Immortality: Unending Life, Ending Life
Immortality in this day and age could be a serious possibility. Experts and scientists believe that with the help of genetic engineering and artificial intelligence, immortality could be the next big product on store shelves by 2050 (Pinkstone). The issue on the table, however, is whether or not immortality is even worth it, let alone moral or safe. If given the opportunity or choice, immortality should not be chosen in the real world, or in the realm of science and technology; people should live out their natural life span, as intended. In this essay, we will be uncovering the major issues that the idea of immortality hides under its promise of a longer life. These include moral and economic issues, as well as what immortality would do as far as overpopulation.
How Would Immortality Affect the Moral Compass of Humanity?
First off, immortality goes against the foundation of every religion in our world. For instance, in religions that believe in reincarnation, a person never lives forever as a single being. Instead, they live multiple lives as multiple different beings. In Christianity, after someone dies, they move on to enjoy Heaven, the seemingly perfect world, where sin and evil don’t exist. The prospect of going to Heaven along with the fear of going to Hell drives morality. Which brings up another point; why would anyone want to be immortal in a place full of evil and darkness? Addiction torments people of all ages, families are constantly broken up and torn apart, and children are starving and even being sold in some places. According to WorldHunger.org, approximately 3.1 million children die each year due to malnutrition alone. Along with this, 1 in every 4 victims of human trafficking are children (“Child Trafficking Statistics”). This ratio indicates that there are roughly 6,250,000 children who have been stripped from their families and forced into captivity and labor. Why live forever where pain and sorrow exists when you can someday live in a place filled with joy and everlasting peace? Where there is no such thing as starvation or human trafficking, and other evils alike?
Could Immortality Lead to a More greedy, Selfish, and Corrupt Human Race?
Not only would immortality be a great issue of morality, but it is very probable that it would cause an increase of corruption in our already corrupt world. To elaborate, if the market for immortality or an anti-aging drug were to someday be created, said market would most likely be very monopolistic. A monopoly, by definition, is “the exclusive possession or control of supply or of trade in a commodity or service” (Dictionary.com). This basically means that the market for this immortality drug would be the first and only one of its kind, therefore giving the producers the power to make it as expensive as their greedy little hearts desire, as there would be no other competitors. If someone is thinking that despite the aforementioned reasons that immortality is wrong, you would still choose to take the drug, let me ask you this; is it really worth spending your life savings on a life with no provisions? Would it really be worth it to spend your retirement fund on a life of no retirement, and no rest?
How Immortality Would Affect Our Planet:
Immortality is something that would not only affect the people and societies of this world, but it would also affect our very planet in major ways. The more people who give in to the promise of longer life with this drug, the more people there are on earth. What I mean by this is that with less and less people dying, the more our population grows. With a greater population, comes a greater demand for essential resources like food, water, and shelter. The more people there are, the less resources we have. Animals would begin to go extinct from excessive hunting, and water sources would run dry due to the need for drinking, laundry, and plumbing. The greatest issue of these, however, would be shelter. The more people there are, the less room there is; it’s that simple. Just ask the residents of China and India, which each have populations of over 1 billion people (“Ten Countries with the Highest Population in the World”). With a greater crowd also comes the greater risk of massive disease outbreaks, as we know very well. Not only this, but with a larger population comes the higher demand for things like fuel and electricity, which would then cause a crisis in pollution and accelerated global warming. It seems as if immortality would actually cause the fall of the world, not a Utopian society as some believe.
Do the Good Aspects of Immortality Outweigh the Bad?
Some may believe that the issues of immortality are outweighed by the advantages of it. For instance, if people live longer they have the opportunity to experience much more and are capable of achieving unlimited knowledge (Ranjan). Immortality could be the start of a new era of enlightenment and education, to some. Yes, immortality would give people more time to learn, grow, and experience more, but at what cost? Unlocking the secret to curing Cancer means nothing when the new highest death cause is starvation. Figuring out how to teleport means nothing when you can’t escape the large crowds and overpopulation. Inventing jetpacks and being able to experience the beauty of flight means nothing when there are billions of people suffering on the ground below. The arrival of immortality doesn’t eliminate death, it brings it along as an accomplice.
In conclusion, immortality may look like a good thing on the surface, but in the grand scheme of things, all it would bring is even more death and suffering to our world, with maybe a few extra years to our life span. The majority of what an immortality drug would bring to our world would be detrimental to our morals, economy, population, and the health of our planet. This is why people should not choose to take the immortality drug if given the opportunity or choice. Instead, people should live out their natural life span, as intended. Contrary to popular belief, the cons of immortality do outweigh the pros. Instead of fantasizing about living longer, live your life to the fullest, regardless of how much time you have. Ultimately, it is quality over quantity when it comes to measuring the significance of your life, not the other way around.
“Child Trafficking Statistics.” World's Children, www.worldschildren.org/child-trafficking-statistics/.
Dictionary.com, Dictionary.com, https://www.dictionary.com/browse/monopoly?s=ts.
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