The following post is inspired as a response to yet another brilliant blog by the brilliant duo at waitbutwhy. The link is down below. If you are still here, do go check it out first. Worth the click and the 10 minute read!
TL;DR – Self-preservation is not my strongest instinct.
I say choose a mortal life. Good enough for me to have to live a normal one, to have to fall in abnormal love, and to have kids and to explore the super-normal world. Plus, since superpowers are not hashed out in the dealio, there is not much to look forward to in those extended life spans. Also, no kids is not quite ideal. And who would want to see everyone around them die? It’d be like that cool guy from “The Man from Earth”. I came off feeling a little sad for him. Dunno if sad would be the right word though. Guy had some adventures! Anywho, I digress; From all the morbidity and all those deaths. . . . I mean, most of the people I know that I really care about (parents, most family, most friends) will not choose to live forever. A life without people I care about right now and those that I won’t be allowed to bring to existence anytime in the future seems drab and, quite like Professor Oldman, lonely.
Frankly, a lifespan longer than our current average seems.. sub-optimal. If we aren’t already lazy bums who won’t even enjoy a sunny day to sleep in so that we can enjoy the starry night getting drunk indoors, is there even a point to giving us the free time to waste away more of it? Personally, a longer life span would make me lazier. If a college group project deadline extension can cause a complete loss of self-respect through a night of self-indulgence in front of a laptop screen (Ah, innuendos) with a groggy hangover the morning after and a helping of self-hate, one can only imagine the carnage if I enter an infinite number on that calci. *shudders*
I think I’d rather enjoy & learn things as much as I can, keeping in mind that there’s an expiry date on my head. It might just keep all that excess lethargy at bay.
Plus, the no-kids is a deal breaker. I didn’t know this till some time back, but I am very fond of kids related to me. The “you-won’t-be-able-to-commit-suicide” is a problem that a good friend pointed out in one of his opinions (quite conspicuously using “you” instead of “I”….) but the “you-won’t-have-kids-ever” seems much more severe. Not being close enough to either of those thoughts in my head at the moment, I guess my opinion is molded by me having thought much more often about the latter in the past than the former. Upon my showing my friends pictures of my adorable, bubbly niece, they took no time in pointing out the “paternal instincts” I apparently have to my blinded self. I do want to have kids of my own someday. I would definitely like to be a father, and part some wisdom and gain some. If I choose to enter in an age, I could adopt, but that poor child is not very likely to have been given the choice of a calculator, is he? I’d have to see my own kid die in front of me and as Murph rightly tells Cooper “No parent should have to watch their child die”. Nope; mortality has its charms.
It does seem a little selfish too. All living and no death makes Jack a resource-guzzling vampire! He sucks the blood out of the life force of the earth. Think about it this way – If everyone in the world were to choose “infinity” as the age they want to live to, they’d be continuing the human species through themselves. They would be the frontier of our race. They would be bored as hell too, of course. Not the best representatives (or would they be?) of our glorious humankind.
This is, surely, an extremely extreme scenario. Look at another milder one. If, say, everyone does choose an age (other than infinity) it would imply they will live upto a certain age and die off. No procreation, no kids. No more humans. It would be the end of a species who has fought tooth and nail and has become (no matter however destructively) the apex of the food chain. We have as a species done some shit, no doubt. But, we have also done some good things to slightly redeem ourselves in the eyes of our future generations. Bereaving ourselves of the opportunity to earn some more forgiveness and, for once, to give back, seems unfair to everyone. We would be the last generation. We would be the last ones of our species to ever walk this earth. Period…
Then again, these are scenarios when everyone has been made to choose that calculator to make themselves live. But, how about the case where some do and some do not fix a date with death? In my view, it’s a trade-off at the end of the day. You either live through yourself or you live through the generations you will spawn after you. It’s a simple choice, i guess. Personally, I am more inclined towards the latter. A life that nature has provided generously enough, and one that it shall take away when my time’s up. Some things are better left out of one’s control, I say.
Do leave your response to the question posed on the brilliant link. Doesn’t matter if it’s in the comments below, in the comments on their page, in your own personal blogs. If it has made you think, it was more than worth it.