What would be the next course of action if scientists discovered the secret to immortality? Would we stop having children and have everyone on the earth right now live forever? Or would we set a standard Age of death globally?

What would be the next course of action if scientists discovered the secret to immortality? Would we stop having children and have everyone on the earth right now live forever? Or would we set a standard Age of death globally?

What do you think?

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  1. The rich people would live for ever, a lottery would be created so that a select few non rich people would get to become immortal. I think I saw this movie.

  2. That would be restricted to the wealthy. You think we have a God complex happening now? That would bring the infinite breeding of humans to be used as mere pawns in proxy wars, servitude, and exploitation… oh wait.

  3. The concept of death and the perversion of it would gradually cease to exist. Our society atm is largely dependent on death being the terminus of everything and we base our actions on thinking we might die soon. With that out of the equation, a lot of societal norms would age like milk going forward.

  4. I enjoy the optimism of this post, but in reality, I think it would quickly devolve into what humans usually do to each other. A few would horde the technology, they would immediately worry that they would suffer if the masses enjoyed it and actions would be taken to severely control and limit the population. Until space travel and energy production could become almost free you would see a really ugly episode in human history.

  5. I guess if we were immortal we could also live on other planets essentially and I don’t think humans would give up the right to procreate.

  6. In the current state of things, I’d expect a bunch of wealthy people would inject themselves with immortality and then cut off access for most everyone else. But I assume we’re talking something vaguely scientifically feasible in our current knowledge, like reversal of aging, not resistance to harm, in which case, I’d expect that assassinations would make a comeback as a response to the wealthy hoarding it and doubling down on oppression.

    When we got past the increased oppression phase and achieved liberation, a lot of people would probably stop having children. But again, assuming reversal of aging, but not resistance to harm, a lot would still be dying of accidents and health issues, so I don’t think it’d be that extreme of an issue in terms of population.

  7. At first, only rich people did it. They became bored as fuck of each other in a half a century, especially with no more islands and not much coastline real estate, due to global warming. After that, it was available to everyone, including Johnny and Joelyne Lunchpail. You know who really loved immortality? The two scientists who discovered it! They got to lived long enough to discover many things that had been previously unverifiable. Unfortunately, the weather worsened, people who had once fantasized about living forever, suddenly wanted to die. They had had enough of their countless bouts of diseases and injuries just couldn’t seem to put them out of their misery. That was the beginning of the fad of jumping into vats of acid.

  8. It would depend on what, exactly, you mean by “immortality”.

    Some simple deep-sea animals (certain jellyfish and/or jellyfish relatives iirc) seem to be “biologically immortal”, in that they do not die of old age (instead metamorphosing back into a less-complex/”younger” lifestage once they get too old to function correctly).

    If science found a way to give humans such an ability – and assuming that the ability was then given to at least a majority of humans rather than being rationed out to the rich, famous, and politically-influential – then human reproduction rates would need to be significantly slowed (and/or resource production rates and distribution infrastructure beefed up). However, because humans would still be able die of injury, illness, or deprivation (starvation, dehydration, suffocation, etc.), reproduction would not necessarily need to stop, outright.

    If humans were given “true immortality”, however, the logistics would be a little different, but possibly have the same result…

    Because humans would be unable to die **at all** – not of old age, not of injury, not of illness, not of deprivation, not of anything – then human resource consumption would become functionally unnecessary after reaching adulthood. Why eat if you’re incapable of starving to death? Why drink if you physically cannot die of thirst? Why not hang out at the bottom of a lake if drowning isn’t possible?

    Sure, children would still need to grow (hence the above qualifier of “after reaching adulthood”), and going without food, water, and air would be very, very uncomfortable… but, if science can grant you immortality, then I’m willing to bet it can figure a way to turn off your biological alarm bells and eliminate the unpleasant sensations of hunger, thirst, and hypoxia.

    If humans only needed to consistently eat, drink, breathe for the first two-and-a-half decades of their lives to develop properly, and then be able to completely go without those things forever after, then resources would only have to be produced for each new generation… and as long as the size of that generation was managed, the rate of resource production could remain static, or even be rolled back.

    Eventually, humans might run out of space to occupy on Earth, but that’s not a problem because space travel just became a whole hell of a lot more feasible. The speed limit on manned spaceflights has been taken off because humans can no longer be killed by the G-forces involved. Spacesuits are no longer a necessity, because humans don’t need air anymore, and the vacuum of space can’t kill us. The flight to Mars will take you the better part of a year, but, once you’re there, you don’t have to bother with a specialized, enclosed habitat or fuck around with terraforming; just build your house so the dust storms can’t blow it over and you’re golden.

  9. Not exactly sure, but I know you’d be seeing some mighty careful stepping out there in regards to the relationship between pedestrians and buses.

