Why We Must Die

Hello there skeptics of the world,

Today’s post is going to be about a few of the reasons why we as humans MUST die, philosophically. Now I don’t often blog about strictly philosophical subjects, so please give me some feed back in the comments section below. There are plenty of scientific reasons why every living thing dies (for now), ageing is pretty much inevitable, and eventually, you get to the grand scheme of things, and with the whole ‘conservation of energy and mass’ and ‘total universal entropy’ thing, the universe will eventually end up as a huge ball of energy, in which you cannot survive.  But I am going to be talking about some philosophical reasons why humanity would severely disbenefit from eternal life on earth.

The first is simply the fact that we are already running out of space on this planet and if nobody ever died, the problem would be much greater. Imagine how many people there would be on earth if nobody from the last century actually died. Our world population would be about double what it is now, my guess. Could the planet actually support that? I doubt it. The is too much difficulty in people living for ever, they take up so much space, need so much food and water, and by the time they reach 70, they’ve done all they can for the world with employment etc., so they are just dead weight.

The second and main reason I want to talk about today is this, would the world still be a productive place if everybody lived for ever. In a world of eternity, there would always be tomorrow. Want to go to university and study law? In the world we live in, you go out and do it today, because your days on the earth are numbered, but in an earth of eternity, there would always be another tomorrow. I know what I would do, “Meh, I’ll just do it tomorrow, I’m living for ever anyway”. I know that whenever I am doing something which really is boring me to death, or which I know is not going to help me in any way now or in the future, I always think to myself, “I could be out learning something useful right now, or I could be writing a blog post, or I could be out earning money in a part time job mowing lawns”. In a world where I couldn’t die tomorrow, or ever, I would not think that, and just wait it out until I can do something useful.
Although I would probably never get around to doing it, because there would always be tomorrow for me to do it.

That’s all for me today, I will leave you with a quote from Pierre Abelard, “The beginning of wisdom is found in doubting; by doubting we come to the question, and by seeking we may come upon the truth.”, Pierre Abelard, a French philosopher, theologian and logican.


14 thoughts on “Why We Must Die

  1. Theoretically we can develop technology to postpone death indefinitely. You comment that by age 70 we pretty much have done everything we can in the way of making a contribution to society and are ready to bite the biscuit. Approaching that age now I can tell you personally that ain’t so! You may be physically wearing out but unless you are experiencing early stage dementia you have accumulated an incredible repository of experience, skills and knowledge. So if I can fix the physical things that wear out I can continue to be very much alive and a positive contributor to society.
    What would a world of 1,000 year lifespans look like? The population bubble we currently are riding would have to burst and I suspect that we will see this start to happen in the latter part of the 21st century. Will we postpone learning and doing because there will always be a tomorrow? I suppose some might but imagine being able to spend a century mastering a subject rather than 4 years.

    • Yes, theoretically, we can live forever medically, but nobody would ever get anything done. You could spend a hundred years mastering a subject, but why? Nobody would do that, because they can always just “Do it tomorrow!” Scientists have predicted that the world can only support 12 billion people, and by everybody living forever, the population crisis would just escalate hugely.

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  3. You’re forgetting about genetic variation as well, by having longer lifespans generations would last longer which would mean less variation which would probably have wiped us out several times by now.

    • I’m going to be an ass here and imply it is dangerous to reduce a concept (death) to it’s philosophical essence (whatever that may be) because it distracts us from the very real biological nature of the situation and implies there must be inherent meaning (at times). I personally disagree with the latter argument for one simple reason : we’re not rational. Some people would get into a delayfest of drugs and well drugs but others would remain workaholics. If your hunger for the sea is by design (top- down or bottum-up doesn’t matter) it’s not going to subside because you have extra time to spare.

    • Yes, strictly true, but good ol’ evolution would kill the excess off, and bring us back to where we are today in that situation. Humans don’t evolve much and haven’t done so for quite a while, so I wouldn’t be to worried about us dieing out due to lack of evolutionabilty. (if that’s a word)

      • Actually I’m quite sure we are evolving. Our traits are still pretty much the same but the raw genetic material IS still changing. It’s not just about evolution though, it’s also about being ridiculously prone to pandemics.

      • Nope, brains aren’t evolving that much. Last time I checked we hit a barrier. At best we’re getting better reflexes but I don’t think that’s genetical.

        • What ever small things are evolving, it isn’t much, and this is one of the things which we would expect to see in an intelligent society, we’ve stopped evolving genetically and have started to evolve ourselves with technology. Our lives are getting longer, not due to genes, but due to technology, and other examples.

          • Can you cite sources, every time I read up on evolution whether it is richard dawkins or steven pinker or whatever they mentioned that our traits aren’t evolving, not that there is no more gene flow.

            • An example I’d have to look up is a certain set of genes that improve resistance to cardio-vascular problems which is believed to be pretty recent and spreading. I do believe that overall we won’t change that much, there will be no extended fingers or huge brains unless we meddle with it ourselves but like I said all I can remember is people in the field mentioning we do still evolve to some degree. Which is not exactly all that important, because evolution works with what’s already there, and there really aren’t that many immortal species around which says allot I think.

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