Questions tagged [immortality]

For questions about the ability to live forever.

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227
votes
24answers
61k views

How to safely check if you are immortal?

My hero lived his usual life until recently, when he realized that Magic actually exists. So far he has been granted levitation for a short period of time and invisibility for several hours. Both ...
69
votes
26answers
17k views

How would a war between immortals be fought?

Imagine a world similar to medieval Earth (technologically), populated by humanoid beings. For all intents and purposes, they are humans - they talk like humans, think like humans, have human-like ...
58
votes
9answers
8k views

How long will an ageless person live? [duplicate]

Let's imagine there are some ageless people living in big European or American cities. Ageless, forever young but not immortal. They can still die from car crash, gun or knife wound etc. Assuming ...
55
votes
31answers
13k views

Why would a race with high longevity but low numbers be aggressive and warlike?

Context Members of my race can live virtually infinite lives (they still have to drink, eat, and can be killed, but don't age and are immune/really resistant to disease) but are unable to reproduce. ...
55
votes
16answers
9k views

How can a group of immortals hide in a modern society with extensive record-keeping? [duplicate]

The immortals are among us. And they have been for a long time. All of them were born in the 7th to 4th century B.C. in the area of what today is the regions of Macedonia and Thessaly in Greece. ...
51
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5answers
8k views

How long would people live in the US if an immortality treatment was available?

Very narrow question: assuming an immortality treatment keeping people at a biological age of a fit 30's, free of infections and cancers & ruling out death by aging, how long would people live (in ...
34
votes
20answers
13k views

Should immortal women have periods?

Mod Note: Some people may be squeamish about this subject, please keep all responses clinical rather than vulgar. So, in my world, I try to play the "immortality" trope with twists that make it ...
32
votes
17answers
9k views

How can I ensure my existing lifestyle stays the same if I'm immortal?

I'm immortal. Yes, I could give you the secret and also no I won't. Unless...that is...you help me solve a bit of a dilemma I'm facing. I recently found out that both my wife and I are immortal and ...
30
votes
10answers
7k views

Developing a government that can hide an immortal ruler (and their secret to immortality)

Someone has discovered the secret of immortality (whoa, awesome!), but it requires what amounts to a human sacrifice and their spirit overtaking the deceased body (not as awesome!). Technically, it's ...
30
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8answers
5k views

Why would an incredibly long lived race not be known for their scarring?

Many long lived races are seen as serene, beautiful, and wise. Yet with long life comes the increased chance to be permanently injured in a life-altering way, either physically, emotionally, or ...
29
votes
25answers
10k views

Elf-like race: What could prevent overpopulation?

For an elf-like race whose people do not age beyond physical maturity (the accumulated DNA damage associated with aging does not occur), what would prevent overpopulation? This elf-like race is ...
28
votes
16answers
8k views

How do I make a server of a virtual world indestructible?

Imagine if we would hit a point in time where we would accept that living in a virtual world is better for being happy and would make us near immortal. And then we would build something like the ...
27
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15answers
9k views

How does an immortal vampire king hide his vampirism and immortality?

I am aware of this question, but I think my situation is somewhat different. In the low-fantasy setting I'm working on, the king is a vampire in a world in which vampirism is punished by death. But ...
27
votes
11answers
12k views

How could immortal children age faster than immortal adults?

In plenty of stories you have beings who age incredibly slowly and are technically immortal. I have a handful of similar such beings who have through some means or other attained the benefits of ...
27
votes
12answers
4k views

How would the constant presence of an affable, undemanding immortal affect a society?

There are lots of books that explore immortality outside the context of society. Either they live alone or in a heaven/palace of one sort or another, or they drift from place to place to avoid ...
27
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the limit of a human's memory if Immortal?

If an average human in build and intelligence were to gain immortality for whatever reason what is the limit to what they could learn and remember? This human is for all intents and purposes a normal ...
25
votes
14answers
5k views

Why would some immortal beings choose to appear elderly?

