Death, most if not all of us fear it. However, it may be possible to postpone death for a while, and hopefully entirely. One major way of postponing death for awhile is through the biological route, I.e, stopping the aging process. Many people think, including me, that this will be achieved in the near future albeit like most medical practices, it’ll get better over time.

Now, for this question, Let’s assume that this is achieved in the next month, people flock towards getting an opportunity to live slightly longer but it doesn’t completely halt the aging process for good. Now let’s assume that this adds an extra 5 years to the persons life span, and each year, this medical practice gets improved, adding an extra 5 years, so instead of adding 5 years to your life span, it adds 10 years instead.

Now we can assume that this medical practice won’t be a one time use, and the person can take it as many times as they want, but with a reasonable time period between each and every one, like taking medication, but much much longer.

This scenario however brings up a good question, even it’d you don’t die of age, what are the possibilities of dying from something else, now this leads me into the question:

if the average person doesn’t die from age, then is it possible for them to live long enough to were technology allows actual immortality, or will they die from a majority of other factors?

Essentially, could the person live long enough to see perfect immortality, or will they die from something else before that happens

  • $\begingroup$ The population of the planet would keep growing and growing, until one day... ~Snap~ Everything comes crashing down $\endgroup$ Apr 1, 2020 at 8:20
  • $\begingroup$ This can be statistically calculated. Take human mortality at some "prime age", like 25. This mortality would be low, but still well above 0. From mortality we can calculate an average life expectancy (which I guess will be in hundreds, but not thousands of years). $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Apr 1, 2020 at 8:31
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    $\begingroup$ The prolonged immortality (in the title) sounds sooo redun_dun_dant - immortality is understood by "most if not all of us" as "eternal life, being exempt from death; unending existence", I can't see how one can prolong eternity... $\endgroup$ Apr 1, 2020 at 9:20
  • $\begingroup$ Death is a consequence of several flaws that accumulate in the organism. It is quite complicated to have expectations of a holy grail that can cure everything. Even multiple techniques and remedies and even preventing telomeres from degenerating into our cells will not prevent external factors like infection or accidents. And the longer you live, the greater the chances of something like this happening to you. $\endgroup$ Apr 1, 2020 at 15:17

3 Answers 3


There is no such thing as 'perfect immortality'

No matter how advanced science and technology get, you will die someday. The human body is frail and will fall apart, given enough time. No matter what you do to it and how you artificially prop it up, the body will die. The human brain itself has a shelf life before it stops functioning. Even artificially propping the brain up won't guarantee that it survives, and even if you could, however absurd, figure out a method to ensure that you could repair the brain as it deteriorates, then, aside from the mountain of philosophical questions you've just raised, you also have to be wary about psychological damages creeping in while all this is happening.

And, even if you managed to get your immortality juice from somewhere else entirely, like say tossing your brain into a computer body (again, ignoring the host of philosophical questions there), then you still don't have perfect immortality. Machines are prone to errors and glitches, not to mention that you'll need power. An ill-timed blackout could kill you at that point.

And, even if you manage to dodge all of the above, the heat death of the universe will still get you. Perfect immortality doesn't exist. I get that what you're asking isn't really about perfect immortality, it's about using 'stopgap' measures to extend life until a superior version of life-extensions could be applied, but from the words of your question, what you're asking is based on the assumption that immortality is possible for flesh-and-blood humans. And it is not. Memento Mori.

  • $\begingroup$ Tossing my brain into something that philosophically makes me stay alive somewhere that isn't requiring power or has an infinite amount of power, in a place that is more stable than our universe then. $\endgroup$
    – holeo hlw
    Apr 1, 2020 at 17:00

It depends on the pace of other medical improvements While halting the aging process could also lower the risk of contracting a Cancer, it is safe to say that it will not completely make that disappear. The risk of having a stroke or any other "random" deadly treat will also stay there even if you stay in a safe environment. Being able to cure those treats would become even more important.

Halting the aging process will still obviously increase your chances of surviving treats that target older people, decreasing both your chances of dying per second, and the growth of your chances of dying per second. The more those chances decrease, the more you will be able to see probability exceptions, people living a very long time compared to the rest of them. Some of them might live for a thousand years or more, but most of them won't.

0.07% of men and 0.02% of women in 2017 in France died between the age of 25 and 29. This is very low, and by keeping it that low, lot of people would live for multiple thousand of years. But even with an halted aging, that percentage would increase during your lifetime every time you get injured in a way that cannot heal itself completely.


This has a lot of variables in it, and depends on character behavior and the nature of the life-extending treatments. A person trying to keep ahead of the curve, so to speak, would have to make some serious lifestyle choices like never getting in a car or plane, living in an area free of natural disasters, always being painfully polite to avoid offending a potential killer, or possibly just avoiding people all together and living a virtual life inside a protective pod. It would be the ultimate social distancing. Old age is almost never a sole cause of death. They would have to eat right, exercise regularly, and possibly undergo gene therapy for various potentially lethal genes that might not even matter to short-lived people. It would be possible, but not for an ordinary person living a regular life.


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