Immortality

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Immortality is eternal life. An immortal being is supposedly immune to death. Many religions and cranks have promised eternal life, but none have been proven to deliver on the claim.

Biological immortality[edit]

Despite claims to the contrary, only a certain type of jellyfish[1] may have any sort of claim to immortality (assuming they aren't eaten by predators).

A number of plants also seem to have no age limit with some of the oldest examples found, such as the "Pando" clonal colony of quaking aspen in Utah, reaching tens of thousands of years old.[2]

Genetic Immortality[edit]

The view that you can achieve a form of immortality through your genes being passed on to your children and through them, others. Downsides are you yourself will likely be forgotten after four or five generations and your descendents will quickly be as similar to you as you are to anybody else.

Supernatural immortality[edit]

Magic will grant you immortal life in Heaven! Or as a vampire. The first emperor of China's Qin dynasty died taking mercury pills in search of immortality.

Virtual immortality[edit]

Ha, we don't need that supernatural rubbish! We have cryonics and whole-brain emulation! Or we will have them, eventually. Or at least they don't provably contradict physics. YOU CAN'T PROVE THEY DO.

Cultural immortality[edit]

Make people remember your name (if not you yourself) foreverfor longer than otherwise through good or bad deeds such as exemplary military service, political works, terrorist acts, artistic triumphs, etc. This can quickly fall into "The person they are remembering is barely a shadow of what they actually were". Woody Allen had this to say: "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work... I want to achieve it through not dying."

Desirability of immortality[edit]

Some traditions (such as Christianity) regard immortality favorably as a worthwhile goal. Greek mythology, on the other hand, which featured a separate privileged class of immortals (gods and demi-gods), warned against the hubris of average humans aspiring to better their status in stories such as that of Prometheus,[3] and portrayed the disadvantages of eternal punishment, as in the tale of Tantalus.[4]

People who claimed to be immortal[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]