Last Sunday was science and philosophy day in the Baxter-Pieper household. It started when we watched this video from Ted.com.
What’s interesting is, though Todd and I both agreed that in theory this makes sense and agree that the technology should be made available, ultimately we did not think it would be taken advantage of.
Although I personally believe that if people were suddenly living to 1000 significant advances in science and technology would be occurring faster than any other time in history. Look at the advancements in technology in the 21st century vs. the 19th century.. People were living longer. Einstein was never able to finish his greatest work, what if he had been able to? What if age was no longer a factor? I dont think that safe space travel would be such an absurd idea. What if the advancements in space travel were so great that we could safely travel at the speed of light? The next closet star is approx. 4.25 LY away, I don’t see how that is much different than when the early settlers came to America from Europe. They really had no idea what to expect and at first it was very difficult and many lives were lost but look what came from their sacrifice.
I could hypothesize all day long about the things that could be accomplished if time running out on someone’s life was no longer an issue but I digress on that. So some reasons we came up with that this technology will probably not be used for a very long time, if at all, are as follows..
Over crowding, as Dr. Aubrey stated. I do think there would be a long term solution for that but probably not a short term one so that could pose a real dilemma. Because of overcrowding strict regulations could be put in place about the amount of children a family could have, similar to the laws currently in place in China. For that matter, the whole idea of even having children could turn into a lottery system. Your number isn’t pulled, no baby for you. Who knows.
Also, there would be no more debate over whether or not there should be a death penalty. What choice would we have? Prisons in the US already deal with over crowding. Either they would have to loosen the laws so it would take more to put someone in jail/prison to begin with, potentially causing increased crime rates, or they would have to lower the standard on what can get you the death penalty. You molested a child? Death.
Speaking of death, I would not be surprised if the suicide rate sky rockets too. I mean, 1000 years.. I don’t know, that’s a long time. I don’t think I need to hang around that long. I think I could get everything I want to get done in 600 easily. Anything past that would just be me waiting around for sweet release I am sure.
Another issue with overcrowding would arise when it comes time to bury the dead. What are we going to do with all these dead inmates we are killing and victims of suicide? Not to mention those who die naturally.. Mass burials? I’ve never been a big fan personally. I guess everyone is getting cremated. I mean any land we do have would be developed, no room for cemeteries. That’s always been my plan anyway so I don’t mind much on that.
I think a lot of these issues are short term problems like I said previously. I think in the long run things would catch up and everything would level out.
Guarantee though, that politics and religion, especially religion, will keep any of this from coming about for years. Seems to me there has always been a bit of lag time in advancements in the biology field. Poor guys always have someone breathing down their backs about ethics. “Cloning isn’t ethical, stem cell research inst ethical..” Pardon me if I respectfully disagree. Not going to even open that can of worms. Maybe they will get lucky this time and it wont take years upon years. Anything is possible right?
So, After we watched the Ted Talk we had another interesting conversation in the evening sparked by this 60 minutes segment we were watching. 60 Minutes
Here’s the thing, I don’t completely buy this study. I think it brings up interesting points but I think a lot of factors are being overlooked. I don’t believe, may be by no fault of their own, the results were attained without a level of bias..
I mean, do we know if there is a color that children tend to gravitate towards versus a color that most children seem to be neutral towards as far as the shirts they were putting on the stuffed animals? How about certain noises or facial expressions playing a role in their picks.. I don’t know, I am not saying that this wasn’t all legit, I am just a bit skeptical is all. Either way, it was interesting and does make you think. The second study that suggests that all humans have a built in predisposition towards bigotry was really interesting in my opinion.