I really enjoyed all the comments received in my last Groper Poll. The emphasis seemed to be on the quality of our existence. As long as we are living fully, learning new things, being allowed to grow, being alive is a good thing. As Ahab well put it: "Immortality in the afterlife would be bearable, I think, if there were opportunities to grow, learn, and evolve toward higher states."
As for that specter of boredom, Exrelayman added that he didn't see why, if the common conception of God were true, "it would not be within God's power to make it be continuously and everlastingly wonderful." No one seemed to suggest that, as D'Ma put it, "shouting "Holy, Holy, Holy" all day and night," as the Christian religion suggests, would be desirable. God, I suppose, could keep it interesting. One thing I began wondering about the time I was in my mid-teens is why, if God's plan is for an eternal worship service in celestial city, he didn't just skip this present "vale of soulmaking" and get on with his plan.
My main hobby is reading. I love to study and branch out in my knowledge of this crazy but wondrous universe of ours. I've often made the statement that one lifetime just isn't enough to read all the books I have on my list. Don mentioned a "bucket list," and I suspect most of us have one of those. I'm a simple man and don't demand much to be happy. However, there are some things I'd like to do and places I'd like to visit in person (rather than virtually via the internet) before I die. It seems many of those items will go unfulfilled - right along with my reading list - because I am going to run out of time and health.
I think it was Bob Hope who observed that no one wants to turn 80 years of age ... except the person who is 79! Again, as D'Ma pointed out: it isn't getting old that is the problem, "but what it does to you." Indeed. And what it does to us all eventually is place limits on our vitality. There is probably, as the biblical book of Ecclesiastics points out, "a time to be born and a time to die." Hopefully death will find me at a point in my life in which I am ready to lie down and sleep for a good long time. I enjoy what Edgar Allen Poe called sleep, "those little slices of death." (Poe said he loathed them!) I suspect that is what death really is for us: a long, dreamless sleep. I'm open to conviction if that isn't the case.
DoOrDonNot hit upon one of the themes of immortality that I have suggested is the true basis for the notion: "We are motivated innately to preserve our life so it's only natural to want it to continue on beyond the grave." Most humans seem to accept one version or another of escape from death, I believe, for this very reason. But in the end Diane's response is to the point: "What happens after -- cross that bridge when/if I come to it." That's about all we can do. Wait and hope.
Paul added that death isn't the challenge for him. "Living life as fully as possible is the challenge." Ah, I remember going with a friend of mine once to visit her parent's grave, located in a tiny country cemetery. As I was walking along noticing the stones (a pastime I enjoy), I came upon the grave marker for a young man who died, as I recall, at fifteen years of age. His epitaph was: "Dying wasn't hard. Living is what was hard." That moved me and stayed with me. But I think squandering the life we do have is probably hard, too, even if the perspective on that isn't clear until we are in decline, perhaps bedridden or wheelchair bound, and think back on all those glorious yesterdays when we acted as if tomorrow would never come.
As I said, I'm open to convincing that we will somehow survive death and enjoy (or endure) personal immortality. As of yet I haven't found reason to believe that is possible, or, if by some lack of knowledge concerning the details of how such a thing could be possible, even desirable.
That leaves me only with this life - the only one I know for sure that is mine. I wish I could stand pat physically right where I am (no longer in my prime, to be sure, but still fairly able mentally and physically) and enjoy a long succession of todays. Impossible, I know, but still a pleasant thought. I want to live a long time, if I can remain viable. As for living forever, I just can't fathom it. Death seems to be a part of living. The price of admission to this show.