Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Living Forever

On that same episode of Nova Science Now that I mentioned in the previous post, Neil DeGrasse Tyson says that, if we ever develop an ability to live forever, our only option to deal with the population problem that would follow is interplanetary travel. I disagree. And I think it's patently obvious that that position is false.

Our only option, and I want to be perfectly clear in this, our ONLY option is social restrictions on breeding. I'm talking dystopian-level stuff. We either do what China did and make is so absurdly expensive to have children that the vast majority of people can't, or we make it illegal to have children and force abortions on people.

Population growth would be logarithmic. Even if we develop interplanetary travel, we would fill up those planets in very short time. With a population of 60 billion, we'd be generating a billion people every couple of years. There is no where that we could put that. We couldn't build space ships quickly enough.

Our only other option is stopping sex. If you want to live forever, you forfeit the right to want or have sex. Because if the desire is there, there is nothing we could do to stop it. Adultery is punishable by death in some areas of the world, and people still mess around.

This is undeniable. Immortality would force the greatest cultural upheaval in the history of our species. It would require a complete rewriting of our concept of human rights, because for the first time, doing something that is natural and, in itself, not harmful, would be incalculably destructive.

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