There is no common trope I hate more than "Immortality bad hurr durr"

  1. In Nasuverse, anything that leads to stagnation gets pruned, this includes Utopias, which is utter nonsense, humans won't just sit on their hands if utopia is achieved like, that just completely goes against human nature

  2. You are talking about the oldest plot every written (seriously, the Epic of Gilgamesh), which fleshed it out quite well and even in an unusual way. First by having Gilgamesh seek to achieve immortality through legacy, then seeking the physical one. I think people fleshed it out plentily for soemthing that does NOT exist

  3. Harry Potter actually had an immortal that was cool. Nikolas Flamel. Named after the legendary alchemist in the real world. He was pretty cool. Lived to be several hundreds years old. Once he destroyed the stone his potion of life would eventually run out but he said he had lived so long that death was the next possible adventure.

  4. I don't really understand this rant because you're speaking in hypotheticals from a real world perspective on something that doesn't actually exist in the first place.

  5. I’d go as far as to say that I disagree and of the examples op brings up are examples of “immortality bad”. Instead they’re broadly just explorations of what that means to different characters. Immortality exists to tell a story of fundamentally human emotions with the perspective of a longer life. None of it is bullshit.

  6. Ok I admit most of the time immortality is just a plot device instead of the focus of the story. But you'd be surprised, like there's an entire series of tales and articles on SCP wiki composed of multiple writers just going "grrr I hate immortality":

  7. Character ranters explaining why they are better than any professional writers based on dunning-krueger tier knowledge of storytelling day #69420

  8. I don't claim to know how to achieve immortality, nor do I claim that I know how to write good stories. I just wish I am immortal lol. That's all.

  9. Op many of your counter points to common Immortality downsides are just you saying “I don’t agree with this point” when in reality you said it already: the author wrote them that way. You can’t say immortality wouldn’t have a cost or downside in reality because immortality doesn’t exist. You can’t staying wouldn’t twist a mind or be hard on the psyche because humanity has never seen an immortal being of our intelligence. There is no inherent mental or magical protection of immortality unless that’s part of the fiction. And the list goes on.

  10. Did you just read Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality or something? I don't think most authors that have immortality have tradeoffs have thought deeply about whether or not they want to be immortal. They aren't bending over backwards to try to show immortality is bad, just engaging with centuries of literature about the quest for immortality and all of the associated tropes. As others have noted, immortality having a price/consequences makes for much more interesting stories.

  11. And all I'm saying is that those prices/consequences are either inconsequential or wacky. Actually I just read the SCP Series End of Death, I tried to read HPMoR a few years ago but couldn't get past the first couple of chapters

  12. Why yes the inability to ever die without any sort of consequences or internal conflict attached to it. Should make for quite an interesting story

  13. There are plenty of stories which don’t need to feature death to be interesting. Even an action story could use imprisonment or some sort of induced unconsciousness. Plenty of comedy wouldn’t change if the characters were immortal.

  14. Look I don't hate this trope because it necessarily makes stories worse. It's fine to write characters that attempt to gain immortality but fail and die due to whatever reason. I understand that a story filled with mostly immortal characters would lack conflict. The problem is when characters somehow do become immortal or significantly extend their lifespan, and other characters act like it's some sort of curse.

  15. There's this quote from an episode of Doctor Who that goes something like "the worst part of losing someone isn't the days after it happens. At least you've got something to do. The worst part is every day you keep living without them there."

  16. I don't want to gloss over the issues with immortality. There are a lot of specific problems that would need to be solved like how to address population if this becomes widespread or how to make the decision if there's no Undo option. But I am going to separate from all of that because, quite frankly, I think those are ex post facto justifications for why writers are so against immortality as a concept.

  17. What if you run out of people to interact with and stuff to do, then immortality is at the very least boring for someone like you.

  18. There's this philisophical ide known as "the Monkey sphere," and it's basically the idea that you can only really remember and care about, at most, about 200~250 people max.

  19. in that case, even if death is absolutely impossible, I could probably figure out some way to make myself unconscious for extended periods of time.

  20. Well. A big downside to immortality is that you lose your ability to connect with others in meaningful ways as the years sorts blend together and the lifetimes of other people pass by you like days, untethered to any sort of constants as the world changes around you until it’s completely replaced. If you do everything you’ve ever wanted, then you sorts just wait because there’s nothing left to do.

