If I offered you a potion you could not share, but that would allow you live forever in fine health and provide you adequate financing to meet middle-class needs, would you accept my offer or not?

51 Comments

  1. Yes, the people you know now would die — but you’d meet new people and you’d know your dead friends’ friends and their relatives and you could tell them exactly what the person was like! You’d be an ongoing witness to history!

  2. Yes, the people you know now would die — but you’d meet new people and you’d know your dead friends’ friends and their relatives and you could tell them exactly what the person was like! You’d be an ongoing witness to history!

  3. I like that answer, tajuki! It would be amazing to see precisely how it all ends and to find a way to record it for future use by whatever generation of being that might follow. To life without fear of poverty or ill health is awfully tempting!

  4. I like that answer, tajuki! It would be amazing to see precisely how it all ends and to find a way to record it for future use by whatever generation of being that might follow. To life without fear of poverty or ill health is awfully tempting!

  5. I think it’s the resentment that would sour the deal for me. It is a bit painful to know that anyone is upset at me – let alone most people I would get to know, as they would grow old and frail and I would be ever youthful, and they would surely have some inner anger towards me for being so healthy. Then there would be all of the jealousy.
    Plus, there’s the problem with love. Losing loved one after loved one, then finding new ones, then losing them, ad naseum. That must be tough.
    On the other hand, it would certainly give historical perspective. If someone from the time of the writing of the bill of rights lived now that person could give us a much more insightful meaning of ‘the right to bear arms’. It’s funny when you read the right to bear arms and think of it as having the right to have bear arms. I wonder how many people would sign up for that surgery.
    Tangent, anyone?

  6. Gordon — I love your analysis! You hit all the major touchstones right on the head and I thank you for playing along on such a delightful intellectual plane. Yes, you would grow old and you would always be seeking and then losing love. I love that! ๐Ÿ™‚ Your take on history is really fun. A lot of questions would be immediately answered about “framer’s intent” when it came down to interpreting our laws and our constitution and it would be so wonderful to have someone say: “We didn’t mean that at all!” Oh, how rich it would make us all!
    Robin — Wellรขโ‚ฌยฆ life would be short for those around you so youรขโ‚ฌโ„ขd still have to make the most of the limited time they had to live.

  7. I agree with Gordon.
    Imagine losing loved ones, then friends to old age and death. Then imagine fearing to love, to grow attached to anyone, for fear of losing them again.
    Imagine seeing history repeat itself, again and again. The same mistakes, the same patterns. Of course there would be good to see. Beauty, music, nature, poetry expressed in new and creative ways.
    I like the thought of getting old, but getting old with my generation, my wife, my friends. The humor in sharing the same lot in life is profound.
    I’d refuse the magic potion, because I’d never have the chance to tell funny stories in the nursing home. And that to me is worth more than the ennui of living forever.

  8. I agree with Gordon.
    Imagine losing loved ones, then friends to old age and death. Then imagine fearing to love, to grow attached to anyone, for fear of losing them again.
    Imagine seeing history repeat itself, again and again. The same mistakes, the same patterns. Of course there would be good to see. Beauty, music, nature, poetry expressed in new and creative ways.
    I like the thought of getting old, but getting old with my generation, my wife, my friends. The humor in sharing the same lot in life is profound.
    I’d refuse the magic potion, because I’d never have the chance to tell funny stories in the nursing home. And that to me is worth more than the ennui of living forever.

  9. Carla! — We cannot pass you on to the next level until you answer the question!
    Jeff! — Your take on the offer is fascinating! Do you think your generational tethering is because you only have one opportunity? If you took the potion and had a new appreciation for the cycle of life spinning all around you, wouldn’t you just then “go back in time” after your current generation expires and fit in all over again as you re-join the lives-in-progress of a new generation for identification? Or can there only be one chance for living and one generation for the immortal to join? Does a life, even an immortal one, only deserve a single lot?

  10. I’d drink the potion.
    I know it would be tough at times, but that’s the way life is. It would be like any other time some moves away, dies, or otherwise is not in ones life anymore. There would be a lot more loss, but it would be offset by the additional relationships one would be able to form over the span of centuries.
    I was thinking about “Highlander” also when I read the post.
    In the movie, the Highlander character was weathly. Living multiple generations would provide a great “non-traditional” education as well as provide time to “experiment.” If you formed a corporation, you could set up investments that would grow over time to provide a very comfortable living without needing to work a day job.
    I’m an optimist. It would be a great opportunity with some serious costs that would be offset by the excellent benefits.
    I’d take full advantage of the potion.

