​​In Vonnegut’s short story “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow,” he presents us with the concept of indefinite lifespans. Everyone on Earth has been taking a drug called anti-gerasone that stops the aging process. Additionally, all the diseases have been cured and few people are dying of natural causes. At this point, most of Earth’s resources have been used up, and humans are forced to rely on processed seaweed and sawdust.
The idea of living forever has never quite appealed to me; I feel that the average life expectancy age in the U.S. is more than long enough for me. I do not mean this in a cynical or dismal way, but I genuinely believe that each human is destined to live a certain amount of time before passing away. Messing with this “destiny” would spark the collapse of society, as shown in Vonnegut’s work. After reading about the issue of overpopulation in this story, my beliefs were only confirmed and strengthened. Aging is a natural part of the human life cycle and is nothing to be afraid of. While losing a loved one or family member can alter this sort of thinking, having knowledge of the Plan of Salvation is a huge comfort. I feel that the people that wish they would live forever simply believe that there is nothing after death. Personally, I think that this is a much more morbid way of thinking than accepting the concept of death. Wanting to be immortal seems like a selfish desire; humans must accept aging in order to allow future generations to live and establish their own legacies.

https://blog.thefastingmethod.com/what-is-aging/ , Jason Fung, MD

4 Replies to “Death: It’s Inevitable.”

  1. I definitely agree—extending this life forever doesn’t really appeal to me at all, but that’s probably because I believe in an afterlife

  2. I honestly still get freaked out by the idea of eternal life, but that’s probably something I need to deal with on my own. But the idea of being stuck on a crowded planet with a bunch of other seaweed eaters sounds pretty spooky, so I’d have to agree with your take. Being afraid of death is normal, but having faith in an afterlife is what distinguishes us from non-sapient life.

  3. I appreciate you mapping this onto the gospel, Kira. It does give us a different perspective on things. That said, having reached the age where I know more people who are dying, I don’t feel quite the same way that I did when I was 20.

  4. It’s definitely interesting to think about this story and the problems of the society it creates in a more modern context. Even though we are nowhere close to living forever, come countries are starting to experience socioeconomic issues as lifespans get longer and fewer children are born. I definitely agree that the desire to live forever (at least as we currently exist on Earth) is not only undesirable for us, but for society as a whole.

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