Custom «Mortality and Immortality» Essay Paper Sample
The ever-present threat of death, its indifference and its cold capriciousness are a fate and reality that dawn on every human being. The very thoroughness and nature of physical death not to single out anyone and it not being personal is a reason that reduces individuals fear and resentment against death. However, there is a common thought among many people that given the choice to chose, they would rather be immortal and thus immune from the sting of death. Nonetheless, being mortal has benefits to the society and if given a choice on whether to be immortal or mortal, I would chose to be mortal and not immortal for various reasons.
Firstly, various challenges that would evidently face an immortal being will drive my desire to be mortal. The first challenge that I would face if I were immortal would be the challenge posed by the capacity of the human brain due to the finite size of the brain. Since brain capacity is limited, being immortal would mean that more memory space than the normal brain can accommodate will have to be available. The choice of what memories one would be ready to lose would be an important issue. Assuming that an individual would lose their memories on a first in first out basis, then an individual would lose their childhood memories first, before losing recent memories. Since most of my childhood memories are desirable, I would not find it desirable to lose such memories. Considering the changing nature of an individual's personality over an individual's life time, it would reach a point that an individual would lose track of their own sense of identity. Being mortal means an individual faces limited changes in personality before they die. Individuals also have limited memories that cannot even fill the human memory. An extended life that is offered by immortality would present overwhelming changes that may be a source of stress for individuals.
In addition, mortality also provides ethical benefits. The realization that everyone and even ourselves would end up dying is one of the major reasons that human race care about ethics (Killilea, 1999). Knowing the eventuality of contributes many individuals treating life as a gift and providing opportunities to share life with others. An immortal individual is more likely to be not only concerned with life's ethics but with leading a life that is more beneficial for the society. Immortality contributes to individuals desire to leave a legacy which often is done through their life deeds.
Another reason why I would rather be mortal than immortal is due to the possible social and technological challenges that may face an immortal individual in a mortal society. Being immortal would mean that I would see many of my loved ones dying form all my children, to my great grandchildren and so on. This would create a lot of grieving. Also seeing many of my friends dying would also cause a lot of grief. In addition, I would have to make new friends at very moment. Over time this kind of life may be boring and apathy may prevail as one would end up seeing as if nothing would be important. Seeing every other person dye would create a sense that nothing is really important. Considering the many benefits attributed to human relationships, such a state of thinking would contribute to a life that is not worth living. In fact, it is likely that
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I would also rather be mortal than age forever. Assuming that even if I were immortal I would still continue to age, it would be difficult to tell at what physiological point the aging would stop. Considering the challenges of increased levels of diseases and the consequent challenges that accompany old age would mean that life would be very much unbearable. Similarly, if immortality were extended to a larger part of the society, the cost of maintain individuals at old age would be very high and younger generations would be faced with the burden of maintaining the old. Determining the physiological state that physiological processes should stop would make the question of immortality a big challenge. For example, few would find it acceptable to live forever in a prepubescent or adolescent body, in mid life or in old age. Consequently, if normal human beings were to continue aging at the normal rate as they do but with the benefit of being immortal, their levels of unproductiveness would increase leaving them in need of care within very short periods of time. Since the physical limitations accompanying old age are unpleasant, I would not find or prefer to live in such a condition indefinitely.
However, not everybody would agree with my desire to be mortal. Some individuals would argue that being immortal would provide individuals with some advantages. For example[le, some may ague that being immortal would be desirable since it would make one wiser due to the benefits of learning very many things. However, this would be refutable on two main points. Firstly, even if it would be possible to be wise due to living longer, the fact that immortality may reduce the sense of ethics in an individual would contribute to less sense of wisdom. At the same time, the changing nature of society as human beings evolve over time would mean that the kind of knowledge that such an immortal individual may consider as relevant to the society could be outdated. Being wise would only be possible if the kind of information that an individual possesses is relevant to the society.
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Another argument that may be used to support immortality would be the desire of an individual to face new experiences and the changes that may occur in society. While this may seem to be an obviously plausible argument at first glance, other factors may still contribute to the undesirability of immortality based on the premise of experiencing diverse life situations The fact that some of the experiences my not be p[positive as naturally life does not always consist of only [positive events would mean that there are chances that the life experiences may not be positive. If that were to happen, such an individual would have the desire of rather dying than living with various memories that would make life unbearable. Since immortality would include seeing all our loved ones die over time, its is likely that an individual would end up feeling lonely.
It is therefore clear from the preceding arguments that although being immortal may have some advantages, the disadvantages of such an experience supersede the advantages that would accompany an immortal life. Ranging from the undesirable effects of changes in the society, the declining vitality of the body as the physiological changes take their natural cause and the undesirable effect of seeing all our loved ones die far much supersede the benefits of living to experience the society. It is a fact that most of the life meaning is shaped and acquired through interaction with the individuals whom we value and treasure. Such relationships ones lost through mortality of other individuals would leave an individual whop is immortal lonely and devoid of the desire to live.