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If (bio)technology allowed you to extend life, would you?

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Would you like to extend your life if (bio)technology allows it?

Yes
44
46%
No
39
41%
I Don't Know
13
14%
 
Total votes : 96

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Betelgeuse Alliance
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Founded: Oct 19, 2018
Anarchy

If (bio)technology allowed you to extend life, would you?

Postby Betelgeuse Alliance » Wed Nov 23, 2022 5:47 pm

While I know that we are likely nowhere near defeating aging yet, there's already quite some projects around the world trying to contribute to the reversal of aging by addressing the factors that play a role in this biological process. Technology in general is advancing, which, with time, I think already could be leading to better and more accurate diagnoses and treatments, which in turn can lead to longer lives.

However, note that I haven't looked too deeply into this topic as of now, so I'm not very knowledgeable on it and am purely asking this question as a fun hypothetical scenario to think about.

So, assuming a highly optimistic scenario where humanity somehow solves all the major problems we're currently facing (climate change, pollution, poverty, hunger, wars, etc.) so that it can be a better and far more sustainable place for all in the future, and life extension becomes easily accessible to all, would you make the decision to extend your life for as long as you want if aging reversal succeeds at some point, and/or if other options to avoid death present themselves such as extensive cybernetic enhancement, mind uploading, etc. within your lifetime? And also, assume that if you choose to extend your life indefinitely you always have the option to peacefully end it or reverse the decision if you so wish, as I know that the thought of living forever can be overwhelming for many, which I'll get into further below.

I personally would, because it is my idealistic pipe dream to witness the development and advancement of humanity into the future every step of the way while exploring what life and emerging new technology can bring to civilization as time moves on. If we can gain useful abilities/enhancements that we previously didn't have for example, I'd love to witness that. If we become a successfully space-faring civilization, I'd also love to witness that. If we find life somewhere out there in the universe, I'd love to witness that too (and if we find peaceful intelligent life, even better. :D). And this is barely scratching the surface.

However, I can see why this might not seem like an appealing option at all to many people. The thought of essentially living forever can be overwhelming for many reasons including (but certainly not limited to) life simply starting to drag on for far too long at some point, having to witness the passing of all friends, family, partners, etc. who chose not to extend their lives which then could lead to extreme feelings of depression and loneliness, uncertainties about any negative effects of life extension on our brains/minds in the long term and if we're able to counteract them before they arise, potential overpopulation challenges which may or may not arise depending on if and how we're able to manage them, or views on life in general.

Also note that it isn't exactly clear what consciousness even is at the moment and what will happen to it in case you go the more extreme cybernetics/mind uploading route, assuming that'll even be possible at some point in the first place. For example (and this is making some wild assumptions), if you're an outside observer who appears to witness a person's consciousness be transported into some kind of network or cybernetic body, to this outside observer, it might look like somebody's consciousness was indeed transported, but is that really the case? Who's to say if the 'original consciousness' has been destroyed in the process of transporting it, leaving a mere replica in the form of a bunch of computer data that appears to function (nearly) the same as the biological individual it was copied from but isn't truly sentient and/or sapient? I believe there's several hypotheses around what makes a consciousness what it is, for example if it's purely physical or if there's more to it, etc., but they're just that: hypotheses.

Anyways, all of this opens the door to some interesting discussions. Would you make the decision to extend your life for as long as you want, and do you want to explain why you would/wouldn't? Any other thoughts? Feel free to share them. :)

EDIT: Rephrased a few parts of this post for clarity. Previously I asked if you'd like 'to live forever', but since I thought 'forever' was a bit misleading, and due to potential confusion because of this, I rephrased it to 'living for as long as you want'.
Last edited by Betelgeuse Alliance on Sun Nov 27, 2022 12:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Fredrick Fazbears Pizzeria
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Postby Fredrick Fazbears Pizzeria » Wed Nov 23, 2022 5:50 pm

yes because i want to live forever
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Cannot think of a name
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Postby Cannot think of a name » Wed Nov 23, 2022 6:21 pm

