Is Immortality Desirable?

Hello, I’m new on this forum…and I have a question

Is Immortality Desirable?

In a world where every new day brings a dozen new medical advances, we come closer and closer to clinical immortality. Of course, the modern/postmodern society tends to see death as the termination of existence, which is generally agreed to be bad. So if death is bad, then life must be good, and thus immortality must be even better…right?

Well is living forever really that great? There are basically three main paths:

  1. simple mortality
  2. “invincible immortality” (impossible to die)
  3. “mortal immortality” (living forever unless killed)
    (Please take the second hypothetically without scientific debate)

The first we all know and hate. The next two are the subject of inquiry. Now, it is clear that any kind of immortality would be “freaking awesome!!!11” for a while atleast. I mean, life without the fear of death must be heaven right?

The fear that I have of both “types” of immortality are that they would lead to stagnation. I assert that the mortal has a lot of motivation because of the subconscious (or conscious) fear of death. Why do I go to school even when I don’t like it? To learn. Why? Because I want to make something of myself before I cease to exist. I assert that all actions other than pleasures-in-themselves are spurred primarily by a desire to get stuff done before death takes us.

Therefore, a “society of immortals” would become stagnant, where simple pleasures rule. Why would anyone learn, say, calculus? It’s much more difficult than just watching tv, watching tv is more fun, and “you can get around to it sometime”. Notice how the mortal drive is gone. So over time, a human civilization would progress much greater than an immortal society. Therefore, on the individual level perhaps immortality is a bit better than mortality, but on the level of humanity as a whole, it seems much worse. Any ideas/agreements/ripostes?

“Is immortality desirable?”

What more fitting a topic- NO- we can’t die soon enough.

Being immortal might mean that you learn to enjoy counting the hairs on a bug’s leg. It would only for those of a certain mindset and I would say that it was one that found amusement in the smallest things.

Immortality is impossible:

Either the universe will die from a thermodynamic death or it will stop expanding and will start decreasing in size until it reaches the size of a point.

In either case, we can’t survive.

As for me, I feel at ease with the idea of going after death to another plane of reality, escaping the overwhelming laws of nature and being protected from all threats by a benevolent deity.

Have you considered the ethical factors of immortality? Deontology especially.

Rami.

While it is still possible to make jokes, life is still worth living - Life is Beautiful (Italy, 1999, Roberto Begnini)

Immortality’s not so bad…

I’ll ask the same question. Have u considered the ethical factors of Immortality?

Rami.

I think immoratilty would be great, and far from causing stagnation would be invigorateing. Just consider the change in perspective in many common facets of life:

Mortal Dating- I have to find someone by X time or end up alone.

Immortal Dating- Even if I don’t find the person I want in the next 200 years, I may still find him/her.

Mortal Carrer- I have to find a carrer or never live the good life.

Immortal Carrer- I can bum around on odd jobs until I truly figure out something great, then become a tycoon.

Ect.

I think humans are too forgetfull to be bored either. If the last time you played mini-golf was 60 years ago- it will by like new agian. Not to metion that it will have actually evolved in the meantime.

This is an interesting topic and will generate further discussion on the elements discussed so far, but I want to know this:

Could multiple immortal entities exist if they all had free will?

In other words, if one wanted to end the existance of another, then this would be impossible as the other has been defined as immortal, so would free will disapear, or would the entities exist in a different environment with different needs, desires and expectations to the extent that we have, and does this prove we cannot ever become immortal even after death?

What if the world gets over crowded? Also, would we not be living hell? They do say that “hell is other people” and an infinite number of people who are all immortal, would that not be a bit much?

Rami.

I believe that Death is a fact that makes our life beautiful. Everything is meaningless…matterials and chemistry, ideas and magic made of thoughtful minds. I believe that Death is a deadline, it is the fact which makes every stupid moment of our lives meaningful. Because we KNOW that it will never come back and that we will eventually die. If we were immortal we wouldn’t appreciate anything, we would turn into arrogant and stupid people who would finally kill themselves because they wouldn’t bare the same situations any more. This is the bad side which would be inevitable , except for the good side which was previously mentioned. :slight_smile:
I would love to become 1000 years and continue learning interesting things and collecting vinyls but this would get boring one day… :slight_smile:

We ‘‘couldn’t’’ kill eachother and this is a factor that we must consider before wishing for immortality. Is it not a gift to be able to take your life away from this futile absurdity?

Rami.

An immortal society would have its own benefits and its own drawbacks when compared to the mortal society. Picture a world without war and the pain of old age. A world where you and your true love can be with one another for eternity and discover everything the world has to offer, together.

Yes, some of the haste will be removed from life but in most cases I don’t see that as a bad thing. The ability to take your time over your decisions and consider everything is something most people would like.

