Monday, 10 February 2014

What If ... Nobody Ever Died

I'm not talking the over-population as approximately 106 Billion people inhabit a planet struggling with 7 Billion people (although it does get mentioned later). I'm thinking of the psychological consequences.

If nobody ever died would be people be more reckless? Not being able to die would surely effect the decisions people make.

Imagine if a friend comes round your house and says: "Hey, fancy climbing a mountain?" At present I would most likely reply: "No. I have never climbed a mountain. I have a fear of heights." Even after a few too many beers I would most likely still want some of training in mountain climbing before agreeing to such an invitation.

Now imagine you cannot die. The same friend comes round and asks: "Hey, fancy climbing a mountain?" I would, I think, say: "Sure, why not. Lets do it now. Hell I'll climb it bare-foot just for fun." Without the possibility of death fear and rationality disappear.

And what sort of life are the elderly expected to live? If nobody had ever died, and you throw the Bible in for the sake of it, Adam and Eve would be (according to some Christian theologists) approximately 6,000 years old. When does their pension start and end?

The History Channel and museums would not exist. Who would watch a World War II documentary when you could sit down with Churchill, Hitler, and Roosevelt? And nothing would be in a museum because all the original owners would still be alive. Actually Churchill, Hitler, and Roosevelt most likely would have no significance. After all nobody dies so what use is war?

Life imprisonment and capital punishment are out too. No government would want the bill for prisoners living eternally in prison. Nobody being electrocuted because it would not do anything.

Now to the population. 106 Billion people that will never die. Who knows how the reproductive organs are going to work. Eve at 5,999 years old could still be on a mission to populate the planet. So, although the 106 Billion is based on past and present birth rates if nobody is dying those birth rates may be well off. The figure could be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled. Imagine this planet struggling to support close to a half trillion people.

Nobody dies and there is no war. Seems the only possible problem is the planet could not cope with everyone all at once. But wait there is a big, bright, light at the end of the tunnel. Think of some of the great minds that have passed away. Einstein, Tesla, Edison, Newton, and Bell to name a few. Surely with hundreds of years, meeting each other, and sharing ideas and experiments the planet would be further along technologically than it is. There is the possibility that space travel would be years ahead from where it is. The half a trillion may be spread out throughout the solar system; or even solar systems that we do not even know exist.

But who would want to live forever in certain circumstances? Imagine at the age of 127 you get cancer, or AIDS, would you want to spend an eternity from that point suffering? Taking the technological advances discussed previously in to account I am sure they will have  a cure. But that adds to the recklessness of humanity. No disease, no death, and as long as a few vital organs are not removed you live the dream.

Stealing organs is a possibility. Plastic surgery could just be a starting point. If nobody dies what is to stop some rich woman not just wanting a face-lift but also a younger heart. After a few thousand years hit the black market and get a heart that only has a couple hundred of years on it.

So you may never die naturally but as you sleep some thieving bastard rips out your heart so someone else can feel young at heart again.

Seems, thanks to humanity, there is no escaping death completely.

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