Skip to comments.Would You Choose Immortality?
Posted on 06/19/2014 10:34:45 AM PDT by 6ft2inhighheelshoes
After reading Jon Gabriels recent piece regarding funerals, it occurred to me that ever since I learned about mortality (at about age four), Ive wanted absolutely nothing to do with it. Ive kept in shape and have always enjoyed lots of butter (I knew it was good for me before Time announced it!). But I still know that, in the end, death is a place where we are all equal.
Science and technology will eventually find a way for people to live a very long time, if not forever. The first to benefit will be the very wealthy, but the technology will presumably become accessible to the masses with time. Or will it? Should it? If you were given the choice to live 1,000 years in good health or die a natural death at 90, which would you choose? And what if the only choices were natural death or Highlander-style immortality?
I’d take immortality—you can always “give back the gift” (to quote Aragorn in Lord of the Rings).
A Highlander-style immortality is likely impossible.
Getting hit by a bus or crashing your spaceship into the sun will likely forever be a cause of permanent death.
Hopefully, this age increasing technologies come after the Baby Boomers all die. That group has caused and will continue to cause enough damage already. They don’t need to be here much longer than they already will be.
I also see people who work so hard to stay in shape and stay young, only to suffer Alzheimers and dementia. Why be in great shape if your mind's gone? Finally, without Christ living is just a day-to-day plod with no purpose to your life.
It is a subject which has been looked at surprisingly many times in literature and movies, TV shows and even art.
It is a gift chosen by an ancient Greek but he forgot the good health part and eventually shrunk into a grasshopper.
I think if I could be guaranteed good health, that would be enough for me to choose immortality.
Of course one would outlive all your loved ones and that might be more difficult than dying but like I said, the good health part makes it a good choice.
I do not think literally all disease will ever get licked on this mortal coil.
An older, God centered point of view acknowledged, however uncomfortably, that humanity comprises a group of sinners who fell into sin on some mystical plane that predated their physical conceptions. We can’t “live forever” here and we would not WANT to “live forever” here. This present world is a transitional abode. Some vaguely get the idea of “going to heaven” but think of heaven as something that is full of fluff and cotton candy. That’s misleading, I aver. Heaven is more like full of dynamite... especially when it happens to intersect with this world.
“Everybody wants to go to heaven,
but nobody wants to die.”
I already have, because I live forever with Jesus...what could be better.
A thousand years of watching the M’s blow a lead in the 9th inning? Just kill me now.
Whether we like it or not, we will all live forever. As one who believes in the promises of Jesus, I am eagerly waiting the “far better” time of my life, as did St. Paul (Phill. 1:23).
” And what if the only choices were natural death or Highlander-style immortality?”
My sister at 70 b*tches and moans about every little thing. She hates cooking. She hates eating. I love every little thing, cooking, eating, sitting and thinking. Writing. But what good is immortality if everybody you know dies? In watching the Avengers Thor is a friend to humans. Really? How? To him we’d be like mayflies. What would you talk to somebody about when, to you they’ll be dead before you finish the conversation?
Once I had a particularly annoying boss. Oh, he was horrible. When the subject of immortality came up I said, “Do you realize that you might end up working for Bill forever? Would you rather die?” Well, yes.
The question can’t be answered without a lot of qualifiers. If I can have my family forever, maybe. But only if I can get along with them. And, provided I’m not mired down in some godawful circumstance, like a boss who literally feels he has to explain every aspect of a job I know better than he. So, do I have plenty of money too?
Now, if I get to spend life doing something significant, so much the better. But to be an immortal janitor, not so much.
I would answer the query in a different way. I wish to live “well” (which may or may not mean bouts with diseases on the way) however long or short a time that might be. This means to be a willing vessel to bring grace to the world of sinners that are dying and many that are lost. God can always send my life into extra innings if He chooses.
I have a different point of view than I used to. What is seen as death here will be a transformation for me, and God will accompany me as I do it.
For a worldly view of this read Time Enough for Love with Lazarus Long.
Remember back in the 60’s when the first heart transplants and artificial hearts were being used. Little known is that the recipients had a “suicide” switch if pain was too great or “something” was not right. It was new territory back then. Can’t doc it but remember reading it.
In a sense yes. The question is will it be a seat in the smoking or nonsmoking section. :-)
It all depends on who all comes along for the ride. If it’s just you immortality would get old fast as everyone you love dies and the world you knew and understood passes from memory. If it’s a good chunk of society, including presumably some of your loved ones, then you lose a lot of that time displacement. Even then though you’ve got the brain problem, the human brain has serious issues internalizing the passage of time, the older you get the faster time seems to move, when I was a kid looking forward to 2000 and the dawn of a new century it seemed like forever in the future even though it was less than 20 years, now it’s 14 years in my rearview and feels like a couple weeks ago, got reminded yesterday this bicycle I ride I bought 7 years ago and was just stunned. That telescoping effect would get pretty scary as your age climbs into multiple centuries and even a millennia, you’d blink and a whole other century would fly by.
Immortality sounds good on paper but the logistics of it aren’t so exciting.
For an actual transplant... I can’t see it. One could still die in the normal way. A temporary mechanical replacement, POSSIBLY. No more, though, if it ever was.
I think it would get pretty boring.
Author: Phil Plait
The flash was barely noticeable, seen askance. Ancient reflexes acted; I whipped my arms to turn myself. Maybe I did. I couldnt perceive it. The light was gone before I could react, and all was black once again.
