Mortality - Essay Example

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Everyone is going to die at some point of their life. After reading the “Epic of Gilgamesh”, the lengths humans go to avoid the unobtainable immortality. Mortality’s cons include a short life span and pain upon losing a loved…
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Mortality is inevitable in a humans’ life. Everyone is going to die at some point of their life. After reading the “Epic of Gilgamesh”, the lengths humans go to avoid the unobtainable immortality. Mortality’s cons include a short life span and pain upon losing a loved one. Pros of mortality are a short life span, the end to pain and illness, the possibility of going to various heavens depending on the religion, and the ability for humans to reproduce. Each individual deals with and has their opinions on mortality. The impact on the lives of others is probably what grieves humans the most. Mortality affects humans only when alive and upon losing an acquaintance, partner, or family member. Mortality is the darkest concept a human can contemplate.
Humans go to great lengths to avoid their mortality. Countless searches for objects to prolong an individual’s life such as the Fountain of Youth, the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail, and other objects that will allow a human’s immortality. “Epic of Gilgamesh” tells of Gilgamesh’s effort to stay awake or walking on the bottom of the sea in order to obtain immortality. If Gilgamesh part God is searching for immortality, then mere mortals searching is understandable. Humans are willing to pay for immortality. Twilight, Highlander, and other immortal creatures lose something for their immortality. Vampires must walk in the dark with an undying thirst for blood. The Immortals of Highlander must constantly battle other Immortals and live longer than the humans they loved. Still most humans think they want immortality despite the cost.
One of the pros of mortality is a short lifespan. For an example, many individuals want more life. Imagine the possibilities of men like Bill Gates, Martin Luther King, Socrates, Alexander the Great, Abraham Lincoln along with many others if they had lived an immortal life. The possibilities would be endless. The pain at losing individuals like the ones above and other important people is another con of mortality. The hurt of a loved one dying is strong. The heartbroken often want to die in order to be with a loved. The dead are not concerned anymore. A short life and pain during times of death are cons of mortality.
Illness and pain are another pro of mortality. Enkidu languished from an illness in pain for awhile before expiring. A cancer patient, mentally ill individual locked away, or anyone else with a painful disease prays for death upon a daily basis. Mortality is an escape from the pain of their failing bodies. These cons of mortality affect humans immensely. Another pro of immortality is a short life span. Men listed above the human race want to keep. However what about Hitler, Stalin, Ivan the Terrible, and others? Death consumes the evil as well as the good men and women. Most humans also believe in an afterlife. Without mortality no one would need a God, faith, or religion. Finally, without death the human race would be stagnant. Once the world filled up, no farther creation would have been needed. Without mortality many humans would never have existed.
Only those left alive feel the pain of mortality. Like Gilgamesh aching over Enkidu’s death. Only the living feels the pain of mortality usually. Funerals are not for the dead, but for the living. Mortality pain is lessened by tradition, memorials, and other actions to remember the lost loved one.
Mortality is something humans cannot hide from. Many humans are glad mortality exists so they can have hope to the end of pain. Many individuals do not like dealing with mortality. The subject is dark and disturbing. The cons of mortality are a short life and a loved one’s pain. The pros are a short life, the end of pain, the hope of an afterlife, and the possibility to procreate. Although loved ones hurt when an individual dies, the pain only helps humans feel alive.
Works Cited
Foster, Benjamin R., trans. & edit. (2001). The Epic of Gilgamesh. New York: W.W. Norton &
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