What is it that makes people want to live forever? I suppose some of it might be fear of death (or at least the means by which it occurs). Some of it might be that they just don't want to "leave the party", afraid that they'll miss something.
Equally, it's intriguing how many people view the idea of immortality with horror. After all, what's so bad about it?
For the sake of argument, let's assume that we could achieve immortality and still retain the anatomy and physiology of a 30-year old (just an arbitrary number). If we're not careful we could use eternity to procrastinate about "getting into shape". It does make me wonder about how much unused exercise equipment someone could accumulate given forever.
Well, now that we have all eternity to sit around, we have to consider how we'd actually live our lives. Some people view this as an opportunity to study and learn all those subjects that they currently don't have time for, but that seems like a weak argument. After all, if you have eternity, what's the rush?
However, let's suppose that we do precisely that, where we devote ourselves to pursuing our interests and do everything we've put off. How many PhD's would be enough? Twenty? Thirty? At which point, does the entire process simply become tedious and no longer serves to motivate? After all, since we have all of eternity, it's not like we have to accomplish anything in a hurry.
Well let's go to more mundane matters. I'm assuming that there will still be a need to have an economy, so that presumes that we'll all still be working. I can't even imagine the feeling of knowing that you have to work for all of eternity. More specifically, knowing that everyone that was there before you will continue to remain.
OK, so maybe that doesn't sound so great. How about at the personal level?
Well, we'll have to start labeling our offspring by generation numbers. Instead of generation X, it would be generation-32, just to keep it straight. Of course, I don't know what the world has to offer them, since every niche is presumably filled with someone from the previous generation, so they'll probably just continue living at home. After 32 generations of this, it'll probably be YOUR home.
Of course, if fads and fashions maintain their tendency to be repeated,then we can be confident that our tie-dyed clothes and bell-bottomed jeans will be fashionable again every few generations, so we don't ever need to throw anything away.
Judging by the success rate of marriages, I can only speculate that given eternity, this will tend to plunge. There are too many couples that can barely tolerate each other after a decade, let alone eternity. So I guess we'll have to assume that given the ability to live forever, at some point we'll probably have everyone on the planet as part of our extended family.
It has also been suggested, that human populations will limit themselves to one child per couple, which would cause the population to stabilize after about 32-33 generations. Of course, this presumes that no one ever has twins, or violates this rule, but if we assume it to be true, then at some point there will be nothing new on the earth (as far as humans are concerned).
If this comes to pass, why not extend immortality to our pets?
Anyway, some of the questions that come to mind include:
1. If we live forever, at what age are you considered a deadbeat?
2. When is a reasonable time to move out and get a job?
3. How many reruns can we actually tolerate? Can you imagine seeing Law and Order Season 1030?
I'm sure there's more, but for me, I don't believe I'll have to worry about finding the answers.
Problems With Immortality
By Gerhard Adam | September 5th 2009 12:45 PM | Print | E-mail