What would it be like if we were immortal? Well according to Ambassador Kosh we’re not ready. He is probably right but if it were to happen how would we as a society cope.
The simplest and most obvious answer to this question is that we wouldn’t cope at all. We already have problems with famine and over population if people didn’t die that would be made so much worse.
The sociological implications are huge but what about at a personal. level? If you were told that you were going to live forever could you cope?
Firstly it is important to understand our terms. If we were immortal in our prime then there is no reason for this to be a bad thing. If our immortality was like that of the people in Torchwood’s Miracle Day or the Struldbrugs then we would truly be in hell. Perhaps with extreme age we would metamorphose into some strange creature.
So why, you may ask, am I talking about immortality? Well their is this idea of the technological singularity. My understanding of it might be a complete bastardisation but basically the principal is that with an increase in technology and medical care people could live potentially forever. This possibility could even happen within the next few decades.
Immortality doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t die. It just means that all being equal you won’t die. So you could still be shot, strangles, drowned, poisoned, but you wouldn’t deteriorate with age.
I see no reason why immortality couldn’t be a wonderful thing, at least for the individual. The world is infinite there is so much to see. You could visit every city in the would over thousands of years and by the time you’ve got to the last one the first one would have changed so much its like a new place.
I will admit to you that…
When I was young,
It seemed that life was so wonderful,
A miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical,
And all the birds in the trees,
They’d be singing so happily… [Supertramp – The Logical Song]
…Or to be more precise I had a plan. Don’t worry unlike the Cylons my plan didn’t involve the utter annihilation of the human race. It wasn’t a very good plan. I didn’t have maps and stuff but I did have a notion of where I wanted to be by the time I was 25.
I’m not there I am nowhere near being there. I feel like a failure a lot of the time. I have the feeling that when certain things happen then I will be complete. I want to have a family one day and be a published author. Maybe this will happen, maybe it won’t and I know it’s dangerous to base happiness on criteria beyond my direct control but there it is.
The point of this aside is that even though I see myself as someone who is worried and maybe even miserable much of the time I still find life and this world to be full of wonders.
The world is wonderful and being immortal would not be a curse.
I know in truth, and this is a terrible cliché, that I have no really problems. I have two great parents and if I were to ever make a monumentally stupid decision they would be their to help. Here’s my brother looking down a cannon.
Technology moves so fast it is sometimes unbelievable. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see where current technology is going. My grandma is 96 years old. When she was born milk was delivered by a horse and cart. In those 96 years so much has changed. I will be 96 in 2083. It is difficult to imagine what technology might exist that far into the future.
My father once told me that boredom was a luxury. I once thought this to be a sill thing to say but he was right – aren’t parents nearly always right? I am almost never board now. I have to go to work, I want to write, I watch tv, I read, I need to do house work – (God do I need to do house work) there is no time for boredom. In fact I now have the opposite problem of feeling like I have no time at all. I feel like I want to pause life.
You know when you’re playing a computer game and you get a little confused you pause the game. You might even get out a pen and paper and plan your next move. Well I feel like I need to do that with life – except that while doing that, affectively making a to-do list, I feel I’m not doing anything useful.
My family and I go to Tenby every year. We love it and don’t get board of it. It is slightly different each year. If I lived forever how could you ever be board?
So immortality doesn’t sound terrible. You are living for an infinite amount of time but the world is also infinite. Assuming your health was good and you had a job there is no reason why you couldn’t enjoy eternity.
Anyway as cliched and silly as it may sound broadly speaking I have no problems. I have a job and a house and as long as I don’t make some stupid error there is no reason that job can’t go on for a very long time. If I was immortal perhaps I’d take a year off every fifty or sixty years.