The Guardian view on immortality: not for the faint-hearted | Editorial

Good Friday is a suitable day seems to take into account the fact that in a time in which life expectancy has almost doubled, the mankind is more confused than ever, about death. Almost half of the UK population requires that the death is complete destruction; an almost equal number still doesn’t believe that, you know, in some form of life after death, and, for a theme notably absent in the eye-witness report of the data, a surprisingly small proportion of less than 10%, they will see what happens. Meanwhile, in California, but also elsewhere, there are enormously rich men, who believe that death is life, there is a problem with a technological solution, which they hope to benefit from it.

Ideal technological immortality come in two varieties. There are those who hope that their bodies will be preserved, or at least a long, almost unlimited, usually by freezing. There is absolutely no reason to assume that today’s technology allows the brain to be frozen and rethawed without a non-functioning state. The hope is that this will be changed by some future breakthroughs is an act of faith, at least as remarkable as the assumption that Jesus, risen from the dead. This conviction was at least marked since its earliest appearance through a saving ambiguity about what it actually means. Saint Paul, for example, was absolutely sure it was happening, but failed to explain what could have been.

The second type of technological of the immortality of an immaterial soul – a pattern of electrical and chemical activity, which can be copied from the brain in silicon, and then are reactivated, either in a computer or transfer them back to a comfortable human brain. Perhaps both: a contemporary science fiction novel, Cory Doctorow’s Walkaway, takes the idea of the personalities, the computer programs, the draw a logical consequence of, and intends that the several copies of the same program – the same person running at the same time in different networks. This is the next one who will ever have the fantasy of cloning identical human beings.

These approaches differ in the life after the death of most of the world’s religions, that you have no moral aspect. Perhaps to the believer, it is to be a moral quality, rich enough to afford such fantasies, but the rest of the world, it looks like a giant leap backwards. This amoral attitude to immortality in a world before the great proselytizing world religions. Christianity, Islam and Buddhism all have ideas of a beyond, the for injustice before death. This was an important novelty. Most of the other religious systems, if they had no concept of life after death, had one without justice. The twittering shades, whom Odysseus fed with blood were not punished for anything, except dead. The next person can get a Ghost to justice is a desire for revenge. Although the belief in heaven and hell to be able to satisfy that desire, so that a Christian journalist, outraged over the slaughter of Christians in Egypt this week, will comfort themselves that the murderers are “suffering a thousand times worse in hell,” it also served as the basis of a conception of justice that is wider than revenge, and be able to put an end to the repression.

A belief in heaven and hell tends to the enforcement of social norms, discouraging fraud on the one hand, but also holding the potential to be in this life pretty hellish for those who outside of the standards for any reason, including gay people. Social liberalism often goes hand-in-hand with a rejection of life after death, but also destructive liberalism. If this life is all we have, success before death-the only way is worthwhile. But who is to judge that success, if not for posterity? This itself implies a kind of life after death. “To posterity, to call, to cry on your grave”, as Robert Graves pointed out, and if you are really dead you can’t cry out of your grave.

Suppose, however, that the tech billionaires to your wishes. Would you be happy then? You would certainly be envied. Immortality is a promise, to die, that the people are ready to revive whether in anticipation of heaven, or some earthly miracle, back to their frozen bodies. The owner would certainly be ready to kill to keep it. But once achieved at any price the rest of us, would it suffice?

The prospect of a life is infinite, the prospect of the infinite futility will be extended after some time. It is often said that heaven would be extremely boring because all the interesting people end up in hell. But also the company of saints would be preferable that the disciples of Ayn Rand.