I am Immortal: Thoughts on Living Forever

We don't want to die


For centuries, mankind has viewed the possibility of living forever as desirable and wished it were possible. When “gods” were created in human cultures, immortality was one characteristic the gods all shared. Children first introduced to the concept of death are surprised and sometimes horrified to discover that life eventually ends. Even I used to insist that I wanted to live at least until the age of 142, so I might see the 22nd century with my own eyes.

The concept of immortality is found in nearly every culture and takes a variety of forms. For example, immortality can be perceived as your ideas, contributions to society and influence “living on” in ongoing cultures, behaviors or attitudes. Often your “name” survives as others speak of your thoughts and actions in their communications with other people. Or, immortality is alleged as living on through your descendants. Reincarnation is the trust that your spirit will return in a new form, even if you don’t know you have returned. Belief in ghosts, spirits or the afterlife suggests the continuation of your “essence,” and your physical appearance is maintained in a ghostly form. Many see dreams as a continuation of the life of friends and family. Even single-celled organisms are immortal in the sense that the descendant cell from cell-division reproduction is the same living matter and structure as the ancestor cell.

There has always been a search for immortality and a reluctance to accept death as inevitable.

We just don’t want to go away.


Thoughts on long life from Amazon.com

Is immortality possible?

Symbol of Enduring Life
Symbol of Enduring Life
Is it possible to win against death?
Is it possible to win against death?
Some view ghosts and spirits as a form of immortality
Some view ghosts and spirits as a form of immortality
Can sands from the hourglass flow eternally?
Can sands from the hourglass flow eternally?
Can the young and old co-exist happily forever?
Can the young and old co-exist happily forever?
A love that never dies
A love that never dies
The key to longevity can perhaps be found at the cellular level
The key to longevity can perhaps be found at the cellular level

The inevitability of death


Evidence leads to the conclusion that death is inevitable. In all of mankind’s existence not even a single individual has lived forever. Whether plants or animals, all multi-cellular living creatures seem to have a mechanism that brings their existence to a close. Some insects live a few days and redwood trees might survive a thousand years, but each living thing seems to eventually come to an end. Gerontologists (those who study the science of aging) are generally skeptical that human beings can survive more than 125 years at most. No scientific study points with certainty to the notion that human life can be extended indefinitely.


The possibility of living forever


Human experience suggests that if a goal is desirable, however, it eventually becomes attainable. “If man were meant to fly he would have wings” is now seen as a humorous assertion, but once it was the prevailing belief. Before man could fly with the help of an aircraft, people envisioned it and accepted it as a logical extension of present and past developments. As scientists continue to work with DNA, the possibility of living forever seems less remote. Many believe it wouldn’t be difficult for an active, healthy life to extend to as much as 120 years, and some consider a lifespan of up to 800 years as ultimately possible—perhaps not immortality, but still not bad. Scientist Valter Longo manipulated the DNA of yeast cell fungus and extended its life span to ten weeks—ten times longer than normal. There is a huge difference between manipulating yeast cells and human DNA, but Longo believes his work is relevant to human aging and longevity. His work at the University of Southern California suggests that extending human life is at least theoretically possible.


Immortality as a direction


However, simply believing in immortality will not cause you to live forever. What if immortality subsequently became a direction rather than a goal? If you said to yourself, “I will be active and healthy at the age of 150 or 300 years old,” would you be inspired to take control of your life and your surroundings? You would understand that you cannot abuse yourself physically with unhealthy foods, drugs, alcohol and a lack of rest and exercise without condemning yourself to a long life of discomfort and suffering. Would that be sufficient to get you to break bad habits? If everyone lived forever, environmental issues involving the consumption of food and energy would become top priority to ensure sufficient resources were available for all. You would likely view cleaning up the environment as an essential ingredient in an ongoing enjoyment of life. Perhaps you would actively participate in seeking solutions to the social and economic strife that plagues society, realizing that with time comes the opportunity to change the world. Adopting an attitude of getting this mess straightened out now so you can enjoy the rest of forever would become strong motivation to tackle problems.

