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Author Topic: If we became immortal, would we breed emotions out?  (Read 1728 times)

Offline ConfusedHermit

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A tortoise of 90 years still wants to live because it lacks the emotion 'this pain isn't worth living through' and only has the primal 'surviving and passing on genes is all that matters.'

A human of 90 years is more likely to want to die because we DO possess that emotion.

But say we became immortal somehow. Physically--not via downloading our minds into computers.

Over time we'd be stuck wanting to die, but being unable to die. If we kept breeding, would we breed out emotions?

And if we did, would that be considered 'evolution' (an improvement) or 'devolution' (us becoming lesser as a species)?


 

Offline RD

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Re: If we became immortal, would we breed emotions out?
« Reply #1 on: 31/07/2012 21:38:20 »
... say we became immortal ...

then the queue at the Post Office to collect the old-age-pension is going to become very long.   :)
« Last Edit: 31/07/2012 21:46:33 by RD »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: If we became immortal, would we breed emotions out?
« Reply #2 on: 31/07/2012 21:51:02 »
Keep in mind.
If humans became immortal.
And, were "stuck on earth".
Then there would be a trade-off between wanting to live forever...  and propagating like rabbits. 

I'm not sure there is a strong desire to die.
But, I suppose in part it would depend on whether we can keep the bodies of a teenager when we turn 100...  1000?

Elderly people can still experience joy & wonder.  But, often get stuck worrying about aches, pains, and loosing their mind.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: If we became immortal, would we breed emotions out?
« Reply #3 on: 01/08/2012 01:11:32 »
I'm not sure the concept of reason vs emotions is really up to date with neurology anymore. They seem to be more connected and equally necessary than previously thought in brain function, at least from what I've read.

 Two examples that come to mind that illustrate this: I read an article about a male with a brain injury that resulted in a lack any emotional feeling or expression. His memory, perception, comprehension, language ability, etc appeared to be intact. Doctors studying his case wondered if he would be "super logical" in his thinking without the interference of emotions, but to their surprise they found that he had an incredibly difficult time making decisions, especially when one choice did not have a great advantage over another. He couldnt decide what color pen to sign a document with at work, and would stand for an hour trying to decide which breakfast cereal to buy in the grocery store, weighing all the options. We  rely on reason to analyze choices, but emotion may be the spark that actually causes us to finally make a decision and act on it.

Emotion seems to be motivating in other ways. In an anatomy lecture about the thalamus, a professor said that one of its jobs in the brain was to scan outside stimuli and if it detected something unexpected or unusual, signal other parts of the brain to pay attention to it. The thalamus attaches an emotional sensation to incoming information, an expectation that something might be pleasant or harmful. If the emotional tag says "this is really bad, " the fight or flight response is activated via the hypothalamus even before the information is completely analyzed by higher levels of the brain. In other words, our emotional responses have a survival advantage in causing us to respond very quickly to threats, where as reason often takes too much time.
« Last Edit: 01/08/2012 01:14:12 by cheryl j »
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: If we became immortal, would we breed emotions out?
« Reply #4 on: 01/08/2012 11:09:46 »
... say we became immortal ...

then the queue at the Post Office to collect the old-age-pension is going to become very long.   :)

Its a long queue today.
Today??? I've been here since last month!



If we became immortal, I don't think we would have the space or resources to be able to breed.
 

Offline ConfusedHermit

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Re: If we became immortal, would we breed emotions out?
« Reply #5 on: 01/08/2012 15:11:21 »
Those hypothetical questions always tease my brain.

Thanks for the responses, everyone :3
 

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Re: If we became immortal, would we breed emotions out?
« Reply #5 on: 01/08/2012 15:11:21 »

 

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