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Is Immortality GOOD or BAD?

Living forever: Is it worth it?

By Vicki Turk and Brian Anderson


Apr 18 2015, 2:30am

All week, we've been exploring all the different ways humans are trying to extend life, to digitize it, to push
off the specter of death, either for a little while, or forever. The research is happening, and it's something the
science is moving toward. But let's just consider for a moment: Is immortality GOOD or BAD?

Living forever is GOOD

Where did we get the idea that the longer life is, the less meaningful it becomes? Why do some people seem so
adamant that continuing on—and foregoing the all-too-fast downward trudge of mental and physical
degradation we currently deem acceptable—is such a bad thing?

In 1900, the average American lived to 47 years old. By 2000, they lived to 76. Are middle-aged people today
twiddling their thumbs, wishing they could speed through the next few decades and get them over with? Do
those pushing 100 feel like they've been dealt a bad hand?

I don't think, once the illnesses of old age are solved, that there'll ever be a convenient moment for most of us to
be snatched away into non-existence. You might believe it's inevitable, but that doesn't mean it won't seem
unjust when it happens. You will not have checked off all the items on your bucket list. You won't have visited
all the places you promised you'd go. You will never finish Infinite Jest.

It seems only natural that, on some basic level, we should agree that living longer is a good thing. It's what we
strive towards with each medical advance, after all. And if you don't think we should work to live as long as
possible, where's your cut-off line? Reaching a point where we can live for as long as we want seems like a
pretty natural conclusion. Immortality doesn't seem like such a big ask.

I get that living forever can seem scary; the unknown is. But that fear often seems to stem from a very limited
picture of the immediate future, usually based on short-term predictions by a few individuals (I blame Ray
Kurzweil). I don't think that living forever has to mean freezing your brain in a box or becoming a sentient
robot. And hey, if we make the odd misstep here or there, we've got forever to figure out the kinks.

Are you going to give up eternal life at the prospect of a few awkward transitional decades? Consider it the new
teenage-hood. You'll miss those years when they're gone!

There will certainly be challenges to overcome if humans start living indefinitely; overcrowding and inequality
springing to mind as two of the most obvious. But while it's easy to predict those problems getting worse—and
I'm certainly not saying they won't—it works the other way too.

With more time to tackle these issues, we can keep working on them. I don't know the solutions yet—maybe
we'll live on Mars, maybe we'll leave our meatbags and store ourselves in the cloud—but that's the whole
excitement of living to see the ever-changing future: We can keep trying things and learning and pushing for
improvement.

That's another basic thing that the doom-and-gloom, death-is-preferable-to-the-future crowd seem to
misunderstand. The world won't just stay the same, with everyone trudging along in a state of boredom; it'll
keep changing. There'll be new stuff to do because we'll keep making new stuff. We'll get those jetpacks we
were promised, and that's just the start.

In the end, I suppose that with the lack of true insight into the future we have so far, your position on the issue
right now largely comes down to your general outlook on life, whether that life be extended or cut short. Sure,
bad things will happen if you live forever. Some of them will be very bad. But bad things will happen in your
current lifetime. That doesn't mean it's not worth living.

And just maybe you can picture a future—a whole bunch of different moments in the future, even—that are
worth sticking around for. We see things they'll never see.

-Vicki Turk, UK editor

Living forever is BAD

Death sounds scary. But you know what sounds even scarier? Never dying. Permanent, irreversible existence.
That sounds positively TERRIFYING. Why would anyone want to live forever? Immortality is BAD.

Where to even begin? For starters, living forever would be awfully boring. Imagine you've found a way to beat
death—by uploading your ~consciousness~ to a computer, by replacing your heart with an artificial one, by
cryogenically freezing yourself, by throwing faith and money at whatever technology promises to make you
immortal. An expansive horizon of potential experiences now lies before you, and you've got an unlimited
amount of time to, well, experience those experiences. You can read every word ever written! You can finally
learn to play the violin! You can build a super yacht and sail the oceans! What a time to be alive…forever!
You've got it made, right?