Immortality would offer more than an impetus for solving problems, however—it would also allow you to embrace the totality of life’s experiences. There would be no need to “choose” a life’s path, as you could have any number of careers and change directions at any point in time. You wouldn’t be trapped by feelings of urgency warning you that if you don’t do something now, you will never have the chance. The opportunity to enjoy the magnificence of music, art and philosophy to their fullest extent would enrich your life. Without the inevitability of death you would grow and flourish, realizing there was time for everything. If living longer could make us better, more well-rounded people, can we make a rational choice to conduct ourselves as we would if death weren’t inevitable?



What are the odds?


In all likelihood, scientific advancements in gerontology will not occur swiftly enough to benefit me. Most people (myself included) would prefer not to reach an advanced age and then be forced to suffer the aches and pains of infirmity in perpetuity. That is both understandable and rational. The goal of immortality is still a good one, though, if it provides new motivation to treat others with love and tolerance—after all, everyone would be together for a long time. If living forever forces us to understand and accept our mistakes, it also offers an incentive to live life correctly and seek new answers to old problems. An age of compassion and understanding could result from the realization that we all must cooperate with each other to benefit from a prolonged life. It COULD be extremely exciting. This is what I truly hope for, and this is what our children and grandchildren deserve. If the Fountain of Youth could offer that, then let’s all drink from it—I’m up for it.


When I am 153

And you are only 141

Will you still love me?


Take the immortality poll!

Is death inevitable?

  • Everything dies. Immortality is a myth
  • It is theoretically possible
  • We might be able to live a longer life, but not 800 years longer
  • Nothing inherently prevents us from living centuries longer than we now live
See results without voting

Comments 60 comments

schoolgirlforreal profile image

schoolgirlforreal 6 years ago from USA

Interesting hub, As Catholics we believe we will live forever in Heaven- our immortal souls. Actually we believe our soul goes to Heaven at the moment of death...then our body is buried and at the last judgement at the end of the world, our body will join our soul in Heaven (or hell). That's what we believe anyways!

Immortality.....reminds me of "Fame" the movie (good movie! ):-)


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Hi, SG. Thanks for stopping by. I was raised Catholic and share the beliefs you have explained here. I can't help but wonder, however, what Earth would be like if everyone knew they would live for centuries instead of decades. It might usher in a new age of tolerance and understanding, which would be a magnificent turning point for mankind. Regardless, it is interesting to speculate about how it would change us as individuals.

Thanks again for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed reading.

Mike


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 6 years ago from London, UK

Very interesting - In Christian and Muslim faith, they believe that there is still life after death. Schoolgirl has covered the Christian Part and the Muslim part, I've heard they will live in "Paradise".

I enjoyed reading this Hub and it reminded me of a quote: "Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die".

Best Wishes. :)


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

Mike this is a futuristic hub in so many ways. We have all talked and dreamed and have seen all the movies dealing with living forever or at least longer. However one flaw, where would all these people reside? The earth is becoming overpopulated and the governments are finding ways to cut back on the rate of births not increase it or prolong it.

Certainly by keeping us older folks alive past 100 would increase the price of real estate as there would be a shortage of it:0) Hey I'm all for living a lot longer as long as I'm healthy, however our odds of staying healthy in this environment we live in is in my opinion futile.

Like you said we need to find ways to improve our planet and free it from all the toxins not only in the air we breath but in the foods we put in our bodies. Monsanto and others are killing us with chemicals that are put into our food and water resources. That certainly will not help with our longevity.

To live way past a 100 one needs to be able to stay healthy, I personally think it's more of a myth than a reality, but hey I could be wrong. I will be happy if I reach 86 for some reason than number sticks in my head.

Great Hub Mike, I truly enjoyed it. I hope you live long and prosper, peace to you my brother.


Bima.Purnawan1 profile image

Bima.Purnawan1 6 years ago from Republic of Indonesia

Very interesting Hub - thank you


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa

Very interesting hub, Mike! I guess death, and on top of it NO eternal life, is the most difficult if not totally impossible fact(s) of life for a human being to accept. Because humans are able to believe, hope and love. A blade of straw to clutch on is indeed this unique ability of the human mind. What if.... who has proved the unknown to be true or false? Eternal life is of course practically possible and in fact true via our genes and atoms – but I guess we want, and we are made to believe, hope, love to live consciously forever, even as ghosts as long as we don’t loose our ability to love, appreciate, enjoy, in short - experience all that is good and nothing that is bad. This is human. Question: why are humans like this? What makes humans human? I guess we will ‘forever’ philosophize about this. Regarding your vision reaching 800, I agree with Saddlerider. Earth don't have enough space and recourses- but perhaps they can take the elders to another, more suitable planet still to be discovered?


