If you had the chance to live forever, would you take it?

endpsecialistThis was the question we all puzzled over for weeks after reading The End Specialist.

At our desks, in the staff kitchen, over the photocopier – we couldn’t stop talking about it, so when we put the question to you in our last article we decided to put our opinions down, too.

In The End Specialist, taking the cure for aging isn’t a cure for death. You can still be shot, die from disease or get hit by a car. When you take the cure your age is frozen in place, so you’ll look the same way you look when you take it as long as you live. Interested? To find out more about it check out this site or read an extract.

And as for the Killer Reads Team’s thoughts on the matter…

Hmmmm…tempting, though I think my answer would probably have to be no. The thing is, if I knew I had all the time in the world to do things, literally, then I would probably spend way more time than can be considered healthy watching Neighbours, X-Factor, America’s Next Top Model etc… Not only this but eternal life would also give me carte blanche to drink and smoke as much as I liked for as long as I liked, and I think this would also be to my detriment.
In short, I am a more spontaneous, less tedious and self destructive person in the knowledge that I have a sell-by date!

After much philosophising with my good friend Emad, I have decided that I would take ‘the cure’ at 21, live until space exploration is possible for all, and after seeing the wonders of the universe, launch myself into the nearest black hole.

Would I want to live forever? Before I read this book I would have said yes without thinking. And now… it’s a definite no. Without sounding melodramatic, the whole point of living is that you die. The fact that there’s a time limit on our lives is what gives everything meaning, from our friends and family to our achievements, our careers, our holidays… If you could live forever then where’s the motivation to marry the person you love? To take the next step in your career? To have children? Even if we don’t think it, all of our decisions are affected by the feeling that time is running out. Take that away and you take away everything we live for.

Yes. Take it. Take it. Take it. Take it with two hands and don’t let go. What is life if not for living? Even if you take the cure, you will die one day. The law of averages dictates that you will contract a disease, or get hit by a bus. But it makes me sad to know people die with regrets. Take the cure and you can die one day with no regrets. You will have hundreds of years to experience everything and anything this incredible world of ours offers. Plus, just because society implodes in The End Specialist, doesn’t mean ours will? Actually, who wants to live in a world where Olly Murs could live forever? On second thoughts, might as well end it now.

In a previous incarnation I edited science fiction, so this is actually a question I have thought about quite a lot. Although I can see the appeal of an extended lifetime, particularly with the promise of never growing old, I do believe that forever would be too long. Eventually you’d have experienced everything you could possibly experience, would become utterly jaded and life would lose all joy. Although death is difficult to contemplate, it’s also what gives life its meaning.

I’m firmly pro-death…
I can’t for the life of me fathom why anyone would want to live forever – or indulge in any of the bizarre activities in The End Specialist: cure parties, cycle marriages and all the other accoutrements of immortality sound dreadful. At a less selfish level, how would the world’s pitiful resources suffice for an ever-expanding population? Count me out.

I think if I’m honest with myself, I have to say yes. If someone created the cure for aging tomorrow, I would take it – am I a product of our instant gratification society or what?! That being said, immortality has never been the superpower I would have asked for (that would be the ability to fly!). There is so much to do in one lifetime, I think if I had a million I would freeze with all the possibilities.

Even though if I did live forever, I would be able to:
a) Get better at snooker
b) See England win the world cup (it’s got to happen eventually, right? Right??)
c) Be able to hand over the reins of government to my eldest living son

However, apart from having more time to play snooker (and maybe read) I don’t think I’d really want to. I suspect that I’d probably grow tired of everyone I love, see the energy wars rip our planet apart, and ultimately not even care (see comment by Toni Mannell).
Having said that, I don’t really want to die. At least there’s always suicide, I suppose.

I would have to say no on this one! I couldn’t bear the thought of everyone ageing around me whilst I never changed! Especially if they started to take up pursuits like bingo and armchair aerobics. Who would I socialise with?!

 The e-book is out on 30th August or you can wait to get your hands on a physical copy on 29th September.

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