Immortality in philosophy and religion means eternal life, exempted from death, indefinite continuation of mental, physical and spiritual energy and human body as an unyielding concept. Some consider it as ancient myths where gods grant immortality to humans who have proved their goodness, while others believe it as a scientific and medical evolution.
The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.Bruce Lee
Science has claimed that humanity is no longer a distant dream and humanity is very close to acquire it. Dr. Ian Pearson very strongly believes that by the year 2050, Humans will attain everlasting life, and if you are below 40 years age and survive till 2050, you will be gifted with eternal life. There are 4 ways by described by science to attain immortality-
- Renewing your body parts– Dr. Ian Pearson says that with the use of biotechnologies and medicines, human body can be renewed and rejuvenated. For example if you are 90 years old, your body can be rejuvenated to 30 years old.
- Live in the Robotic body– Dr. Ian Pearson says that we could link our mind to a robot body. It’s just like hiring a car for rent even if your original body has died your consciousness will be placed inside a robotic machine which will look like Human. For example- In a movies like terminators Humanoids are created which are artificial humans.
- Virtual Consciousness and Digital Mind- Dr. Pearson says that people can choose not to have a robotic body and instead their Consciousness and mind can be stored in a form of memory on computers and they can live forever happily. For example- You could link your mind to millions of other minds, and have unlimited intelligence, and be in multiple places at once.
- Cyronicists– It simply means bringing back the dead by freezing the dead body and reanimating to bring it back. Scientist believes that by deep freezing the body, brain is preserved and it does not dies and after proper medication the functions of the body can be restarted.
These are some of the theories postulated by scientists. No matter how unrealistic or absurd they may sound, but curiosity and experiments can make impossible, ‘possible’. Growth and evolution are the two forces which cannot be halted, but where there is development, destructions follows.
For example, Infrastructural development leads to loss of deforestation, loss of vegetation, soil erosion, increase in greenhouse gases and loss of animals homes and shelter. We, human beings are at the top of the food chains, having superior intelligence and imagination are capable of bringing havoc and peace at the same time, and becoming immortal will gives us power to do so.
Before we judge Immortality, let’s understand how to decide whether something is right or wrong, good or bad. Philosophy says, that morality and ethics are the two parameters to judge right and wrong. However, science evaluates the ratio of Positive and Negative impacts to determine the faith of something being useful or useless. Therefore let’s analyze the impact of immortality on the ratio of positives and negatives.
Positive Impacts :
- Financial Benefits- Immortality will profoundly alter the economic structure of every nation, where by increasing Human Life-Spans by several decades could save trillions of dollars in medical costs as we wipe out heart disease, cancer, and other maladies. In one of the surveys, it was concluded that eliminating death by heart attack would save 48 trillion dollar, and curing cancer would save 47 trillion dollars. From the economic standard point anti-aging will produce high return on investment than the expenses incurred, because all the population would want to become immortal despite not having medical conditions.
- Ending Misery and Pain-Immortality will definitely end human misery and pain, people die a pitiful dead due to old age, sickness, diseases and accidents. Anti-aging can change the fate of human’s making them physically and biologically enhanced and more efficient, where they could fight their own wars against physical agony. Emotional pain will also be rooted out as no one will die in family, and people will be able to live together with their loved ones forever. Ending human misery will make humans more productive and useful as there will be no physical, mental and emotional barriers, he will be able to reach the apex of his full potential and even surpass them.
- Overcoming Thanatophobia- Thanatophobia simply means “fear of death”, which all humans have. It is an universal truth that no man is above death, even the good ones have to die someday irrespective of their good deeds and contribution to society. This fear causes anxiety, depression in humans as it becomes natural to worry about our heath and our family and friends. It causes people to lose hope in journey of life because their fates are sealed. However, with the invention of immortality people will no longer fear death and the importance of Thanatophobia will be lost forever. People can live utmost of their life, enjoy pleasures of the world, travel all around the world and be connected to their family members forever.
- Unlimited Pleasures in life-Imagine yourself becoming immortal, What pleasures would you seek for yourselves? Immortality can be a blessing for those who seek only pleasures in life, because their happiness will last forever. Some of my fantasies will be to taste every food on earth, travel to every corner of the world, read all books in the library, play every game on PC, get all the degrees and clear all the government exams and would experience all kinds of professions. Collectively humans will do everything once they reach Immortality, there will be no limitations on progress and pleasures in life.
- Limitless Opportunities in life-Today humans are restricted by limited time within which they have to accomplish their dreams. We roughly have about 40 years of career life, with increasing age our mental and physical capacities decays we can no longer peruse our dreams. There are millions of people who die without knowing their true nature and accomplishing their goals. But upon becoming immortal beings, there will be no boundaries in social, cultural professional and economical lifestyle. People will be able to reach their endeavors. Failure will not be a hurdle anymore, you can try billions of time if need be to achieve success.
- Health Benefits- Immortality will bring evolution in the fields of medicine. It will not only restore the dying cells in the body, also increase the efficiency in humans. Such miracles will benefit old age people, who had relinquished hope would get a second chance at life. People who are suffering with incurable diseases will be cured and live a longer life. Some dreams which are humanly impossible and are restricted to physical and biological limits will be achievable. There are other benefit such as forming new internal organs, new body parts, cloning of humans etc.
Negative Impacts :
- Population Increase- With humanity becoming immortal there will be rise in population, as no one will want to die intentionally. The scale ratio of birth and death will be disturbed, leading to extinction of resources, scarcity of food and water, increase is deforestation, degradation of agricultural land. Considering all these impacts new laws will be formed where restrictions will be imposed on human reproduction. Families will be allowed to have one child or no child, depending upon the situation. As a result of all this evolution cycle will be stopped, new generation will not come into play and earth will become a monopoly market of older generation.
