Top 10 Reasons You Don’t Want To Be Immortal

Suggested by SMS

“The only thing wrong with immortality is that it tends to go on forever.” – quote by Herb Caen.

Given the opportunity, would you want to be immortal? It certainly sounds tempting. Death is terrifying to most people. We mortals keep companies in business buying products to make them look younger, feel younger, and live longer. The science of cryonics and cryonic suspension offers possible immortality, where there is a demand someone will work on supplying it. For many, the idea of living forever and having immortality is a much better alternative than death. If everyone were to become immortal, there are the obvious social problems of overpopulation and lack of resources to consider. To be immortal may be a bleaker prospect than you think. Contemplating the realistic effects of living forever may change the “happily ever after” perception of immortality. For the purpose of this article, the focus is on you as an individual being immortal as an adult in good health, while the rest of the human race goes through the normal aging process.

10. Outlive Everyone In Your Family

A part of life that makes it worthwhile is having family to share it with. A spouse, children, grandchildren, and extended family are the nucleus of life for most people. If you were immortal, you would outlive everyone you loved that made up your family. The personal recognition of family gives us a sense of belonging; special things in life are shared and celebrated together. It can feel like a slow death that lasts forever, to be alone with no family connections to the rest of the human race. Generation after generation, the gap between you and family relations would grow wider, until you would have no roots. Seeing families caring for one another would be painful. As you would be immortal, there would be the chance to start anew repeatedly with spouses and more children. But the prospect of losing loved ones to death repeatedly would soon thwart any motivation to initiate these relationships.

9. Lack Sense of Purpose

Immortality is a length of time we can’t imagine. When you know you will outlast everything and everyone, you may feel any purpose is futile. Our sense of purpose drives us gives meaning to our lives. Self-discovery may seem to have many unexplored corners, until you are immortal. The purpose of being responsible to care for others would not exist eventually. The purpose of a healthy lifestyle to prolong your life would be meaningless and unnecessary. The purpose to travel and experience the world would be a “been there, done that” thing far too soon. With our uncertain and relatively short normal life span for humans, we may have so many things we want to do with this life that we think we could never do them all. But eventually, you would achieve all the goals you had dreamed of. The task of finding new things worthy of giving your life purpose, that you want to do, would be daunting.

8. Mental Stress

Immortality would allow you time to mentally process a never-ending barrage of life situations and circumstances. But thinking about the reason you are here, dealing with continuous death of the people around you, feelings of abandonment, despair, and witnessing generation after generation of war and human error would take its toll. Experiencing this onslaught of life events would cause extreme mental stress. Your mind could slip into a state where you are subconsciously trying to escape the never-ending whirl of life, losing your grip on reality. Dealing with so many traumatic life circumstances could eventually break the strongest of minds, causing you to fear that if you do lose your mental grip, no one will be there for you to pick up the pieces. Mental stress causes you to be easily confused, forgetful and fosters a negative attitude. A chronic state of mental stress also causes anxiety, depression and social withdrawal. You need to maintain a healthy mindset in order to function, be productive and absorb new ideas. Without these things depression ensues, with the possible desire to commit suicide to the end the depression and stress; but the inability to do so as you are immortal.

7. Ongoing Financial Burden

Most people think of all they would do if they were immortal, and all the time they would have to do it in. The downside is that you need money to do all these things. The traveling, the leisure time, and the adventures are hard to do when you are also maintaining a job for income. You aren’t instantly rich just because you are immortal. You would be the same you, with the same bank account. You do have to provide for yourself financially through the many, many years you are going to live. Your intelligence is also the same, unless you take initiative to improve it. You certainly have the time to further your education, go to college as many times as you like…but you have to pay for it. You still have to maintain a job and pay your bills. There would soon be no family to turn to in times of need, so you must stay financially independent. You would not have “job burn out” once – but repeatedly. Even if you changed occupations regularly in different areas, being accountable for your financial welfare indefinitely would become a burden. There would be no goal of eventual retirement for you, as you would have the “gift” of immortality.