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Elena, thanks for reading. Most faiths speak of an afterlife (perhaps all do? I don't know...) and it emphasizes the desire we hold to continue life forever in some form. When we consider how shocked children are to learn they are not immortal, it forces one to wonder--are the kids right? If we simply didn't tell them everything dies, would they live longer? I realize it isn't just one voice telling children they are mortal, but what if our description of the world didn't automatically include death? Perhaps we would not only live longer but live better.

Thanks again for stopping by, I always appreciate your comments. Take care.

Mike


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

Very interesting hub. I don't think I'm quite in favor of manipulating the cells of a fetus to extend longevity. There is a natural closure to a person's life: we have either done or not done what we are here for, and it's time to move on. It's time for whatever comes after, if anything. I really think science is trying to mess too much with Mother Nature. We don't always forsee all of the negative consequences of doing that.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Saddlerider, thanks for reading. Of course real estate would be a major issue if everyone lived ten times longer than they now do. Since land would be at a premium, the choices would be to build upward, downward or venture into the seas and oceans. I've often wondered why we don't build downward--what would the issues be for building underground homes? It would have to be easier than building cities on the ocean floor, which would also be intriguing.

You are quite correct that longevity would only be desirable if health and vitality were part of the equation. No one would wish to be confined to a wheelchair for 700 years. Long life without vitality would also strain the world's resources in far different ways--caring for an aging population that could not care for itself would be tragic.

That being said, the beauty of a dream like this is the idea that problems like these would need to be addressed and solved along the way. What would it be like to have care for the elderly solved? Perhaps these problems never will be solved, but I have always hoped to see a societal transformation.

I hope very much you live to be 86--it is interesting that such a precise age stays in your mind.

Thanks for your insights, they are much appreciated.

Mike


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND

In the Bible, didn't some people live to be like 600 years old and even older? Why do you think that changed?


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Bima, thanks for stopping by and reading, I appreciate it. Take care.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

MartieCoetser, thanks for stopping by. Humans are indeed unique in their desire to cling to our existence, whether it is in human or spirit form. Passing our DNA along to offspring is a form of immortality, but still not the same. I could not hope to speculate what makes us different, but I hope that this same quality that makes us different also makes us unique and special.

I still believe if we can find the resources to feed a growing population, we could find a way to house them. It might not be in keeping with a "grab it all, own it all" capitalist society, but it could be done. Or, as you suggest, other worlds could offer choices.

Thanks again for your comments and insights, and take care.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Paradise, thanks for reading. Of course, I focused on positive aspects of longevity while negative consequences could just as easily result, and it may be that we are better off as we are.

It is also possible that a long and healthy life can be maintained without genetic manipulation. There are some who believe that the elimination of stress in our lives might be sufficient to dramatically slow the aging process--that dealing with stress effectively is enough. I am not sure I believe that, but it demonstrates that there is more than a single school of thought. The Bible mentions folks living 600 years or more, which leads one to wonder if there is something in our food, water or the atmosphere that, if adjusted, would dramatically increase our longevity. The possibilities are many.

I would not disagree that death is a part of the life cycle and when it is time to move onto whatever is next, well--it's time. Who knows, we might find that whatever happens next requires our presence and we are meant to die at a relatively "young" age. The questions are many and the possibilities are endless. It is nice to speculate that something could transform us as a species, however--and that we would benefit from the transformation.

Thanks so much for stopping by and offering your insights. Take care.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Cari Jean, thanks for stopping by. You are correct, the Bible mentioned Noah living (I believe) more than 900 years. Abraham also was said to have lived a very long life, and the Bible tells of women bearing children at the age of 100 years or more, I believe.