Getting to choose when you're done would be nice I guess. Though I'm already starting to feel like I'm just waiting out the clock, so who knows.
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The Second Order of Life
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby The Second Order of Life » Wed Nov 23, 2022 6:21 pm

I've always found that trying to justify not living forever by saying that life would "drag for too long" is just a way of the human mind to trick you into not desiring something that you cannot realistically attain. It's like a self-defence mechanism that activates whenever you start to wander too close to existential crises and realising just how mortal and finite you are. As a staunch atheist, would I live forever if I could? Of fucking course I would! There isn't a magical resting place waiting for me in the afterlife, so the more life I get outta this one the better. You will not "grow tired" of it, because there's never a point where offing yourself will be worth it. You can 100% take comfort in the fact that no matter how screwed you are, you can always plan for LONG game, which means that you'll at least eventually succeed. You have infinite time, and once you realise that, there simply is no point in turning back.

This, however, becomes problematic to justify to a religious person whose faith includes a peaceful afterlife. At what point would you say "fuck it" and skip ahead to the good stuff? That is, if your religion doesn't think people who commit suicide don't go to the good place. If not, then you're screwed, because there is no way you're going to die unless you deliberately get yourself into a dangerous situation which kills you, which might lend you a ticket to purgatory, because most traditional gods are omniscient to an extent, especially the one from the abrahamic religions. Also, it poses the question: if people can theoretically live forever... can we escape the wrath of gods? We can violate whichever laws we want, so long as we just don't get killed our get ourselves killed (because it seems that the gods have decided we're simply not worth it anymore and have stopped sending prophets/signals/signs of their wrath and anger). Suddenly, religion becomes fully optional, because even if you believe that a god exists, you don't have to follow them anymore, because you might not actually get to ever face justice. All you have to do is be careful.

Also, I have to address this: capitalism is suddenly dead. There is simply no way a free-market system can sustain itself with the sudden uptick in population. Humanity either organises itself into a centrally-planned economy or it will starve by the millions. Technology will not be able to keep up with this new human race, and without proper assessment of resources and rapid expansion into extraterrestrial alternatives, humans will be faced with a pretty nasty situation to deal with. I know you said that, in this scenario, all the "major problems" would be solved, but realistically it can't be done in a purely capitalistic environment. Poverty is systemic, there will always be a reserve mass of unemployed workers to ensure the evolution of worker's rights and unity are both kept low. Unions can't prosper if workers are constantly fighting between themselves to occupy the job posts that feed their families. Before we could even hatch a sustainable plan for an ageless humanity, free market has to go, with haste.

With that out of the way, let's get to the inevitable consequence of the death of old age: overpopulation. We used to fear overpopulation quite a lot, especially after Thomas Malthus's overly simplistic view of it, but it never seems to have bothered us, mostly because technology has always spiked our efficiency in gathering the resources we need to live. Unfortunately, taking away natural death from humanity might finally set in motion the machinations for a Malthusian catastrophe, one from which we may only recover after thousands starve to death. The solution...?

There really isn't one.

As sad as it is for me to say, there is no way to solve overpopulation whilst having a human race that cannot die of old age. That, however, is only because I'm trying to do this while *respecting our current understanding of life and what is necessary to survive*. Were I to have a colder heart, there are a number of ways to solve this, many of which are authoritarian, but simply because they must be, given the circumnstances. Keep in mind I don't support anything I'm about to say:

I - Having a family? That's a privilege now, not a right. Every pregnancy must be pre-approved by populational control comissions, in a local level, who will report to a national level, that will be in charge of keeping the increase slow and constant (assuming nations must still exist, which would make this whole thing 10x harder).
II - All people capable of having children must submit to a pregnancy test every 4 months. If an unauthorised pregnancy is detected, it will be aborted.
III - If you want to be especially evil, go for eugenics. Have the comissions test for people whose genetic makeup will create more beneficial offspring. Of course, I'd recommend a lottery-type system instead, to be more democratic and fair, but I can't stop you from being a full-on nazi.
IV - Repeated infractions of anti-pregnancy laws could, if you want, result in what I'll colorfully call forced celibacy A.K.A surgically removing the criminal's ability to have or induce a pregnancy.