  21. That's not really how it works. It's your perception of the past that seems to speed up with time, not your perception of the present. Also, of course you change and evolve with time. That's not death, that's life.

  22. Large scale immortality would definitely make the world worse. Some people are naturally more afraid of dying than others. After a few hundred years the world will be filled with nothing but narcissists.

  23. Twilight was a lot of things, but it was on a similar track with the immortality idea. Doubt I would perpetually go to High School, but absorbing knowledge in the form of degree collecting sounds wonderful.

  24. bad "immortality bad" trope is more enjoyable than bad "immortaility good" trope. Putting my opinion aside, I think pulling out a good "immortality good" trope is harder and isn't marketable anymore.

  25. I don’t understand your argument honestly. If you have to kill people to become immortal, that’s bad. If that’s how it works in a made up story, it’s not ridiculous just because you think that it probably won’t work that way in real life. It’s a story, it’s made up, it doesn’t have to be possible to be compelling.

  26. Here's the real problem with immortality: As time increases, the chances that you'll be trapped or imprisoned long enough to go insane approach 100%

  27. Or maybe not everyone is as deeply conceptually terrified of the idea of death? Like obviously I'm afraid of dying and given the choice would rather choose to stay alive, but the fact that I will eventually cease to exist doesn't really bother me.

  28. Entire fiction is dumb, suspend your disbelief and immerse yourself into the rules of fictional world. If it's not your thing, don't go for it.

  29. In terms of watching your loved ones die. Immortality does have a different experience. Immortals typically have a different way of viewing time. Time moves slower for them. A humans lifespan is trivial. So there are a few ways to take this. The immortal can become desensitized in the same way we don’t care for other animals with short lifespans dying. Or in cases like the mayfly December romance…or having a dog, they learn to appreciate things when they have it and learn to treasure it with when it leaves them.

  30. I agree immortality gets a really bad wrap in fiction. It's just mortal artists trying to rationalize their mortality with sour grapes and it's pathetic.

  31. Sure, it feels like classic sour grapes. Immortality is an age-old trope, writers want to say something about it, the only thing you can really say that's pertinent to the real world and generally positive is that being mortal is better.

  32. It's all a coping mechanism by mortals. Lots of people even in reality totally set on the idea immortality is somehow bad or wrong, because otherwise they'd have to confront the horror that they'll probably not live long enough to have it. It's a way to make it feel like their own choice to die, rather than something they're forced into.

  33. Personally i wouldn't want to be immortal. I think it'll get boring after a while.id prefer to have no allergies if i had to choose between immortality and no allergies and immortality because I'd actually want no allergies so i can have a pet cat.

  34. I think immortality would be neat if I had a potential "off switch". Like if I could still die but was just immune to age and disease, or even better just had the option to turn my brain off at my will.

  35. Thing I’ve noticed is especially anime are against immortal beings, big one that springs to mind is father from fma brotherhood. It’s looked at in a spiritual manner most of the time, where by being immortal means your also giving up on having the human experience as you cannot die which is viewed as a bad thing. Death is very much apart of life, if you don’t have to worry about death then your life isn’t valuable since it’s not finite. If your gonna live forever then your never gonna be in a rush to do anything, since you’ll always have time to do it later.

  36. I agree, you will hate Golarion lichdom then, players love to shove it being evil whenever it gets mentioned.

  37. It depends on the person. Most people have the mentality of everything you said or think that it's easy to achieve their wishes but that's all false and a generalization. People are different; if everyone was immortal, everyone would not be the same nor have the same mentality If someone's wish is said to be a mass murderer it wouldn't be achieved at all. Ever. People would focus on other things instead of focusing on stuff like trying to find a cure for cancer. Some scams will be changed or go away (such as the dying/in pain child scams,) and the world itself would be changed dramatically. The list goes on.

  38. I only read half of Fables, but every single character is immortal (more popular fables are harder to kill) and it’s never portrayed as a “bad” thing.

  39. Sekiro handles the subject of immortality well imo. Firstly using the resurrection causes a disease called dragon rot so abusing your immortality in this universe will spread a deadly epidemic.

  40. nothing is more shortsighted than someone who wants immortality. sure if fun now, and the next billion years, but it will all pale in comparission to the endless and infinite of the jaunt the heat death of the universe.

