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 immortal. These are mainly simple, lower forms of life like bacteria. Stories about immortal people or animals are popular in fiction and mythology, but not yet actually possible. Many religions say people have an immortal soul with an afterlife.
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.
- Kurzweil, Ray The Singularity is Near 2006
- Immortality: A Taoist perspective
- Dictionary of the history of Ideas: Archived 2007-03-11 at the Wayback Machine Death and Immortality
- Immortality Institute - Advocacy and Research on Indefinite Lifespan Scientific and sociological discussions, activism, research
- "Inventor Kurzweil Aiming to Live Forever"; RedNova Archived 2005-06-16 at the Wayback Machine
- The Quest For Immortality
- Immortality International - Life is a basic human right Archived 2019-10-26 at the Wayback Machine
- Mormon Transhumanist Association
- The Immortality of the Soul and the Resurrection of the Body by Heinrich J. Vogel Archived 2007-06-14 at the Wayback Machine