties. ... Cells in culture, stained for keratin (red) and DNA (green) The cell is the structural and functional unit of all living organisms, sometimes called the building blocks of life. ... See Adult. ... In biology and ecology, an organism (in Greek organon = instrument) is a living being. ... Santorio Santorio (1561-1636) in his steelyard balance, from Ars de statica medecina, first published 1614 Metabolism (from μεταβολισμος(metavallo), the Greek word for change), in the most general sense, is the ingestion and breakdown of complex compounds, coupled with the liberation of energy, and the consequent generation of waste... Pathology (in ancient Greek pathos = feeling, pain, suffering and logos = discourse or treatise, i. ... Please refer to cancer for the biology of malignant disease, as well as a list of malignant diseases. ... Plural: nuclei In chemistry and physics, the nucleus (atomic nucleus) is the collection of protons and neutrons in the center of an atom that carries the bulk of the atoms mass and positive charge. ... Mutations are permanent, sometimes transmissible (if the change is to a germ cell) changes to the genetic material (usually DNA or RNA) of a cell. ... In biology, senescence is the state or process of aging. ... In cell biology, a mitochondrion is an organelle found in the cells of most eukaryotes. ... Lysosomes are organelles in eukaryotic cells that contain digestive enzymes to digest macromolecules. ... The immune system is the collection of organs and tissues involved in the adaptive defense of a body against foreign biological material. ... The endocrine system is a control system of ductless endocrine glands that secrete chemical messengers called hormones that circulate within the body via the bloodstream to affect distant organs. ...


Disease also is theoretically surmountable via technology. Human understanding of genetics is leading to cures and treatments of a myriad of previously incurable diseases. The mechanisms by which other diseases do their damage are becoming better understood. Sophisticated methods of detecting diseases early are being developed. Preventative medicine is becoming better understood. Neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's may soon be curable with the use of stem cells. Breakthoughs in cell biology and telomere research are leading to treatments for cancer. Vaccines are being researched for AIDS and tuberculosis. Genes associated with type 1 diabetes and certain types of cancer have been discovered allowing for new therapies to be developed. Artificial devices attached directly to the nervous system may restore sight to the blind. Drugs are being developed to treat a myriad of other diseases and ailments. Technology (Gr. ... Genetics (from the Greek genno γεννώ= give birth) is the science of genes, heredity, and the variation of organisms. ... Parkinsons disease (PD; paralysis agitans) is a neurodegenerative disease of the substantia nigra (an area in the basal ganglia of the brain). ... Alzheimers disease (AD) or senile dementia of Alzheimers type is a neurodegenerative disease which results in a loss of mental functions due to the deterioration of brain tissue. ... Mouse embryonic stem cells. ... Cell biology (also called cellular biology or cytology, from the Greek kytos, container) is an academic discipline which studies cells. ... When normal cells are damaged or old they undergo apoptosis; cancer cells, however, avoid apoptosis. ... A bottle and a syringe containing the influenza vaccine. ... AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, sometimes written Aids) is a global, human epidemic. ... Tuberculous lungs show up on an X-ray image Tuberculosis is an infection with the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs (pulmonary TB) but can also affect the central nervous system (meningitis), lymphatic system, circulatory system (miliary TB), genitourinary system, bones and joints. ... This article is about the disease that features high blood sugar. ... The nervous system of an animal coordinates the activity of the muscles, monitors the organs, constructs and processes input from the senses, and initiates actions. ...


Most likely the hardest cause of death to overcome is trauma. The problems of aging and disease usually at least provide ample time to solve them, if the technology exists. But even in a postulated world where aging and disease were correctable conditions, getting shot in the head is not. In situations where time available to provide treatment is extremely short, the success rate of even advanced paramedical technology remains low. Unless technology advances to the point (via perhaps nanotechnology) that a body can automatically treat itself for severe trauma, then the time it takes to deliver a patient to a care facility will likely remain the overriding factor. Typical view of the defibrillator operator. ... A mite next to a gear chain produced using nanotechnology Nanotechnology comprises technological developments on the nanometer scale, usually 0. ...


Types of immortality

Immortality can be divided into two main types: physical and spiritual. Physical immortality is the unending existence of the mind from a physical source such as a brain or computer. Spiritual immortality is unending existence of a person after physical death such as a soul.


