Is Immortality Achievable?

Why do we want to live forever?

Before diving deep into how we may soon become immortal, it’s interesting to understand why humanity is so interested in immortality. Why have we sought for so many centuries to extend our lifespan?

What makes us mortal?

Clearly, we are mortal because we die. Our heart stops beating and all our cells, deprived of oxygen, slowly die. It can be because of an accident or an untreatable disease (including old age). Whatever the cause, no human being has ever managed to live longer than 122 years.

How can we achieve immortality?

Immortality is the capability to live forever. It could be achieved in different ways. For example, by creating a body that doesn’t age and is resistant to diseases. Or by replacing the weakest body parts with technological components. We could also create a digital copy of our brains. Our physical body would perish… But isn’t it a fair price to pay for immortality?

Biological immortality

Biological immortality happens when an organism is not affected by cellular senescence. Its cells don’t age: they can therefore divide infinitely, keeping the organism’s system healthy and alive. In nature, there are some animals that can live significantly longer than human beings. One example is the so-called “immortal jellyfish”. This jellyfish could potentially live forever. Its cells do age but, at the same time, they can rejuvenate themselves when needed.

Cybernetic immortality

If we want to make sure that external causes will have a hard time killing us, cybernetic immortality could be an option. The human body is built by a series of systems: muscular system, respiratory system, digestive system, nervous system etc. These systems interact with each other, creating a sophisticated organisation. The idea behind cybernetic immortality is that our “organisation” can survive a partial, or even a complete, change of the material from which it is built.

Virtual immortality

How far are we from being able to upload someone’s brain?

When will we become immortal?

According to Dr. Ian Pearson, a UK renowned futurologist, the answer is soon. As he claimed in an interview to The Sun, around 2045 we will manage to develop the first technologies that enable us to upload our brains and connect them to machines. Around roughly 2050, rich people will be the first to achieve immortality, spending millions on these new technologies. But it won’t take long before even middle and low income people will be able to afford this digital immortality. Following Dr. Pearson’s prediction, before the end of the century humans won’t die anymore.

Technological singularity

Dr. Ian Pearson is not the only one claiming that immortality is at hand. Several futurist and transhumanist experts are positive that we will soon manage to overcome death. When? Once we reach technological singularity, a hypothetical point in time at which technological growth becomes uncontrollable and irreversible.

Will cryonics make us immortal?

Many connect biostasis to immortality. If you can stop your biological processes until medical technology can treat you, you temporarily postpone death. If you do it every time you are about to die, you would reach a sort of “interrupted immortality”.

Conclusion

We are living at a time where technological advancements could possibly make us achieve immortality. If Dr. Ian Pearson is right, our generation will soon be immortal.

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