The Moral Life of Baby: A Short Story

The Moral Life of Baby: A Short Story2018-10-03T22:59:18+00:00

What would the world be like if humans lived forever?

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OVERVIEW

When it was time to be born, Baby refused; arguing that they were being born just to die, and that it makes no sense to come and to go. His twin argued that it is better to be born and die than to not be born at all. But what if humans had the best of both worlds; to be born and to live forever?

EXCERPT

The baby knew that from the moment he stepped foot into existence, all of his actions would be to avoid death or to distract himself from the contemplation of it. And since avoiding death was ultimately futile, he felt that it would be better not to be born at all.

“But life is good!” Said the twin.

“Contrary to what you may think,” said the baby, “the quality of human life is actually quite appalling.”

The baby paused for a moment and rubbed his stomach when the olfactory receptors in his nose signaled hot chili peppers to the taste buds in his mouth.

“Humans are almost always hungry or thirsty,” he said. “And when they’re not eating or drinking, they have to go to the bathroom. The weather is never quite right. Most of the time they are either too hot or too cold. They suffer from itches and allergies or they have menstrual pains or hot flashes. They’re forced to work jobs they hate and they’re always frustrated by waiting in line for something. People who are single are lonely and people who are married want a divorce. And to top it off, everyone wants to feel younger but they keep getting older.”

The twin disagreed. “The best experiences in life, like love and beauty, make up for the bad ones,” he said.

“Good things cannot make up for bad things,” the baby said. “Pain is worse than pleasure is good. Would you trade five minutes of the greatest pleasure imaginable for five minutes of the worst pain?”

“Then why don’t people just kill themselves?” Asked the twin.

“Life is bad, but so is death,” said the baby. “They both have some good points but they have bad ones too. It constitutes an existential vise. So it’s best not to be born in the first place.”

Or is it?