That about wraps up the dictator's guide to avoiding overpopulation. Again, items I and II are like this because they must be. Benevolence can only take you so far when you're talking about the future of humanity. We can afford to live in our luxuriously democratic systems and exalt freedom because we are given leniency through or technological advantage. Take that away, and we must resort to such methods. I'll just say this before I finish this overly-long reply: there is no way to democratically sustain a human race that cannot die of old age.
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Saiwania
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Saiwania » Wed Nov 23, 2022 7:11 pm

I would want to be like Dr. Gero/Android 20. I say yes to: no need to sleep, no need to eat. Even if unemployed forever, I wouldn't necessarily need anything that money could buy. That'd be just perfect.
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Worldly Philosophers
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Worldly Philosophers » Wed Nov 23, 2022 7:16 pm

Fuck yeah
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Last edited by Worldly Philosophers on Wed Nov 23, 2022 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bellise
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Bellise » Wed Nov 23, 2022 7:26 pm

If I could remain forever young, absolutely, without a second thought.

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El Lazaro
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Postby El Lazaro » Wed Nov 23, 2022 7:26 pm

As I said on a similar topic, I’d only accept a small amount of years, and if there was no choice, I’d rather die naturally than be immortal. The event of death is usually a tragedy, and I’d even say it always is. At the same time, the institution of death is beneficial. People are deeply flawed, and become inflexible. Progress requires mortality, and we’re very far from far enough.

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Picairn
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Postby Picairn » Wed Nov 23, 2022 7:40 pm

Nope, I'd welcome my death. Living forever isn't good when I have to watch everyone close to me die and spend my immortality in perpetual loneliness.

If everyone can be immortal? Wouldn't that be categorically unsustainable for the planet?
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Jabberwocky
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Postby Jabberwocky » Wed Nov 23, 2022 7:49 pm

Without reservation. Our current lifespan is a major ripoff.
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Samrif
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Postby Samrif » Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:06 pm

I have thought of a situation where I would live forever several times, and I have come to the conclusion that it’s not worth it.

First up would be the mental strain of losing all your loved ones, unless of course they too went through the procedure of living forever. Assuming they don't, I believe I would be unlikely to allow people to form close relationships with me a few centuries down the line as I would see people dying, leaving me behind.

Next comes the fact that objectively speaking human civilization will end at some point of time. Then what am I to do?

Also there will come a point in time where the solar system gets destroyed as the Sun dies. Even if I drift out into space I would live a very lonely life.

Not to mention the incredible boredom and monotony of living an immortal life.

Of course there are perks - I get to witness the future! Also I can learn all there is to learn, and become a true jack of all trades.

Overall I wouldn’t want to live forever, yet I am unsatisfied with the years an average human being gets to live, so I perhaps I would be satisfied with only extending my lifespan for a few millennia at most.

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Life empire
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Capitalizt

Postby Life empire » Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:08 pm

since you include the assumption you can reverse it (and there for die if you want) it goes from the worst fate in existence (by which I mean true immortality) to a very nice thing, all your family dieing might not be nice but it happens either way, people die and some of your reletives are likely to die before you either way, and not living for a long time means missing out on all the knowledge the future holds like what alien civilisation are like and such and I want to know those things, and the argument about life dragging on to long, you said yourself you can peacefully reverse it so you can end it if you want (otherwise this would be the worst fate ever), the argument about consciousness being lost in transfer is interesting (though only matter for mind upload, bio-tech this doesn't matter), I believe consciousness is formed by our brain and must be re-creatable the question is, is it a clone or is it you? is you tomorow even you or just a new person with the same memories? how would you know? it could already happen? either way the new clone is just as sentient as you are, if consciousness exists now it can be recreated because if it's possible it's possible (which is why a sentient AI must be possible aswell) but that still might be bad for the original consciousness (us in this case) so is it worth it? probably only do it if it's a last ditch effort for staying alive (or avoiding degredation of your consciousness through things like dementia (no I'm not saying people with dementia are not consciousness, just less intelectually capable which is worth taking the risk for)) overall it depends a lot on the method used but generally most reversable (even if through death) methods are worth using in some cases but some you may want to use some more sparingly in case it goes wrong (you know what, I can't be bothered proof reading this, probably a bunch of language errors but oh well, it should be readable)

