Would You Want To Live Forever?

The body of Ted Williams is currently being held in one of these tanks, in hope that one day he may be revived from the dead. (edited by me.)

The body of Ted Williams is currently being held in one of these tanks, in hope that one day he may be revived from the dead. (edited by me.)

Jake Williams, Journalist

Would you want to live forever? This was a question I was thinking about while learning about the late great baseball player, Ted Williams. The circumstances of his death were extremely complicated, and were riddled with controversies and legal battles, due to how vague and contradictory his wishes after death appeared to be. All of this seemed like a nightmare to me, and was only made worse after I found out where Williams currently resides, at a company called Alcor Life Extension Foundation, a company that specializes in trying to bring people back from the dead in the future. To make a long story short, it was decided that Williams would stay at Alcor’s facility in Scottsdale, Arizona and be preserved using a practice called cryonics, even though Williams seemed to not want that, due to what was in his will.

Alcor describes the practice of cryonics as, “…the practice of preserving life by pausing the dying process using subfreezing temperatures with the intent of restoring good health with medical technology in the future.” In other words, once people die, they put their bodies in a tank at extremely cold temperatures to ensure they don’t decompose, in the hope that future technology can revive them from the dead.

Alcor offers the option of freezing people’s entire body for 200,000 dollars or just the head for 80,000 dollars. When I first heard about this company and their whole process, I couldn’t shake from my mind how ghastly it seemed. The idea of being frozen after dying and then eventually waking up again decades into the future with a potentially new body seems like something out of a horror film and I want no part of it. Over a hundred people do however, and I wondered why that was.

Alcor makes the argument, “Cryonics sounds like science fiction, but it’s based on real science. Cryonics is an experiment in the most literal sense of the word. The question you have to ask yourself is this: would you rather be in the experimental group or the control group? The cryonics group has a chance, but the control group has none”.


A glimpse into how bodies are preserved inside Alcor Life Extension Foundation’s facility in Scottsdale. (edited by me.)


I understand why people think this, and why they think cryonics are the answer, but I disagree with the decision. To an extent, everyone fears death, including myself, but the prospect of immortality has never been one that has been appealing to me, especially not one where I wake up and all my family, friends, and traditional way of life are all gone. Some people I believe are simply scared that an afterlife doesn’t exist and don’t want to be gone forever, and they are drawn to companies like Alcor out of desperation. However, if you’re not living your life to the fullest currently, and you’re thinking constantly about what happens after you’re gone, then you’re not really using the time that you know you have, which is the present, and just wasting more time.

There is a powerful aspect to finality and being able to say that you lived a fulfilling and prosperous life, accomplished a lot of what you wanted, and had a family that will remember you for generations. To me, if you feel like the average lifespan of a human being in the United States, around 78.54 years, isn’t long enough, you might need to examine what you could be doing better. I think all good things have to come to end eventually, and the idea of never getting an ending, especially after being dropped into essentially a new world at a date far in the future sounds more depressing to me than desirable, as cool as the future might be. I envision it like a TV show. If a TV show goes on for too long, it begins to lose the spark that made it so great in the first place, and is a mundane and uninspired version of what the show used to be. I’d imagine people who did cryonics would end up the same way, which is why having a good ending is so important.

In conclusion, no one will ever find me frozen in a cryonics tank, because I plan on living my life to the fullest, and I want to be in a position where I can say that I’ve lived long enough, happy with what was given to me. Unless my family is frozen with me, it seems utterly meaningless to live forever. There’s also no guarantee of it working, and could just be a huge scam selling you false hope, which numerous other scientists and researchers seemed to have concluded. I would recommend that if you have the money to afford it, and the fear of death, that you not go through with the cryonics process. I recommend instead, that you live whatever life you have currently to the best of your abilities, and hope for the best afterwards. Appreciate those around you, attempt to learn new things, discover secrets about the world, and live your best life without thinking about when it ends.