The Danger of Immortality (And Philosocom's Directory For Immortality)
Updated: 20 hours ago
(The Immortality Directory:
The Allure of Immortality
Since the dawn of mankind, people have been haunted by the idea of death. This unknown, the ultimate end of our existence, stands as an undefeated foe, forever threatening the continuation of life as an inevitable possibility. Death arrives in many ways, through the horrors of war, the presnece of illnesses both physical and mental, and the control of hunger, appetite and thirst. In a desperate attempt to cheat this inevitable fate, humans have longed for a mythical elixir of life, an artifact that would ensure immortality. An endless existence unhindered by the fear of death and whatever may lie beyond the mortal realm.
But why are we so terrified of our own mortality? Despite its inevitability, the very thought of death can easily shake our skeletons. It represents the unknown, a void beyond our common understanding. We fear the pain and suffering that may precede it, the loss of being with loved ones, and and whatever may succeed both. Ironically, this fear of death, a daily reality for plenty, might shrink in comparison to the potential dangers of achieving immortality. That is, of course, should immortality ever become a feature in our lives, despite the fact that aging is most likely an evolutionary feature, rather than a design flaw.
The pursuit of endless living, while seemingly alluring, carries within it the potential for unexpected drawbacks that would make us beware of what we wish for....
It raises questions of overpopulation and resource depletion. It threatens to create a society where the lives of the immortal few hold more value than the lives of the many mortals. Furthermore, it stands in the path the natural cycle of life and death (AKA the status quo, for either good or bad), and may require an indefinite amount of housing in a limited amount of land (whose maximum capacity might be eventually be reached with the permanent presence of the immortal beings).
The Grim Promise of Immortality
While the prospect of endless life may seem alluring, the reality of immortality is filled with danger, posing a significant threat to the very existence of humanity. Our planet's resources, including living space, food production, and readily available jobs, are inherently limited, regardless of our technological advancements.
Achieving immortality would create a scenario where the demands of an ever-growing population far outweigh the capacity of our resources and job opportunities, leading to a catastrophic imbalance of food shortages, potential diseases homelessness, poverty and unemployment.
Even colonizing other celestial bodies like Mars and the Moon would only provide a temporary advancement at the feet of any immortal being that can outlive each and every planet and moon. These new frontiers too would eventually reach their own capacity of immortal habitation, leaving these new beings facing the same dire consequences as they did before... only at a far quicker rate.
For the immortal being always consumes in order to live, and death is the end of their use of the external world. An immortal being is therefore one who will always use, and sometimes abuse and reduce, their local environment, outliving anyone and anything that will not last forever.
And nothing last forever in this immortal-free reality. Do you see my point?
The sad truth is that death serves a crucial purpose in maintaining the delicate balance of existence. By dying, we contribute to the sustainability of our planet and its resources, ensuring that future generations would inherit a habitable world. When we die, someone else can take some of our positions. From our houses to our job positions. Being immortal can mean that we have an indefinite hold on these limited holdings, until the immortal outlives them and seek another holding to consume. The immortal is, therefore, a chronologically-endless leech of the universe.
While overpopulation is not yet at a critical level today (as the whole human population can in theory fit the state of Texas), the fact remains that our current economic system relies heavily on the production and consumption of unnecessary goods and services, under the philosophy of financial materialism. This "luxury" spending, common in prosperous nations, indicates an excess of consumption of resources in a world where plenty sources of energy are not renewable.
However, a clear indicator of overpopulation would be when the economy can no longer support the purchase of these non-essential items, as even the wealthiest individuals face financial limitations. Either way, a population of around 8 billion, mortal beings, is not something we should necessarily be worried about, while the world's largest country, Russia,is bigger than Pluto, and only contains around 1 to 2 percent of the human population.
Despite the potential economic solutions, the necessity of death cannot be disputed. Dying, in a sense, becomes an unintended "act of altruism", that ensures the long-term well-being of our species by preventing depletion of all resources that cannot be used indefinitely. So, as long as we humans die, we can still grow into more billions of members as long as we expand to new territories, and live less in overcrowded cities, where the population densities are the biggest (as in the case of Hong Kong).
It is important to clarify that this argument does not endorse suicide, murder, or any form of premature death. Rather, it aims to emphasize the vital role death plays in the natural cycle of life and its importance for the long-term future of humanity.
Meaning in the Face of Mortality
While the idea of endless life may seem alluring, the reality of immortality is filled with danger, posing a significant threat to the very existence of humanity. Who knows if our technological advancements could ever compete with the increasing demand required for immortal beings? Achieving immortality would create a scenario where the demands of an ever-growing population far outweigh the capacity of everything, leading to a potential catastrophic imbalance, thus forcing us further to consider colonizing other words after we destroyed Earth with our endless consumption.
Regarding the question of what lies beyond death, I remain unconvinced by the concept of an afterlife. This notion, in my opinion, arose from the human need to explain the disappearance of loved ones and the existence of their lifeless bodies after their discovery. It holds the same theoretical weight as Plato's "World of Forms," a hypothetical realm of perfect forms that we supposedly reference when imagining the ideal versions of things.
And by "theoratical weight" I refer to "understandable using our intellect, but hard to support its logical framework".
In my view, evidence reigns supreme for its complementary potential to convince the audience that we are right beyond the realm of mere speculation and wonder. Without concrete proof to support an argument, it remains merely a possibility, confined to the realm of theory. While logic plays a crucial role in our pursuit of truth, it is ultimately incomplete without the collaboration of evidence.
While the desire for immortality is understandable, it is essential to recognize the immense danger it poses to humanity. Even with the potential of colonizing other worlds, the finite nature of resources and space dictates that death remains a vital stabilizing force, ensuring the continuation of our species for generations to come by limiting our collective demand for resources to sustain and entertain our collective might, as Earth's conquerors.
Perhaps, of focusing on the impossible dream of immortality, we should focus on making the most of the limited time we have, according to our individual plans and aspirations. We should strive to live meaningful lives, whatever we may define "meaningful" or "successful" as.
Our existence is fleeting either way, and it is precisely this finite quality that grants it with such underrated value, for it can end at any time. Peace and acceptance can thus be attained in the face of death, knowing that our lives, though finite, have mattered with our goals either achieved or attempted.