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HungryGuy's avatar

Would you live an aboriginal lifestyle for a while in exchange for immortality?

Asked by HungryGuy (15956 points ) February 15th, 2012

Suppose medical science achieved practical immortality (you don’t age and, barring accidents, you can live indefinitely). Now, you’re not superman, and you can die by accident such as drowning, or getting shot, or falling off a cliff, or being eaten by a bear, etc.

The problem is that if everyone was immortal, the Earth’s population would reach into the trillions in a short time.

Therefore, most governments have decreed that anyone who opts for the “treatment” must agree to embark on a colonization ship to one of the new Earth-like planets that have been discovered.

But the catch is there will be no technology except what can be brought on board the ship. And the few thousand people on the new planet will not support an advanced technological civilization.

So you’ll be living like an aborigine for a few hundred or thousand years until civilization advances on your new planet.

Would you agree to do this in exchange for immortality?

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25 Answers

marinelife's avatar

No, I don’t want immortality.

rebbel's avatar

The few hundred years on Earhtwo already sound like eternity to me way too long.
So, no.

lonelydragon's avatar

No, I have no wish to be immortal. 70–100 years is long enough to be on this planet.

PhiNotPi's avatar

Some of the major causes of death in today’s society are accidents (automobile, etc), homicide/suicide, and preventable things that people do to themselves (smoking, obesity, etc). Since these are not included in your version of immortality, which only includes natural deaths due to aging, I would be quite mortal indeed.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I live that lifestyle every chance I get, you don’t have to bribe me with immortality.

King_Pariah's avatar

Nah, I can wait 20–40 years.

Bellatrix's avatar

I don’t want immortality but the opportunity to live a ‘traditional’ aboriginal lifestyle would be great. I don’t want to live the ‘imposed’ lifestyle of many Indigenous peoples. I would love to learn about how to live in a sustainable way with nature, about the Dreamtime, in a community driven setting that isn’t ruled by the clock.

Blackberry's avatar

Sure. Immortality is intriguing, and I think I may want it. Even though you may eventually be miserable and kill yourself, the ride would still be amazing until the end: watching whole countries and governments crumble and build, seeing the slow progress of social change etc.

HungryGuy's avatar

Exactly ^

I’m a creative type, and I don’t think I’d ever get bored of life.

Frankly, I’m baffled at the people who don’t want to live as long as they possibly can.

Symbeline's avatar

Being eaten by a bear. Lmao.

But nah, I wouldn’t want that. No electricity, no video games, no movies…unless zombies appear on this planet, what am I supposed to do with my life? (I have no ambition, I know)

But no seriously, I wouldn’t want that. Being immortal would be creepy. I mean, I don’t know if there’s a limit to how much a brain can hold, but wouldn’t we loose memories after a while? Like, if I lived 900 years, it’s hard to imagine remembering clear details about what went on 400 years ago. That would make things really depressing.
Or if you had kids, the thought of seeing them grow older than you…brrrr. I suppose you wouldn’t see them though, unless they came with you and got the treatment…

It would be cool if I could live until like, 160 years or so I think. But not being immortal, and not in the woods…then again, it’s easy to say I wouldn’t want that when I know that it’s never gonna happen anyways. If the chance was real and offered to me, I’d probably be pretty tempted. If it does end up sucking, I’m in the wild here…I could always get eaten by a bear.

HungryGuy's avatar

@Symbeline – Well, you’d just turn yourself into a zombie, eh?

Blackberry's avatar

@HungryGuy I hate to be “that guy”, but that’s what I liked about Anne Rice’s vampires. They had that experience of “I’ve lived so long and seen it all, but these mortals are still so fascinating yet doomed/boring.” Lol.

Symbeline's avatar

@HungryGuy I imagine that living for centuries might accomplish an effect akin to zombiehood…humans aren’t meant to live so long without going insane I think. I mean I don’t think our brains could hack that. So maybe after getting all jaded and bored, I mean more so than normal human standards of jadery and boredom, I’d just mope around waiting till I’m hungry again.

Then I’d go eat a bear.

mazingerz88's avatar

Definitely, yes. Sign me up. Nothing could be more exciting for me.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Some would argue that we are currently dead. When Jesus describes Hell as a place where there will be “Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth”… well, do the math.

Some would argue that real life begins when dead flesh meets the yawning grave.

auhsojsa's avatar

Why not? I think I could spread my writing and knowledge and the youth can then again have an experienced influence. Of course my intention wouldn’t be to spin anything a certain, just clearly describe stories in black and white as possible. Knowing I would never die, there would be no risk and I could write about the events forever.

PhiNotPi's avatar

If I was truly immortal (no death for any reason), then I definitely would take the offer. Society and technology would progress eventually on the planet.

auhsojsa's avatar

@PhiNotPi Imagine the trials human kind will go through when it’s scientifically united and driven! When humanity realize how petty business solutions are in correlation to the advancement of human kind and earths critters!

JLeslie's avatar

I’d consider it. Especially if my husband would consider it. Will my health problems resolve also, the ones I have now? That would be very appealing to me. Living in a more primitive fashion does not scare me off. Oh, and does the planet have a warm climate? If it is cold and overcast skies I am not as tempted. Sunny skies with palm trees, definitely I would consider it.

incendiary_dan's avatar

I’ll live like that for shits and giggles, skip the immortality. And here on Earth, please.

Also, wouldn’t birth control or sterilization make more sense (and, I might point out, the usual indigenous solution to overpopulation is birth control).

ZEPHYRA's avatar

No thanks, I can do without it, it sounds like a nightmare scenario!

Rheto_Ric's avatar

My interest in immortality stems from not wanting to miss out on what the future holds, like flying cars and robot wars and Playstation 12. If that future involves sitting around on a rock, having conversations about moss, that’s not my idea of fun.

cazzie's avatar

I would do it the other way around. For the chance to help colonise a new planet, and we would have certain technologies because we can invent a hell of a lot with pretty basic resources, I would be willing to sacrifice my mortality.

HungryGuy's avatar

I know it’s a little late, but I should have clarified a few things early on.

Unfortunately, true immortality (as in Death Becomes Her) is pure magic and not possible. I wanted my question to be a plausible situation, rather than pure nonsensical fantasy.

Now, I’d have thought that these details would have been obvious. But I guess they weren’t. Sorry ‘bout that.

Anyway, your “immortality” comes with various enhancements besides simply not aging. For example, you’ll be immune to most, if not all, viruses and bacterial infections. Lost tissue will regrow automatically (limbs, internal organs, eyes, teeth, etc). While death from accidents will be possible, most accidents that cause death today, your body will be able to recuperate from. As long as your body isn’t totally ground up by that bear, or have lost all your blood, assume your body will recover.

For another, although you’ll start out in an aboriginal state, you’ll have a huge advantage over cro-magnons of 60 gazillion years ago. You’ll have the knowledge of what’s possible. You’ll have language. You’ll have a supply of basic hand farming tools. You’ll have fire. You’ll have a library of the sum of human knowledge on printed texts and stored electronically on board your starship in orbit. So even if you don’t have the civilization to build 3 terabyte hard drives, the knowledge of how to make them will be there when the time is ready. It shouldn’t take your civilization more than a thousand years or so before it starts building its own starships to send out to repeat the process…

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