Many people long for an ever-increasing lifespan. They want to live forever, it seems. Maybe it’s because I’m still decades away from my expiration date (one would hope), but I’ve never understood this philosophy.
In fact, it is stressful to me that the life expectancy keeps increasing. I have this fear that I’ll never catch up with it. When I was born in 1964, my life expectancy was 73.7 years. Now I’m expected to stick around until I’m about 83. One can assume that the leaps forward will be ever larger as we have more medical breakthroughs. I honestly take no comfort in that.
For starters, outside the realm of fiction, where it might be possible for the immortal to be forever young and healthy and surrounded by loved ones, I think the reality would be much more grim. Things fall apart. The center does not hold. So I would expect that immortality would be a miserable state indeed.
Not only would you need increasingly extreme methods to prop up your deterioration, but there would be ever-increasing competition for said methods. Overcrowding would be the order of the day, competition for resources would get violent, and the gap between rich and poor would be even more evident. You don’t really think that we poor people would get to live forever, do you?
And it’s likely that immortality would be cruel and arbitrary. It stands to reason that not everyone would be a viable candidate for whatever procedures and medications would be required. So odds are good that if you won that particular lottery over Father Time, you would outlive everyone that you came to love, and that sounds like horrible, never-ending loneliness to me.
I don’t long for immortality. I long to live a full life and then die peacefully and painlessly in my sleep, making room for the next wave of humanity as nature dictates. Maybe my opinion will change when I’m 80, though.
[I want to get one of these! Check out the Paradox Sand Clock at conrad.com]