The Real "I" is not the Soul but the Deeds and it's Immortal
- Now that most people believe in death as a terminal experience (with no afterlife), there is a need to find a new definition of "immortality"
- Is there anything of me that is immortal? Is there anything of me that will keep living after my body is dead.
- Some people think that immortality comes from their progeny. The problem is that in the long term the genome of your descendants will be as close to you as the genome of any other human being. That "immortality" is not specifically about you but about the human species in general, for as long as the species survives. That's the other catch: more likely than not, at some point, the human species too will disappear, just like everything else.
- Other people think that they will live in the memories of those who will survive them. The problem is that within a few generations (sometimes just two generations) most people are forgotten. Unless you became famous in your life, there will be little to keep your memory alive. And even the most famous people have an expiration date, although we can't calculate how long their fame will survive. It is also debatable if the memory of the descendants is faithful: Ulysses probably existed, but do we remember the real Ulysses or a legend that has little in common with the real one? Does that still count as a "memory" of Ulysses?
- Finally, others (especially heroes, artists and scientists) think that it's the effects of their actions that will survive them and grant them immortality, the influence of their actions, ideas and customs on future generations. This is the one theory that, taken literally, does make sense: any action affects the course of the universe, and so anything i do today has an impact. In fact, the "butterfly effect" says that even the humblest action, in the long run, will have vast consequences.
- We are all immortal if we consider the "I" to be not the mind (that will end with our death) but the actions that we carried out during our life.