Wrong. You've only got it made for the amount of time it takes to see and do everything. Because at some
point, there will be nothing left to see and do. You'll have done it all. You'll have read every word ever written.
You'll have mastered the violin. You'll have sailed every inch of water, if there is any water left in THE
FUTURE. You'll grow bored, and then bored-er. At that point it'll just be you and your brainbox forced to go on
existing, confided to the mind-numbing maw of having nothing to do. At least dying naturally shakes things up
a bit.

Meanwhile, conditions here on planet Earth will get shittier, and shittier, and shittier for you and whoever else
had the gall to want to live forever. It will get hotter. The oceans will continue to rise. There will be war, food
shortages, and disease. Robots will possibly take over. If immortality is your wish, then you must come to grips
with the fact you're going to be living forever in Hell, basically. Why would anyone want to live in that world?

We can leave this rock for another. We can colonize Mars! Or venture into intergalactic space, scouting for and
settling Earth 2.0! That might very well happen. We may have no choice but to leave Earth, someday. But there
is always the possibility that the next rock we land on will be shittier than the one we're already on. And if it
isn't shitty when we arrive we'll make it a wasteland soon enough, because apparently that's how we do.

From there, we'll be forced to do it all over again. Once we've thoroughly gutted Earth 2.0, we'll have to go
looking for Earth 3.0, and then Earth 4.0, 5.0, and on and on, ad infinitum. You and the rest of the immortals
will face an oblivion that's miserable beyond our wildest dreams.

The point, here, is that the transhumanist dream of beating death is one of the bigger crocks of 1 Percenter
horseshit I've ever heard. There is such hubris in wanting to live forever. Such entitlement. It's takes a certain
pompousness to think, for whatever reason, that one's existence is so critical, so important, that one deserves—
one must—exist forever. Immortality flies right in the face of what it means to be human, which is to say, a
meatsack with an expiration date.

When someone says they're not afraid of anything because they're going to live forever, I call bullshit. You
want to live forever precisely because you're afraid of dying. Death sounds scary, yes. It's death, after all. Dying
should give you some anxiety. But what are you afraid of? Dying a natural death is OK. It's, ya know, natural.
It's what's supposed to happen.

I'm not scared of anything, either, which is precisely why I've come to terms with my mortality as some sort of
next step. I don't know what that is, but I'll be ready when my time comes. And I hope you will be too.

66% Say Yes

34% Say No

 The problem with infinites


If you lived for an infinite amount of time, anything that can happen to you will, by definition, happen to you.
That means you will die. So the concept of immortality is a paradox in an of itself. Secondly, you will also
suffer infinite pain. Pain is worse than happiness is good.

 Yes, I agree that people shouldn't live forever.

The fact that we only have a limited amount of time on this earth is one of the main things that give our lives
meaning. It encourages us to make the best use of our time and to experience as much of what this world has to
offer while we still have a chance to. If we never did die, I fear that life would seem meaningless. I wonder
what we would spend all of eternity doing.

 Immortality is bad.

First of all, unless you are cloned or frozen in time, immortality is impossible, at least for now. If it were
possible, I don't think it would be good. People continue to have babies and they never die, Therefore, the
population would over run the world. There would not be enough jobs for people and the balance of nature
would be completely thrown off.

 beginning and end


What would be the point in beginning if there is no ending? If immortality were to exist, why or how would you
have begun? The mystery of the end will never be answered. Please someone explain why you would want to
live forever in the first place. Whats to live for if there is no ending.

 Yup, who would actually want to live forever?

Assuming the body does not decay while it is still occupied, as no flesh can last forever, immortality may seem,
at first glance, to be a golden opportunity. But, when dissected and further examined it becomes evident that it
is a fool's gold. To watch ones family and friends fade from history is a sodden affair. One would find
themselves to be lost in a world in which no one can comprehend their views and experiences. Their days would
be laden with boredom that can only be achieved from a life times worth of excitement. A life that lasts forever
is arguably no life at all, in order for one to truly experience life, the threat of death must all ways lay heavy on
their heels.

