The Immortality of Ideas

This idea popped into my head a few days ago and I have been thinking about it ever since. I did not come up with it as there has been some debate on whether or not it is true. Although, I will say it is more of a philosophical question than a scientific one that will have a right or wrong answer.

Are ides immortal?

At first thought the simple answer, at least in my opinion, would be yes. Ideas can exist independent of human beings and can easily transverse multiple generations and even millennia with ease. Some very basic ideas have been around for thousands of years with no problem at all, others are lost for one reason or another.

My question that I found myself asking was that, in my mind, ideas are immortal so long as there are human beings around to keep them alive. It seems to me to be a symbiotic relationship, we need one another. I would think that once humans cease to exist then so do all of our wonderful ideas. Even though they can exist independent of humans, they still need us so they can be carried to the next generation. Now, I understand that most ideas are written down on paper or in cyberspace, but what happens if those get destroyed along with us humans. What then of all our wonderful ideas?

I think based on the above scenario our ideas and thoughts are dead, never to be talked about again even from an alien civilization. When I did a little research on this idea I found that most people, without hesitating said yes ideas are immortal. I am not so quick to jump to that conclusion as you can see above.

I think ideas can transverse time to an extent but they are still limited to us being around. I guess the interesting thing is that an idea could technically be immortal or at least follow us to the end of our civilization, in which case if we humans were destroyed after, then our ideas would follow us. So in a sense our ideas would only last as long as we do, still not making them immortal. Maybe by making something an idea or anything that last thought the centuries and well into the future that is the closest we will ever get to immortality. Perhaps that is the idea.

That is something that I have always thought about. It is also one of the reasons why I write, in hopes that one day maybe I can create something from an idea that will live long beyond my years. I know this is too much to hope for but I think it would be amazing to see something I wrote that is still popular and or relevant many years into the future. I think Andy and I are on the same page…

“The idea is not to live forever, it is to create something that will.” ― Andy Warhol


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