What Is Immortality?
Immortality can be understood in many ways. The remembrance of somebody by the bereaved might be said to be one kind of eternal life. Fame might be another. Yet, none of these ways fulfills the original desire for continuation of personality and consciousness. On the consciousness level there are technically enabled possibilities of immortality as well. It might be possible to telepathically network consciousness between a number of individuals. Many individuals thus creating a pool of consciousness. When one of the individuals dies the experiences of that individual will live on in the collective. Similarly, it may be possible to upload personality to computers and network the uploaded personalities. For these kinds of scenarios the question becomes whether the individual who wants to be immortal will be drowned out by being only one small drop in a sea of collective consciousness. Ontological question abound. What if personalities are uploaded to computers, but not networked. Would that be human life as we know it and want it? What about the original self being left over in the mortal coil? What if you make successive uploads? Copies of the self would be made, but the you you would presumably remain corporally bound. Cloning may be another way to retain identicality, whilst still losing continuity of the self. Would not the ultimate consequence of our mastery of nature and technology mean that each individual would retire into an own virtual world – meaning that ‘Every Man is an island’?