Physical immortality

Technological immortality is the name given to the prospect for much longer life spans made possible by scientific advances in a variety of fields: nanotechnology, emergency room procedures, genetics, human physiology, engineering, regenerative medicine, microbiology, and others. Contemporary life spans in the advanced industrial societies are already markedly longer than those of the past because of better nutrition, availability of health care, standard of living and bio-medical scientific advances. Technological immortality predicts further progress for the same reasons over the near term. An important aspect of current scientific thinking about immortality is that nanotechnology will play an essential role in extreme life extension. For example, Robert Freitas, a leading medical nanorobotics theorist [1] (http://www.nanomedicine.com), suggests we may be able to create tiny medical nanorobots that could go through our bloodstreams, find dangerous things like cancer cells and bacteria, and kill them)[2] (http://www.rfreitas.com/Nano/Microbivores.htm). Freitas anticipates that gene-therapies and nanotechnology will eventually make the human body effectively self-sustainable and capable of living indefinitely [3] (http://www.rfreitas.com/Nano/DeathIsAnOutrage.htm), short of severe trauma. Some suggest we will be able to continually create biological or synthetic replacement parts to replace damaged or dying ones. A mite next to a gear chain produced using nanotechnology Nanotechnology comprises technological developments on the nanometer scale, usually 0. ... Life extension consists of attempts to extend human life beyond the current maximum lifespan. ... Robert A. Freitas Jr. ... A nanobot is a nanotechnological robot nanomachine, also called a nanite, which is a mechanical or electromechanical device whose dimensions are measured in nanometres (millionths of a millimetre, or units of 10-9 metrer). ...


Some people believe that such treatments will not be available in their natural lifespan. Cryonics is the practice of preserving organisms (either intact specimens or only their brains) for possible future revival by storing them at cryogenic temperatures where metabolism and decay are almost completely stopped. Ideally this would allow clinically dead people to be brought back in the future after cures to the patients' diseases have been discovered and aging is reversible. Modern Cryonics procedures use a process called vitrification which creates a glasslike state rather than freezing as the body is brought to low temperatures. This process reduces the risk of ice crystals damaging the brain structure. Many people who wish to become physically immortal think of Cryonics as a backup plan in case the emerging life extension technologies don't develop rapidly enough. Cryonics is the practice of preserving organisms, or at least their brains, for possible future revival by storing them at cryogenic temperatures where metabolism and decay are almost completely stopped. ... Cryonics is the practice of preserving organisms, or at least their brains, for possible future revival by storing them at cryogenic temperatures where metabolism and decay are almost completely stopped. ...


Some believe that biological forms have inherent limitations in their design--primarily, their fragility and inability to immediately morph to fit the environment. A way around that predicament may someday present itself in the ability to "exist" outside of the biological form. Over the long term, the biological nature of humanity may only be temporary; should technology permit, people may circumvent death and evolution, simply by taking artificial forms. One interesting possibility involves uploading the personality and memories via direct mind-computer interface. Some extropian futurists propose that, thanks to exponentially growing computing power, it will someday be possible to upload human consciousness onto a computer system, and live indefinitely in a virtual environment. This could be accomplished via advanced cybernetics, where computer hardware would initially be installed in the brain to help sort memory or accelerate thought processes. Gradually more and more components would be added until the person's entire brain functions were handled by artificial devices, without any sharp transitions that would lead to some identity issues mentioned below. At this point, the human body would become only an accessory and the mind could be transferred to any sufficiently powerful computer. A person in this state would then be essentially immortal, short of cataclysmic destruction of the entire civilization and their computers. This article is about the computer terms. ... A direct mind-computer interface or direct neural interface is literally that - a direct cybernetic link between a mind and a computer. ... Extropianism, also reffered to as extropy, is a transhumanist philosophy characterized by a set of principles regarding extropy, defined by Dr. Max More in The Principles of Extropy. ... This article is about the art movement, futurism. ... In mathematics, a quantity that grows exponentially is one that grows at a rate proportional to its size. ... In transhumanism and science fiction, mind transfer (also referred to as mind uploading or mind downloading, depending on ones point of reference), or whole body emulation refers to the hypothetical transfer of a human mind, body and environment to an artificial substrate. ...


Quantum immortality is the name for the speculation that the Everett many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that a conscious being cannot cease to be. The idea is highly controversial. Theoretically given any potentially fatal event that could happen to, say, a quantum physicist, there will be possible universes in which the physicist indeed dies and other possible universes where the physicist somehow survives. As time goes on the physicist is dead in more and more of all possible universes due to random accidents and aging, however because there are infinite possibilities, there will always be at least one universe in which the physicist miraculously lives another day. The idea behind quantum immortality is that the physicist would only be able to experience the universes in which he survives, even though they may be an increasingly small subset of the possible universes. In this way, the physicist would appear from his own standpoint to be living forever. Some of the potential ultimate fates of the Universe could present an eventual death with no means of avoidance no matter how unlikely, but even then in an infinite universe there could be some means of working around such a limit. Quantum immortality is the name for the speculation that the Everett many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that a conscious being cannot cease to be. ... The many-worlds interpretation (or MWI) is an interpretation of quantum mechanics, based on Hugh Everetts relative-state formulation. ... Fig. ... Many religions have postulated an end to the Universe. ...


