This composition was originally written for a English composition contest.
I put it here to share it with you guys.
As usual, any comments are welcome.




                                                        Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of immortality 

                        We have been pursuing immortality throughout our history. In this composition, I would like to talk about immortality.

                        Before I start, I want to talk about my definition of “immortality”. I think there are two perspectives of immortality: one is physical, while the other one is mental. Being physically immortal has been a dream of many people, from the past to now, from emperors to citizens. What’s the magic of it that can drive people nuts for it?? “Every story has a beginning has an end.”(From “Matrix Revolution”) We all know for sure that, from the day we were born, we are going slowly but steadily to death. It’s just a matter of time. Nobody can escape from the rule. With immortal lives, we are set free from the rule that has equally bounded all mankind no matter of his status, gender or background. That’s why many of us have tried everything to achieve immortality. After all, being immortal itself is very seductive, not to mention its “side effects” of having eternal time and being free from the fear of death.

                        Although current technologies can not help us reach physical immortality, not even close to it, our religions come to the rescue in an alternative way: the mental immortality. Buddhism, Catholicism and Christianity all believe in spiritual (soul) immortality; though the details are quite different, they all believe that even if our bodies corrupt, our spirits last forever. This perfectly reflects our thoughts of pursuing immortality. Some people pursue immortality in yet another way; they achieve this in words (writers), music (composers), thoughts (philosophers) and actions (revolutionists). These are different forms of mental immortality. Their bodies corrupt, but their works remain forever in our hearts. Isn’t this just what we want?? To keep ourselves in others’ hearts such that we don’t fade away in the end of our lives?? To leave something in the world after we die, not to make our lives in vain??

                        Sounds pretty promising, doesn’t it? So what are the down sides of it?? What are the disadvantages of immortality?? Being physically immortal is lonely when others are not as immortal as you. Imagine that only you are immortal and all your families, relatives and friends past away as time goes by, how do you feel?? Sure you can make new friends, new families and start new lives. However, how long can they last?? After how much time will you start to feel boring of your immortality?? Takahashi Rumiko, a Japanese comic writer, once wrote a comic book “the forest of mermaids”. This book impacted me with the idea. In ancient Japanese superstitions, it is believed that the mermaids are immortal, and those who have drunk the blood of mermaid will become immortal, too. This book used this background and made up a story: the hero is a man who had accidentally drunk the blood of mermaid and became immortal. After that, he traveled many places. From his journey, he saw two things: the greed of people pursuing immortality by all means and the loneliness of being immortal. That’s why we see later in the book the purpose of his journey was to find the way to end his immortality, to transform him back to a normal person who fades away like others. In Ni Kuang’s Sci-fi novels we see similar concepts again; in his novels, those who are immortal are usually lonely and pathetic. They are physically strong but mentally weak. Why?? Those who pursue immortality are those can not face, fight and overcome the fear of death. They try to escape from the rule that every living thing should face. That’s why they want to be immortal. That’s why they are weak in mind.

                        I’ve done my words about the advantages and disadvantages of immortality. In the last paragraph, I would like to say something different. In my personal opinions, I don’t believe immortality, no matter physically or mentally. Why?? Because I can’t prove it. I can’t prove immortality (eternity) until I reach the end of it. And if I reach the end of it, it shouldn’t be called immortality, because immortality doesn’t have an end. That’s why I can’t prove its existence. That’s why I don’t believe it, and that’s why I wrote this at the end of the composition to clarify my thoughts about immortality.



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  • John
  • nicely written. i agree with you although i wished that we can choose how many years we want to live, and then we can choose to die after we're done living our lives
  • I'm very glad to see comment on this one. In fact, I didn't expect anyone to reply on this. This topic is probably too boring for most people.
    Back on topic, I understand what you mean. Being able to choose the length of life is good. But that's not what I meant by "immortal". immortal I meant is to live forever without the possibility to die. "No way to die" is the most terrible part of immortality...

    silentlain 於 2009/10/08 22:24 回覆

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