A basic premise of Andrew Stark’s “The Case Against Immortality” (Gazette-Times, Oct. 5) is that it would be excruciatingly boring to live forever. But there are at least two possible concepts of immortality or eternal life. It is usually understood to mean living for an unlimited amount of time. But it could also mean an existence that is not located in the material universe of space and time, an existence that is beyond space and time.
Most modern scientists assume that matter and energy, existing in space and subject to time, are all that there is. But there are reasons to suspect that science itself may ultimately be forced to recognize this assumption is incorrect. The difficulty in explaining fundamental facts about human nature including mind, consciousness, language, and memory in strictly materialistic terms may be a big hint that human beings already have an aspect that is outside of space and not subject to time.
It is well-known that the left and right hemispheres of our brains operate differently, with one hemisphere oriented more to things sequential and the other hemisphere to things simultaneous. This division suggests that the brain might be an interface device allowing communication between our bodies, located in space and subject to time limitations, and our minds (souls? egos?) located outside of space and time.
Boredom would be a problem only for an immortality that consists of endless amounts of time. We should not waste any of our scarce time worrying about this.
Corvallis (Oct. 5)