How could this be possible? Scientists look to the animal kingdom and theorize that our systems are geared toward longevity or reproduction. Mice live for a few years but breed prolifically, while (for example) bats can live long lives but only bear offspring once a year or so. It is believed theorized that man evolved from a long lived species to one that breeds often. This forces scientists to speculate that man could evolve back, particularly in the face of an overpopulated world.

This was a single theory and it is speculation only, but it could represent an answer to your question. Answers might also be found in environmental changes. Perhaps a change in our atmosphere, food or water changed us.

The speculations are fascinating and represent many possibilities, as does the Bible's assertion that long life previously was the norm for humans. Who knows what might still be possible?

Thanks again for stopping by and reading, I have appreciated your comments.

Mike


poetvix profile image

poetvix 6 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

Stellar hub on such a deep topic. I really like how you covered it from a variety of approaches. I was not aware of the study and yeast cells and find it theoretically interesting... if it can be done for yeast why not humans?

The idea, in and of itself, raises other questions in my mind such as, do we have the right to do that? Should we do it? Will the planet support humans who live so long if the birth rate keeps climbing? If there exists a generation gap that seems huge now what would it be like for a teenager and his/her 800 year old living ancestor? Just some thoughts.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Poetvix, thanks for reading. You are correct about the moral questions an issue like this raises. Just because man can do something shouldn't mean man should do it. With absolutely nothing to support my opinion, I believe the birth rate would begin to fall if people lived longer. Can I back that belief up with any type of research or evidence? Nope. I just think it would happen. That still doesn't mean we should genetically alter people to live longer, but I think overpopulation might eventually sort itself out.

The generation gap would be an interesting and perhaps amusing dilemma, I must admit. Trying talking with a kid born in the year 2456 about how good the Beatles were. The Rolling Stones would probably still be touring then, so that wouldn't be an issue.......

The problems would be extreme as mankind adjusted to longer life, but I still wonder if facing these problems would be the motivation we need to solve lots of problems. It is hard to predict, of course.

Well, thanks for reading and offering your insights, and have a great day.

Mike


coffeesnob 6 years ago

Mike

Many things would have to change - environmentally, socially, morally etc - in order for me to even want to live forever - not in this body that hurts and feels emotional devastation and suffers loss..You know I am not a negative person and yet the thought of living forever in this world would porbaby drive me to the edge of negativity.LOL

I think that death surprises kids because we were created to live forever. Death did not enter in until the fall, and I believe there is still that innate desire to live forever that resonates with our spirits.

For me...I am indeed an alien here...just passing through and waiting like ET to go home..And in order to get there I have to pass through death...

Great hub and def. deeply thought provoking

blessings

CS


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

This is certainly an interesting hub you have written Mike. I definitely think our spirit/soul moves on after the physical death of our bodies. So we are already immortal in a sense. As to living so long, I don't think that this earth is big enough. Resources would also run out. Of course we could expand into space ala Star Trec. Interesting concept!


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada

again I am impressed, but then I expect no less from you than to come up with something so mind blowing, but hey 142? just that??? I say try for 242....


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

CS, thanks for reading. I too am just a stranger in town, passing through. You are absolutely correct that so much would have to change in order to make longevity truly desirable. I guess there is a part of me that wishes long life would be the motivation to make the other changes happen. Sometimes I think we are slow to tackle societal issues because we don't think things would change fast enough for us to see the difference. I find myself wondering, what if we were around? Would that make us approach change in a different way? Would we solve the problems that haven't yet been solved if we knew the solutions affected us personally?

As I said in other responses, I guess this is the part of me that looks for something that will spark a great change for the better. Perhaps that change will happen anyway....

Thanks so much for your response, I also look forward to what you have to say about things. Take care!

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Peggy, thanks for stopping by. You are correct in that immortality has meaning other than simply the continuation of our physical bodies, and we immortal in a spiritual sense. I would definitely be for expanding into space in the manner of Star Trek. One of the interesting things about Trek is that when they do happen to show what earth is like in the future, all the problems we face have been solved. I'm not sure I want poverty and disease to be wiped out on Earth only to have the Klingons attack, but a new age of compassion and understanding would be wonderful.

Thanks for your comments, I am appreciative.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Rebecca, thanks so much for your kind words. You know, why settle for just 142? I can take a crack at reaching the 23rd century, I guess. It might be fun.

