Speak Your Mind: I (Don’t) Wanna Live Forever
Every once in a while, my brain will be kept awake at night thinking about death. I think about my death, the death of others, how final it is, the inevitability of it all. It’s completely terrifying. How does one imagine not existing? It’s the only thing I know.
What is easier to imagine is immortality, being alive forever. That is the exact subject the most recent Torchwood series contemplates: a world in which no one dies. I don’t want to spoil anything if you aren’t watching it but plan to, but suffice it to say that civilization starts to collapse from stressed social programs, inadequate hospital space and people just generally freaking out.
But in an op-ed piece for The New York Times on Sunday, author Stephen Cave argues that Torchwood has it wrong, that we’ll cope with the material things, but that society would still collapse because cultures all over the world are based on humans’ fear of death. If we suddenly became immortal, he argues, we would stop doing everything, because everything is a search from immortality. Having children, making art, and having faith would fall by the wayside.
What do you think? What do you think are the benefits and pitfalls of immortality? Is the author of The New York Times piece right? If we were immortal, would everything from creating art to scientific progress stop? Do we only do things as a means of defying death?
Featured image credit: Mrs Logic