ability to live forever, or eternal life
(Redirected from Immortal)

Immortality or eternal life is the idea of something which is alive that will stay alive forever. The opposite of immortality is mortality, which means a living thing can die. Right now, only a small number of living things are known to be biologically immortal. These are mainly simple, lower forms of life like bacteria. Although they are still mortal as they can die from other causes. Stories about immortal people or animals are popular in fiction and mythology, but not yet possible due to the decline of health as the years pass.

Religious ideas


Many religions say people have an immortal soul with an afterlife. This is not the same as the idea of a physical body that doesn't age. Religious ideas of immortality are of two kinds. One idea is that the soul can exist apart from the dead physical body. Some religions teach that the soul cannot die but will live forever in an "afterlife". Usually, this afterlife includes punishment or reward for the good or evil that the person did. Hinduism and Buddhism teach that the soul will go into a new body as a baby. This is called re-incarnation.

Religions such as Christianity, Islam and Judaism believe that the body of dead persons will be made to live again for a final judgement. This is called resurrection of the body. Some who believe in this think that the soul is asleep while waiting for the resurrection, while others believe it exists in a conscious condition in a heaven or hell. Jesus told a story of two men. A rich man went to hell when he died, and the poor man went to heaven. The rich man wanted to return to earth to warn his brothers about hell but was told it was impossible. [1]

Other Ideas


Some people have long used magic and science to look for a way to live forever. Others feel that death is what defines all living things, and as a natural part of life, should not be taken away.

Insurance actuaries have calculated that even if everyone were physically immortal, the average life span would still be only be 400 years because of the accident rate; eventually, everyone would die of a fatal accident and it would be very unusual to encounter anyone more than 800 years old. Therefore, physical or biological immortality is better termed indefinite life extension or anti-aging technology and it would seem that the only practical ways to achieve actual immortality is to upload one's mind into a supercomputer to live in virtual reality, or become a cyborg with a nearly indestructible and invincible body. Futurists such as Ray Kurzweil believe this will become possible about the year 2045 in the technological singularity.[2]

The color amaranth represents immortality in Western civilization, while the color peach represents immortality in Chinese civilization.


  1. Luke 16:19-31
  2. Kurzweil, Ray The Singularity is Near 2006

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