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Why Immortality Is Awesome

TsaiDec 11, 2016, 6:15:36 PM
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We've all heard the cliche arguments against immortality. I'll list them here, and flippantly dismiss them:

1) Immortality will lead to overpopulation.

Technically, so will extending the average human lifespan, and decreasing the infant mortality rate. So does this mean you're against people living longer, and you're pro-babies dying?

2) Only the rich will be able to afford immortality. 

In other words, if I can't have it, you can't too! 

3) Immortality is unnatural. 

So is blasting a man into space. What's your point? 

4) We don't know what the long term consequences of immortality might be.

This is a valid criticism. If we're messing around with our genes, there's always the risk it could lead to cancer or some other awful genetic disease. Then again, it's up to you to make that decision for yourself. Nobody else can make that decision for you. As a corollory, you may not unilaterally decide to genetically modify your child to become immortal. That's not your decision to make. Let your child make up his own mind when he's older.

5) Immortality is torture. 

Maybe you think that because you don't know how to live life. If you're sad about your friends and family dying of old age, why don't you convince them to become immortal just like you? If they decide not to, then mourn their loss and move on. I mean, hey, you can end it any time you like. You're in control. Oh, and if you don't want to become immortal because you think it'll be awful and tedious, speak for yourself. Don't speak on behalf of anyone else. 

6) Immortality will lead to ultra-conservatism, and new ideas will never flourish. 

This assumes that everyone decides to become immortal. I think there will be plenty of people who choose to live a normal human lifespan, and have normal human kids. These new generations will be the source of new ideas. 

Yeah, it's true that once you accept an idea (like Einsteinian physics), it's very difficult to accept a new paradigm that changes your understanding of the universe (i.e. quantum physics). But, immortals will have lived long enough to witness massive paradigm shifts, so they will know the value of new ideas. They will be mentally prepared for a paradigm shift, if such a shift is proven to be the correct course of action.  

Now I will list all the reasons why I think immortality is awesome:

1) You've got all the time in the world. Want to build a business empire? Want to study the deepest mysterious of the universe? Want to become a hugely successful musician? Are you stressed out because you only have enough time to pursue one career, and you really don't want to find out you chose the wrong one after investing half your life into it? Well now you have all the time you need to achieve all of your lofty ambitions!

2) People who live forever have a vested interest in the long-term future. You'll live to see it. Better make sure it's good. 

3) You'll live to see the future. The future! With spaceships, and space colonies, and alien civilizations, and, and, and... SQUEEEEEEEE! 

On the other hand, you'll live to see the future. Sigh. The future. And war... war never changes... Except that as the immortal population grows, they'll have a strong incentive to keep things peaceful. After all, getting killed in war is one of the few ways they can die.  

4) History will never be forgotten, and it will never repeat. Tyrants will never be able to use the same old tricks, and spout the same dumb ideas ever again. Anybody who tries to re-write or re-interprate history will be soundly corrected by the immortals.

But then... what if the immortals are the ones re-writing history? Telling lies about how things were? What if the rest of the population begins to see them as gods?

All the more reason to become immortal. (I kid, I kid).  

5) After a long enough period of time, you will become an expert on everything. You've got all the time in the world. Might as well use that time to learn everything. Think of all the amazing things you'd eventually learn how to do. Piloting an airplane, skateboarding, painting, engineering, law, gymnastics, sports, medicine... Anywhere you go, you'd be the most valuable, competent and knowledgeable person in the room (assuming you're the only immortal around). If there are other immortals, then shit. Better learn a new trick to up your game. Can't let that other immortal show you up.    

6) Immortals will have a strong predilection for novelty and creativity. They'll have seen and experienced everything a hundred times over. They'll have a strong incentive to come up with novel ideas and experiences to keep life fresh. Who knows what crazy, amazing things they'll come up with. Maybe they'll build entire worlds, designed from the bottom up, filled with the strangest and most exotic looking creatures. Maybe they'll build the most awesome theme-park ride through wormholes and shit. I dunno. I'm sure it'll be awesome.