I sighed in mind if not in practice. Another black hole evaporating catastrophically as it reached the Hawking limit. That last made one billion exactly. Hurray.
It mustve been a supermassive one in the core of some long-dead galaxy; theyre all thats left now. Besides me of course. The last one blew up over 10^92 years ago.
Time is long. Idiot.
I swore in a trillion languages, taking my time, stretching out each syllable in my head, letting each last a year. Then I did it again.
I remember everything. I was an idiot.
Sure, Ill make a deal, I said. Ill be specific, I said. No aging. No insanity. My memory will be perfect. Nothing will be able to hurt or kill me.
Idiot. Even the Devil himself must have long ago disintegrated. All thats left is me. And the black holes.
Last nights Twilight Zone on MeTV addressed that, for enough $$$ they could make the old young again.
So one old couple only had enough $$$ for one of them so they both decided to stay old.
But it seems that they could wait till one dies first and then other gets the treatment to be young, but naturally that wasnt part of the plot.
Finally, without Christ living is just a day-to-day plod with no purpose to your life.
Something like that would be a variety of hell.
In the not too distant future it may be possible to just have your brain connected to a psuedo-cyber body or container and stay that way until the sun burns the earth to a cinder in a few billion years. How many would choose that form of immortality?
Yes, but they’re much better than the generations that follow.
At *best* it would be such a plod, or endless frivolities.
At worst it could be another sort of hell.
WE already have the choice of life immortal or death immortal. Just not here in this world.
Timeline of the far future
Ah, Woody the warrior of existential worry.
There is a God. He’s closed in on me. I would have been spooked out of my wits if I hadn’t known the bible for a looooong time before that.
I’m not fanatical about immortality, but it’s so much better than the alternative.
That said, how long would you like to live? 500 years? 1,000 years? Would you get the urge to make a new family every 30 years or so? Would your kids live 500 years or 1,000 years? With everyone doing that, how quickly would we exceed the earth's carrying capacity? Keeping life interesting would be a challenge. There are so many things that are best enjoyed the first time, that get stale when repeated: loves, careers, so forth. Schopenhauer said something quite profound: "Living a long time is like staying too long at the conjurer's booth at the fair; the tricks are meant to be seen only once."
For every Baby Boomer who protested during the 60’s at least 3 served sometime during the 60s in Vietnam. Also, only about half of Vietnam vets were draftees. The rest volunteered for military service.
To be or not to be, that is the question.
Which in turn depends on the accuracy of various physical models of the universe. We still have recently encountered surprises, such as so called dark matter.
But a reasonable projection is going to have the stars all dying out. I felt there was something “existentially” wrong when I read, as a child, science books that foretold the stars burning out in billions of years. From my point of view, they might as well be scheduled to burn out tomorrow, and the lack of permanence distressed me. Only much, much, much later did I realize that was God beginning to knock on the door of my mind.
Until you meet the Magician and he invites you to dinner! (Very, very metaphorically speaking.)
No thanks. As much as I try to live a Godly life, I fail all day long and sometimes I despair of ever being a decent person. I could not stomach living forever in my present state. Likely things would get worse not better and I would never have the hope that one day in the not-too-distant future I can be in the presence of my Lord and Savior and will become incorruptible.
“Science and technology will eventually find a way for people to live a very long time, if not forever.
If not forever? Where on Planet Earth? That takes a lot of faith!
However the question really before us is not to be or not to be, but HOW to be.
Even if I were to be forgiven (and actually I believe that would happen, having already been saved) I would not want my first really serious introduction to God to have been preceded by my stiffly slapping Him in the face!
Right. A lot of us baby boomers volunteered for the military, raised families, worked hard, paid taxes and left the drugs alone. Some of us worked for the Goldwater campaign and later voted for Reagan. If you were there in the Sixties, you would have seen a lot of us baby boomers with short hair. I doubt the hippies and lefties were anywhere near a majority of our generation at any time.
I have immortality, I am Roman Catholic, Jesus Christ died on a cross for my sins so I may live forever in heaven with The Father, I am not afraid of death, not looking forward to it, but not afraid of it.
“With everyone doing that, how quickly would we exceed the earth’s carrying capacity?”
Maybe very soon, maybe never if we are at the advanced point of defeating aging and natural death on a mass level we would have other technologies that would supposedly take care of this problem. Maybe the immortals wouldn’t even have to eat to live, or only very little or something.
“Keeping life interesting would be a challenge.”
Maybe, maybe not. If it truly defeats senescence maybe that wouldn’t come up. It could be a challenge, or it could be that after 200 years you get interested in going to the colonies on Io or something.
Okay, but you do realize you have to be in order to chose how to be. Right? LOL
I agree with your premise regarding making the right choices, in preparation for our final judgment.
Best of luck to both of us in that.
Hey, the gospel is Good News. Anyone who told you it is Good Luck... is believing in a God with mighty weak promises.
That was my first thought, too!
Yes, Christ died to make the offer of eternal life possible for you.
As for looking forward... Paul at least trusted God to get the timing right, and simply strained to reach what was ahead.
Agreed - every scientific prediction comes with an asterix after it. Nevertheless, the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics seems pretty solid, especially over the long term, suggesting that one way or another the universe will eventually go out of business. What will happen when and if human knowledge advances to the point of being able to monkey with the processes described in the Timeline of the Far Future, well, let's just say that it will be...interesting.