  11. I’d drink the potion.
    I know it would be tough at times, but that’s the way life is. It would be like any other time some moves away, dies, or otherwise is not in ones life anymore. There would be a lot more loss, but it would be offset by the additional relationships one would be able to form over the span of centuries.
    I was thinking about “Highlander” also when I read the post.
    In the movie, the Highlander character was weathly. Living multiple generations would provide a great “non-traditional” education as well as provide time to “experiment.” If you formed a corporation, you could set up investments that would grow over time to provide a very comfortable living without needing to work a day job.
    I’m an optimist. It would be a great opportunity with some serious costs that would be offset by the excellent benefits.
    I’d take full advantage of the potion.

  12. Chris —
    I think you’re on to something here. We’d have to readjust our concept of space and time and relationships in order to enjoy the full benefit of the potion. We’d have to stop determining time in years and marking our lives with anniversaries and birthdays. We’d have a higher purpose than just doing time in a sack of bones. We’d likely be looked to in later generations as gentle sages who can predict the future by the repetitions of the past. If we aren’t careful, though, there might be some who would try to rule the world through their longevity but that, above all else, would bring an end to the immortality faster than any antidote ever could.

  13. Well, Carla, we are happy to learn you will take the potion, but we also think you’re not really reading all our responses! Just who do you think represents the Royal “We” in our response to Chris’ comment? If you read our comment to him you will see our plan for world dominance is revealed in situ! Don’t tell Robin, though. She’ll start crying!
    :mrgreen:
    My potion, I fear, will not be a special offer much longer. With the advent of Recombinant DNA and cloning — you’ll soon be able to create yourself as your own baby and learn from all your mistakes as you raise yourself and then just and rinse and repeat again for the next 100 generations! You can fall in love/marry/kill/get executed/birth again over and over and over!
    :mrgreen:

  14. Well, the “we” sounded more like a moderator type response.
    Cloning… good lord… ๐Ÿ˜ฏ I don’t think the world is ready for so many clones. We need the gene pool to weed out the stupidity.

  15. Yes, Carla — Moderator, Me, Royal, We — all the same thang!
    Cloning will prove what we already know — the rich and the stupid will multiply — while the smart, kind and caring people shrink from the idea of repeating doppelgangers and wither away!

  16. Could there be a potion that would allow a person to live forever. I don’t think so. I believe life is a gift that is given from God.
    I would refuse such a portion if there was such a thing, and stick to my faith in Jesus, which gives me a much better promise.

  17. Could there be a potion that would allow a person to live forever. I don’t think so. I believe life is a gift that is given from God.
    I would refuse such a portion if there was such a thing, and stick to my faith in Jesus, which gives me a much better promise.

  18. You know what got skipped in all of this? A choice between financial security and immortality. Forget the inability to tell anyone about the potion. I would gladly settle for middle-class security than to live forever. I would also love more than anything to live to see at least 100 years of age, knowing that even in that short time of the cosmos, I held witness to a lot of technological and cultural marvel. Beyond 2100, hell, that’s just the stuff of technological apocalypse and I’ve been there and done that already with “the Matrix.”

  19. You know what got skipped in all of this? A choice between financial security and immortality. Forget the inability to tell anyone about the potion. I would gladly settle for middle-class security than to live forever. I would also love more than anything to live to see at least 100 years of age, knowing that even in that short time of the cosmos, I held witness to a lot of technological and cultural marvel. Beyond 2100, hell, that’s just the stuff of technological apocalypse and I’ve been there and done that already with “the Matrix.”

  20. Hey Dee!
    It’s nice to have you here and I like your aggressive style — you already fit in here so well!
    :mrgreen:
    You’ll live to see 100. Anyone under 50 is guaranteed of that today. Medical science is progressing so quickly you may even hit 125 if you take care of yourself.
    I agree we need a middle class safety net that is based on hard work and merit and that promises a minimum standard of living. No one should be pushed to survive on the street or beg in a social services system.
    Oh, and your $45,000 is right there — Carla’s holding it for you!
    :mrgreen: