Whether we like it or not, we all aspire to a form of eternity, it is our conscience that orders us to do so. The question is whether we should aspire to physical immortality.
Immortality is an imitation God. Man is a mixture between two substances, animal and divine. The quest for immortality amounts to suppressing our animal dimension to make us eternal and divine beings.
Immortality, although tempting, has its defects. Let’s see what they are.
Boredom and loneliness, at the door of immortality
Should we envy people who never die? They see the people they have known leaving one by one. Their parents, their friends and then their children. The more time passes, the more the immortals find themselves alone, or they are forced to renew their friendships with the awareness of the loss that they necessarily induce.
Death gives intensity and meaning to life
“The gods, they envy us because we are mortal”. This is what Achilles, played by Brad Pitt in the film Troy, says. We can hear this argument: death gives an intensity that can never be experienced by someone who knows they are immortal. Death reminds us to make good use of our time even if many of us forget its existence to the point of living an absurd life that ignores this inevitability.
Immortality poses the problem of overpopulation
Without death, birth becomes problematic in a world limited by physical barriers. To be able to welcome new people on this earth, we must be able to let some go. If we all achieve immortality, it is natural to ask how human civilization would function. Probably, we would simply eliminate births, thus making the first two ages of life (youth and adult life) disappear, leaving only room for a mass of people belonging to the last stage of life.
Immortality, the new privilege of the elites?
If immortality were possible one day, it would be available above all to those who could afford it. What is rare is expensive, mechanically, this would mean that only a certain elite could afford to access eternal life. This reality suggests the existence of a form of eugenics: progressively the earth will be filled in proportion to the most affluent people by the sole fact that they are immortal. A moral question arises: should individuals be selected solely on the basis of wealth? If it is true that this selection of the richest already exists today (better access to health care, education, etc.), the possibility of an immortal life accentuates this effect.
Immortality is a brake on the natural cycle of life
Death is part of a cycle initiated by birth. Death is the end of one cycle and the beginning of another. The dead leaves that fall on the ground serve as humus for the hundreds of thousands of living beings that make it a refuge. To stop death is to stop birth elsewhere.
Immortality exposes the limits of our spirituality (of the belief in our divinity)
The search for immortality may simply reflect our inability to conceive of eternity outside our physical bodies. By definition, the cults that have emerged through the ages were meant to teach humans to fulfill their desire for eternity by learning their spiritual dimension. If man is a being limited by his body, the conceptualization of the soul increases his capacities tenfold. If we believe that we have a soul, then we can overcome the limiting boundaries of materiality. The eternity of the soul, although uncertain, allows us to overcome the anguish of death and in some cases the absurdity of life. To refuse death is not to envisage this possibility, it is finally to remain imprisoned in a body of which one does not manage to give a higher dimension, what allows the soul in particular.
To refuse to die is to refuse to live
To live, one must accept to die. Conversely, to die, one must have accepted to have lived. Without death, we escape from a cycle that has a beginning and an end. Of course, we would all like to die as late as possible, but the uncertainty that hangs over our heads as to the date and time of our death can give a flavor to life that would be hard to do without if we were immortal.
Death gives more scope to your actions
Death limits your life time by definition. This limitation gives more weight to your actions. Since your time is limited, if you spend it on something well-defined, it shows that it is important to you. Conversely, if you were immortal, your time would have little value, theoretically it would be worthless. By refusing to die, you separate yourself from the possibility of valuing your time.
Being immortal, but under what conditions
Growing old is an unavoidable phenomenon that cannot be stopped. Not dying does not mean not aging. What is the point of living in conditions where our physical, emotional or mental capacities are diminished? Is it really worth living forever if we are going to suffer the agonies of old age, such as losing our memory, not being able to move around properly, or not being able to hold someone in our arms because we are paralyzed in a chair?
An argument in favor of immortality
To qualify my statement, I would put forward one argument in favor of immortality: the possibility of passing on wisdom. Since life is an eternal restart, the younger generations could gain precious time by listening to an elder. Of course, one can always read books, but there is nothing better than listening to someone who speaks from experience. So, if immortality can help raise the consciousness of humans on earth, then it has a role to play and not the least.