Posted by: Dkizzy

 Immortality is bad.

First of all, unless you are cloned or frozen in time, immortality is impossible, at least for now. If it were
possible, I don't think it would be good. People continue to have babies and they never die, Therefore, the
population would over run the world. There would not be enough jobs for people and the balance of nature
would be completely thrown off.

Posted by: patricia.green10

 I think it’s cool

N only get a fraction of its, But you can finish it, Obtain so much that you are basically god. You will be the
mega mind of the world, A super person that everyone fear. Not only that but you can create some projects that
change the world (for the better). In conclusion, It's boring to be an immortal, But, With a partner, You would
be much better. Discover secrets to your gift (kind of ) and share it ONLY with your best relative. Don't be a
lone wolf if you are immortal.

 Immortality will cause the world to out of balance.

In this argument, I am going to assume that one must choose to undergo a certain type of procedure to become
immortal.

If immortality exist like what I described above, Then the rich will be able to control the world, While the poor
are suppressed. Since immortality will most likely to become expensive, With only the rich be able to afford it.
Even if immortality is granted to everyone, it will do nothing to help out our cause. Nothing will get down
because people will be constantly procrastinating with their duties. People will be like "what find the secret of
the universe when I can play video games" Also, How do we punish people that deserve to die, Such as rapists
and serial killers. They will continue to live and wreck havoc to the community.

 Immortality is a potential avenue to lose one's humanity.

I've just watched a movie regarding the potential of humans as a species attaining immortality. It does not look
good at all. First we have to discuss the problem of extreme overpopulation on planet Earth, unless we were to
invent some sort of galactic spaceships that enables humans to travel the far reaches of the galaxy to populate
other habitable planets like in Star Wars or Star Trek, given our current technology today, is highly unlikely.
Secondly, the prospect of sacrifice, i do not know yet what it is the human species will have to sacrifice as a
whole to attain immortality, but I am certain, it is something dear to us and it may be one of the contributing
factors which enable us to call ourselves humans in the first place an example would be emotions or the ability
to reproduce. If I were to be given the ability of immortality but I have to trade the two examples I've mentioned
before, then I will absolutely decline the offer of immortality for I can longer call myself a human being.
Of course all of the things I've mentioned is just pure theories and opinions, for we cannot really say for sure
what it will be like for us humans, I really just hope for the best.

 Human Immortality is science fiction

Human immortality is something that more and more people are starting to wish and work for. For it or against
it, this incredible feat will take a long amount of time to achieve. The human body functions that we will need
to conquer to reach immortality will be very difficult. Also, if humans are ever capable of becoming immortal it
will lead to a long list of problems. Our world surely does not need any more problems especially ones of this
magnitude.
The most obvious way to start the list of the feats that we will need to conquer to reach immortality is aging.
Now within the body there are these things called telomeres, and they help our cells replicate and stay healthy,
but they can’t do that forever so after a while telomeres start to shorten which causes our cells to age and
function slower. If we could find a way to make telomeres not able to shorten then our cells would not be able
to age, but telomeres run off of ATP (energy the body creates) which the body does not have an infinite supply
of. If you choose to take my word on telomeres take the scientist’s advice at https://www.tasciences.com/what-
is-a-telomere/. So, even if we were to get telomeres to stop shrinking we would have to find some infinite fuel
source so the telomeres could function forever at a high rate.
Now, let’s get all of that science talk out of the way and let’s get into more of an easier explanation of why
human immortality is a bad thing. Imagine growing up and being told that you are going to live forever. When
you are in junior high this might not matter to you, but when you reach high school many kids will not care
about what they do then because they know that they are going to live forever. Certain things like getting good
grades or paying attention in class everyday will not matter because people will know that they can always
come back and do certain things over again. This issue will lead into a huge heap of problem which will
ultimately lead into life having no meaning. Why do people take huge risks and do peruse amazing feats? They
do them because they know that they are not going to live forever so they must live life like there is no
tomorrow. If you would like to read more facts that would make human immortality bad visit
https://listverse.com/2012/12/12/10-terrifying-downsides-to-immortality/.
Like I said in the beginning human immortality is something that more and more people are starting to wish and
work for. As those people that are working for human immortality getting closer and closer to reaching it, I
hope that those people realize the danger that it will have on short and long term life of all humans.