Long before modern science made such speculation feasible, people wishing to escape death sought what we might term mystical immortality, turning to the supernatural world for answers. Examples include the medieval alchemists and their search for the Philosopher's Stone, or more modern religious mystics such as Sri Aurobindo, who believed in the possibility of achieving physical immortality through spiritual transformation. Look up Alchemist in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Alchemist may refer to— a person who practices alchemy. ... The philosophers stone, a longtime Holy Grail of Western alchemy, is a mythical substance that supposedly could turn inexpensive metals into gold and/or create an elixir that would make humans immortal. ... Śrī Aurobindo Śrī Aurobindo (August 15, 1872–December 5, 1950) was an Indian nationalist, scholar, poet, Hindu mystic, evolutionary philosopher, yogi and guru. ...


Rastafarians believe in physical immortality as a part of their religious doctrines. They believe that after their God has called the day of judgement they will go to what they describe as Mount Zion in Africa to live in freedom for ever. Instead of having everlasting life, which implies an end in the word last, the rastas look forward to having everliving life. Another group that believe in physical immortality are the Rebirthers, who believe that by following the connected breathing process of rebirthing they will live forever physically. Rasta hairstyle Rastafarianism is a religious movement that believes in the divinity of former emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. ... The term God is used to designate a Supreme Being, however, there are countless definitions of God. ... Zion or Tzion (צִיּוֹן Height, Standard Hebrew Ẓiyyon, Tiberian Hebrew Ṣiyyôn; Arabic صهيون Ṣuhyūn) originally was the specific name given to a Jebusite fortress near modern-day Jerusalem that was conquered by David. ... Africa is the largest of the three great southward projections from the main mass of the Earths surface. ... Rebirthing is a branch of alternative medicine which postulates that human birth is a traumatic event (see birth trauma) and that a discipline of breathwork and focused awareness, often including a re-enactment of the birth process, can have therapeutic benefits. ...


Some people believe physical immortality would not be possible or even desirable. Jacques-Yves Cousteau, in the preface to his book The Ocean World, expressed his meditations on physical immortality, as a part of life and its adaptive processes: 'Death,' Cousteau states, 'is fundamental to evolution;' and 'evolution is fundamental to survival'. He concludes that, biologically speaking, 'immortality does not present a possible means to avoid death': "Mortal or immortal, [an organism] must die." Michael Shermer believes there is no significant scientific evidence for the proposed methods of achieving physical immortality. He says about them, "All have some basis in science, but none has achieved anything like scientific confirmation." Jacques-Yves Cousteau (June 11, 1910 - June 25, 1997) was a French naval officer, explorer and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water. ... Death is either the cessation of life in a living organism or the state of the organism after that event. ... Charles Darwin, the father of modern evolutionary theory In the life sciences, evolution is a change in the traits of living organisms over generations, including the emergence of new species. ... Survival is a Bob Marley album, released on October 2, 1979. ... Biology studies the variety of life (clockwise from top-left) E. coli, tree fern, gazelle, Goliath beetle Biology is the science of life (from the Greek words bios = life and logos = word). ... Michael Shermer is a science writer, founder of The Skeptics Society, and editor of its magazine Skeptic, which is largely devoted to investigating supernatural or pseudoscientific claims. ...


In Hindu myth & Yoga powers, there is rumoured to be what is known as "body jumping" - a forgotten and voodoo term used to denote a person chanting a mantra to jump into another host and therefore live a longer life. Many Indian fables and tales include such instances of people doing so, that such an "immortality" method cannot be dismissed outright. Hatha Yoga posture Yoga is a form of mysticism that developed on the Indian subcontinent in the Hindu cultural context. ...


Spiritual immortality

Spiritual immortality, on the other hand, is a belief that is expressed in nearly every religious tradition. In both Western and Eastern religions, the spirit is an energy or force that transcends the mortal shell, and returns to either the heavens or the cycle of life, directly or indirectly depending on the tradition. Below we consider the perspective some of the world's most popular religions on spiritual immortality. Religion, sometimes used interchangeably with faith, is commonly defined as belief concerning the supernatural, sacred, or divine, and the practices and institutions associated with such belief. ...


Buddhists believe that a person goes through a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. However, in Buddhism there is no belief in an eternal soul, but rather a collection of habits, desires, and memories. After death a person is reborn on either as a human or in some other form, depending on the fruition of karma. Statues of Buddha such as this, the Tian Tan Buddha statue in Hong Kong, remind followers to practice right living. ...


