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:
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.