Posted by: ElijahG32

 Immortality could be good.

While the yes arguements point to population, the rest of your family dying etc. I say this;

If we lived in a world were you could be immortal, the choice to become immortal could go hand in hand with
fertility. There is nothing saying that an immortal person must reproduce.

Saying that they will be bored or must have death at their heels to enjoy life is subjective. What if science is
your enjoyment. A great mind would not be restricted to a few years for his/her work. They could spend
thousands of years learning about the world, learning how it works and gaining a much much greater
understanding of the world than anyone can ever have with the life spans we are restricted to. Medical and
scientific advances wouldn't be subject each new generation having to spend 20+ years learning the previous
work, great scientists could just keep improving.

Imagine is Einstein, hawking and Newton, for example were given immortality. Or any other select group of
great minds. Think of the advances if they are given 200, 400, 600 years.

Posted by: David.McIntosh

 Immortality would be an amazing way to exist

The main argument against immortality is that it would be eternal sadness. I'm here to tell you, That depending
on the person, Most of the time that wouldn't be the case. 500, 1000, How many years in for the particular
person, The burden of watching people be born and die again, Would almost be completely washed away. You
would get used to it as a part of your existence. You would realize it every time you saw someone you might
care about be brought into this world, They would leave it, And you would eventually accept that. The
overwhelming amount of possibilities as to what I could accomplish with infinite time, And the amount of
unique and awesome experiences I could have over infinite time, Is more than enough to brush away the
sadness. The mere realization I would have those among being granted immortality would be thousands of time
more euphoric than anything I have experienced yet.

 At first I thought it was bad

Ok if it was a few people, It would be in issue. If you aged like Master Roshi from Dragon Ball series. It would
be bad. But if it was more like Touhou's Fuijwara no Mokou, Than stuff would be fun. Sure it would suck for
about 50 to 100 years after everyone you knew died. But after that you'd just get use to it.

Sure if all of humanity had it, I'd say it would be very bad. But it would be good to have a real historian. Where
records would be harder to alter. You know how most people want to leave a mark on the world. This would
make it possible. Plus it would be more fun to troll people and help people.
 My two cents on all y'all argument

K, Y'all arguing that "oh, We have to watch our families die" and all that. Well guess what, You're still gonna
be seeing your mother/father die before you (probably), And a lot of people also see their kids die. The parents
of high school shootings and all that have to suffer the same thing. Call me heartless for bringing up an sensitive
topic on that last sentence but don't you think that in the future, Your kids will still die? They aren't going to live
forever. And not to mention, Wouldn't your families and friends feel the same when you die? And do you want
them to feel that?

Posted by: aasdfds

 You Failed (sad frownie face also this is if you're invincible too)

The life cycle is just reproducing and dying, But now you failed to pass the next generation because you would
probably not want the pain and the grief (Unless the genetics passes on) to watch everyone you know die then
you also have to watch your pets die. At this point you would see the Sun swallow the Earth and you would
literally see the world burn but it would be more of Earth getting vaporized. Now you are just an emotionless
blob drifting through space, You can't hide from the reality. But all of this grief and sadness is because of that
choice you made that you didn't think through, You would see countless people die. Its a sad thought but it
really is your fault if you chose no you would have been able to stop all of the mental issues that you're facing
in the future.