Christians believe that every person will be resurrected bodily: some to life forever in the presence of God, and some to never-ending consciousness of guilt, separation from God, and punishment for sin. Eternal damnation is depicted in the Bible as a realm of constant physical and spiritual anguish in a lake of fire, and a realm of darkness away from God. Some suggest that the fires of Hell are a theological metaphor, standing for the inescapable presence of God endured in absence of love for God. Catholic theology also teaches that there is a realm called Purgatory where souls who have accepted Jesus are purged of their sins before they are admitted into Heaven. Some Christian sects also believe in a third realm called Limbo (Latin: border), which is the final destination of souls who have not been baptized, but who have been innocent of mortal sin. Souls in Limbo include unbaptized infants and those who lived virtuously but were never exposed to Christianity in their lifetimes. The term Christian means belonging to Christ and is derived from the Greek noun Χριστός Khristós which means anointed one, which is itself a translation of the Hebrew word Moshiach (Hebrew: משיח, also written Messiah), (and in Arabic it is pronounced Maseeh مسيح). ...


Hinduism believes in an immortal soul which is reincarnated after death. According to Hinduism, people repeat a cycle of life, death, and rebirth (a cycle called samsara). If they live their life well, their Karma increases and their station in the next life will be higher, and conversely lower if they live their life poorly. Eventually after many life times of perfecting one's karma, the soul is freed from the cycle and gets to live forever with God. Hinduism has no version of Hell, although if a soul consistently lives very evil lives, they could work their way down to the very bottom of the cycle. This article is about the Hindu religion; for other meanings of the word, see Hindu (disambiguation). ... Reincarnation, also called transmigration of souls, is the rebirth in another body (after physical death), of some critical part of a persons personality or spirit. ...


Islam believes that everyone has an immortal soul that will live on in either Paradise or Hell depending on how one lives their life. Like Christianity and Judaism, there are no second chances following death in Islam. On judgement day one's place of existence for all eternity is decided. Islam (Arabic al-islām الإسلام,  listen) the submission to God is a monotheistic faith and the worlds second-largest religion. ...


Judaism claims that the righteous dead will be resurrected in the "messianic age" with the coming of the messiah. They will then be granted immortality in a perfect world. The wicked dead, on the other hand, will not be resurrected at all. This is in contrast to Christianity where the wicked dead are still immortal and exist forever in Hell. This is not the only Jewish belief about the afterlife. Others do believe in a version of Hell. The Torah is not specific about the afterlife, so there are differences in views among believers. The Star of David, a common symbol of Jews and Judaism Judaism is the religion and culture of the Jewish people and one of the first recorded monotheistic faiths. ...


Shinto claims that except for those who choose or are dispatched to the underground world of Yomi, every living and non-living beings may lose their body but not their Tamashii (soul) and they live together with mortal souls as an immortal being called Kami. Unlike the previously mentioned religions, Shinto lets anything to attain Kami status regardless of its existence before becoming Kami. Therefore, even those that do not believe in Shinto may choose to become Kami, as well as things like a rock, a tree, or even a robot. Some may be reincarnated for various reasons. Shinto has no version of Hell or a judgement day. A torii at Itsukushima Shrine Shintō (Japanese: 神道) is the native religion of Japan and was the state religion of Japan for Japanese militarism in times from about end of the 19th century to the end of World War II. It involves the worship of kami, which could be translated... The Japanese word for underworld, like Hades or Hell, Yomi(黄泉) is most commonly known for Izanami retreating there after her death. ... Kami (神) is the Japanese word for god. The word is used to indicate any sort of god, beings of a higher place or belonging to a different sphere of existence. ...


Concepts of immortality

Considerations of immortality usually bring to mind the idea of unending existence, a freedom from the concerns of annihilation and death. Often times, talk of the immortality of the soul arises in conjunction with talk of immortality. The ideas of science and religion find common goals in the perpetuity of man's existence.


Unending existence is too simple a condition for immortality

As a thought experiment, suppose that clinical immortality were possible, in which through advanced life support machinery or similar, the bodily functions of a comatose human could be kept running in perpetuity. Is it good news to keep a vegetative human's heart pumping for aeons? According to the vast majority of ethicists, "Not at all," since unending biological functioning is not what is at issue in immortality. Ultimately, what one desires is some sort of permanent preservation of personal identity, not just unceasing metabolic integrity. In philosophy, physics, and other fields, a thought experiment (from the German Gedankenexperiment) is an attempt to solve a problem using the power of human imagination. ...


This brings up the philosophical issue of the meaning of consciousness. As another thought experiment, suppose a surgeon replaces part of a man's brain with a pacemaker (this is actually done to treat Parkinson's). After this procedure is done, the patient comes out of his anesthesia feeling like the same person. For the intentions of this experiment, suppose that doctors already fully understand the brain and are able to successfully move sections of the brain's neural network and memories onto hardware where they can perfectly emulate the "architecture" of the brain. Over a period of time, suppose that the individual has many more operations with the intent of gradually replacing parts of his brain with computer hardware. Eventually, the man has a brain made entirely out of computer parts. The man comes out claiming that he is the same person as before. He has the same memories and acts the same.


