IMMORTALITY IS ONLY A WORD. ALL THAT EXISTS CAN DIE. EVERY LIVING THING HAS A WEAPON AGAINST WHICH IT HAS NO DEFENSE. TIME. DISEASE. IRON. GUILT.
— Coaxmetal, Planescape: Torment
I plan to live forever, of course, but barring that I'd settle for a couple thousand years. Even five hundred would be pretty nice.
— CEO Nwabudike Morgan, Sid Meierís Alpha Centauri
Immortality is not a gift, Immortality is an achievement; And only those who strive mightily Shall possess it.
— Edgar Lee Masters
Immortality: A toy which people cry for, And on their knees apply for, Dispute, contend and lie for, And if allowed Would be right proud Eternally to die for.
One has to pay dearly for immortality; one has to die several times while one is still alive.
Since we have had a history, men have pursued an ideal of immortality.
— George Wald
The belief in immortality has always seemed cowardly to me. When very young I learned that all things die, and all that we wish of good must be won on this earth or not at all.
— Anne Smedley
I could not give them more life, only immortality. They didn't think it would be worth the price.
Be a vampire, or a ghost, or an immortal with a paint-by-numbers portrait in the rec room. Hell, even a brain-in-a-jar, in a pinch. Anything to avoid the Big Fire Below.
— Xykon, The Order of the Stick
Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
— Susan Ertz
I am time enough at last. I am immortal. I am impervious to time, to hunger, to lethargy, to apathy. Only through eternity can you be saved, my friends.
—Brother Jeofrey Vita, The Electric Church
The best definition of an immortal is someone who hasn't died yet.
—Tom Holt, Ye Gods!
Rorschach: "You don't die, do you?"
Scully: All right. So how do I die?
That magic word that made it seem like no matter how little care you gave for the consequences, everything would somehow turn out over the course of eternity.
"Wait a minute," Grey Wolf interrupted. "You're saying that Johannes Kepler, born in the late 1400s, was helping Albert Einstein in the 1940s?"
"Yeah," Gardener said. "Aren't the Progenitors wonderful? Newton would have been doing it, but he got knocked off by a Euthanatos mobster in the '20s and did a Jimmy Hoffa impersonation. Not even the Progenitors can perform a miracle without some preparation."
—Mage: The Ascension - Convention Book: Void Engineers
Few people look forward to the infirmities of old age and fewer still to death. For ordinary humans, life has an inevitable end. Today, a few lucky individuals live to be 90 or even potentially a decade longer than that. However, even the healthiest and the luckiest realize they have little chance of seeing their hundredth birthday. No amount of effort, money, prayer or dedication can alter the inevitability of death. Worse yet, the dubious reward for reaching an advanced age is is age itself, which strips even the keenest minds and the finest bodies of their prowess well before death finishes the job.
Dreading this inevitable decline and end, people have for many thousands of years dreamed of extending their lives and eliminating the inevitability of aging and death. Throughout history we have many examples of people who attempted to obtain some form of physical immortality, from kings and sages in ancient China who drank exotic potions containing mercury, to wealthy residents of the modern first world who freeze themselves in the hope of future resurrection. The quest for immortality is ultimately the quest for life itself.