Thanks again for your comments--and your kindness.

Mike


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines

To be able to grow old without aging ! Two things come to mind. We would be able to explore the outer most limit of space and eventually colonize them. There would no longer be a need for religion as we would become "Gods".( and that would spell the death for the religion forum here at Hubpages :-))


Just A Voice 6 years ago

Mike~

Great thought provoking hub.

Since I believe in life after death, I definitely don't want to prolong my life here on this earth that has so many hardships. I don't have a death wish...but I really don't want to hang out here for longer than what is considered natural to date.

I've always envisioned myself in the afterlife, exploring the universe, figuring out the black holes and what lies beyond, and many other things that are physically impossible in this particular body.

I'm comfortable with the thought of going beyond this life and all that it entails and exploring a new world, a new existance.

And before anyone screams I'm just an escapist from reality. I'm still fully enscounced in living this life and making it work out. It's just not my idea of paradise.

Hope you are doing well my friend and life has been treating you kindly.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Mike- I'm done. But I'll make a stab at a comment. Our government here will not allow it. It would be bad for some businesses. Morticians would moan and groan. Hospitals, doctors, nurses, health-care folks would scream their heads off. They would oust leaders, elect more leaders that are pro-death. There would "right to death parties". But I'm done. Stick a fork in me, I've seen way too much. There are animals devouring earth and all the souls on it and we on earth are powerless to stop them. There will not be a savior to stop them. People hope. They go to the voting booths to see if these animals can be stopped but it's futile. The animals multiply so quickly. They are indoctrinated into this animal kingdom quickly and continuously. All these animals are programmed to do is consume. This plague has taken over almost the entire world. This plague has destroyed everything in it's path. The world has shifted out of balance because of these animals and their atrocities. I want to see how my existence will end without help from myself. But - I'm done! Thanks for a great hub.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

Very inspiring hub. I am glad to know this one. No one can living forever or immortal. But the better thing is how to life with good quality, right. Vote this Up.

prasetio


randslam profile image

randslam 6 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

What a great topic. I've been trying to work on a story--its half finished--on the Fountain of Youth.

Here's something to think about--what if there is no hereafter life and the only chance we have is in the here and now?

If that is the case, than our own immortality is in the words, works and pieces of artistic effort we've left behind after we shed this mortal coil.

I would not want to waste my physical life on earth waiting for the opportunity to go to heaven--but rather live a full life on earth--at least to my own point of appreciation--than try living a righteous life that ends at its own accord not having done anything.

As for living longer than 120 years? I don't know that quality of life would be there. There is only so much that human beings can take and after 120 years of witnessing the evolution of technology and people I think it just might do a body good to pass away.

I mean really, to borrow a quote from a really bad sci-fi film, "do you wanna live forever, you gorillas?"

Immortality may eventually lead to insanity for humans. Personally, I don't want to sit up in a heaven staring into the eyes of a God for all eternity--just sounds like a waste of an eternity.

Action with ability, evolution with knowledge--moments of the complete sublime--these might well be all the immortality any of us mere mortals may need.

Thanks Mike for this thought-inspired hub--to infinity and beyond!


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

SilentReed, thanks for stopping by. I enjoyed your comment about the end of the forums--I'm sure many would consider anything to facilitate that an equitable trade. You raise an interesting point about the ability to explore and perhaps colonize space--man could take longer journeys to other worlds with a longer life span, particularly if faster space vehicles could be developed.

I am reluctant to say a longer life or even an immortal life would make us gods--stepping out into oncoming traffic and getting hit by a car would still be fatal. It would offer everyone the opportunity to master many fields of endeavor. We could all become renaissance men (and women). In that respect, we could be far more self-actualized than we might ever hope to be now. It is an intriguing concept, and would certainly make us seem more "god-like".

Thanks for your comments, I appreciate them a great deal. Take care.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Hi, Voice. Thanks for your comments--I don't consider them either escapism or a death wish. I agree that there is a fascination in wondering what comes afterward, and the thought of existence without limits (i.e., an afterlife) is compelling. I have to admit any hopes that I have for longevity is linked to the idealistic belief that we could make things better if we knew there was time to do so. If we couldn't, well--the appeal certainly diminishes. In my own naïve manner I guess I search for utopia here on Earth, and I do realize such a search is likely to leave me disappointed.