Now suppose that instead of replacing parts of his brain with hardware, he copies the entire brain onto hardware. The computerized version of this man's brain acts the same way, and claims that it is the same man who underwent the procedure. The original man is still alive, however. Are the machine and the man the same person? Are they somehow linked in consciousness? These are the types of situations that illustrate the lack of knowledge concerning the meaning of consciousness that we as a civilization currently possess.


The freedom from concerns of annihilation and death is insufficient for immortality

Essential to many of the world's religions is a doctrine of an eternal afterlife. But well known narratives from Christianity and Islam show why freedom from annihilation and death could (in principle) not be desirable: Eternal links here. ... Afterlife (also known as life after death) is a generic term referring to a continuation of existence, typically spiritual and experiential, beyond this world, or after death. ...

"The rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence."- (Luke 16:22-26 King James Bible Translation)
"Those who are wretched shall be in the Fire: There will be for them therein (nothing but) the heaving of sighs and sobs: They will dwell therein for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure, except as thy Lord willeth: for thy Lord is the (sure) accomplisher of what He planneth. And those who are blessed shall be in the Garden: They will dwell therein for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure, except as thy Lord willeth: a gift without break." - (The Noble Qur'an, 11:106-108)

Instances from other religions could be adduced. Mere perpetual existence is not enough. Ultimately, one desires that this existence be of a desirable quality. As the prevalence of suicide suggests, people would often prefer not to exist at all, than exist in a severely unpleasant environment. The Gospel of Luke is the third of the four canonical Gospels of the New Testament, which tell the story of Jesus life, death, and resurrection. ... The Quran (Arabic al-qurʾān أَلْقُرآن; its literal meaning is the recitation and is often called Al Quran Al Karim: The Noble Quran, also transliterated as Quran, Koran, and less commonly Alcoran) is the holy book of Islam. ...


When talk of a "soul" arises

When talk of a "soul" arises, immediately, concerns of psychology and metaphysics become relevant. Suppose, as yet, another thought experiment: Psychology (ancient Greek: psyche = soul and logos = word) is the study of behaviour, mind and thought. ... Metaphysics (Greek words meta = after/beyond and physics = nature) is a branch of philosophy concerned with the study of first principles and being (ontology). ...


An engineer produces a wondrous, new, nanotechnology machine. At two key moments during life, he might eagerly announce, a human would step into this device. At the first trip into the device, a full molecular scan of all 7 x 1027 atoms [4] (http://www.nanomedicine.com/NMI/3.1.htm#p1) in the body is recorded. At the second trip into the device, ideally many years later, the molecular structure is instantly dissimilated. Furthermore, during this second trip, a reference is taken of the earlier scan, and an appropriate amount of organic goo is added or subtracted to precisely match the configuration of materials original to the 7 x 1027 atoms as configured at the first scan. As an application—Jones at 30 walks in; Jones at 30 walks out. Years later, Jones at 80 walks in; Jones (allegedly) at 30 walks out. Has the engineer done Jones a favor? A mite next to a gear chain produced using nanotechnology Nanotechnology comprises technological developments on the nanometer scale, usually 0. ...


According to most ethicists, the engineer has not done Jones a favor even if Jones could, as it were, "wash, rinse, and repeat" this whole cycle indefinitely. First off, it is anything but clear that the human exiting the machine at the second trip is Jones. Call the person who steps out (whether he is Jones or not) "Jones*". Presuming that memory is a physiological structure encoded by neural pathways, Jones* would not preserve the memory of Jones, since Jones* would not have the encoded neural pathways of an 80-year-old, but only of a 30-year-old. Hence, all that Jones was (after 30, anyway) as the collection of memory experiences upon second entry into the device is lost; thus, Jones is effectively dead. Immortality would offer little if the best results obtainable were a recurring coda of temporal duplicates.


Second, even if the eager engineer were to modify his machine (due to popular demand) so as to configure all the neural pathways of Jones* to match Jones, this would still present problems. Jones does not want a perfect duplicate to exit the machine at the second trip, but Jones himself wants to exit the machine. Granted, if all were done discreetly, Jones' wife, Jones' mistress, and Jones' poker buddies would think that Jones* was Jones, and even Jones* himself might think he was Jones, but thinking that X is true is hardly a guarantee that X really is true.


