Originally Posted by Captain Tom Coughlin
The boredom of the Gods, I like that.
I think that the tension between the horrors of mortality and the dreams of immortality is one of the main human problems.
We cannot imagine to be no more at some day and we have always hoped to be immortal. Ancient civilisation had sun and moon gods and the key feature about sun and moon is that they regularly die and get reborn, i.e. death is not permanent.
Later monotheistic religions became dominant and there the basic idea is that God decides not that you life forever but how, in agony or in delight.
But then again the folks who have thought about immortality, be it in form of the Greek gods, Tolkien's elves or the Q continuum in VOY have all come to the same conclusion, it most be boring to live forever.
So we don't want to accept our mortality but realize that immortality isn't too desirable either. Neither alternative is acceptable and I belief that this creates a certain tension and uneasiness.
Again this is clearly reflected in let's say in Tolkien's humans who want to achieve the most in their short lifespan compared to the elves or, to pick again an example from Trek, the difference between Soran and Picard.
"It's our mortality that defines us" is only one side of the coin, the desire to become immortal and how we deal with it is the other side. Picard (and Kirk) decided against eternal delight and chose to make a difference which is an indirect but perhaps better road to immortality via being remembered by many following generations.