Well, on that note.................... I hope things are going well for you, as well. The weekend is almost here, at least. Take care.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Micky, thanks for stopping by. I understand perfectly what you are saying--the profit motive prevents so many good things from being accomplished, and short-sighted goals always seem to take priority over a bigger picture. Government is broken and is unlikely to be "fixed" in any helpful way. A capitalistic society breeds oppression.

As I said in my response to Just a Voice's comments, there is a naïve aspect to my behavior that makes me wish for utopia--or at least a better place to live. When that isn't forthcoming, the dreamer in me looks for that spark that would transform humanity and make it better. If only such a thing could happen.... I am realistic enough to understand the unlikelihood of the things I wish for, but I just can't help it. I will likely continue to dream of better days and hope to someday see them. After all, perhaps dreams are the best we can hope for....

Take care, my friend, and thanks again for stopping by. I am truly appreciative.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Prasetio, thanks for reading. Your a correct--in the end, it is what we do with the time we do have that matters most--not what we might do if we lived another 700 years. How we spend today and each day thereafter will determine how we are remembered.

Thanks for your insights, they are greatly appreciated.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Randslam, thanks for your comments, I appreciate your insights a great deal. You raise some interesting points, including the notion that perhaps our minds couldn't deal with what we would endure if we lived for 800 years. How much can we experience, good or bad? Even if we remained healthy and vibrant, would we want to endure? I don't know. I would like to think it would be worth it, but perhaps it would not be. Would the desire to know and experience more remain, or would we succumb to boredom or, as you suggest, insanity? A most interesting question.

I certainly agree that either wishing for a centuries-long life or an afterlife should not detract from making the most of today. Living life to its fullest should be the goal. I do think a righteous life can encompass a life well-lived, however, but I am in agreement that living life to its fullest should be a goal for everyone. And should we do that, our immortality might very well be guaranteed. If we live life well, I would expect it to be memorable.

Thanks again for your insights, they are unique and appreciated.

Mike


Joy56 profile image

Joy56 6 years ago

i enjoyed your thought process, interesting hub, and certainly something we all think about from time to time for sure,


John B Badd profile image

John B Badd 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

Mike I like this hub because you ask an interesting question then give some examples to further stoke the fires of our thoughts. I do not think living a very long time (800 years) is impossible. I think with scientific advancements in gene manipulation it may happen in the next few centuries. They already know that we age because are cells degrade as they reproduce, so all we have to do is slow this down and presto the fountain of youth. Without sparking too much debate I want to mention their have been some significant breakthroughs using stem cells for this purpose (no people I am not suggesting you eat babies to live longer).

Apart from the genetic side we also have the possibility of transferring our mind into a cybernetic being - but then we have the question of where the soul lies and if it would transfer with the mind . . .

Thanks for the thoughts.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Joy, thanks for reading. This hub has stirred up a lot of thoughts and interesting comments, and I have enjoyed reading what everyone has had to say in response. Thanks again for stopping by.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

John, thanks for reading. You are correct, there has been much research and scientific advancements that can be applied to the idea of prolonging human life. I do believe work with stem cell research will be a factor, and I also can see a time when machines will be used to prolong life. We might refer to them as implants or call ourselves cyborgs--whatever form this takes, the time will come when it will no longer be fiction.

To have a means to even address the question of where a soul would reside if the mind is transferred into a cybernetic being is fascinating in itself, and not necessarily a reason to avoid the idea or the questions it raises. What would it mean to KNOW where the soul resides?

While it is unlikely I will get a chance to see human life prolonged to exaggerated lengths, it is still worthwile to wonder and dream about what is possible.

Thanks again for stopping by, John. I appreciate it. Take care.

Mike


coffeesnob 6 years ago

Mike - From one alien to another I love your heart and desire for good and right and justice to rule and I applaud you for thinking in terms of the possiblities of this if there were more years to make it happen. I am sure that if there were people like you on the forefront of such a thing it could begin to head that way.

blessings

CS


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

CS, thank you for your kind words, and for recognizing that my point in talking about living a long life is to make the world better. If we changed one fundamental ingredient in how we live, perhaps we could see things in a different way and improve our lives. It might be naïve to wish for such a thing, but I would love to see a planet with one heart, working to improve the quality of life for absolutely everyone.

