The main thesis of the paper is that when death is no longer a factor, some of the meaning of life is lost but it is the human condition to create burdens in order to create meaning. The author also raises a question of the meaning of life in relationship to immortality…
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Without stasis, the physical being no longer being relative, immortality is a burden. The gift of immortality becomes blurred with the burdens of caring for an aging population which has no hope for the resolution of death. In constructing a world in which death is no longer a factor, problems emerge that replace the issue of death with the issue of unfettered life.
Saramago writes about a world in which people no longer are burdened with death. The burden is reversed to be centered with on-going life which becomes a problem in a world where death is no longer an issue but growing old, illness, and injury all still impact life. The Catholic Church becomes wary of this event, believing that if there is no death then there is no resurrection, thus negating the premise upon which the Church was built. This gift of immortality comes at a high cost as those who would have died to linger, the idea of aging becomes a more fearful state, and the question of what to do about the birth of children is contemplated. The solution to the burden of life is to once more seek out a way to find death (Saramago & Costa, 2009).
Everlasting life has been the domain of the Church since its beginnings. The premise of the death of Christ overriding the burden of sin and then to be given over to resurrection so that those sins can be forgiven has been the primary focus of the Church. If everlasting life comes through some other means, this would threaten the Church and Saramago writes about this concept in his novel. St. Augustine writes about death and offers up some reasons why continued life would not be in the interests of human existence. He states that “every soul is wretched that is bound in the affection of mortal things” (Levenson & Westphal, 2002, p. 24). In other words, when bound to the mortal body, transcendence is not possible.
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(“Life without Death: A State of Perpetual Nothingness Essay”, n.d.)
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(Life Without Death: A State of Perpetual Nothingness Essay)
“Life Without Death: A State of Perpetual Nothingness Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/sociology/1611282-life-death.
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