Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thoughts on life in a civilisation free from death

One of the characters in my never-to-be-written (( so it seems) book is wondering these days how humans would have shaped their civilisation had one of man's oldest wishes been granted: immortality, or , in simple words, a world in which everyone is born but  no one dies. All kinds of  possibilities, none of them complimentary to the character of mankind,  cross my character's mind. Some of these are truly frightening ; others  even blood curdling,  What would the young members of such a civilisation do with their old: would they - would they be able to - keep them with their children in joint families? The old would always heavily outnumber the young, for generations upon generations of them would heaped together in each succeeding generation. Or - Heavens be merciful !- would the young, who would obviously be in control of the civilisation,  - in order to preserve the race against inevitable food shortages -  evolve laws,  practices and conventions under which everyone who crosses a certain age , say 80 to 100 years, would be offered the option of either voluntary exit - poison or something - or face merciful execution? In the event of the second, woould the execution be described as "sacrifice" to the God of Survival. My character seems convinced that human would have invented religious or spiritual justifications for the inevitable cruelty through all kinds of esoteric or occultist stretches of imagination.

When I talked to my character last night, I was horrified at how coollly he considered all these -- and many other such possibilities. Frankly, I had no answer to his questions as to what place would virtues like mercy, pity, love, compassion hold in a civilisation created thus by nature.

I stopped writing , and thought I would toss the question to friends on Facebook, to see how the story - or the line of my character's thought processes - be guided from hereon. I am confronted with terrible possibilities, all of whom make nonsense of beliefs I have always held dearer than life ( Ah! here may be the answer! But wait !)

I throw the idea before you. Personally, I am horror struck at the questions the character in my book is posing with ghastly grin. 

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