The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Immortality is the ability to live forever, or eternal life. Biological forms have inherent limitations which medical interventions or engineering may or may not be able to overcome. Natural selection has developed potential biological immortality in at least one species, the jellyfish Turritopsis nutricula.
Certain scientists, futurists, and philosophers, have theorized about the immortality of the human body, and advocate that human immortality is achievable in the first few decades of the 21st century, while other advocates believe that life extension is a more achievable goal in the short term, with immortality awaiting further research breakthroughs into an indefinite future. Aubrey de Grey, a researcher who has developed a series of biomedical rejuvenation strategies to reverse human aging (called SENS), believes that his proposed plan for ending aging may be implementable in two or three decades. The absence of aging would provide humans with biological immortality, but not invulnerability to death by physical trauma. What form an unending human life would take, or whether an immaterial soul exists and possesses immortality, has been a major point of focus of religion, as well as the subject of speculation, fantasy, and debate.
Wittgenstein, in a notably non-theological interpretation of eternal life, writes in the Tractatus that, "If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.