History of Immortality

Immortality Specific Purpose: To inform my audience about the history of immortality and its influence on modern society. Thesis Statement: Immortality implies a never-ending existence, regardless of whether or not the body dies. Mankind’s fascination with immortality provides a historical foundation of mankind’s quest for immortality that makes philosophers and scientists alike to contemplate an age old mystery, “Can we live forever? ” 1. First Main Point: A historical perspective of man’s quest to achieve immortality through literary works.

A. Gilgamesh, Sumerian King of Uruk B. Juan Ponce de Leon C. Antiquity: The Goddess Eos 2. Second Main Point: Today the quest continues A. Science B. Technology Summary: Mankind’s dream of everlasting life still remains unfulfilled. No one has found a way to conquer death, and probably never will. However, man’s quest for everlasting life throughout history only proves how hard it is for us to accept death. (Revert back to thesis for ending. ) Immortality implies a never-ending existence, regardless of whether or not the body dies.

Mankind’s fascination with immortality provides a historical foundation of mankind’s quest for immortality that makes philosophers and scientists alike to contemplate an age old mystery, “Can we live forever? ” The Epic of Gilgamesh (a Sumerian epic poem that dates back to the 3rd millennium B. C. and is the first piece of written literature in the world) is the story of King Gilgamesh of Uruk who oppresses his people. As punishment, the gods send him a companion, Enkidu, who is his mirror image and becomes his good friend.

Together, Gilgamesh and Enkidu defy the gods by killing the giant Humbaba, cutting down the sacred cedar forest which he guards, and killing the Bull of Heaven. Enkidu has ominous dreams of the destiny of tyrants who become slaves in the House of Death. Enkidu finally dies of an illness sent by the gods. Horrified by Enkidu’s death and the prospect of his own demise, Gilgamesh undertakes a quest for immortality. Juan Ponce de Leon was a Spanish explorer. He led the first European expedition to Florida, which he named. He is associated with the legend of the Fountain of Youth, reputed to be in Florida.

According to a popular legend, Ponce de Leon discovered Florida while searching for the Fountain of Youth. Though stories of vitality-restoring waters were known on both sides of the Atlantic long before Ponce de Leon, the story of his searching for them was not attached to him until after his death. According to Greek mythology, the goddess Eos asked Zeus to confer immortality on her Trojan lover Tithonus so she could enjoy his favors eternally. In one of the early “be careful what you wish for” tales, Eos forgot to specify eternal youth and Tithonus eventually passed into never-ending decrepitude.

Eos shut him in a room where he babbled to himself for the rest of time. Physics teacher Robert Ettinger publishes The Prospect of Immortality, introducing the idea of “cryonics,” the preservation of the human body by freezing until the time when advanced technologies can revivify it. In 1972 the company Alcor, now in Scottsdale, Arizona, was born, and in 1976 it performed the first “cryopreservation. ” You can preserve your entire body or just your head, and the price varies accordingly.

Futurist and inventor Ray Kurzweil publishes his best-selling The Singularity Is Near. In it, he writes that in the not-so-distant future, the human brain may be uploaded to a computer, creating functional immortality, although our bodies won’t be around to enjoy it. Mankind’s dream of everlasting life still remains unfulfilled. No one has found a way to conquer death, and probably never will. However, man’s quest for everlasting life throughout history only proves how hard it is for us to accept death. Man’s quest for immortality still continues to this day.

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