The Immorality Of Immortality: Why Forever Takes So Long

American Heathen has a post entitled The Immorality Of Immortality in which they ask “If it were possible to become immortal, would you do it? Would you step boldly into a life of eternal existence? If so, have you considered the ramifications, the consequences of living forever?”

I encourage you to go read their post but here I’m going to answer the question.

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I don’t imagine that many people think of immortality much differently than American Heathen. I doubt many feel as I do but then I see life a little bit differently than most seem to.

When I was a kid, life seemed to go so slow and I got bored. Now, later in life, it goes so fast and I have no time at all. No time for the things I want to do or accomplish, not for the pleasures I’d like to experience. There is not even enough time for the very simple things that I can’t seem to get bored with. I would like for time to not be part of the equation for me. Oh, I know there would be problems and AmericanHeathen seems to cover the problems I can think of plus a few that I don’t think would be a problem in my case.

Between the birth of my great grandparents and myself the world has changed more than ever imagined by kings or popes. Because the world has come so far in that time, my grandchildren will never be able to or need to go back… we hope. I can; I can go back. I can travel there and be okay. I stand on the shoulders of giants to reach farther than they yet I watched them, learned what they knew as handed down knowledge from their family lineages. I am both their peer and their patron. I am thrust at the future by their hands, never having left their hearths. My mind is timeless in a sense. I remember their tales as if they were my own and mine as if they were theirs. Yet I yearn for more knowledge, more experiences as if my body is addled with the stuff and craves more. My thirst for more knowledge and experience frustrates me because I cannot cram enough information into my head fast enough for the little time I have in this life. Sometimes the information I try to jam inside my head does not stick so well. I’d really like to have a jack in the back of my head to make the job easier.

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There are millions of experiences that I’ve not had yet, and that is just in this country. I’ve also not been into space, to another world or galaxy,  nor have I had a beach side cookout on a planet with two moons. The number of things I’ve not experienced yet but could is as large as the universe.

We meekly admit to ourselves that we’ll never know all there is to know and many of us give up trying. I do not no matter how vain the attempt might be. I want to know everything.

If somewhere along the line I stop being what some might define as human I’m okay with that. I’m okay with being different. I’m sure there is an Aesop’s fable just waiting to hit me in the face here. Never mind. I don’t want to be mere human. I do want to know everything. If that seems heretical, so what? I want to compose music, mine for fun and profit on comets, design warp engines, dine at 7 star restaurants at the end of time and on and on. 80 years is not enough. 80 million years is not enough.

I have a modicum of pity for those that think they would get bored. My mum used to tell us as kids ‘go outside and play if you’re bored’ and that is what I’d do if I were immortal. Send me to Mars… I’ve not been there yet. Let me learn millions of foreign languages from millions of planets. Let me perform magic for the emperor of a galaxy, dance with the princess of 4 worlds and on and on. Let me broker peace between worlds, discover unknown life forms, map vast sections of the universe, find it’s edges. Let me be everything at one time or another.

For those that think immortality is for crazy people, I say that you have no considered the possibilities of infinite experience and reward. The thought that humans are alone in the universe is astoundingly arrogant. There are other life forms, other intelligences. I want to meet and know them. Our future is limited only by  our imagination’s limitations. Mine is not so limited as to think I’d get bored. I’ve always been a bit more industrious than that.

Yes, I know the title doesn’t seem to match, but I wanted a direct relation to the original post that asked the question.

Forever takes so long… well, only if you’re sitting around waiting for it. If you’re busy being out and about and re-arranging the universe, time flies and forever comes along way too soon.

 

 

 

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    • Geraint Isitt
    • September 4th, 2014

    I don’t think I’d get bored either. Still too much to see and do here in my own little pocket of the world. I can only imagine what shenanigans I could get up with time and means on my side.

    • Yeah, alright, alright, alright… with enough time, the universe will be my playground.

  1. Let me prepare my to do list and see if I need forever or a few thousand of years will do just fine

    • To do lists never shrink… You know this

      • I know. There will always be something to be done

  2. Pondering this requires thinking about what eternity actually means. It’s hard for me to imagine I’d get bored in 1000 years, maybe even 1 million. But a billion? 100 trillion? 10^1000 years? Consider that at some point the universe will undergo heat death, and you’ll be sitting in darkness, eternally. I can easily see the boredom in that being a type of hell.

    Not that I wouldn’t mind the option to continue until I decided I’d had enough.

    • I’ve never seen a universe collapse in heat death before… I’d stick around to watch it

  3. I feel conflicted about this one. Assuming the aging process would be halted somehow, I don’t imagine I would ever be bored. Going beyond human doesn’t necessarily worry me. I don’t like the idea of living so long that my past loses significance though. Also, I think each generation drops some of the prejudice and problematic features of humanity. I wouldn’t want to muss that up. It’s a hard question to answer not knowing the parameters.

    • Indeed it is hard to know. In just four generations of my family we have gone from horses and walking to what we have today. I’ll bet that it will be only a short time till your past is already becoming insignificant.

      • I was thinking along the lines of me forgetting my own past, but I agree with your point. Given the hyperspeed evolution of information technology, I have no doubt that my life will look vastly different than that of my children.

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