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The “Lazarus Long” Delusion: Why People Think They Want Death

Posted: Tue, April 23, 2013 | By: Indefinite Life Extension

by John Ellis

Arguments about the future are barred in philosophy as unprovable. This bars most religions, and futurism.

In transhumanist “religions” - mysticism is replaced by science-fiction & speculation. 

80% of people have a deep capacity for complex irrational belief. Society needs to satisfy this,  or they will descend into mental illness.

The Lazarus Long Delusion

(i.e., I am old and I don’t want to resurrect)

Unbiased judgement is only possible in a state of well-being,  on the whole.  The mind in a suffering body, deludes itself of its impartiality.

A surprising number of people don’t want resurrection, because they are unaware of this delusion. 

I have found only two reasons for this:

1. When young they realized death was inevitable and so they have programmed themselves to accept death. Challenging death causes revolution in their psyche which is stressful;

2. They are unaware of the body’s effect on their reasoning.  They haven’t read Time Enough For Love by Robert Heinlein.  Lazarus Long is centuries old and commits suicide.  Before the suicide is complete,  police ‘bots find and rejuvenate him. He feels great and wants to live again. This must happen to everyone, I believe, because we are beings bonded by biological urges that filter into us as our mind.

Nature has built us with a progressive death wish as we age, to make our degeneration into death bearable. Some Freudians call it “Thanatos.”

Libido, the opposite, is what you see in young animals bouncing around. When you are resurrected (to youth) your body will be full of libido and you will want to live.

People confuse death with the cessation of suffering. You don’t need Death to stop suffering: to stop suffering - you have need full health and peace.

The only honest way to test it is to try both states:

1. Try being Dead 


2. Try being Young again 

See which you prefer!

I’m not kidding. That should be possible in systems well within the skills of quantum archaeology.

Some people are locked in ego and may find it hard to believe their essential tastes and drives are products of biology, biology of chemistry and chemistry of physics.

Some organized groups centuries old will challenge this, but my experience in studying them is that they change when and how they have to, in order to survive.  They are already doing it. When people are resurrected in front of your eyes, false assumptions will crumble and the pro-death memberships will ebb away.

The profound change in our psyche is that death can’t exist, since science is likely to resurrect us in an infinite multiverse, where anything that can happen, and DOES happen.

Soon aging and ill health as we know it won’t exist, and everything we have accepted as immutable facts will be laughed at: 

“In those days you know, people used to DIE”

The word DEATH will have to take on a new meaning.

Life-ism is not a challenge to morality, it is one of the most moral attempts so far using man’s technology.

Why You Shouldn’t Commit Suicide

1. Because suffering is going to be reversed. You won’t have had it. The present you is not the final judge of reality. Like winding a film of history back, history is likely to be changed and the suffering taken out, without any loss of identity.  This is a hard area in philosophy and outside the scope of this essay.

2. Because you won’t have any say in what the world will become.

3. Because suicide doesn’t give you rest, or relief: you think you’ll just cease to exist, but actually, you’ll be resurrected.

If you die, you will probably be resurrected, but the world in which you surface will be built by other people using artificially intelligent machines.

Your return is unlikely to be unconditional at first: you may have to obey the laws that have evolved while you were not there.

The maximum game strategy is to survive as long as you can.

Many will not have to die, but just get rejuvenation. They will be able to control investments and some may influence policy.

Suiciding out might only be useful as last resort but attempting it is illegal in many nations. Feeling you don’t want to live is a normal part of the spectrum of human emotions.

Depressed, we have the “Lazarus Long” delusion - that life isn’t worth it. When we’re not depressed, we don’t feel that at all.  If depression persists you could have a treatable illness and should seek help. Over the counter anti-depressants can lift someone out of suffering quickly.

There is a cost/benefit judgement of living/not living, but life-ism certainly could be part of that process.

Logically, there is no longer a terminal illness.

We are immortal whether we like it or not!

John Ellis

Quantum Archaeologist,


This is an optimistic post and a worthy sentiment, but a person who once lived and is now “dead” has no troubles whatsoever—no conflicts, no suffering, no regrets. Your idea that death is bad is based on an unprovable idea about reincarnation. Without that unprovable idea—or the equally unprovable idea about a concerned God—there really is no “meaning” to our joys OR our suffering. When it’s over, it’s over. (Hooray!)
Even if we live “as long as we can,” there is no escaping death. Lazarus Long? He’s fictional. He wants to live “again,” but while he was dead, he didn’t have any longings, right? That was the cessation of all his suffering, i.e., Nirvana for Lazarus Long!
If we accept the First Noble Truth of Buddhism, that “life is suffering,” whyever would anyone want to have children, except to ease their OWN suffering? Who wants to bring a new person into a life of distress, lack, want, loneliness, aging, ill health, cruelty, torture, hunger, loss, injustice, oppression, scarcity, pollution, mental illness? A few butterflies can’t make up for all of that.
That said, I believe that we should alleviate suffering for the already-born. So we can’t just kill ourselves to ease our OWN pain, any more than we can have children just to relieve our OWN suffering, because that would merely package up our own pain and hand it to those who love us, which would be selfish.
Thank you for the intelligent discussion!

By Ellen Skagerberg on May 21, 2013 at 12:49am

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