Originally published on LinkedIn on Oct 15, 2019.
I once learned that some Christians were brought to Christianity because they faced an existential crisis. They felt lost and depressed, so they picked up a religion. They seemed to have a negative view of mortality, something bad, something to be balanced with something good. But think about the time people waste
making others admire them,
showing off their wealth,
discriminating on the basis of race, religions, gender, and place of birth,
being jealous of neighbors,
playing games with women/men.
Think of the utility of
lying and deceiving,
cheating on their partners,
going to war,
accumulating gold and property
to become “momentary masters” only to be unable to take any of it to the grave. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot (Carl Segan, borrowed from this speech).
Think of all the useless pursuits that humans engage in the short amount of time they are given. They do everything besides, living.
Think of a world where we lived infinitely. There would be no reason
to stop competing,
to work hard because you always have tomorrow,
(Tyson, borrowed from this interview),
for leaders to ever give up their quest for power and control because you can keep them forever,
to quit meaningless struggles over money, rights, and property because you can keep them forever,
to give up bullshit,
and to live.
If we lived forever, we would burn perpetually in our own sins and silliness, a pitiful existence. We would never experience the liberation that the knowledge of death delivers to us. If we lived forever, we would ironically never live.