Imagine that in not so distant future becoming immortal is in reach of every living person. Let's assume that immortality means that some person simply stops aging. Resuming aging and becoming immortal again are also possible infinite amount of times.

Of course becoming immortal does not mean that people become invincible, they still can die from accidents, diseases, starving, etc.
I ask especially about value of time. How people will spend their time with the knowledge that if they won't die from things mentioned above then they will have unlimited lifespan?
How many people (if any) will decide to resume their aging several times and in effect die of old age?

Consider that immortality is achievable but not a reversal of aging, one simply cannot go back to his youth.


closed as too broad by James, Separatrix, DaaaahWhoosh, Brythan, Hohmannfan May 24 '16 at 17:56

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Have you used the search feature to explore any of the many questions regarding immortality? They may have already addressed the situation you are looking at. In general, I have found the answer of "how would life change" in the presence of immortality is dominated by the particular fine details of how said immortality works. Little questions like "how do we keep remembering new things" have massive effects on what happens to life. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon May 24 '16 at 0:20
  • $\begingroup$ Hi. Welcome to Worldbuilding! You don't give any reason why someone would resume aging except to die. So why would they do so multiple times? $\endgroup$ – Brythan May 24 '16 at 0:29
  • $\begingroup$ @Brythan, some might consider resuming their aging to catch up with an older spouse. With unlimited days ahead of us, the cultural taboo against age-disparate pairings might quickly fade, but the need for mates to understand each other (and their biological-age-based challenges) would not. $\endgroup$ – Henry Taylor May 24 '16 at 0:37
  • $\begingroup$ Just wait another 200 years and the age-reversal process will be available. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz May 24 '16 at 2:48
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site Lukasz, could you narrow this down a bit? The implications of immortality on humanity could (and have frankly) fill many many many books. If you could ask about a particular aspect of culture this would make the question a better fit for the site. $\endgroup$ – James May 24 '16 at 15:49

How early in the immortality cycle are people? It would probably take several decades, if not centuries, for people to truly understand what immortality means and that they actually have it (i.e. if I gave you a shot today and said it made you immortal and unageing, how could I prove it and how long until you actually believed it?). So for mortal-now immortal people they would still retain an understanding of mortality, how fleeting life can be, and the pressure of time. But for immortals who have never known mortality, they may be very casual about time, yet also extremely risk-adverse, since they can expect to live forever unless they have an accident. How well do they heal? I think a lot of our behavior WRT sports, drug use, dietary habits, etc is predicated on the notion that we all die eventually so "life is for the living". But this would no longer be true if we had immortality. We also have a lot of genetic pressure to reproduce, how well could we reconcile immortality and family?

Many sci-fi works deal with functional immortality (transfer of consciousness into a clone body, deaging procedure, etc). Some tidbits from them include fixed time periods for marriage (since 'til death do you part' is a REALLY long time), potential wage slave status to pay for life prolonging treatments with class stratification based on those lines, and cultural stagnation as immortals presumably cap out on the types of new experiences they want and instead dwell in a persistent form of nostalgia. Some concepts for REALLY old folks include selective memory dumps in order to be able to function with off-site storage of memories or notes for the immortal to consult (the room of diaries for the immortal girl in Dr. Who, for example).

The old folks I know often seem to reach a period of resignation and acceptance of death. But how much of this is due to an infirm body and loss of companions versus some biological clock winding down, who can say. There is certainly a component of "old man yells at clouds" WRT older generations and new technologies and culture that may or may not persist in immortal society that may also hasten a desire to end life (this is frequently seen when there are a few immortals amongst lots of mortals). It certainly will be critical to have new frontiers to explore due to population pressures (and long term interstellar travel wouldn't be [as much of] an issue, reference "The Boat of a Million Years" by Poul Anderson).

Eventually you'd like to think that immortals would all become like Bill Murray from "Groundhog Day", accomplished in many cultural arts due to the large amounts of leisure time they would have to master skills. A better appreciation for the delicate balance of life on Earth would be nice as well, since you would be around to see the loss of biodiversity and climate change.


As death-stalked mortals, we rush through a lot of things which would probably work better if we gave them more time.

  • We truncate the age of youthful play to begin our education because we want to maximize the number of our limited, alloted years which can be spent in pursuit of wealth and power.
  • We overlap the subjects which we study and overload our class schedules, again in a rush to minimize the years spent learning in favor of our more profitable years spent doing.
  • Once employed, we ignore our families, our friends, our spouse and our children, in favor of our jobs. Again because we fear... there are only so many years available to climb the corporate ladder.

Immortality would allow us to shed our fear of the time clock and explore our life pace to find the optimal way to use our (now unlimited) supply of days.

"I went to a concert last night. It was a jazz guitarist and she was amazing. The music was so intricate and flawless. It probably took her decades to master. I would love to learn how it feels to make music like that... Where I can get a guitar?"


Things would go much slower, Why speeded only four year in school study your field when you could spend four decades and come out a expert. Why promote some one new as ceo if the guy that do it now has a couple hundred years of experience.

the medical field would lose a lot of money in the long run since many of the people get surgeries and taking medication are the elderly

there would probably be probably some law past regulating reproduction probably something like you can only have one kid or no kids without a license .

As time when by you see a lot of people became experts in there field, Imagine been a engineer for a couple hundred year.

People may find themselves more dedicated to their cause then before, If your goal is space travel or to speed some religion around the world, you don't really expect to live long enough to be on this earth when you dream is felled. But if your immortal you have a good chance of doing just that.

Actually I think that people would need to find life goals and causes to give there immortal life meaning. At least for a time. People may be less will to take risk at have a bigger picture of the world. Most people now days have a hard time caring what the world will be like in a couple hundred year because they don't expect to be hear that long, of course if your immortal that would change.

Politics would change a lot, imagine if the people that voted today were the same people that voted a couple of hundred year ago. This could create a world that changed a lot slower then they do today.

  • $\begingroup$ I disagree with the medical field part. If diseases and injuries are the main threats to a person's life, then there will be a high demand for doctors. Additionally, depending on how exactly the immortality "works", there would be more cosmetic surgery. Is your look 200 years out of fashion? No problem, Dr. Beauty can fix you up. $\endgroup$ – Kys May 24 '16 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Kys Your chances of getting diseases and injuries go up as you age. It goes way up as you pass fifty. If you didn't age this would not happen. I am not saying that the medical field would no longer exits, it would still exits but it would take a hit. $\endgroup$ – Bryan McClure May 24 '16 at 16:01

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.