Thanks again for your kind words. I hope your Sunday is a good one.

Mike


Gemineye profile image

Gemineye 6 years ago

As much as the typical human being has the normal fears of death, the thought of immortality I think would be much better than actually it being a choice. After 100 years, 200 years....300 years being around...wouldn't it all get pretty boring? As the group Queen used to sing for Highlander, "Who wants to live forever?" (GREAT song by the way)

And think about how long before retiring? =o)

Another great article Mike!


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Gemineye, thanks for stopping by. Of course, you raise a good point, but if we maintained our health and vitality, things wouldn't have to be boring. We could spend 100 years learning to paint, another 100 writing music or poetry, etc. In short, the sum of all arts and sciences would be available to peruse. It would be fascinating to have the time to truly study the beauty of the world. Perhaps it would be boring or lonely, though--who knows? My hope would be that it led to a new age of some type.

Perhaps I could see the Chiefs win another Super Bowl if I lived 800 years......... Just kidding--700 should do it. I am kidding, of course, but the possibilities are indeed endless, and that would be exciting.

Thanks again for stopping by. Take care.

Mike


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

Yes, I will still love a person even if it means immortal, the thought of immortality makes us to examine our lives and to appreciate others. To be thankful as well, A great hub Mike, awesome, Maita


schoolgirlforreal profile image

schoolgirlforreal 6 years ago from USA

I read this again, and you make valid points on how human behavior might change. It is thought in Biblical times people lived to be around 900 -before the great flood (which they say changed the firmament in the sky..and shortened life span)

Whether or not these are facts, it's a nice thing to think about and I appreciate your hubs, really. I also appreciate your kindness and sweetness in the way in which you respond to every comment with thoughtfulness and sincerity.

You are a great hubber. Just had to give credit where credit is due :) Thanks!


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Maita, thanks for reading. You are so correct--the idea of living forever would encourage us to examine our lives and appreciate the world around us. It could--not necessarily would, but could--change everything for us. That would make it worth it.

Thanks again. Stop by any time--you're always welcome.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Schoolgirl, thanks for coming back. I have thought that whatever changed when man started to naturally live shorter lives could theoretically be reversed. We are essentially the same creature we were thousands of years ago--mere seconds in the totality of existence. If we knew what happened, it could possibly be reversed.

On another note, I thank you for your kind words about my hubs, and about the way I respond to folks that leave comments or write here. I can only say that I try. I try to be polite and show interest in what others are doing, and I always hope I will receive the same consideration in return. I am humbled by your kind comments, and I am appreciative. Thanks again.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Mike


Tim Blackstone profile image

Tim Blackstone 6 years ago

It would be easy for many of us to live for 900 years once again. All you need to do is change how the calender works. Call a day a year and you can live 365 years next year.

I shudder to think what the result of us discovering a way to live forever would be. Either we would be living on top of piles of other people or we would all be fighting each other for every scrap of food. There are already more people on the planet than the planet can comfortably cope with. I imagine we would have to ban childbirth totally which would turn the whole purpose of life on it's head. A thought provoking hub. Thanks for that.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Tim, thanks for stopping by. You're right about the calendar thing, although that isn't what I really meant (lol).... Food and energy supplies and overcrowding would be just some of the issues to be addressed if everyone lived a longer life, but I think answers would be found if they had to be, and longevity would force innovations and solutions based on something other than profit. It could potentially transform the planet. I know that it could potentially ruin it as well, but that is where innovation would have to play a role.

Thanks again for reading, and have a good week.

Mike


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

That was so interesting and definitely gives one a loto think about. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Eiddwen, thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate your kind words. Stop by again any time.

Mike


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

I find it very interesting that as small children we find it shocking and hard to believe that this will end, almost as if we naturally know better. I wonder oh indeed I wonder. I myself plan to live well into the 115 and greater range, as you've said I live my life accordingly. Great and thought provoking read.