Third, the Jones/Jones* problem is at issue in religious accounts of resurrection. Since humans share substantial quanta of their atoms with others who have preceded them in history (i.e., coffins leak, eventually, and nature cycles the organic material back through the biosphere), any resurrection cannot use all the original atomic collection for each individual to be resurrected. New material would be required; thus, worries about a duplicate thinking that s/he was the original person arise for the pious as well as for the pagan. The theological answer to this objection is that either: A) it doesn't matter if all your exact biomatter is exactly the same at the time of resurrection as when you died, so long as your soul is inside. Or B) if God is going to use divine power to resurrect a slew of people he can use divine power to redivvy up the biomatter as well if that's important.


Apparently, on any account where immortality requires a remanufacture of a body in order to maintain character identity, seemingly insurmountable difficulties present themselves, especially due to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Some views of quantum immortality approach the general issue of immortality differently. Werner Heisenberg Werner Karl Heisenberg (December 5, 1901 – February 1, 1976) was a celebrated German physicist and Nobel laureate, one of the founders of quantum mechanics. ... In quantum physics, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, sometimes called the Heisenberg indeterminacy principle, expresses a limitation on accuracy of (nearly) simultaneous measurement of observables such as the position and the momentum of a particle. ... Quantum immortality is the name for the speculation that the Everett many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that a conscious being cannot cease to be. ...


Symbols of immortality

Ankh
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Trefoil knot

There are numerous symbols representing immortality. Pictured here is an Egyptian symbol of life that holds connotations of immortality when depicted in the hands of the Gods and Pharos who were seen as having control over the journey of life, the ankh (left). The mobius band in the shape of a trefoil knot is another symbol of immortality. Most symbolic representations of infinity or the life cycle are often used to repreasent immortality depending on the context they are placed in. Other examples include the Uroboros and the phoenix.
Download high resolution version (500x878, 30 KB)The original image was created by Ihcoyc who said: An ankh. ... Download high resolution version (500x878, 30 KB)The original image was created by Ihcoyc who said: An ankh. ... Diagram of a right trefoil knot. ... Diagram of a right trefoil knot. ... Ankh The ankh (pronounced onk) was the Egyptian hieroglyphic character that stood for the word ʿnḫ, which means life. ... The Möbius strip or Möbius band (named after the German mathematician and astronomer August Ferdinand Möbius) is a topological object with only one surface and only one edge. ... Categories: Stub | Knot theory ... The Ouroboros Alternate spelling: Uroboros / Uroborus The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a snake or dragon swallowing its tail, constrastingly creating itself and forming a circle. ... The phoenix from the Aberdeen Bestiary. ...


Immortality in fiction

Immortal beings and species abound in fiction, especially fantasy fiction, and the meaning of "immortal" tends to vary. In biology, a species is a kind of organism. ... The Three Graces, here in a painting by Sandro Botticelli, were the goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity and fertility in Greek mythology. ... Look up Fantasy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary For other definitions of fantasy, see fantasy (psychology). ...


Some fictional and mythological beings are completely immortal (or very nearly so) in that they are immune to death by injury, disease and age. Examples include various types of gods and the evil Cthulhu. Sometimes such powerful immortals can only be killed by each other, as is the case with the Q from the Star Trek series. Even if something can't be killed, a common plot device involves putting an immortal being into a slumber or limbo, as is done with Sauron in J.R.R Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Storytellers often make it a point to give weaknesses to even the most indestructible of beings. For instance, the greek hero Achilles was supposed to be invincible, yet his enemies were able to use his infamous weakness to slay him. This article is about a system of myths. ... The term God is used to designate a Supreme Being, however, there are countless definitions of God. ... The Great Old One. ... In the Star Trek fictional universe, the Q are a race of near-omnipotent, immortal and near-omniscient god-like beings from a parallel existence called the Q Continuum. ... The Enterprise boldly going where no man had gone before. ... The main part of this article relates to the last versions of Middle-earths history, and as such may controvert parts of The Silmarillion. ... J. R. R. Tolkien in 1916, wearing his British Army uniform in a photograph from the middle years of WW1. ... Dust jacket of the 1968 UK edition The one ring of power The Lord of the Rings is an epic fantasy story by J. R. R. Tolkien, a sequel to his earlier work, The Hobbit. ... For other uses, see Achilles (disambiguation). ...


Many fictitious species are said to be immortal if they cannot die of old age, even though they can be killed through other means, such as injury (known in some role playing games as "limited immortality"). Modern fantasy elves are an example of such a species, though in some cases they have a long but finite lifespan. Other creatures, such as vampires and the immortals in the film Highlander, can only die from specific injuries. The list of such injuries for vampires varies somewhat on the particular work or inspiring mythos; for example a stake through the heart may be anywhere from incapacitating to instantly fatal. An artists rendition of an elf, as a peaceful woodland humanoid. ... Count Orlok from Nosferatu A vampire is a mythical or folkloric creature said to subsist on human and/or animal blood often having magical powers and the ability to transform. ... Highlander is a series of fantasy movies featuring Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert), the Highlander of the title. ...