6. Disinterest in Socializing

Life as an immortal would change who you are, in time. Watching every generation die would have a significant affect on you and how you view others. Finding common ground with others would become harder as time wore on. Identifying with others and the ability to form a close connection would be difficult for a variety of reasons. You would soon have no one that had any history with you; your whole existence would be establishing relationships over and over again. You may need to keep your immortality a secret from others, significantly hindering the possibility of forming close relationships. You likely will avoid becoming involved with others, after the loss of so many over the years that you cared for. This can cause you to become cold emotionally out of necessity, and live reclusively. Hardening your self against emotional pain and living a solitary life is no life for anyone. Human beings draw on the strength from others to validate us and support us through the ups and downs of life.

5. Decline of Personal Morals

We place value on having moral standards because being moral and decent is a requirement for human survival. Morals keep people from harming others and their selves, allow us to live peacefully, refrain from destructive behavior and are good for interpersonal relationships. If you were immortal, would you see the value in keeping your moral standards, or would you feel they didn’t apply to you? Your perception of the value of morals would likely change over the years, causing you to see nothing wrong with anything you feel like doing. The need to do something different, relieve boredom or make easy money could drive you to things you never would have done before immortality. With so much time to focus on your self, your character could turn cold and selfish. You may not feel a strong sense of right and wrong; reasoning there is no “judgment or consequence” for wrongdoing.

4.  Lose Sense of Identity

Your identity, your sense of self, who are and who you want to be is intertwined with what stage of life you are in. In a normal life span, you are evolving with each life stage. Each passing stage is a marker to measure the success of these goals. The goals, values and connections that define who you are during these normal life stages are absent with immortality. Your beliefs morph and change through the years, until you may not believe in anything. With no stage of life to progress to, the years would run together and have no significance, until you are left the question of who you really are. The person you knew yourself to be as a mortal would be no more, your goals having no urgency or defining you as they did. A mortal can look back on their life and know who they are by the path they have chosen; an immortal looks back on so many years of life they become a blur. Your sense of identify will also be blurred when no life path points to who you are as a person.

3. Resentment Towards Others

The thought of being immortal conjures up the illusion that life would be wonderful if you lived forever, as there would be no fear of dying. The beginning of being immortal would feel like you were special and others were doomed. But as years progress in your immortal state, you watch the people around you, resenting their ability to form close ties, to love, fearless of what the future brings, to live with appreciation and awe of the things that you have come to think of as mundane and commonplace. You watch them have children, go shopping, obsess about their weight, buy homes and build their lives with anticipation. You have the weight of centuries on your shoulders, while they are oblivious to the pain, heartache and experiences you have endured. Their lives seem light, happy and free compared to yours. They grow up together and have memories that bond them. They savor family, moments and events; knowing their time is limited on earth and these things may not come again. You see the excitement of a new experience in their faces and anticipation in their voices. And you miss being that way, and know you likely will never be again. Jealousy of the blissful naivety of their lives would cause resentment to be harbored.

2. Witness All of Mankind’s Mistakes and Earth’s Demise

People always speculate about the future of mankind. Human error is inevitable. There are all types of chaotic disasters to live through, such as economic ruin, erosion of resources due to pollution, the sun eventually burning out, or even a meteor colliding with earth. You will have much more time to wait around for these things to happen than a mere mortal. Mistakes, greed, and poor judgment abound. Immortality will give you a front row seat to the tragedies and disasters born from mankind’s imperfections. Man is not satisfied to simmer contently in the comfortable world we have made for ourselves. The world that you enjoy as an immortal could come tumbling down in years, decades or centuries. It is inevitable that at some point a major catastrophe will occur. War can cause destruction that the earth may never recover from, obliterating most of the human race and leaving the world a barren wasteland. You would witness this anguish and live through it all, possibly being the only one left standing. You wouldn’t be living at this point, but merely existing. With everything and everyone gone, you would have a lonely existence – assuming you still have your sanity.

1. Eternal Life In Heaven After Death

“The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. –Romans 6:23
People with spiritual faith in God believe they do have eternal life after death. The faith that heaven awaits them after death sustains them through the trials of their life on earth. It gives their life greater meaning, and they perceive life here on earth to be a small grain of sand in the hourglass of time. The personal relationship they develop with God diminishes much of the fear of dying, and replaces it with anticipation of being with their Creator. They have the peace of mind that they will see loved ones again, and be in a place where there is no suffering or pain for them or others. This spiritual faith and belief in eternal life after death make being immortal in a suffering world undesirable.