Life without Death

In our previous class we had discussed about life without death. In that class, some of our friends wished to live forever and some did not wish to live forever. I admire my friends’ view of living forever. According to them, living forever would be a great opportunity in life. They can enjoy their life and see what will happen in future. Moreover, they do not have to fear about death and live as much as they want in this beautiful world.

However, if I got a chance to live forever, I would not choose it. In my view, living forever does not mean to enjoy our life. If death is eliminated from our life, our life will become meaningless. I think that death gives meaning to our life. We know that we are going to die, so we try to enjoy each day of our life to its fullest. We work hard to make our life better and try not to hurt others. We solve the disputes among people and become cooperative and friendly. Our life is limited and we want to achieve as much as we want in our limited life. Yes, if we die, we will not be able to see what will happen in the future. But, at least we will see what happens in the present until we live. If there is no death then we will become arrogant and will start procrastinating.

Furthermore, life without death does not denote that there will be no new life in the world. The new generation will enter in the world and the old generation will not die. As a result, the world’s population will increase and the limited resources of the world will not be able to bear the increasing population which will lead to a great disaster. Moreover, when there is no death in the world, we will have to keep on living and working hard in order to survive. There will be a moment when we will want to rest, when we will want to abandon all the hard work and just take a break. Then, death will be the way to take rest and remain silent forever.

So, living forever does not necessarily mean that we will enjoy our life. In fact, eliminating death from our life will make our life meaningless and futile.

Digya Shrestha

Response to the article about immortality

“In Pursuit of Immortality: The Science behind Life Extension” is an article by Kristie McNealy M.D that describes the efforts of scientists to cure aging and put an end to death. The article made us acquainted with the techniques like cryonics, the method of preserving human bodies after death with the hope that they would be revived back to life. While reading about the scientists’ attempts to make medicine to avoid natural death, I felt awkward. I feel convenient to add here that it is actually the end point of things that adds meaning to their existence. Likewise, it is death that grants value to life. In other words, we are concerned about the proper utilization of time and better consumption of facilities because we are all well aware that life is a precious gift which we cannot get back once we lose it. The realization that till death we have a limited span of time to achieve our goal motivates us to work at a faster pace and put the best of our talent. We all well know that life is short and proceeds towards death with every click of a clock. With the passage of every proportion of a second, we get closer to death and the time we have to fulfill our desires shrinks further. The knowledge that death is irreversible further intrigues us to work smoothly and even more efficiently so that we could be able to achieve our ambition before we die. Since we cannot refrain from death, we cannot procrastinate if we really want to lead a successful life. Thus, we rush towards our destination and try our best to accomplish tasks on time because we are aware that if we waste time then there is surely no any way to retrieve it back. We are serious about life because we know that we cannot get it back once we die and so endeavor to make best of it. A logical and critical overview of the article tells us if there was any way to revive a corpse back to life, life would have lost its significance. Death actually imparts value to life. If there was a strategy to put a stop to death, man might not have taken life seriously. They would always procrastinate and might have sat idle. Consequently, the highly advanced achievements of today would not have been possible. Moreover, the world is already overwhelmed with problems like over-population, scarcity of food and such other problems. In such a situation, why not be concerned about the health and environmental problems that lead to death at earlier stages than to strive to make life immortal?

Death in the Freezer (Cryonic suspension)

In the course of teaching about various tactics of immortality, our teacher introduced about cryonic suspension to us. I knew I had heard of it before, but when she spoke it out, I was bewildered what cryonic suspension means. Later she explained it briefly that it is a process in which a person is kept in liquid nitrogen under a freezing temperature so that he can be retrieved back to life in the future, and I reminisced about a novel, “Death in the Freezer.”

The novel starts with a line, “I killed my dead brother.” In the story, Al and Ellen are brother and sister respectively. Previously, they share very happy lives with love, care, and respect for one another. Later, Ellen gets married to a man and lives an unhappy life with her husband and children. On the contrary, her brother, Al becomes a star in a rock band and has a very prosperous and luxurious life. Therefore, she is envious of his wealth and success.