  41. The issue is that whenever you think immortality through on a long scale, it has a large number of potential and unavoidable downsides. Especially when it’s only given to an individual. You have to gloss over a lot just to make it not automatically suck like removing aging, disease, permanent injury, survival requirements like food, and any legal or social obligations.

  42. Wow I agree with the fundamental point with almost the very core of my being but this rant is not worded particularly well.

  43. Humans don't really have a grasp on what everlasting existence would be like, and if we were to look at the idea of immortality in relation to the things that humans generally prize the most i.e family, friends, good times, achievements, passions, etc, it does sound like it could potentially be pretty bad.

  44. Maybe immortality in itself just isn't interesting. Like, the only way it exhibits itself is by being alive and staying that way. Meaning a character's immortality doesn't matter most of the time.

  45. the one argument about why immortality is bad that I've never managed to understand is "I don't want to outlive my loved ones".

  46. What's worse is it's often used in this totally incoherent non-sequitur way: "if I was immortal and everyone else was mortal, that would suck for me, and that's worse than being literally dead for some reason; therefore nobody should be immortal".

  47. Yes, ">muh hubris of man" is extremely tiresome. Many transhumanist "me play god" topics get this treatment - cloning/genetic engineering/..., AI, immortality, some kinds of omnipotence or omniscience, replacing body parts with tech. There's this random assumption that some kind of action that pushes beyond our current limits is bad/evil on its own. Doing it in real life doesn't have any actual bad consequences, so the writers invent some unexplained bullshit that makes it bad. You messed with mammoth DNA? They rise up and kill you. You want a cool artificial limb? You "lose your humanity" and get vaguely "corrupted". You are an IVF baby? Here comes the woe-is-me trauma and angst out of nowhere. You don't even have to specify why the characters are angsting, just have them angsting and the audience will agree that it's bad and praise you for your mastery of themes.

  48. You can't exist indefinitely and continue to experience new things. True immortality would be the worst possible curse. What you really want, and yes I am pretending to know what you think and feel, is indefinite existence in good health and vigour, but with the possibility of ending it all when you want to. The only people who unironically want true immortality are those who haven't thought about what that means.

  49. For real tho, is there a book out there that doesn't have a bleak outlook on immortality? Yeah, you lose loved ones and everyone moves on, but that's just life.

  50. The other people dying thing is absolutely true. Sure, that happens anyway, but not to the same extent and not as many times. Doctor Who touches on this incredibly well.

  51. FWIW I'm working on a book right now where one of the protagonists is immortal and his immortality isn't considered evil or bad. Both the benefits and drawbacks of being immortal are explored fully and without heavy-handed moral judgment toward one end or the other.

  52. Humans are the kind of horrible where if one of us became immortal we would encase their body up to the neck in concrete, throw the immortal into the lowest depths of the ocean and watch what happens. Or use them to test the most inhumane experiments and tortures as a living crash test dummy.

  53. I'm definitely with you on hating the random cliché bad effects that come with it all the time. When its well written I think its a really cool thing. One of the biggest reasons why I like it is because anyone can essentially be assassinated no matter how good they are, and extremely prominent world threats would definitely get killed. You wouldn't be able to eat or sleep or do anything if you're a world renowned villain. At the end of the day its just a plot device I guess.

  54. All of those things are logical, the fact that the writer can get rid of the negatives in some way isn't an argument against why it's bad or ok to be portrayed as bad lol

  55. Your tldr is the equivalent of someone going,”I like the color red and think it shouldn’t be villainous.” Or something like that. The authors wrote immortality the ways they did to better fit the world of their stories thematically. Sucks that the immortality itself doesn’t live up to your reasoning but it’s following the laws of the narrative

  56. In my view, the trope isnt "immortality bad" but "does it worth it?". All of the pain is worth it if it means you will live forever?

  57. I mean... you're not wrong. Ultimately, highly speculative stuff like "what would immortality be like?" is ultimately up to the whims of the writers' construction of the world. This means whatever the writer constructs is reflective of their personal biases and notions. It's also why other tropes and ideas, such as notions of inborn good and evil versus morality as chosen actions, which sociopolitical systems are treated as being refined and good, how technological advances are handled, and so on tend to be more reflective of the writer's issues and biases than anything else.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Author: admin