Best-Of Advice

On living forever

It’s interesting that you seem so nonchalant about death, but I was wondering, if you had the opportunity to live forever, would you take it? I keep asking myself the same question, but I can’t decide if things would become boring or lonely or numbing after a time. All the same though, the lack of existing horrifies me. Even if I know it’s my ego making me feel this way, that knowledge doesn’t exterminate my fear. So, would you live forever if you could?

Please. Our brains aren’t even capable of contemplating forever, much less living it. Immortality is such a ridiculous notion to anyone with the slightest sense of scale.

Sure, if science allowed for it, I’d be down to live a few hundred, maybe even a few thousand years in good health, but you can’t really go beyond one or two orders of magnitude from a natural life span before shit starts getting sticky.

I mean, what are we talking about here? Is this thought experiment one in which you’re a living, breathing immortal, magically destined to walk the earth forever as a biological curiosity? What happens when the rest of the species starts to evolve? Or worse, what happens when another mass extinction event wipes out every living organism except for you? (I can hear you wanting to bring up spaceships. Cool your jets, Gene Roddenberry. That line of thinking creates more problems for you than it solves.)

Then again, maybe we’re talking about some artificially reproduced form of consciousness where you exist indefinitely, snowglobed in a Matrix-like world. I suppose that could work too, but then suddenly we’ve wandered off the philosophical deep end.

Besides, what’s so horrifying about not existing? It’s really not that big of a deal. You did it for billions of years before you were born, and that doesn’t make you the least bit queasy. Why, then, are you so worried about the billions of years that you won’t exist after you die?


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