Nevertheless, Al is a drug addict and is infected by AIDS, so he decides to undergo cryonic suspension so that he could be brought back to life when there will be a cure for AIDS. He authorizes the Cryonic Company for his wealth until that time, but this becomes intolerable to Ellen as she is his only one family member who has the right to his property. Hence, she plots a plan to kill him. She decides to switch off the cryonic machine when Al is inside it, and she does it after few months of the cryonic suspension. Later police accuse her of murder, but her lawyer claims that the people who put Al in cryonic machine are murderers. Her lawyer convinces the judge saying that no human being can survive in such a freezing temperature without eating anything for such a long time.

However, in court, another surprising fact gets disclosed that Ellen used to give Al syringes of slow poison which she stole from hospital where she was a nurse. Eventually, Ellen is imprisoned for killing her own brother.

I felt very pity on Ellen. It is true that she tries to kill his brother by using slow poison, but he dies because of cryonic suspension rather than the slow poison. Hence, in my opinion cryonic suspension is a way to death but not the way to immortality.

Why would one want to be Immortal?

I learnt that in ancient times, people have been striving in order to achieve immortality. In ancient times, people used various magic to make it possible but as time elapsed, science became more popular. However, magic could not make a way towards immortality. Science used technologies which were more reliable than magic.  As science developed, the ways of gaining immortality also advanced with time. Various methods and techniques have already been introduced which are the steps toward immortality. Scientists and doctors have been able to make artificial body parts and now who knows if the path to immortality could be found by constant development and advancement. The question which is in my mind is if people find out a way to immortality,how many would step forward for being immortal and what would its consequences be? What do you think?

According to me, I feel that achieving immortality is something against nature and it is a drastic change in human life. Changes always have both pros and cons. Immortality is good in the sense that people will get to live life until eternity and enjoy the essence of life forever. People will no longer have to wait for their death and experience the pain of losing. There would be no more grief for people’s deaths. Everyone can live life forever. Everything will be the same forever: the number of people; the type of work being done; the amount of resources consumed and saved; the place; the thoughts; the ideas.

On the other hand, I can see frustration among people, tiredness from their life and boredom of their life. Things can be enjoyed when they are limited. If things are unlimited then it is certain that one day, they will lose their value. It’s good if things change with respect to time. For instance, even the earth needs to be turned each time after cultivating a crop to maintain its fertility; likewise, it is necessary for men to complete their life cycle and hand it on to the future generations which is within the law of nature. Birth is a natural process, so it is wise to make death natural as well.

I want to be under the rule of nature as we are a part of it.

In Pursuit of Immortality

Immortality
In the article In Pursuit of Immortality, we studied about various technological methods to increase life span and also some ideas about immortality. After reading this article, thought arose in my mind that the science and technologies are moving ahead in the search of immortality with the rapid speed, but I personally disliked the concept of living forever. Sometimes, we feel the requirement to prolong human life as some people may have lots of unfinished works on earth related to oneself and their family. For example, in the family, father is taken as the main source of income. If he is in a critical condition or he is about to die, the process to prolong the life becomes the gift of god.

I certainly don’t mean that old, disabled and common people should die, but we should not forget the law of nature. After the birth, death is certain to occur. The essence of birth and life is indicated by death. Every positive thing should have negative part as well so that we can figure out the importance of that positive thing. Similarly, if the birth is the positive thing, then there should be death as the negative thing, which will give true meaning to birth.

If there would not be death, there would not be any enthusiasm to work and make progress. Everyone would be arrogant and nobody would respect other, may be even parents would not take care of their child or child would not take care of their parents in old age as there is certain that nobody is going to die. Death is the thing that is controlling various kinds of sin as religious people believe that after death, the god will re-evaluate the unrevealed crimes on earth.

If we don’t die, how can our new generation survive? Our new generation will face the problem of overpopulation that leads to global warming and makes life difficult to sustain. So, death is important and I don’t think the science should invest huge amount of money for the research of immortality and try to overcome aging, it could rather invest that amount to serve the living people.

