Home » Alzheimer's and Dementias » Death and the Cost of Immortality

Death and the Cost of Immortality

Western culture is obsessed with avoiding death. For many, it is a terrifying concept.

Yet death is a natural part of the cycle of life throughout the universe. When plants, animals, mountains, planets, solar systems, and galaxies die, their components are released and transition to become essential components of other lives. If stars had not completed their cycle and died violent deaths, the elements necessary for life elsewhere would not have been created.

Some today seek immortality through plastic surgery, elixirs, and cloning. Others imagine a future with cryogenic preservation, or uploads to new organic or inorganic bodies. All of these options consume significant resources. In most cases, the technology is (or would be) affordable only by the upper levels of society.

Speaking as one who is consuming more than my fair share of resources to survive cancer, I wonder whether I’m giving back more than I’m taking from Earth’s resource pool. I’m not afraid to transition to the next stage of existence, whatever it may be, but my autistic son isn’t ready for me to leave him yet.

If people wish to love well and experience life to the fullest by means of a healthy lifestyle, more power to them. However, when we start seeking to extend life with artificial means, I wonder if perhaps we’re being selfish. Might those resources be better applied towards ensuring good water, food, and health are available for present and future generations?

4 thoughts on “Death and the Cost of Immortality

  1. Squanch,
    Your wonderful sense of humor has tickled my funny bone..especially the comment about smoking nothing but a salmon. I can understand your determination to do whatever you can to stay alive…when you have a young child whether handicapped or not who depends on you..it is difficult to ever let go. Fortunately, my children are grown with families of their own and though I want to be around and share in special occasions, I do not fear death as much as I fear pain and being dependent on others for my care. Being a control freak does not help in dealing with cancer..as I have learned, much is out of my control. So in answer to your query, Death or Immortality?…like everything else in life, it depends on your situation. Terry

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  2. A thoughtful post, Janet. The questions you pose encourage reflection, and can only be answered in the day-to-day existence of each and every one of us. I do know that we’re all interconnected, and that the way you have lived your life in the face of cancer has been inspirational to many, many people.

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  3. HI Janet. I”ve had some of the same thoughts you have. Healthcare is SOOOO expensive when we are battling an illness. I have a brother who has been an insurance professional all his life, and he says they have it all covered. First of all, how long have you paid into insurance? Next, Many people in our “pool” pay in, as we did, and don’t take anything out.

    He says we really don’t need to worry about the expense. I look at quality of life. IF I don’t enjoy a quality life anymore, I will cease any treatmemts. But while we are reminded of the circle of life daily, many people are extremely uncomfortable talking about it.

    Thanks for the thoughs…

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