Why are we so obsessed with living forever?

Both Advantageous and World of Tomorrow touched on the subject of cloning and the human consciousness. In Advantageous, we have Gwen who is willing to sacrifice herself for her daughter by having her memories, thoughts, and feelings be transferred to a new body. She does this because the company she works for fires her for not being young enough; however, since she knows that they have this new technology allowing one’s consciousness to be ‘dumped’, so to speak, in another person, she volunteers to be their first subject. Using the new Gwen and the people’s wants such as never missing out on your grandchild’s life or never having to worry about becoming sick with a terminal illness, the company sells this idea. I find it interesting that one of the driving forces the company uses to capture people’s attention is this notion of living forever, especially in their world, which we are lead to believe is not a hopeful one. While the thought of never having to worry about dying from cancer or a failed organ and being with loved ones forever seems nice, the reality is these people are losing a part of themselves. If the people in Advantageous knew the consequences of transferring their consciousness into another body, would they still be so eager to participate? If they knew that this new person was not actually them, but simply a twin, would they still choose to live on? And, if so, why? Why are people willing to lose a part of themselves, a part of their humanity for eternal life? I mean, there are people like Gwen, who are willing to do so solely for their daughter, but what about the people not facing such trying times?

In World of Tomorrow, a young girl named Emily (also known as Emily Prime) is visited by her future self, a clone of herself to be exact. Emily describes the future as this technologically advanced society, where Emily Prime gave birth to a clone of herself, and this clone gave birth to the clone she sees today. Again, this notion of cloning oneself in order to keep living and never die seems unnatural, and as the short film makes sure to point out, the clones begin losing their human aspect. Emily the clone enjoyed feeling sadness over the death of David because she felt that it made her more human. These clones are robotic in a way with their lack of emotion and monotone voices. We even see people so desperate to not die that they attempt to travel back in time, knowing that the chances of them actually succeeding are next to none. Then, we have the people with more money transferring themselves into boxes and launching them into space, sentencing them to life in a box. With the example of the grandfather who is in a box, we can see how miserable a life in there is. Yet, people still would rather live their life in misery then face death. I find this more tragic then dying. The point of life is to live. I have mentioned in one my blog posts before the difference between surviving and living, yet this obsession with living forever goes further than that, for people are not even surviving; they are giving up their humanity and life for someone else to live it. So, why are people so obsessed with living forever even when it possibly means losing a sense of themselves and all aspects of what makes them human?


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