Fountain of Youth

When this week we studied about the idea of immortality and The Fountain of Youth, I remembered my father telling me stories about the Youth Spring. He told me that this spring really exists somewhere in the world, but nobody knows where it is. He said if somebody finds it and swims in it or drinks from its water, he would remain young forever.  He truly believed in the story because he heard the Prophet Khezr has drunk from it and become immortal.  I was young and the idea seemed very interesting to me. I deeply wished I could find the spring and remain young forever.  I told myself that if I found it one day, I would sell its water to people around the world and become rich. Then, I could help my parents and all the poor people that way. I really enjoyed dreaming about it. Later as I grew up, I learned that people who do good things and avoid harming others will go to heaven, where they will live in their young ages. It was then that I gave up with the idea of Youth Spring. I wished I would die as a good human and would go to heaven. It felt me with joy to think that besides God’s blessing you would be young again in the heaven, without lots of wrinkles on your face and lots of pain in your body.  

 I no longer dream about the Fountain of Youth or the Youth Spring. I don’t think about the heaven or the result of my good work either. I just simply enjoy doing good things and avoid harming others. I like to respect old people and receive others’ respect when I get old. I support the medical researches for finding ways to cure damaged body organs and increasing the average of human lifespan, but, personally, I prefer my life to reach its end in this world at some point. I want to give the space and the opportunity to the next generations to come and live. Instead of thinking about what happens after death or dreaming about immortality, I try to use my time to enjoy the life and help others enjoy their lives too.

A Letter from an Immortal Person

Dear reader,

It is the first day of 3011. Still I’m alive. I’m alive because I am immortal. I remember once I wanted immortality. Now I have that, but I don’t want it anymore because the world seems boring to me.

I intend to write this letter because today I am going to tell you how I reached in the state of immortality. I hid it to protect the confidentiality of an agreement which I had had with the scientists that I didn’t expose my history of being immortal until 3011. Today, in the first day of 3011, I am going to disclose the mystery.

Oh! It’s all about 1000 years ago when I wanted to become immortal. In that time, many scientists wanted to expand the span of human life. They even wanted to reach in a stage of immortality if it would be possible. They tried with various options to create the immortal life for human. Accordingly, some of the scientists in America announced that they wanted some brave persons who wanted to be the test subjects of their ‘immortality experiment.’ I thought I was brave enough to take this opportunity to become immortal! My family tried to impede me in my wish. However, I was firmly strict in my position that I went to America and exposed my wish to be the part of this project.

We are all about five who are willing to be the test subjects for this experiment. I didn’t know about others, but I believed that might be they were not able to turn us as immortal persons. Although I believed it, I had a curiosity about this project and the result. Before starting the experiment they had completed an agreement with us which I mentioned in this letter before. After that they applied cryonic suspension. That process referred to keep a person under liquid nitrogen in a metal tank as if there was a possibility to retrieve back in future. We, all five underwent this process. Though it was for dead people, we were different in the sense of application of that project. We were all alive. They gave us anesthesia. Then we were kept in that metal tanks and given cryonic suspension. After 150 years, I came to know that that experiment was successful because of me because other four were died. What a pathetic incident it was. It was a matter that I wanted to be immortal, but later I realized that mortality stood for understanding a life in a better way. Then we all knew that one day we all died; it encouraged us to savor every experience of our lives. My confession is that I did a mistake to want to be immortal because I am so lonely now.

It’s all about my past history. If you want to trust my story then do it, or if you don’t want to, then it’s okay. It’s up to you.

An anonymous immortal person

 

Do you want to live forever???

A few days ago we read about some technologies about immortality. After reading all those researches and technologies the thing that came up in my mind first is, “What’s the need of all these researches and technologies????” I understand that most of the people do not want to get old or die. That’s why; scientists are busy in inventing new technologies and medicines in pursuit of immortality. They may think that most people die for getting old, but there are lots of people who meet with an untimely death caused by accidents. Suppose, scientists have become successful to discover medicine for immortality, but will that medicine give guaranty about accidents? What if they are run over by a car, or get collapsed under ruins after an earthquake, or suddenly their home catches fire? Will they survive from these accidents just for having those medicines or using those technologies? I have heard that Michelle Jackson used to sleep in an Oxygen Chamber to live long, but we all know what had happened to him in the end. Suddenly he had to die at the age of 51 only. So, in my opinion, the time, energy and money that scientists are spending is nothing but wastage because no one can say that when he will fall victim to an accident.  

