Is There Hope for Immortality?

There are obviously aspects to me which are temporal and aspects of me which are eternal.  So for example, the timeless sentence “Eric Kaplan wrote in his blog on September 18, 2015” is always going to be true, even after I’m gone.  But the sentence “Eric Kaplan is currently eating an apple” is true a few times during my life-time, and then when my life is over will never be true again.

When we have thoughts or experiences the thoughts or experiences show up in our consciousness.  We don’t make them happen, they burble up from somewhere else.

It’s possible that these thoughts and experience will continue burbling up even after I’m gone  So if the thoughts continue, even though I’m not there to receive them, in some sense what is distinctively me is not affected by my personal destruction.

Maybe that’s okay.  After all, “person” is just a term from theater — it means mask, from the Latin root per+sono, what one sounds through.    Whatever the source of our thoughts is — culture, biology, language, historyand the facts of the matter that allow there to be culture, biology, language, and history — this source will continue, even when the person it sounds through is gone.

Is that enough?  If it isn’t, what more do we want?


3 thoughts on “Is There Hope for Immortality?

  1. ayatollahso says:

    Well of course “these thoughts and experience will continue burbling up even after I’m gone”. After all, your death isn’t the end of the world – it’s just the end of you. Ah, but what about that key word – *these* thoughts and experiences? There’s room for interpretation there. Is it really important that “what is *distinctively* me is not affected by my personal destruction” (emphasis added)? Why not just, “these things I care about, regardless of distinctiveness”?

    When people compare humans and animals, they often tie themselves in absurd knots trying to deny the impressive abilities of mammals and birds at just about every activity other than full-blown language. They want to claim more qualities as *distinctively* human. But that is just – how can I put this nicely – crazy. Our qualities don’t need to be distinctive to be important.

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