A fictional creature might also be considered immortal if its life span is just unimaginably long. For instance, the dragons in some fantasy works can eventually die of old age, but often their lifespan is measured in the thousands of years (or perhaps longer), so they're considered immortal by shorter lived species (such as humans). Elves and other fae in some works also fall into this category. Beings like this often remind humans of their greatest weaknesses by uttering the derisive cliché "mere mortals". The term dragon, according to context, may be referring to: Dragons of ancient mythology Chinese dragon, mythical creature European dragon, mythical creature Persian dragon (Azhi Dahaka) Living things named after ancient dragons Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis), a big lizard (a reptile) Some small species of lizards in Australia, in the... A cliché (from French, stereotype) is a phrase or expression, or the idea expressed by it, that has been overused to the point of losing its intended force or novelty, especially where the same expression was at one time distinctively forceful or novel. ...


Immortality can be used as a prize, something to be earned by great achievement. Legendary heroes, great magicians and wise elders sometimes rise to the ranks of immortality in fiction and mythology. It can be the reward at the end of a great quest, such as the quest for the Holy Grail or the ancient Epic of Gilgamesh. When immortality is something that can be bought, works of fiction will often make judgements regarding the high price that must be paid. Immortality is often the desire of evil characters as well. If immortality is something that can be earned, then it can also be taken away, much to the dismay of many an immortal villain. Sir Galahad, a hero of Arthurian legend In many myths and folk tales, a hero is a man or woman (the latter often called a heroine), traditionally the protagonist of a story, legend or saga, commonly possessed of abilities or character far greater than that of a typical person, which... Magician redirects here. ... The quest is a plot device frequently found in mythology and literature. ... In Christian mythology, the Holy Grail was the dish, plate, cup or vessel that caught Jesus blood during his crucifixion. ... The Deluge tablet of the Gilgamesh epic in Akkadian The Epic of Gilgamesh is from Babylonia, dating from long after the time that king Gilgamesh was supposed to have ruled. ... Snidely Whiplash, a stereotypical villain. ...


Since immortality is seen as a desire of humanity, themes involving immortality often explore the disadvantages as well as the advantages of such a trait. Sometimes immortality is used as a punishment, or a curse that might be intended to teach a lesson. It is not uncommon to find immortal characters yearning for death. A similar, though somehwat different theme, concerned Elves and Men in Middle Earth. While the immortality of Elves was not explicitly a curse, the mortality of humans was viewed as a gift. Wiktionary has a definition of: Curse A curse is a prayer asking that a god or similar spirit bring misfortune to someone; an imprecation or execration, the opposite of a blessing or charm. ... ...


Stories about immortality can also explore the possibilities and consequences of living for vast spans of time.


In Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, the inhabitants of the island of Immortals (near Japan) don't die, but they age and became ill, demented and a nuisance to themselves and those surrounding them. Swift presents immortality as a curse rather than a blessing. Jonathan Swift Jonathan Swift (November 30, 1667 - October 19, 1745) was an Anglo-Irish writer and satirist. ... Gullivers Travels (1726, amended 1735) is a work of fiction by Jonathan Swift that is both a satire on human nature and a parody of the travellers tales literary sub-genre. ...


In the film Highlander, the immortal main character grows cynical after seeing friends and lovers grow old and die. Highlander is a series of fantasy movies featuring Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert), the Highlander of the title. ...


In the Hyperion Cantos Universe, a parasite originating from the planet Hyperion called the cruciform brings immortality, being able to regenerate the body after death. Wealthy humans can also achieve significant increase of their life expectancy thanks to the expensive Poulsen treatments. Hyperion Hyperion (book) redirects here. ...


Tezuka Osamu's lifework Phoenix (known in Japan as Hi no Tori) had a phoenix whose blood would provide immortality, in various age, many "heroes" and "heroines" would strive for immortality only to realize that there is something beyond eternal life. In a story titled "Raise hen", lit. "next world story", the last remaining human male who survived a holocaust and blessed or cursed with immortality through the phoenix blood, would create another beginning of life. In an immortal form, he would see slugs who gained intelligence to yet destroy themselves again in another holocaust. He would seed the earth again with life that would become present day human, meaning us and leave the earth for good to join his sweetheart who passed away billions of years ago in something like a heaven. A clock designed by Osamu Tezuka, which stands in the Kyoto Station. ... Phoenix, originally Hi no Tori (火の鳥) in Japan, is a manga series made by Osamu Tezuka. ... The phoenix from the Aberdeen Bestiary. ... The heavens are the sky, the celestial sphere, or outer space. ...