Just as we go through adolescence in our mortal life then we would go through it in our immortal life. It may last a little longer, but just like now, as our experiences widen and the psychological baggage increases so those people will come around. They will realise that the impermanent pleasures will be insignificant over an eternity and learn to aspire to the permanent good of knowledge and experience. Something they will take with them forever.

It is not all good though. That psychological baggage will be with them for a long time. Regrets and mistakes of that adolescence are carried with you much longer. A broken heart can last forever. Some people, unable to find that someone for them, would be destined to wander their eternity alone.

One of the skills they would have to develop is to deal with all those memories, good and bad, but perhaps that too comes with time and experience. I would like to be immortal and learn about everything that life has to offer, but I would like everyone to be immortal along with me.

I think the appropriate question is: Is life desirable?

Silenus, the wood god, tells us that to never live is the ideal and the next best thing is to die quickly.

To exist is to desire and to need. To desire and need is to suffer.

Therefore we can rephrase the question in this way: Is suffering desirable?

And in relation to your original question involving immortality, which is impossible by the way, we might ask: Is eternal suffering desirable?

Or:
Is Hell desirable?

Now much has been said about the grandeur of life and the magnificence of consciousness and much less has been said about the tragedy and misery of life and existence, in accordance with Emile Cioran’s desperate musings.

The Greeks had a profound understanding about the need for balance between the misery and ecstasy of living.
They expressed their contradictory feelings with Apollonian and Dionysian worship and through their artistry.

They found a balanced representation through their tragic/comedic expressions when chaotic, mad, horrific Dionysus coexisted with the luminous, ordered, beautiful Apollo.

Hindus believe the best is to find a way out of eternal recurrence, through a spiritually purifying method of asceticism and meditation.
For them exiting Time and reuniting with the underlying Nothingness, is a Nirvana worth striving for. The alternative is eternal reincarnation and condemnation to life and/or different manifestations of life.

An eternal recurrence, as Nietzsche would put it.

In the Christian faith the concept of paradise is used to represent the ideal state of Nothingness.
In paradise one wants nothing, needs nothing, suffers nothing, which is a perfect definition of death or of not being conscious of Time or existing outside Time or in a state of stagnation and innertia.

Here we can see the direct relationship between Being and Time, which can be more accurately label a Becoming, in the words of Heidegger.

Christians salvage self by invoking a greater Self, who exists beyond Time.
An idea which is both illogical and impossible if we are to take Heidegger at his word, since to exist is dependant on Time and consciousness a product of flux.
In this case Satan more aptly represents Time; both a benefactor and a condemning entity - that which makes us conscious also aware of our suffering and meaninglessness.

Here we can see the relationship between the opposing concepts of Nothingness {God} and Time {Satan}, one the root source the other the animator, working in conjunction and in opposition.

Satyr,

“Silenus, the wood god, tells us that to never live is the ideal and the next best thing is to die quickly.”

The story is told that Silenus said this to King Midas. Perhaps it was wisdom simply meant for him.

Dunamis

Dunamis

Do not all myths, all stories, involve us in the saying?

Greater truths are spoken more easily when they are spoken indirectly.

Satyr,

Do not all myths, all stories, involve us in the saying?

Of course they involve us. The question is how. Are we to take Silenus’ saying that all mortal beings are pitiful, or are we to take it to mean that the more we are like Midas - driven by arrogance and desire-, the more we should be pitied. This seems to be the message within the message.

Dunamis

Dunamis

You are assuming that an ‘ideal’ life is possible.

I’m saying that desire and arrogance are inherit in living and in being conscious.

I dream about changing this is dreaming the impossible or you are inadvertently dreaming of a non-existence and calling it existence to comfort yourself.

The question posed to Silenus was not ‘Is my life meaningful or desirable’ but ‘Is life’ in general. Midas being but a representative of what it means to exist and to be conscious of existence.

S.,

“You are assuming that an ‘ideal’ life is possible.”

I am assuming nothing, but noting the nature of the “wisdom”. The occasion on which it was given. Silenus was imprisoned by Midas who seeks to extract some powerful “knowing”. What he extracts is a nihilism that will destroy him, much as his Midas touch will destroy all things he touches. It is a simple minded to approach the saying without understanding its context. Midas is rewarded for his pursuit in the same way. It’s a be careful what you ask for kind of lesson. That you extract that Midas is supposed to represent all of existence and every way of being might very well be what Nietzsche meant in his reference, but not necessarily what Silenus meant, or was supposed to have meant.

Dunamis

It all depends on what kind of immortality we achieve. Willl we no longer be able to feel pain? Loneliness? An eternity of pain or loneliness?

Immortality would be a curse; however, a couple of thousand years of life, I’d go for that.