In a magical world where mages can become immortal, why would some of them retain the appearance of being old (70s-80s), even though they can become young and beautiful? Even some mages who become ...
25
votes
12answers
7k views

How would a child with a thousand years of experience behave?

Here's one to ponder: what would an immortal eight-year-old be like after one thousand years? In most stories involving immortality, the immortals are fully formed adults. When those stories do ...
25
votes
14answers
4k views

What are the social implications of discovering a formula for immortality?

Here is a hypothetical, but not entirely plausible, scenario: An organization or company (likely pharmaceutical) discovers the formula to develop a drug that stops aging (the human body's cells are ...
22
votes
20answers
9k views

Why would an immortal make good on his loan?

Premise My world that has undergone a transformative breakthrough in biology and genetics. It's not just the ultra-rich who have it; rather, everyone is immortal. However, this world's understanding ...
22
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19answers
7k views

How would an immortal hide his/her immortality or maintain it publicly?

Suppose you became immortal* or came by the ability to live for thousands of years due to some inexplicable/irrelevant event (you still appear to be human by all standards except aging). What would be ...
20
votes
3answers
5k views

(Regrowing) Teeth for Immortals?

Lets suppose there is a race of Immortal beings. What are possible solutions to them slowly losing their teeth due to wear and tear? After all, if a normal human lived for hundreds of years at some ...
19
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9answers
1k views

Why is brain uploading considered to be effective immortality? [closed]

I've heard that when humans become able to upload their brains to a computer, it would realize the dream of immortality... why? Let's suppose that I upload my brain to my computer and then transfer ...
18
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15answers
10k views

How would a young girl/boy (about 14) who never gets old survive in the 16th century? [closed]

In fantasy setting, in medieval time, there are a disease, curse... for simplicity in this scenario, let's call it "vampire". The victim who is afflicted with this "vampirism" does not get older. So ...
16
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11answers
5k views

How can someone be invulnerable to any damage down to cellular levels while still having a limited lifespan?

One commonly cited problem with invulnerability-style immortality is that you watch the people around you wither and die while you survive. On top of that, even though you don't deteriorate, at some ...
15
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15answers
3k views

Fastest way for an invincible young immortal to make $1 million USD?

So, I gave a $100 bill to a homeless person a few months ago who gave me "God's blessings" in return. Apparently, that conveyed immortality and invincibility upon me as I no longer age (I think) and ...
15
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9answers
4k views

How would the law enforce a ban on immortality? [closed]

I'm writing a fantasy story where magic is common and wizards follow a strict code of conduct. One of those tenets is "never stray from humanity and do not seek immortality or godhood." While I admit ...
15
votes
12answers
1k views

How to govern a society of functionally immortal reality-benders?

So, you died. Good for you. Luckily, due to various scientific advancements that spit in the face of biology, philosophy, engineering, and general plausibility, you’re technically not dead! Your body ...
14
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4answers
2k views

In long-lived races, how far should one track one's own family tree for relationship purposes?

Some background information: in this world there are races that are ageless. Meaning they stop aging at what humans consider age 30. This of course means that both men and women remain fertile, ...
13
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10answers
1k views

Neutral, science-based Undead

I'm looking for one or more biological processes that could be bolstered, changed, or introduced to a human to create a severely extended lifespan, ideally requiring death first, in order to best ...
12
votes
9answers
2k views

Should immortal people have a god? [closed]

Assume we are living in a world in which there are immortal people living among us. According to some religions the gods are eternal, and according to logic, everything with a start must have an end. ...
12
votes
2answers
934 views

How long would it take for someone to forget the most important things in their life? [closed]

Professor Y is trapped in a virtual reality. The VR is running on accelerated time to the point where he can live out millions of lifetimes in a real-life day, basically giving him immortality within ...
11
votes
7answers
426 views

Can a Digital Immortal Pass Away?