Immortality will definitely raise the social and economic standards of living, and due to overpopulation significance of human life will be lost, poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, underdevelopment will prevail in societies.
- Significance of time- If humans become immortal brings, value of time will be lost. Today people believe that ‘time stops for no one’, ‘we have limited time’, ‘race against time’. These beliefs will lose their significance and humans will win the race against time, however it will have negative impacts beyond imagination. Meaning of life is drawn from time, our dreams, hopes, passion and goals are in co-relation with time. Shortage of time motivates and encourages our endeavors to complete our tasks and duties and upon completion we derive satisfaction and happiness. But if we are given all the time in the world people will become lazy and inefficient to work, society will become monotonous and dull and passion and enthusiasm among people will be bygone.
- Legal impacts- Today law gives capital punishments for serious offences committed by people. Capital punishment is not for everyone as it violates the human rights because no one has the right to decide who will live and die. Similarly, euthanasia is also restricted, allowed only is special conditions only. Suicide is also considered as an offense under Section 309 of IPC, thereby preventing taking of one’s own life. However as the Society progresses laws keeps on changing, in a world full of Immortals, legal system will also evolve thereby allowing capital punishments for less serious offences also, freeing up “places” for someone else to have a baby. Significance of life will be lost, humans acting as god passing judgment of death upon individuals.
Euthanasia will also be allowed by the government, where people can willfully decide to end their lives. Suicide will also be decriminalized, people will be given freedom to die after living thousands of year. This change is legal and social structure of society will rise to new form of discrimination of usefulness, those who will be useful to society will be allowed to live and given immorality whereas others will be killed in the name of justice. Hypothetically, chances are If overpopulation causes problem on earth, genocide may also be legalized in the name of Justice.
- Faith In Religion- Being immortal means being god, today humans fear death more than anything in life. They pray God and wish for protection and safety for themselves and their loved ones. People believe in religion, worshipping God, going to temples, reading philosophies, practicing virtues, interpreting religious texts and holy books because they consider God as the supreme force who is immortal being above all and omniscient. They consider Soul is more important than physical body as it is the manifestation of God. But if humans become immortals, faith in religion will be lost, people will become arrogant to follow teachings of God, temples will be shut down or vandalized, religious texts and books will be burned.
Mankind will become power hungry and arrogant, dominating and destroying other life forms for their own benefits. Theories of Karma & Dharma, Hell & Heaven, Birth & Rebirth, Good & Evil will become meaningless in front of immortality.
- Superiority Complex- Power dynamics will come into play as in an immortal world, there will be no equality. Even in today’s world discrimination is made between rich and poor, educated and non- educated, superior and lower race, powerful and weak. Discrimination is prevalent in all form of societies. In an immortal world people will be discriminated on being an asset or liability to the society. For example- If someone is contributing to Society he will be given more preference to become an immortal being rather than someone will less skills. Such discrimination will divide the society into high class intellectual and low class beings.
- Monopoly– Humans are selfish beings, they tend to preserve benefits for themselves. If immortality pills are made, they will be first used by elites or rich people as the prices will be very high. Middle class families or poor people won’t be able to afford immortality pills. Such discrimination will make the elites, rulers of earth and other mortal brings. With the passage of time this power dynamics will turn elites into oppressed rulers, preserving immortality pills for themselves and their families.
- Law of Nature- Immortality is against the law of nature which says that “every life will has to perish someday”. Twisting the forces of nature will bring disaster not only to earth, but also to life. Immortality will cause biological, physical and mental changes in human body. We can only predict that such changes will have a positive impact on human beings. But what if, abnormalities occur after few decades resulting in extinction of human species. There are many precedents showing the wrath of natural forces, proving that no one can control earthquakes, Tsunami, climate, gravity and electromagnetism.
- Power struggle- Humans have always tussled over power, it’s in his nature. If we take example such as in politics representatives fight over position, there is arms race among many countries who are trying to make their defense system strong, economics struggle is also very common. Wars have been fought in want for more powers, which has only brought death and violence in the world. Similarly, immortality is a godly power for which wars will be fought, nuclear weapons will be used against the country who manufactured Immortality pills bringing death and destruction.
Imagine is this power into wrong hands like Terrorist, Jihadists and dictatorship leaders. It will be misused for their own benefits destroying the world if need be. Both the government and Legal system will collapse if such powers are misused.
- No End- The biggest disadvantage of Immortality is that there will be no end to anything. People will enjoy living for 2 centuries exploring everything about the world and cosmos. But what if they continue living for billion years life will become meaningless and shallow. People will lose their memories of birth, forget their emotions and just continue to breathe without any end let alone all the physical and mental trauma. We will no longer be humans anymore and Immortality will become a curse rather than a gift.
“Every life is born and someday it will die”. The selfish desire to overcome death and continue living, enjoying all the glories of the world will make humans corrupt, loosing theirs spiritual and moral standards. God is very intelligent because even though you increase your life span by a billion year, death will still follow you and someday you have to die. For example- If humans become a ‘computer program’ or ‘machines’ they can still be deleted and destroyed. As for me, I am not interested in living billions of year. Death is the only reality I don’t want to escape, death is paramount form of peace and freedom from suffering and materialistic pleasures. Immorality is a trap of endless pain and misery which humans will create for themselves in near future. It’s a sin which should not be committed.