Now okay but dude what about the good things but the cons greatly out number each and everyone of the pros,
You can't live forever you can't hide from facts. (btw sorry if it's repetitive)

 If Your Against Immortality Your Probably Afraid Of It

Of Course I am advertising myself but this comment would be rather long if I didn't, Also I have evidence.
Http://auol. Blogspot. Com/2018/11/don't-fear-reaper-why-humanitys-respect. Html

when it was announced last year that summer vacation would be two weeks shorter for my school district. What
do you think was the reaction? Did people cheer saying that even though they prefer summer making it shorter
would increase the meaning of it, making a shorter summer actually more enjoyable? Or did people groan,
Unhappy that there time free was being cut short & they would have to do schoolwork sooner? As many of you
already guessed the latter answer is correct. While it's undeniably true that the more you consume of something
the less enjoyable it is, that is not to say this would somehow devalue the units already consumed of that thing.
& as long as the amount of pleasure you gain is still positive you have nothing to lose. As a species we seemed
to have all convinced ourselves that this simple & universal logic doesn't apply to our most important joy. Life
itself!

Living forever would be amazing


No. Living for infinity would not be bad. Why reject the opportunity to accomplish everything you ever
wanted? There are so many more things that you could. Our lives are simply too short. We have time to raise a
family, Get a degree, Grow old, And then we die. It’s as simple as that. But being immortal would allow us to
live the life we always dreamed of. How could it possibly get boring when humans won’t be on earth forever?
Companies are already beginning to study possible ways to live on Mars, And soon they will be a reality. We
will be able to go around the universe. Explore black holes. Do things no one ever dreamed of. And what about
death? No matter what religion you are (or whether you have one at all), Everyone is afraid of death in their
own way. . . Some more than others. How would you feel if you didn’t have to face death? If death was a
shadowless figure. If life finally had a true meaning that you were able to fulfill. If you live forever you won’t
grow old. You would be in a desirable state of being forever. Eternal life will not erode any wish you wish to do
anything because you can just do it later, Because there is an infinity number of things that people want to
accomplish in life, And having an infinite life will give people the chance to accomplish it. Eternal life is easily
desirable. Why not make the most of everything around you without a ticking time bomb following you around
everywhere? Being able to accomplish everything in life while staying young, Saying goodbye to the fear of
death and seeing the world change around you are clear reasons why immortality is good

 Immortality is Good

Immortality is good because then you could live through all the future events. You would have to watch all of
your friends and family die, But you would get over it with time. If you had immortality you could learn
everything, Write any thought that passed through your brain, And learn to live through hardships. Maybe even
you could learn to help the human race from going extinct with all of that vast wisdom you have earned through
the ages. You would also learn from past mistakes, Become more than human, And yes, You could also become
history.

Posted by: jawa12281

 Immortality and opinions (pro)

Have you started wondering why we die? Had we done anything better if you lived forever. You could be a
witness of all the major event, could seen happiness and love. If you can walk the earth for years after we all
gone, you can tell the next generation what we did and rewrite history. Also, you can stay hidden, waiting for a
time to shine, life of hiding, runaway and off the grid sound very fun. Next, thing of a book, a thick one, so
thick that it contain all of human knowledge. We can only get a fraction of its, but you can finish it, obtain so
much that you are basically god. You will be the mega mind of the world, a super person that everyone fear.
Not only that but you can create some projects that change the world (for the better). In conclusion, it's boring
to be an immortal, but, with a partner, you would be much better. Discover secrets to your gift (kind of ) and
share it ONLY with your best relative. Don't be a lone wolf if you are immortal.

 Immortality is fantastic! Why reject the opportunity to accomplish everything you ever wanted?!
There are so many things that lead to the conclusion that I want to live forever. Admittingly having to watch the
people around me grow old and die, you would get past that, and still have an eternal life to live. The lives that
we currently have are simply too short. We have time to raise a family, get a degree, grow old, and then we die.
It's as simple as that. But being immortal would allow us to live the life we always dreamed of; and how could
you possibly get bored? You can do what you want with your life. Get 5000 doctorates or PhDs, travel to every
country in the world, and we won't be on earth forever. Companies are already beginning to study possible ways
to live on Mars, and soon that will be a reality. We will be able to go around the universe. Explore black holes.
Do things no one could ever dream of. And what about death? No matter what religion you are (or whether you
have one at all), everyone is afraid of death in their own way... Some more than others. How would you feel if
you didn't have to face death? If death was a shadow-less figure almost like the person in the deathly hallows
who had the invisibility cloak and continued to cheat death. If life finally had a meaning and you could finally
fit in. Although it would be far nicer to be a vampire (you had speed, mind control, could actually die), even if
you weren't one (and you probably wouldn't be), it would still be amazing, and if I were given the choice, I
would definitely choose to live forever, and make the most of it. And also, it's not like you would be stuck on a
pirate ship only able to go on land every 1000 years (like Pirates of the Caribbean) or anything similar to these
fictional, unrealistic and extravagant ideas. Also, everyone who is saying no to wanting to live forever is
bringing up the point of having no-one around you, but surely other people will be immortal too, so it's not like
you'll be stranded with no-one to talk to. The idea of immortality will either stay a secret or become a common
trend, where people have the choice. While it is a simple answer for me and the other (currently) 44% of people
on debate.Org, it will be different for other people, and therefore over-population will not be a problem,
especially if we are living throughout the entire universe.