Moreover, what a person will get by living forever? We all know that today or tomorrow we are going to die. That’s why we work hard to survive as long as possible. We search for better lifestyle to enjoy our short life to its fullest. We have certain goals and ambitions to fulfill by ourselves and make a haste to accomplish that as soon as possible. So, when someone will get to know that he is going to live forever, he is never going to die, he will never feel the zeal to make his dream come true. Life would become meaningless and aimless as well to him. In addition, it is difficult to see our near and dear ones die in front of us. The more we live, the more we have to endure the pain of losing them. I, myself don’t want to live longer for this reason. I would like to leave the world before my parents. Again the necessity of living forever varies from person to person. Some people want to live longer to serve the human being and have lots of new experience, which is a great idea. It is also okay if we just defer with nature and accept the truth that we have to die, either naturally or accidentally! 🙂

Immortal

According to one of the article based on “Mortality” it states that during the middle age, people believed in Magic and supernatural powers. The ideas, thoughts, beliefs and logic of mortality seemed actually believable and amazing at that time. For example, Nicolas Flamel, a chemist tried to create ‘sorcer’s stone’ which created liquid of life. If one gets a sip of that liquid he/she would become immortal. Another example is “The fountain of Truth”. People alleged that once you bath in fountain of youth you will become immortal. You will always remain young. And so, people went in search of the fountain of life but they could not find it anywhere. These are a few examples but with no legitimate evidence to prove that mortality can be acquired. Before people came to know about science they believed in things like magic. If a person tricks and pretends to vanish things in front of a gathering it was called magic. So when everyone came up with talk about mortality, people believed it and hoped to find such things/places that may make them immortal.   

Since the modern era, science has also taken steps to explore more about mortality and has taken mortality to next level. It has also tried to look into creation and finding the possible ways of longevity.  According to studies in science, controlled and appropriate amount in consumption helps to live long. Control of calories or antioxidants in your body may help. This has been proved right to some extent in laboratory tested animals such as rats, flies, etc… But scientists are still in doubt about its reaction on humans. Science has further improved and had brought about new techniques like cryonic preservation, where one can freeze a body for long time and preserve it. Scientists hope that in future they can come up with more improved ways to make the frozen body to come to life. Some other ways are like invention of Nanomedical robots, genetic engineering, mind uploading and other types.

Ageing can be defined as the wear and tear of cells and body tissues over time.  Although science is doing its best to find methods to live longer life, how is science going to stop the cells and the body as a whole from getting old?? Moreover, ageing occurs over time. So can science stop time??

On the other hand, if science is investing so much and working so hard to be immortal why are they not thinking about the consequences of it. At this very moment population is a huge issue. Acquiring Mortality of life on earth will add more to it. Once life becomes immortal the essence of life would be valueless. Currently for living we do all possible things like we work hard, stay in sun and work, do manual work, serve others, and do what not just for living. Now we are studying to have a good future and have a good living. But if one becomes immortal these things won’t be valuable anymore. Life would lose its meaning – because one wouldn’t die and is no more afraid of death!!

Just say that people are now successful to acquire immortality. I wonder what is one going to do after that??

“Live as if you were to live forever…”

Immortality is still highly controversial. Someone who is against immortality say that it is different from God’s opinion because he created birth and death. Others think that longevity diminishes values of lives because people will not endeavor as much as they can; they will not appreciate their lives, beloved ones, and happiness. Some who are in the side of immortality say that they will witness new technology and their children’s and grandchildren’s success. Others cite that they will never face the most serious dread in the world, the dread of dying. I will not support one idea and prejudice the other. I only wonder whether people will remain their youth and happiness all their long-lasting lives. They will not get older; they will not experience hurt of death, but cannot their brains and thoughts get older, cannot they hurt when experiencing feelings of losing their beloved ones? Only twenty or thirty years from now, their friends will be their children and grandchildren rather than those who are in their same generation. Will they be interested in them? Will they be excited about their games, music, fashion, food, and culture? Will they still realize their usefulness? Will not they feel as if they are strangers or even “leftovers” in the world? It is not the time to think how to live forever or how to expand span life. It is high time for us to find the best tactic to live well and valuably. Mahatma Gandhi used to say, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Do not hesitate to realize our dreams, to express our love to beloved ones, or to apologize to those whom we have felt guilty toward. Let us live well as much as we can, do as much as we could, and love as much as we do so that if we die tomorrow, we will not feel bitterly remorse, or if we have chance to live forever, we find out that it is worthy living in the world.