Digital Immortality It is the virtual era, and mankind has progressed towards immortality, realized through conversion of the body and mind (and soul) into a digital form, allowing people to shed ...
11
votes
2answers
601 views

Forgetting Curve of an Immortal Being

The older a memory is the fewer details we remember. The importance or impact of an event can also drastically affect how much we remember about it, but even the most impactful will, presumably, ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Hiding a handful of immortals on a Generation Ship?

I have a handful of immortals that have spent the last 6000 years stuck on planet Earth. They really, want to get out of here. They missed their chance back in Egypt before The Fall of the Pharaohs**. ...
9
votes
23answers
1k views

How does a mundane army defeat an immortal army?

In trying to both invent and prevent mediums with which opposing armies can defeat "Army X", I come to you, stack exchange, hoping for some second-opinions on how to 'defeat an immortal army'. In ...
9
votes
8answers
5k views

What Disease(s) could Kill an Immortal?

Ignorance is curable, living is forever. Robert A. Heinlein1 Cutting to the hard data: Due to some or another reason2 the genetic information stored inside cells (aka DNA) of my Immortals does not ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Which real-life constraints must be considered when adding immortals living alongside humans on Earth?

Question Assuming all things in the fictional world are the same to today's world, which real life constraints must be considered in order to increase the credibility in an immortal narrative/story. ...
8
votes
7answers
529 views

Why do governments not permanently restrain super villains?

The argument for superheroes to capture villains alive is that superheroes are already illegally operating as vigilantes and compensating for muggle law enforcement is all they are morally obligated. ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

How can a dynasty of immortals be overthrown?

On a planet not too different from Earth, in a land quite similar technologically to ancient Rome, there is a dynasty of absolute monarchs that have remained in power for centuries. They enjoyed ...
8
votes
4answers
918 views

Death from old age stopped, with expansion to new worlds to handle population growth

One of the biggest 'immortality sucks' issues has always been the question of what to do with the new people being born. Without death, a world's limited resources can't keep up with a never ending ...
8
votes
3answers
676 views

What could an indestructible person contribute to the world's technology?

A doctor suddenly noticed that his patient seems to be indestructible, their injection doesn't penetrate through, until they even conducted basic experiments such as small knife cuts and other blunt ...
8
votes
2answers
200 views

How small can a perpetual energy source be to run a far-future civilization indefinitely?

You are the leader of a far-future civilization - human or otherwise - that has endured for trillions of years doing whatever far-future civilizations do. You've surrounded stars with Matrioshka ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Would immortals feel pain?

Came up with this question when I read this. Would Immortals feel pain? Pain is our bodies reaction to a stimulus, telling us that something is wrong and that we should stop doing what we are doing ...
7
votes
9answers
1k views

Immortal Passing Ritual [closed]

On a different planet, humanoid creatures called immortals have achieved immortality. The society is built specifically for these immortals, so in general, the immortals enjoy and cherish their lives....
7
votes
11answers
1k views

Natural environment to force evolution to Immortality

Which natural conditions are needed to force the evolution to immortality? I've read on a page (I don't remember the page) that if the environment is safe, the animal would evolve to have a shorter ...
7
votes
3answers
544 views

Immortality at the cost of vastly increased cancer risk

This is my first question on this Stack Exchange; I hope that I am following your posting guidelines correctly. I am not someone who writes books (or is writing a book), but I do like to write short ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How would an Immortal's language/accent change/develop amongst normal humans?

In a world much like our own (basically, identical humans, points in history, etc) where humans live 80 or so years, we have developed a wide array of languages around the planet as well as very ...
6
votes
8answers
738 views

Immunity to Fire and Weapons

Ok, so Sergey Brin decides to become immortal. He allocates a trivial share of Google's bazzilion dollar profit to research, hires the best minds, and starts eating more healthily, doing more exercise,...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

What problems would an semi-immortal alien race run into?

I am writing a story with an immortal race of aliens with psychic powers. Their minds are separate from their bodies and located in a pocket dimension inaccessible to ordinary matter. Their bodies are ...