Is Immortality Worth It? — 25 years later

I initially wrote “Would Immortality Be Worth It?” for my Introduction to Philosophy course. It’s a thought-experiment essay for a unit on The Meaning of Life towards the end of the semester. The essay was then published in Objectivity (1:4, 1992, 81-96) and is now online here in PDF format.

The issue is this:

When confronted with the fact of their mortality, many thoughtful people conclude that death makes life meaningless. What is the point of life, they ask, if one is going to be dead soon anyways? Others conclude that only life after death, i.e., immortality, could make life meaningful. Both positions agree that a finite, mortal life is in itself pointless.

I then raise three questions:

thinker-rain-50x71 Would immortality change anything, as say those who say mortality makes life meaningless?
Would an immortal life be worth it?
Is the amount of time one has to live one’s life the key factor when asking what makes (or would make) life worth living?

My answer is at the end of the essay.

2 thoughts on “Is Immortality Worth It? — 25 years later

  • June 20, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Thank you for sharing your essay. I talk with my brother about the idea of immortality now and then. I really reading your take on it.

  • July 15, 2017 at 2:20 am

    Nice essay, definitely thought provoking. I’m coming in late on this so I apologise. The idea of repeating past experiences that were lost due to a finite brain was especially interesting. I’ve been down that road personally (obviously on a much, much smaller scale) due to severe memory loss. In my experience it was all good the 2nd time around. But, admittedly, I’m speaking from a microcosmic place compared to the scenario in the essay. Either way it was a good read, and I’m enjoying some of your other work as well. Thanks for sharing, please keep it up!

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