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SmashTheState's avatar

Would you prefer to live eternally, or to cease to exist altogether?

Asked by SmashTheState (14228points) January 30th, 2011

You have only these options and must choose one, and only one. You may either:

(a) Live eternally: You may not die. Ever. You will continue to exist, in your current form, changeless and invulnerable to all physical harm. When humanity goes extinct, you will live on. When the Earth itself is consumed by the Sun, you will live on. When the galaxies die, the last faint suns go dark, and entropy reduces the very Universe to stagnant heat for numberless eternity, still you will live on, unable to die.

(b) Cease to exist: You will die instantly, right this second. You will have no time for settling your affairs, saying goodbye, pondering on what meaning your life had. You will simply be extinguished. There will be no afterlife, no thought, no rebirth, no memory, nothing. You will fall into the Void and simply stop, never to exist again.

Choose now.

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18 Answers

Rarebear's avatar

Die. Without question.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

A.
I have no problem being alone. ;)

seazen's avatar

The former.

Now what does that say about me I wonder?

tinyfaery's avatar

Blissful oblivion, please.

gasman's avatar

I want to watch the whole show.

Cruiser's avatar

I can live forever. I imagine I will get quite good on guitar and have an amazing MP Collection. Will I be able to collect Social Security when I turn 72?? Can I lose 10 lbs first??

Blondesjon's avatar

B, because that’s how it actually works. Appreciate every moment kids, because it’s all you have.

Eternity would be boring as fuck. There’s a reason we all live as long as we do.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Cease to exist. The alternative isn’t worth it.

shniernan's avatar

That’s a good one. The main problem with the first one is loneliness and boredom. In the first one, if I could slumber for the intermission of the universe compacting back into an atom and reinacting the big bang and then returning to a new planet with life and going through all of the planet’s evolutions that wouldn’t be too bad. That’s another question. In scenario A, can you travel to other galaxies and solar systems immediately?

Otherwise, dying would be the best choice. I would go insane, anyone would. Although not being able to say goodbye would suck.

SmashTheState's avatar

@shniernan Our best understanding is that the Universe is open. That is, there is insufficient mass in the Universe to halt the expansion. The Universe will die a final heat death where all energy has been reduced to its least organized form, background heat, with only the occasional virtual particle—larger than the size of current galaxies—popping briefly into existence from random quantum flux. For eternity.

kathleentoronto's avatar

I would prefer to live eternally only if I could travel both ways through time. That way I could always go back to where I was or rewrite a story. Each time it could have a new ending or the same, if I wanted.

wundayatta's avatar

There is no question in my mind. I didn’t even bother to read your second option. Eternal life is what I want. I’d love to be able to survive the heat death of the universe, if that’s what I’d be allowed to do. I’m always interested in seeing what happens next. I might be frozen in this form, but I’d have a lot of add-ons by then. I’d probably be the size of a small moon. It would be kind of cool, also, to be able to experience naked vacuum without boiling away. This is a great deal. Wow! I could fall into a star if I wanted. I could do all kinds of absolutely impossible things.

Where do I sign up?

faye's avatar

What would make anyone want to live by yourself with nothing to do day after day and know there was no end in sight? I feel extra personalities lining up to help me cope as I read the question. So I’m B.

Meego's avatar

Wow why would everyone almost pick eternal life? Is it just because its the more positive answer? I wonder? I would for sure not want to watch life cycles surpass me by and have no way to help any of it along with family and friends always dieing around me I couldn’t handle it, one thing comes to mind…vampires

I would choose to die because it is actually more like a natural way to go, besides I have my plot, my cremation, and my urn already paid for,,,I refuse to waste any more money LOL

everephebe's avatar

Whichever. Flip a coin for all I care.

Foolaholic's avatar

Yeah, definitely going for the live forever option. First, since I am “changeless and invulnerable to all physical harm”, I will be a superhero or an assassin or something that will allow me to best make use of those advantages. Then, when the thrill of immortality begins to wear off, I shall begin to study, amassing as much knowledge as inhumanly possible. Depending of the state of humanity at that point, I may share my knowledge with the world, or I may cloister myself away, preserving any advancements I have discovered to further my own exploration and evolution. Should it become clear that humanity is going to fail, I shall strike out for other planets, once again taking advantage of immortality to survive peacefully in what would otherwise be lethal environments. I shall make friends beyond the stars, becoming a living legend and last ambassador of humanity to the rest of the universe. Intelligent life will know me as The Wanderer in the Dark, a powerless god whose existence and purpose is never-ending. At some point, the great abyss of space will see fit to offer it’s secrets unto me, and I shall transcend mere reality as my sanity slowly mutates into a consciousness indescribable by our current conceptions. I will shake hands with Fate, and play poker with the Grim Reaper. At the very end, when the universe collapses upon itself, we will sit on the sidelines, sharing an xtra-large popcorn, breaking the silence only long enough to gasp quietly in amazement at the majesty of all creation falling into chaos.

Then we’ll all go get a beer.

Summum's avatar

This is like dangling the proverbial carrot in front of the horse. Of course if life were to be the way you describe it for eternal life then I could not imagine anyone picking it so I would pick to be gone. But there is no choice we all live for eternity and it will not be the way you desribe it.

Butterflies61's avatar

Since we were created with the purpose of living forever, that is what I want. The Bible tells us that God’s purpose in creating mankind was that they were to live forever on earth in perfect peace and unity. That is not happening now! But that does not mean that God is going to leave it at that – he sent his son Jesus Christ to be a ransom sacrifice. This sacrifice bought back the perfect human life that Adam lost for us. However, we have to wait until God removes Satan who is the cause of all the pain and suffering that we are going through now.
Once that is done, those who have been obedient to God will be able to enjoy life as it was originally intended.
We wont be floating through the universe etc, but will have no wars, no diseases, no violence, homlessness, poverty or death.
Be assured that the hope of everlasting life is no man-made dream or fantasy. As Titus 1:2 says, our godly devotion is based on “a hope of the everlasting life which God, who cannot lie, promised before times long lasting.” It was God’s original purpose for all obedient humans to live forever. (Genesis 1:28)

That’s what I am looking forward to.

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