We are genetically programmed to grow, we are also genetically programmed to age… and die. Why is this the case? As much as I hate knowing that I am programmed to age and die (I´ve grown already) I can see how death is essential for evolution. Death, whether we like it or not, is the measure of our evolutionary success. If evolution is the survival of the fittest, timing of death is the metrics of survival or non survival. If a specie was evolved in a way that it´s individuals lived forever, then how could we know who the fittest individual is?

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Rodolfo on July 4, 2005  · 

In old times the fittest was the strong and the species evolved toward a phisycal better performance, but was the man who evolved in a different way toward a mind performance and that was the essence of his success: knowledge, creativity, adaptability, flexibility, social capabilities, …

Although the individuals could live for ever the fittest will be those who have better performance in what the man is strong, so that the life could always have enought incentives to live it.
Those who can’t achive this objective will always be asking them selves if the life is so good to live it and having the chance to stop it… how long time do you think they are going to be asking?

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Eric on July 6, 2005  · 

I suppose the answer would be a question of perpsective. “Survival” would imply that an organism is striving to overcome some form of adversity or suffering. For example, one “survives” an accident, a loss, or a tribulation.

In the Western religion, in general terms, the basic goal is to survive death. That is what “salvation” is all about. It is about cleansing oneself or one’s people of that original sin damning us all to hell. Only salvation can give us eternal life. In essence we strive to “survive” this world and live happily ever after at God’s side. Salvation is the solution to death. The “Fittest of the Fittest” are the few chosen from the “many that are called”.

The Eastern tradition rooted in Hinduism already affords eternal life through reincarnation. The fittest would be those whose positve acts yield the most favorable reincarnations. But, the Buddhist would have nothing to do with this. They rebelled against reincarnation. If life in this world will always and inevitably be filled with suffering, then the only true form of salvation is not reincarnation, but the exact opposite–to get off the wheel. The fittest of the fittest, then are not those who reincarnate into higher and more comfortable life forms, but rather those who are able to cease to exist. In other words, those who can truly expire. Only those whose minds have truly evolved can cultivate a mental state suitable for salvation.

I recall speaking with a Mormon who got along terribly with his parents. The Mormons believe that in Heaven we will all be reunited with our family members through out eternity. I asked him if he could possibly survive ad infinitum with his parents. Remember Sartre, “Hell is other people”.

I also recall my great grandmother on her 100+ death bad. She wasn’t sick, but just tired of living. “Life is too long when you are lonely”

Life is wonderful and is always great. But, I vote for the Buddhists. Longevity is simply not the solution to our problems. Hopefully, eventually, we will all get a truly deserved vacation.

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Adrian Cachinero Vasiljevic on July 23, 2005  · 

I can’t seem to be able to post this comment on your article about Britain and Iraq, so I’ll post it here:

I commented this with Nick. Blair is stuck in a very delicate position. If he leaves Iraq, terrorists will beleive that they can continue to use this method to acheive their means, therefore the attacks will not stop (and maybe even worsen). If he stays in Iraq, then the attacks simply continue (but may eventually decrease).

Although as you say, bombing civilians is mass murder, 100000 civilians have died in Iraq, etc. by following a logical thinking, the people responsible for this are really the people who put the bombs in London. Saddam Hussein, contrary to popular beleif, was not an islamic fundamentalist (therefore not responsible for the 911 attacks, as Bush had fed to us). But after his arrest, islamic fundamentalists elsewhere saw a window of opportunity to extend their influence. One just has to remember the footage of Paksitanis and Saudi Arabians crossing the Iraqi border (and previously the Afghan border) in order to fight back the foregin devil.

Leaving Iraq now would be disastrous. Setting apart the fact that it is or is not justified, it would be like the pullback from Vietnam. The hippy generation demanded US withdrawal form ‘Nam, and eventually, the US caved in, left, and the North Vietnamese Army and its guerilla division the Vietcong overran the democratic South Vietnamese Republic, installing a dictatorial communist police state. So much for upholding democracy.

If Iraq is left to its fate, it will be overran by radical islamism, which will only bring a new enemy to the ‘west’. That is why, despite the alleged ‘illegitimacy’ of the war (was there ever a legal one?), Britain should hold a stiff upper lip and stand steadfast in the wake of the attacks.

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Antoin O Lachtnain on July 23, 2005  · 

And besides, you think the highways are crowded now?

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