Immortality is the desired state of not dieing permanently.

The only two options.

Just The Facts

  1. Humans have been obsessed with immortality since the discovery of the inevitability of a cold, all-encompassing, dark, lonely death.
  2. Much of popular fiction, religion and mythology therefore revolves around becoming immortal.
  3. Recent studies show that immortality might not be worth it.

Immortality in Early Media

The Epic of Gilgamesh is one of the earliest known instances of a quest for immortality. Gilgamesh, two-thirds god, mostly king, grows bored with boning other men's wives, and so decides to go to the Forest of Cedars, defeat the guardian monster Humbaba, and cut down the giant cedar out of pure ennui. Unfortunately, he pisses off a goddess by not sleeping with her, so his friend Enkidu dies. Gilgamesh realizes that he could die as well, and goes on another quest for immortality. Gilgamesh spends most of his life searching for immortality, but the minute he finds it (in the form of a flower), the plant gets eaten by a snake. Gilgamesh learns two valuable lessons; life is fleeting and snakes are evil.

Adam, Eve and Snake

Every goddamn time.

Immortality in Recent Fiction

Recently, immortality has come under fire from the media for having the capacity to suck. 'Symptoms' of immortality include the deaths of loved ones, the universe fading out of existence, loneliness, bitterness, a feeling of inevitibility, and the realization that you are an old creepy man in a body that hasn't changed for centuries checking out innocent young girls.

Twilight Romance

Exhibit A.

The idea of immortality being a bad thing was summed up most completely by the philosopher Freddy Mercury in his thesis "Who Wants to Live Forever." Since then, popular culture has portrayed more and more of the down side of invulnerability and immortality, things that don't exist. This leaves us only to wonder what those people in positions of power are discouraging us from. Unless they know something we don't.

Immortality in Real Life

Immortality does occur in reality, in three different ways;

  1. Cyclical Immortality, practiced by Turritopsis nutricula, a jellyfish. After becoming a sexually mature adult, Turritopsis nutricula can transform itself back into a child and live again and again. It is functionally immortal, but very boring.
  2. Spiritual Immortality, or "sucker's immortality". This stems from the idea that there is eternal life after death, the problem being, you have to life a good full life beforehand. This is also a boring option.
  3. Hypothetical Immortality, or "Fame". This is immortality for pussies, in that you don't actually live forever, in fact you die. The difference is just that people remember you if you're famous. This theory is depressing in that genocidal maniacs get immortality, but average Joe six-pack's get nothing.