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ImperialRussia
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Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby ImperialRussia » Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:10 pm

Depends on lab grown organs you can produce for helping people for transplants
Last edited by ImperialRussia on Wed Nov 23, 2022 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Life empire
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Capitalizt

Postby Life empire » Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:16 pm

The Second Order of Life wrote:I've always found that trying to justify not living forever by saying that life would "drag for too long" is just a way of the human mind to trick you into not desiring something that you cannot realistically attain. It's like a self-defence mechanism that activates whenever you start to wander too close to existential crises and realising just how mortal and finite you are. As a staunch atheist, would I live forever if I could? Of fucking course I would! There isn't a magical resting place waiting for me in the afterlife, so the more life I get outta this one the better. You will not "grow tired" of it, because there's never a point where offing yourself will be worth it. You can 100% take comfort in the fact that no matter how screwed you are, you can always plan for LONG game, which means that you'll at least eventually succeed. You have infinite time, and once you realise that, there simply is no point in turning back.

This, however, becomes problematic to justify to a religious person whose faith includes a peaceful afterlife. At what point would you say "fuck it" and skip ahead to the good stuff? That is, if your religion doesn't think people who commit suicide don't go to the good place. If not, then you're screwed, because there is no way you're going to die unless you deliberately get yourself into a dangerous situation which kills you, which might lend you a ticket to purgatory, because most traditional gods are omniscient to an extent, especially the one from the abrahamic religions. Also, it poses the question: if people can theoretically live forever... can we escape the wrath of gods? We can violate whichever laws we want, so long as we just don't get killed our get ourselves killed (because it seems that the gods have decided we're simply not worth it anymore and have stopped sending prophets/signals/signs of their wrath and anger). Suddenly, religion becomes fully optional, because even if you believe that a god exists, you don't have to follow them anymore, because you might not actually get to ever face justice. All you have to do is be careful.

Also, I have to address this: capitalism is suddenly dead. There is simply no way a free-market system can sustain itself with the sudden uptick in population. Humanity either organises itself into a centrally-planned economy or it will starve by the millions. Technology will not be able to keep up with this new human race, and without proper assessment of resources and rapid expansion into extraterrestrial alternatives, humans will be faced with a pretty nasty situation to deal with. I know you said that, in this scenario, all the "major problems" would be solved, but realistically it can't be done in a purely capitalistic environment. Poverty is systemic, there will always be a reserve mass of unemployed workers to ensure the evolution of worker's rights and unity are both kept low. Unions can't prosper if workers are constantly fighting between themselves to occupy the job posts that feed their families. Before we could even hatch a sustainable plan for an ageless humanity, free market has to go, with haste.

With that out of the way, let's get to the inevitable consequence of the death of old age: overpopulation. We used to fear overpopulation quite a lot, especially after Thomas Malthus's overly simplistic view of it, but it never seems to have bothered us, mostly because technology has always spiked our efficiency in gathering the resources we need to live. Unfortunately, taking away natural death from humanity might finally set in motion the machinations for a Malthusian catastrophe, one from which we may only recover after thousands starve to death. The solution...?

There really isn't one.

As sad as it is for me to say, there is no way to solve overpopulation whilst having a human race that cannot die of old age. That, however, is only because I'm trying to do this while *respecting our current understanding of life and what is necessary to survive*. Were I to have a colder heart, there are a number of ways to solve this, many of which are authoritarian, but simply because they must be, given the circumnstances. Keep in mind I don't support anything I'm about to say:

I - Having a family? That's a privilege now, not a right. Every pregnancy must be pre-approved by populational control comissions, in a local level, who will report to a national level, that will be in charge of keeping the increase slow and constant (assuming nations must still exist, which would make this whole thing 10x harder).
II - All people capable of having children must submit to a pregnancy test every 4 months. If an unauthorised pregnancy is detected, it will be aborted.
III - If you want to be especially evil, go for eugenics. Have the comissions test for people whose genetic makeup will create more beneficial offspring. Of course, I'd recommend a lottery-type system instead, to be more democratic and fair, but I can't stop you from being a full-on nazi.
IV - Repeated infractions of anti-pregnancy laws could, if you want, result in what I'll colorfully call forced celibacy A.K.A surgically removing the criminal's ability to have or induce a pregnancy.

