PS: This is a recovered version of the original article which I lost somehow
So I just read a question of /r/AskReddit:
A genie grants you immortality under the condition you choose one possible but improbable way you can be killed. What is your immortality loophole?
Before reading any of the replies, I wanted to try and think hard for this one. It really piqued my interest and so I’m going to think this through.
Before we take a look at some of the loopholes, it’s best to try and think of some scenarios which clearly seem fine on the surface, but will end up putting our immortality in a pinch.
Get hit by an aestroid which is atleast 1/4th the size of the earth.
If it’s a natural incident and we cannot destroy the asteroid, all of us die anyways. I surely don’t want to be the last human alive. It’d be scary as hell.
But what if it’s not a natural incident, and we have an interstellar enemy trying to wipe us out?
What if in a million years we are a type 5 civilization and every single being out there is finding a way to end my immortality?
A type 5 civilization can definitely alter the path of a pesky asteroid on an abadoned and drained out planet, or even a dying star (I’m immortal so stars can’t kill me right?) and finish me off.
To be honest, there’s no need to go to such extremes. I could simply be chillin in my rogue falcon when my systems go down and I end up coliding with an asteroid. I’m dead. WELP, loopholes can have loopholes too.
There are some more issues with this, but lets move on for now.
I can only be killed by an alien
It’s the year 2100, the first man landed on Mars 2 months ago. He’s on his way back to earth. He lands today, and unkowingly he carries an alien virus like form with him. It ends up spreading and wipes out the entire humanity.
That was easy. Let’s think harder.
The above 2 scenarios are giving the power to control my immortality in the hands of external factors. This is obviously bad for a ton of reasons.
- I can’t kill myself if I am being tortured for a gazillion years.
- I can’t kil myself if I get trapped inside a black hole. Please, I have no intentions of being alive in nothingness for the rest of eternity. The thought itself kills me.
- I’m susceptiple to people finding out the loophole and finishing me off.
- Murphys law: anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
We want something which can be controlled by myself. But it can’t be something I can be forced into, like say for example “I die when I rip apart my 2 fingers and 1 toe with my mouth”, I can be forced to do that, I may not have enough teeth left, or a myriad of other things can again go wrong.
So this narrows down to something intrinsic, something very core to me being alive. But before exploring that, let’s take a look at some of the replies in that thread.
There have been a lot of answers which have aren’t extremely improbable but are very easy to beat after like say a million years of human and technologoical evolution. We want to steer clear from these because we truly want to be immortal. Like for example:
I can be killed by my future self
Extremely probable. Your future self from 10000000000 gabijizillion years in the future may want to commit suicide and he comes back in time and kills you and every single copy that has this genie ask him in every single possible dimension and every single possible multiverse the second they wish that.
PS: The rest of the article is lost, I learnt my lesson back then and am extremely careful to even add draft posts into git so that I don’t lose them.
I may come back to this again in a new post as this is super interesting to me, but I need more time to think it through!