Most of mankind’s problems are created by other humans, so I’m not sure I see the logic there. If anything immortality takes away the one sure-fire SOLUTION to everyone’s problems.
I have often wondered about deceased loved ones believed to be looking down on us. After being deceased 100 years, everyone the deceased could have possibly met during their life on Earth will be dead too. At some point – probably well before 100 years, they’d be looking down on nobody they’d ever met. I supposed they could take an interest in their descendants, even if they hadn’t met them (reverse genealogy), but at some point I’d think looking down on the living would just get … boring.
I’m not sure I can take this religion seriously unless it at least declares I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream to be a banned book and attempts to remove any discussion of all-devouring entropy from the local school district’s physics curriculum.
If you are lucky. The real winners of the ‘joys of observing the living’ game must be the struldbrugs in Luggnagg; of which Gulliver’s Travels paints a rather grim picture(though I’m pretty sure that this concept is way, way, older: at least one poor sucker in classical mythology made the mistake of asking for immortality without specifying immunity to age; and it never, ever, ended very badly for him)…
Okay, but I hope for a lack of suffering that science first gives us the tech to easily leave this rock, and go to other suitable rocks. Barring that we will need to end reproduction after a very short amount of time.
Also I think after a thousand years I’d be good to go. I mean, I’ll do my damnedest to be good to go after my 80-100 years barring misfortune before then, but if I could get another 900 years I’d be down with that. But maybe after 900 or so I’d be all “So maybe another 9000 years, then sweet death?”
Anyway, which sci-fi text are they adopting as their model society of immortals? Surely they’ve selected one, or have a favourite?
I dunno, I can’t say I’ve met many 90-year-olds who wished they could live for centuries more, and not just because they’re stuck in a 90-year-old body. Maybe “wanting to live for centuries or more” is something most people grow out of.
Zardoz. Especially for the scene at the end where the overjoyed Eternals are literally begging the Brutals for death.
I’d probably spend a lot of time watching movies. And people fucking.
I’ve known a few people that old, and they were not desperately afraid of death.
You beat me to it! Instead of growing old and chilling out, we’ll be forever at each other’s throats.
Death is an often-underappreciated mechanism for enabling social progress.
If you think race relations in the United States are strained now, imagine how much worse they’d be if a sizable portion of the voting public in 2016 had lived through the Civil War.
Social progress thought attrition. Yep, this is very real
I do consider myself a transhumanist – I believe very much in the right to alter your own body in whatever way you can, including removal of the aging and death mechanism, if you can do it. That said, I do wonder about the long term effects should this become universal. I also consider myself very progressive for our times.
Will my theoretically progressive social views be considered stodgy and conservative in a hundred years? (Two hundred? A thousand …?) In many ways, I actually kind of hope so, otherwise I think social progress will have ground to a halt.
Yeah, I’m pretty sure immortality will not solve the issue of overpopulation and all of the various associated plagues and shortages. Nor will it solve social issues.
Come to think of it, immortality would seem to be a selfish impediment to progress, both for our species and for the planet.
I recommend Drew Magary’s near-future-dystopia novel The Postmortal if you haven’t read it yet. It will make you feel grateful for having a shot at growing old and dying of natural causes.
It’s interesting how they still talk about how it’s god that put us here and wants us to develop these technologies.
I’m not saying that I think that artificial longevity is impossible, but I would be very surprised to see it in my lifetime, or the lifetime of anyone now alive. I think I might well live to see vat-cloned replacement organs, though.
“Science advances one funeral at a time.”
(Attributed to Planck, not sure if he actually said that specifically, in English, or whether it’s a translation of what he said in German.)
That said, if we are dealing with a hypothetical technology that allows mitigation of aging such that medical immortality becomes viable and pleasant enough to be endurable; it’s no great leap to also hypothesize that it might be possible to artificially re-induce the ‘youthful’ state of mind that juvenile humans use to soak up information that will later ossify into a comparatively static outlook.
If Team Grey starts out with the upper hand, they might see no need for such a thing; and just hold society in their wrinkled reactionary fists forever; but if they don’t, or if the percentage of non-immortals is large enough that being an immortal ends up being like being a speaker of some obscure language with access to only a tiny slice of literature, science, culture, etc. I could easily imagine that people might embrace the ability to induce a youth-state from time to time, when their current tastes have gotten stale and culture appears to have moved past them and left them in a shrinking backwater, so that they could aquire new tastes/become insufferable about different music/etc.
I think it’s a paraphrase of a more indirect quote by Planck, and the English and German Wikiquote supports this:
Eine neue wissenschaftliche Wahrheit pflegt sich nicht in der Weise durchzusetzen, daß ihre Gegner überzeugt werden und sich als belehrt erklären, sondern vielmehr dadurch, daß ihre Gegner allmählich aussterben und daß die heranwachsende Generation von vornherein mit der Wahrheit vertraut gemacht ist.
A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.(because I'm lazy the wikiquote translation)
But the phrase you used is much better suited as t-shirt slogan : )
Lazarus Long, if their eventual endgame is sexing the entirety of their immediate family.