That about wraps up the dictator's guide to avoiding overpopulation. Again, items I and II are like this because they must be. Benevolence can only take you so far when you're talking about the future of humanity. We can afford to live in our luxuriously democratic systems and exalt freedom because we are given leniency through or technological advantage. Take that away, and we must resort to such methods. I'll just say this before I finish this overly-long reply: there is no way to democratically sustain a human race that cannot die of old age.


living for ever is bad but not because of a non-existent afterlife but because it would just suck, eventually you would want to die, statiscally speaking over an infinite time span that is a guaruntee, not being able to die is bad, being able to not die is good, and with the economic system thing, capitalism is more effiecient than state-planned economies and it's shown throughout history

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Abarri
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Founded: Aug 10, 2017
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Abarri » Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:25 pm

Extend for some decades more, probably yes.
But it depends if I like my current physical body, etc.

Extend life forever...um, no.
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Ayytaly
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Founded: Feb 08, 2019
Ex-Nation

Postby Ayytaly » Fri Nov 25, 2022 2:58 pm

I'd rather die than worship Elon Bezos.
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Novaros
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Founded: Dec 30, 2021
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Novaros » Fri Nov 25, 2022 2:59 pm

Nah.

It would be depressing to see everyone die around you.
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Torisakia
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Founded: Jun 04, 2011
Anarchy

Postby Torisakia » Fri Nov 25, 2022 3:28 pm

Not really. While it would be nice to live forever, the cycle of life and death is actually what makes life itself entertaining, at least IMO.
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Quincy
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Founded: Aug 12, 2022
Anarchy

Postby Quincy » Fri Nov 25, 2022 3:30 pm

No. I do not want to live through humanity's final days and eventual destruction of the world through our neglect of the planet's environment.
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The Holy Therns
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Father Knows Best State

Postby The Holy Therns » Fri Nov 25, 2022 4:41 pm

Hell no.
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Vistulange
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Founded: May 13, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Vistulange » Fri Nov 25, 2022 6:32 pm

Picairn wrote:Nope, I'd welcome my death. Living forever isn't good when I have to watch everyone close to me die and spend my immortality in perpetual loneliness.

If everyone can be immortal? Wouldn't that be categorically unsustainable for the planet?

One would expect that birth rates would also decline massively.

But yeah, I'm on board with you. It would suck to watch everybody I love pass away, leaving me alone.

There's also the conditions under which I'm living. If I'm perpetually 30 years old with the equivalent health and all? I might consider it. If I'm going to age as normal with every terrible thing associated with it, but stay alive through it all? Yeah no, fuck that. I'm a bloke who wouldn't want to suffer through dementia, I sure as hell won't want to go through all that.
Last edited by Vistulange on Fri Nov 25, 2022 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Smexy pope
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Smexy pope » Fri Nov 25, 2022 6:33 pm

hell yeah

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Barbaria
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Founded: Nov 22, 2022
Moralistic Democracy

Postby Barbaria » Fri Nov 25, 2022 6:54 pm

If technology allowed you to live forever, which it won't. Cased closed, see you in another thread.
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Unmet Player
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Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Unmet Player » Fri Nov 25, 2022 6:56 pm

why not
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Vikanias
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Posts: 2005
Founded: May 01, 2020
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Vikanias » Fri Nov 25, 2022 11:12 pm

Why do we need to defeat age? Living forever is in of itself hell, you shall outlive anyone you love and you will see everything you can and grow bored, it may seem awesome at first but it will bite yo7 in the ass in the long run, I shall stay mortal no matter my fear of death.
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