Posted by: ghostintheshadows

10 Terrifying Downsides to Immortality

Inspired by some of the comments on my previous lists, which share my pessimistic view of immortality, I
thought I would compose this list of a few of the terrifying downsides to eternal existence. The following
entries all concern various ethical, psychological or social problems that an immortal species would likely
encounter. Immortal, in this case, means a state of being where one is free of all natural deaths (disease,
physical decay, and so on).
10

Global Decay

 A rather obvious entry: immortality would strengthen the human habit of destroying the natural order. Death
is an essential component of any healthy ecosystem – without it, we run the very serious risk of overpopulation.
This in itself leads to global decay, as we put huge strains on the earth to cater to our ever-expanding needs. A
notable solution might be to relocate ourselves to other planets, but as with all things, they too would eventually
experience the pain of the human disease.


Relative Time Reduction



 Ever noticed how time seems to pass more quickly as you age? It’s a well documented and explained
phenomenon, originating from the fact that the older you are, the smaller proportion of your life a period of time
is perceived to be. At 10 years old, a year is one tenth of your entire life; while at at 100 years of age, a year is
one hundredth of your life, and so the year is perceived as shorter.

There is huge debate within psychological and philosophical circles about whether there is a limit to this
phenomenon, and whether we will perceive days as becoming progressively shorter and shorter, into infinity.
Regardless, the side effect of this phenomenon is that memories will eventually fade into one convoluted mess,
and you’ll be unable to distinguish non-notable memories created 10,000 years ago from those formed 9,000
years ago. 
 

8

Mental Decay

 Organic constructions are not designed to last forever – especially when they’re something as complex as the
brain. Although we could theoretically fight to prevent diseases such as Alzhiemer, even the fittest minds will
begin to show signs of malfunction after thousands – if not hundreds – of years. And given the permanent
nature of brain damage, we can expect to experience a slow decline into pseudo-psychotic states as the brain
corrodes. With the human capacity for reason, emotion, memory and self control slowly eroding over time, we
may become prisoners within our own minds.

Some have argued that we could simply replace our brains with a superior synthetic ‘model’, although the
possibility of this is fiercely debated within philosophy and science. After all, would we still be the same
person? How could we ever conceivably ‘transfer’ personhood to another construct?
 

7

Severe Social Divides



 Nothing is truer in an immortal society than the saying that “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer”. Any
society which builds itself upon a system of rule with class divides will eventually begin to experience severe
social rifts as time draws on, with wealth tending to ‘pool’ at the top of the system. The only solution is to force
upon civilization a classless society – but whether this is a price worth paying for immortality is likely to be
highly debatable. Many philosophers believe that immortal beings will eventually revert back to anarchy – their
primordial nomadic state – to achieve true equality. If not, we can expect an endless and chaotic cycle of
revolution and replacement where each class radically reinvents itself to fulfill its desires – that is, of course, if
the world doesn’t just descend into a perpetual civil war between classes. 
 