  10. Human body may become immortal, but human mind is not built for it. Our consciousness and intellect cannot stretch itself to infinity. Our existence is based on the concept of a beginning and an end. Death is as important as life. Death is the freedom our consciousness seeks. If you trap that consciousness in a body unable to die naturally, it’s only a matter of time before it snaps and turns insane. I assume your body won’t be regenerating itself when damaged by external force, nor would it be invincible. In that case, 100% humanity would be insane savages/dead by suicide.

  11. People would still die from accidents. And the older they got the more statistically likely it would happen.

    I think some people would try to live forever, but I think many people would end it after they feel they experienced everything. 80 years is nowhere near enough to experience all that a human should. 400 or 500 sounds right m

    Problem will money. You will still work because you’re not just getting millions of dollars doing nothing. I think you’d end up with more stress due to this. Of course if immortality included no need to eat and not affected by cold or heat there’d be an ENORMOUS amount of homeless people.

  12. I read a book about it. People stop bringing children into our world unless they are doing it illegally (slurps) or stopping their participation in the immoralism plan (legal)

  13. We’d better get good at managing resources. Wars could break out fighting over them as we suck them dry. (I assume you could still die in a war?)

    We’d also better figure out to colonize other planets.

  14. Realistically?

    It would be argued that it can’t be given to everyone all at once.

    The arguments would range from it would disrupt society too greatly, to overpopulation is too big a concern, to concerns about societal stagnation, to it being ‘immoral’ or ‘against god’ or whatever other things people with beliefs want to say.

    That arguments themselves wouldn’t matter (right or wrong) as much as the result — limited distribution. Limited to the select few, and possibly versions with a limited effect as well.

     

    Rich and powerful would quietly cheat the system. Unfortunate, but pretty unarguable.

     

    Eventually there would be ways for “regular” people to “earn” access.

    *Probably* combinations of indentured servitude to whoever is providing it (gov / corp / whatever) and permanent sterility treatments. It wouldn’t always be that straightforward, but some version of that combination would be much of it.

     

    Examples:

    1. The treatment (or a version of it – 1000 yr life or whatever) is given to the first 10 million who volunteer to take a colony ship to a new planet and help settle it / terraform it. (service through the new ‘job’ and while not direct sterilization, you won’t be making kids on earth.)

    2. You can get the treatment as long as you’re a productive worker for X Corporation. It’s the new ‘health insurance’ — it takes a percentage of your usual pay to get it, and of course you can be fired any time, but as long as you’re useful… you can stay alive. However naturally they only really want workers who are fully dedicated to the business… so working long hours and not having kids, while never said aloud, is highly preferred and most likely to get the treatment.

    3. Installment plan. Straight up, you can pay XX thousand dollars a year to continuing living. While not impossible to have kids while doing this… it’s a damn sight harder to afford them while your life costs this much to preserve.

    4. Looong Term Planning – it’s reported that “side effects” of the drug prevent reproduction until your ~400th year. No one complains, it’s voluntary if you want to take it (or not) and no one notices that insurance statistics and actuary tables coincidentally made it clear long ago that even if you didn’t die of disease or old age — accidental death would (on average) kill you by your 300th year.

    etc. etc.

     

    No need for a standard death age BUT society does stagnate a bit. Think of Mitch McConnel and so many entrenched politicians never dying, and worse – their voting base never changing enough for them to lose office (even if they played fair).

     

    I want to be immortal (so very very much) but I do recognize that society needs new young voices to replace some old ones on a regular basis – or wrongs and problems that are comfortable to those in power will not get called out, will not get fought, and will not get overthrown…

    Someone has to be the new rebel generation who says “You know, slavery actually isn’t cool, and we should really let people love whatever gender they want to, and wait a second — maybe some of this shit you guys have been doing is evil, even if you are used to it”

     

    Or, shorter version – Old people kinda suck sometimes, let’s not let them rule forever maybe?

     

    That said, I still want to be immortal…

  15. Perhaps only a select few of people would get to procreate. Not sure who or how they are selected. It might be fun, if we were to go the standard age of death route, to make people’s 50th birthday particularly special. They would be invited to spin a wheel which will then indiscriminately decide within the nest 20 years when they will die.

  16. Depending on how you define “immortality”, there are a few issues. If it was the basic no death mechanic, then we could still age and become ill. This would mean eventually we would cease to have a decent quality of life at some point. As a result, since death isn’t a option, it would be agony for us.

    There was a show called “torchwood” (a doctor who spinoff) that actually had a 2 part episode about what happened if everyone was immortal and the issues it caused.

  17. Scary thing is that we will eventually get there . There’s some type of jellyfish or octopus that is immortal. Sooner or later scientists will find a way to incorporate their genetic code into human genome . They have already made glow in the dark mice we are on the right track

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