Is immortality real? Is the concept of it even realistic? What about quantum immortality – doesn’t that make it real? Is quantum immortality real?
“Immortality” is a tricky word, because it leads to some awkward questions. Let’s imagine it means that “you will live forever”, well then we need to define what “you” means.
“You” are the sum of your histories. Let’s say you get hit in the head and you lose most of your memories, and change from the happy person you are into a grouchy paranoid violent mess. That is still “you”, based on the sum of your histories, but if you were to compare the two people, you would not call them the same.
Unfortunately, quantum immortality does not guarantee that it is the current “you” that will live forever. In fact, it’s also very possible that your current you is simply not suited to live forever anyway.
Anne Rice’s books “Interview With The Vampire” and “The Vampire Lestat” are about two vampires who have different ways of dealing with living forever.
Louis is an 18th century man who does not grow with the times. His way to deal with advancements such as cars, radio, computers, is to retreat away from society into a house where he can surround himself with what he is familiar with.
Lestat, though, moves with the times. He accepts that he cannot change the world, so should change himself instead.
Even within the span of a normal human’s lifetime, you can see Louis’ mindset affecting people. The joke is that only young people can deal with new technologies because they are born into them. Of course, those young people are eventually surrounded by technologies that they were not born into, and the cycle continues.
In order to live even two centuries, you must keep up with modern technologies and society. This changes you. The “you” in a century may be a completely unrecognisable person from the “you” today.
This means that “you” cannot live forever.
However, this is not a bad thing – “you” are not even the “you” that existed just a minute ago. Your thoughts evolve, your memories fade, your personality adapts to changing needs.
The only way to stay exactly the same person is to freeze yourself in time. And if you do that, then you are not living.
For quantum immortality, old age is just a step towards renewal. You will discover something in new technology that fascinates you and gives you a “rebirth”.
This will change who “you” are, but it will be a good change, because the old you was about to die a boring old death stuck in the past.