Last semester some of my students asked whether, if it were possible, we should do something to our genes so that, barring accident, our lifespan was unlimited.
Our lifespan in this world, mind you. It’s a tempting thought, but consider.
If we were immortal, no new generations would arise to replace us.
If we were immortal, we would become set in our ways and resist all new things.
If we were immortal, we would never learn anything. We would never grow up. We would think there was plenty of time.
At first we might condescend to having young to replace losses from accidental death. Eventually even that would seem too great a burden.
We would forget the sound of childish laughter.
Sacrificial love would seem a scandal.
Bored with ourselves, closed unto ourselves, selfish as only fallen men can be, we would despair of this life, but we would have given up the hope of any other.
If we were immortal, we would probably die out quickly, and I say it would be good riddance.