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Mr. Forever Man - Portrait of a Young Man as The Artist — LiveJournal
Mr. Forever Man
Poll #591216 Choose

Which would you choose?

Live forever?
Die happy?

This question intrigued me on OKCupid for waht ever reason. Which would you choose? The implication is, of course, that you wouldn't be as happy while living forever.

Honestly? I'm unsure. I mean, does living forever outweigh living a happy life? How happy? Would simply living forever keep you jaded and cynical enugh to never know happiness again?

Living forever would be a rollercoaster. It would be difficult to stay happy and to feel like the emotion is real.

What do youyou think?

PS: I'm actually home... relaxing with cats!!

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Current Mood: relaxed relaxed

22 comments or Leave a comment
lerite From: lerite Date: October 15th, 2005 07:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
moocowrich From: moocowrich Date: October 15th, 2005 07:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I had the same thought.
abmann From: abmann Date: October 15th, 2005 07:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
u r SMRT
abmann From: abmann Date: October 15th, 2005 07:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Kind of a putz.
thecoweyed From: thecoweyed Date: October 15th, 2005 08:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
You really wanted to be in Art's Pathology of Mythology course the year I was in it. This sort of thing is more or less what he lectured about all semester. It was awesome.

In Iliad Bk. 12, Sarpedon sums up the matter quite well. "Why is it, Glaukus," he says to his friend, "That our people honor us with feasts of plump sheep and wine, that they look upon us as gods, and give us the best palaces and plots of land?" It's because, when it's time for battle, they toss themselves into battle among the foremost of the Lycians, and they show themselves worthy of the honor. After explaining this, Sarpedon continues, "If it were possible for us to live forever, deathless and unaging, I wouldn't rush to gain glory in battle, nor would I urge you to do the same. But since we're mortal, let's risk all gaining glory in the foremost of the battle, and not hope to nurse an unhappy and useless old age."

To sum up, striving to have a happy and fulfilling existance is necessary for mortals, but it's not necessary for gods. This is because men who lived well were remembered after they died, and obtained a sort of immortality from that. Gods don't need to worry aboutbeing remembered, because... well, they'll always be there.

There's also a notion that in the expanse of eternity, good and bad, happiness and sadness lose all meaning, rendering immortals completely amoral, lifting them to a plain completely unattainable by mortals. Whether the gods are happy or not is completely irrelevent, and they seem to act mostly on the force of their symbolic value in the cosmos (i.e. what they're the god OF).

We get the general impression that Heracles (the only mortal ever to have become fully immortal) lived a life of eternal bliss post-deification, though the only time we actually see Him pop up in His role as God is in the Philoctetes, where He only acts to assert mythological reality and smooth over the plot bumps created by human intervention/originality/mind.

The things that I'd envy about an immortal is that, by dint of everything else becoming infinitely trivial, you'd get to know and act in accordance with universal truths that would suddenly become very apparant to you.

Maybe there's some sort of happiness or sadness that can be derived from playing a role in the development of those truths... maybe. But I don't know that we could know that unless we tried. And if, as it seems from down here, there actually AREN'T any universal truths... well, that would be sad.

So, on the whole, I guess I'd rather be mortal, sad or happy, than immortal and blank.

Mon bisous,

kittydesade From: kittydesade Date: October 15th, 2005 08:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Blah blah literary reference, blah blah pop culture reference, blah blah obscure song lyric.

Immortality bad. Possibility of ending sometime good.

(That being said, I wouldn't mind a couple hundred years of lifespan)
kittydesade From: kittydesade Date: October 15th, 2005 08:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, hey, bun, is this like what you have, and if so, how is it? And is it XP compatible?

Inquiring friends want to know.
abmann From: abmann Date: October 15th, 2005 09:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nope. I"ve got a tablet PC from gatway.
kittydesade From: kittydesade Date: October 15th, 2005 09:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ok. I had no idea. Plus, I need sleep.

abmann From: abmann Date: October 15th, 2005 09:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
You always need sleep. :)
kittydesade From: kittydesade Date: October 15th, 2005 09:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
These days? Yes. I have of late but wherefore I know not lost all my mirth.
truededication From: truededication Date: October 15th, 2005 09:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
The older I get the happier I am, so I would choose to keep on living (as long as I could always have sex). ;)
ocarina_justin From: ocarina_justin Date: October 15th, 2005 10:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Simple answer: The world is like a story, and I'm always curious about what is going to happen next. I think I could be fascinated by Humanity's never ending journey for a very, very long time.

Also, all this philosophizing about how horrible it would be to lead a never ending life is a little theoretical - I mean, we can't really know, no one has ever tried it.

I am assuming that I'd retain some basic levels of functionality (like being somewhat mobile, ability to comprehend the world around me, etc).
kate_the_bear From: kate_the_bear Date: October 15th, 2005 11:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
so pretty much i assumed that living forever would continue my life on as it currently stands- even given infinate time and youth it is unlikely that i will aquire the wealth that would make eternity entertaining at least for the couple hundred years.... anywho
fiendishx From: fiendishx Date: October 16th, 2005 12:08 am (UTC) (Link)
The poll doesn't ask about living a happy life. It asks about dying happy. I fully expect to live a really happy life and then be extremely pissed off when I die. So I don't care about dying happy. And living forever...are we talking about invincibility too or just an infinite natural lifespan?

The problem with invincibility is that you can't end your own life. And 5 billion years from now when the earth has been eaten up by the sun, existence would be pretty lonely floating around in space by yourself.
In the words of Marvin:
"The first ten million years were the worst.
And the second ten million, they were the worst too.
The third ten million, I didn't enjoy at all.
After that I went into a bit of a decline."

So that would suck.
But if that were the case, then there is no prospect of dying at all, so that can't be the type of immortality we are talking about.

So, if you had an infinite natural lifespan (let's assume here that you don't become decrepit after 100 years which would make the rest of eternity totally suck) with the prospect of death by accident or malice then fuck yeah I'd take that. And when the earth blows up, I'll go right along with it and not have to deal with floating around in space by myself. Because living forever would make my life happy. Sure there would be sad times, but do you have any idea how many times in my life I've thought to myself "Man, I wish I could be around when that happens"? And like I said, I fully expect to be pissed off about dying, regardless.

In short. This is a dumb question, and I don't like dumb questions.
abmann From: abmann Date: October 16th, 2005 02:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Why are you such an ass, Avi?
fiendishx From: fiendishx Date: October 16th, 2005 04:26 am (UTC) (Link)
It's what I do best. I blame genetics and upbringing. ^_^
maelel From: maelel Date: October 16th, 2005 12:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Life isn't supposed to be sunshine and roses. I think most great art stems from pain, so regardless of the lack of smiles, I would choose immortality.
lady_fox From: lady_fox Date: October 16th, 2005 01:32 am (UTC) (Link)
I would definitely Choose to die happy.

Immortality would get very boring and incredibly depressing. People continue to amaze me with their stvupidity, and I doubt that they'll ever stop that.
From: que_emocionante Date: October 16th, 2005 05:38 am (UTC) (Link)
i agree with all of these reasons, so i figure i'll just ditto instead of writing them again. eeexcellent.
lady_fox From: lady_fox Date: October 16th, 2005 11:17 am (UTC) (Link)
dragonflyknight From: dragonflyknight Date: October 19th, 2005 08:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
If part of the goal is not to be afraid of death, why should I be afraid of life either? I would rather live forever and understand happiness, than die simply happy.
22 comments or Leave a comment