No Value

 Inherently lazy beings, knowledge of fast-approaching death often provokes humans into fulfilling their
dreams. Holidays to magnificent locations, trips to see legendary art and participation in life-changing events
holds extreme value, because we know we might not get another chance. But when eternity is available to us,
along with the possibility of experiencing all that life has to offer, many experiences will seem to lose their
value. What is the point of mastering the sciences, learning the arts, and engaging in humanities, if you and
everyone else has eternity to do so? As purposeless demigods, humans may simply end up engaging in extreme
forms of hedonism, as they desperately attempt to give their existence some form of meaning.
 


5
Monotony
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYbsBcPDVQM

 Life for immortal beings would slowly develop a monotonous schedule based around needs, habits and
commitments. Day in and day out, immortal beings could expect the same tedious activities, with no end in
sight. Even holidays (and even psychedelic trips) will eventually become a mere part of the tired old schedule.
Depths of emotion, too, would eventually become shallow over time, leading to cold-hearted apathy and intense
(or even worse, non-intense) bitterness. Escaping to other planets could provide some respite, but should this
become a common practice, it too would merely become yet another monotonous habit that occurs every now
and then. Despite the powerful urge to survive for as long as possible, many may choose death after
millenniums of boredom.
 


No Social Progression

 If everyone from the eighteenth century and earlier were still alive today, we’d still be segregating races and
practicing misogyny. Death is the only means by which society can permanently rid itself of the tyranny of the
elders, and thus progress ethically. The views held by those within the society that achieves immortality will be
the views that will be held for the rest of eternity. Death will still occur (by murder, for example) but it will
occur far too slowly to allow social progression. The only solution would be mass psychological conditioning
and reprogramming – but then who would decide once and for all what is just?
 


No Retirement or Welfare

 You’d better hope you enjoy your job if you decide to become immortal, as there won’t be any conceivable
possibility of retirement. Pensions, along with almost all forms of social welfare, would simply become too
much of a burden upon the state to provide perpetually, and would therefore cease to be offered. The lack of
retirement and death will also lead to severe stagnation within almost all industries, as individuals spend
thousands of years in the same job, with no prospects of promotion as people higher up the chain aren’t moving
on.

Although a daunting future for many of us, it could be resolved with ‘temporary pensions’. This would see the
state forcing everyone in turn to take a few years off, living on welfare. The objective of this of course being to
prevent individuals sitting in the same job for centuries on end, as well as ensuring that everyone has the
potential to work and progress in their chosen career. However, whether or not it is morally just to remove
individuals from their jobs, and force them to start back at step one, is debatable.
 

2

Useless Criminal Punishments



 If humans ascertained immortality one of the first problems that we would likely encounter would be a
notable surge in crime. Thirty years imprisonment is hardly an adequate deterrent for someone who is looking
forward to a lifespan of tens of thousands of years or more, and true life sentences would doubtlessly be
condemned as immoral (Being stuck in a cell for eternity could be considered by some to be hell).
We could make heavy use of the death penalty, but this is also unlikely given that the ethical problems many
see in it today would be multiplied tenfold with an immortal individual – there’s a big difference between taking
the life of someone who would eventually die anyway, and taking the life of someone destined to life forever.
Life would simply hold more value. In reality, we would likely have to rely heavily upon rehabilitation and
prevention techniques to prevent chaos – think Clockwork Orange-style programs, intended to diminish an
individual’s capacity to commit crime.
 


Violent Death

 Everyone dies. In reality, immortality is nothing more then mortality with no foreseeable end. Unfortunately,
having transcended natural deaths, humans will have to face the reality that one day they will perish violently.
Except through starvation or dehydration, there will be no “passing away quietly in your sleep”, as it will take a
lot more then simple physical decay or disease to destroy a truly immortal being – especially if we’ve merged
with machines. If you don’t drown in rising water levels or freeze in future ice ages, you can count on shuffling
off that mortal coil by either being stabbed, shot, poisoned, immolated, asphyxiated, crushed, electrocuted or
even just simply blown up.

If not any of these, the death of a star will happily engulf both you and the planet you happen to live on –
wherever that may be. You could of course escape into space – but not much awaits for you there… unless you
enjoy drifting in endless darkness until the end of time…