Yes, let us concede that ‘eternal life’ as so described is not only undesirable, but downright ridiculous:
‘Imagine you are offered a trustworthy opportunity for immortality in which your mind (perhaps also your body) will persist eternally. Let’s further stipulate that the offer includes perpetual youthful health and the ability to upgrade to any cognitive and physical technologies that become available in the future. There is one more stipulation: You could never decide later to die. Would you take it? Metaphysician and former British diplomat Stephen Cave thinks accepting such an offer would be a bad idea.’
How fortunate for us then that eternal life as promised in the Gospel is altogether different. Indeed, to ‘persist eternally’ with ‘youthful health’ describes one possible hell, not eternal communion with the Trinity. I do hope the author realizes that he gives away the game with ‘perhaps also your body’. No self-respecting Christian would desire communion without his body. After all, God has a body now – let the reader understand. Finally, I note the inanity of the whole prospect: a prime enticement to this endlessly imminent duration is that one will have the ‘ability to upgrade to any cognitive and physical technologies that become available in the future’. I assume that means that I can always get the newest Bugatti Veyron. Come to think of it, that is damned tempting, but thank you no – it all just sounds stupid.
Let’s see – eternal duration, or the fullness of communion with the timeless God who is the source of being; endless frittering about with or without my body, or timeless embodied feasting and everlasting joy in the presence of the One who loved me before the foundation of the universe and who made everything from nothing at all; hell, or Christ. That’s a tough call.
It’s possible the guy has made a category mistake. Then again, who am I to say? I’m probably just caught in the ‘mortality paradox’.
I wonder where one applies for the job of ‘Metaphysician’. I bet the hours are decent, but I wonder about the money. Come to think of it, the money’s probably really good too. The qualifications are obviously pretty slight, though I do wonder if one has to be a ‘former diplomat’ to apply. Still, it looks easy, one needn’t fret overmuch about knowing anything, and, again, I’ll hazard that the pay is pretty damn good. So, sign me up, I want to be a Metaphysician.