See also

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File links The following pages link to this file: Charles Farrar Browne Definitions of music Edmund Spenser Floccinaucinihilipilification Main Page James Cagney Plautus Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead Thomas J. Watson William Penn Pericles Hyman G. Rickover Julian of Norwich Wikipedia:About Eric Gill Main Page/Temp Virginia Satir Raymond Williams... Wikiquote is a sister project of Wikipedia, using the same MediaWiki software. ... Afterlife (also known as life after death) is a generic term referring to a continuation of existence, typically spiritual and experiential, beyond this world, or after death. ... Ageing or aging is the process of getting older. ... Gerontology is the study of the elderly, and of the aging process itself. ... Bioethics is the ethics of biological science and medicine. ... Biological immortality can be defined as the absence of a sustained increase in rate of mortality as a function of age. ... Consciousness is a quality of the mind generally regarded to comprise qualities such as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, sapience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and ones environment. ... Cryonics is the practice of preserving organisms, or at least their brains, for possible future revival by storing them at cryogenic temperatures where metabolism and decay are almost completely stopped. ... Death is either the cessation of life in a living organism or the state of the organism after that event. ... The Immortality Institute (ImmInst) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with more than 1,500 members which works to fulfill its goal to conquer the blight of involuntary death. ... Infinity has discrete meanings in mathematics, philosophy, theology and everyday life. ... Life is a multi-faceted concept. ... Life extension consists of attempts to extend human life beyond the current maximum lifespan. ... Longevity is long life or existence. ... Molecular Nanotechnology (MNT) is nanotechnology using molecular manufacturing, an anticipated technology based on positionally-controlled mechanosynthesis guided by molecular machine systems. ... The philosophers stone, a longtime Holy Grail of Western alchemy, is a mythical substance that supposedly could turn inexpensive metals into gold and/or create an elixir that would make humans immortal. ... Quantum immortality is the name for the speculation that the Everett many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that a conscious being cannot cease to be. ... Reincarnation, also called transmigration of souls, is the rebirth in another body (after physical death), of some critical part of a persons personality or spirit. ... Rejuvenation is the procedure of reversing the aging process, thus regaining youth. ... This article is about the religious meaning of the word Resurrection. For other meanings see Resurrection (disambiguation). ... In biology, senescence is the state or process of aging. ... In futurism, a technological singularity is a predicted point in the development of a civilization at which technological progress accelerates beyond the ability of present-day humans to fully comprehend or predict. ...

External links

  • Dictionary of the history of Ideas: (http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/cgi-local/DHI/dhi.cgi?id=dv1-76) Death and Immortality
  • KurzweilAI.net (http://www.kurzweilai.net/)
  • Immortality Institute (http://www.imminst.org/)
  • Immortality Message Board (http://www.jhershierra.com/immortality/)
  • The NanoAging Institute (http://www.nanoaging.com/)
  • "Inventor Kurzweil Aiming to Live Forever"; RedNova (http://www.rednova.com/news/display/?id=127158)

Further reading

  • Milbourne Christopher. 1979. Search for the Soul, New York: Thomas Crowell. ISBN 069001760x
  • Ben Bova. 2000. Immortality: How Science Is Extending Your Life Span-and Changing the World. New York: Avon. ISBN 0380793180
  • R. Michael Perry. 2000. Forever For All: Moral philosophy, Cryonics, and the Scientific Prospects for Immortality. New York: Universal Publishers. ISBN 1581127243
  • Paul Edwards. 1997. Immortality. Prometheus Books. ISBN 1573921300
  • Robert A. Freitas Jr.. 2002. "Death is an Outrage" (http://www.rfreitas.com/Nano/DeathIsAnOutrage.htm)
  • Alexander, Brian. 2003. Rapture: How Biotech Became the New Religion. Basic Books. ISBN 0738207616
  • Hall, Stephen S. 2003. Merchants of Immortality: Chasing the Dream of Human Life Extension. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0618095241
  • Immortality Institute. 2004. The Scientific Conquest Of Death. Libros En Red. ISBN 9875611352
  • West, Michael D. 2003. The Immortal Cell: One Scientist's Quest to Solve the Mystery of Human Aging. Doubleday. ISBN 0385509286
  • Extropy Institute. EXTROPY: The Journal of Transhumanist Thought.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Eternal Life (485 words)
The Greek word PISTEUO in the present tense means you have eternal life the moment you believe, and you continue to have it.
Eternal life is imputed to the human spirit, which is created for you by God the Holy Spirit at regeneration.
Eternal life belongs only to the believer who is never without a body.
PFRS Eternal Security (OSAS) (2580 words)
That is, we are in possession of eternal life while we are "believing." We can logically infer from this statement that God did not give His only begotten Son in order that those who believed once - for - all might not to perish.
But, the Bible teaches that "eternal life" is a continuous flowing stream of life which is impossible to exhaust.
Jesus indicated that His giving "everlasting life" was a continual action in the present, not a past action at the moment of salvation.
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