Katie


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Katie, thanks for your comments. You touched on a couple of interesting points. The first, of course, is the shock children feel at learning we will not live forever. Does death actually become a self-fulfilling prophecy? If society as a whole didn't make death an integral part of a child's description of the world, would we live longer? It might not be as far-fetched as it sounds.

I was also quite pleased to read your statement about living your life with the intent of longevity. That was a major aspect of what I was discussing, but no one picked up on it. To live our lives as if we will live forever (or a very long time) can offer a radically different perspective on how we define our quality of life. It can offer the fuel to take care of ourselves, be kinder to others, and work through the challenges that we face on a daily basis. We don't have to live forever to act like we will. It can be liberating. I appreciate your acknowledgment of this aspect of my hub.

Thanks again for reading, I appreciate your insights a great deal.

Mike


Hopmoney wizard profile image

Hopmoney wizard 6 years ago from barak

hi mike interesting hub but i agree with other hubbers living longer is kinda boring I believe theres always a time for everything. A time to be awake and a time to rest living an immortal life is not a gift its suffering. its just my own opinion. Anyways regarding dna manipulation thats another interesting experiment done by that scientist but I'm not sure if you are aware about the pituitary gland that responsible for growth hormone.. my points is maybe human regeneration is possible that will influence longevity.

http://misterburkete.blogetery.com/


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Hopmoney wizard, thanks for reading. I understand what you're saying, but I'm not sure living longer would have to be boring. I also have trouble accepting that it would be my time to go simply because I'm bored. I believe life holds amazing possibilities, and we only manage to experience a small portion by the time we die. Longevity would certainly not have to be suffering, particularly if health and vitality were part of the equation. If I had 60 good years and 850 years as an old man, that would be suffering. But the idea of living a longer and full life would not be.

Thanks again for stopping by, even if our vision of a longer life differs. Take care.

Mike


Hopmoney wizard profile image

Hopmoney wizard 6 years ago from barak

you are a prolific writer keep up the good works!


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Hopmoney Wizard, thanks for stopping by. Feel free to come back any time.

Mike


pmccray profile image

pmccray 6 years ago from Utah

Excellent subject matter Mike L. However, personally I wouldn't want immortality. Quality, not quantity is what I desire. I don't want to hang around half functional depending on the kindness of strangers to keep me alive. Bottom line none of us will get out of this old cruel cold world alive.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

pmccray, thanks for stopping by. Of course, my premise was based on the idea that we could lead healthy and full lives--I don't want to get my vital organs from Westinghouse or Microsoft, either. A longer quality life would be interesting, however, and I still think the concept is intriguing. In the end, I will make do with however long I have, I suppose.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to comment any time during the next few hundred years.....................

Mike


Deric 6 years ago

In the future immortality will be a choice. Have kids and be a mortal and die (both partners)or don't have kids get the immortal jab.This choice would help control the population as many would choose to be mortals. Mortals and immortals will also be sent to occupy mars and start a human colony there. They will also travel space. Once immortality is upon us a whole new bag of opportunities will open up to explore the universe. Their will be no problems with over population and their will be no problems with food shortages as their will be a single pill to provide all nutrition. This will be possible i reckon within 25 years.All known illnesses will also be a thing of the past, illness won't exist.This is my view and most probable, if you can think it, it's possible. I also think with energy reserves dying, their will be a solution to cutting out the feeling of being cold by altering dna.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Deric, thanks for your comments. Your views of the future are intriguing and seem well-thought out. The idea that immortality would be optional is new to me and I find the notion to be quite fascinating. I also believe that mankind could be on the verge of a transformation, but I believe true gains will not be made until the profit motive is eradicated from decisions on a global level. If advancements can be made for reasons other than profit, we will see a new era. If things continue to be about money, we will continue to struggle. I hope your view is the true one--it would be truly wonderful. Thanks for stopping by.

Mike


Steve 3 years ago

No life after. The only option to live here. Money towards this goal, forever. We will live forever if we but try, so close.

Death is Tyrant,

The last death be it.


carny profile image

carny 2 years ago

I probably won't live to see it, but maybe a century or two down the road, humans will be able to live forever (barring fatal injuries and such). It's surely possible in theory (like modifying our DNA and such), just requiring much more scientific knowledge and advanced technology than is currently available.

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