TED Conversations

David Fuchs

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If physical immortality was perfected and happened tomorrow, and people could become young again, what would be the ramifications?



Since we are only a few years (10-20) away from this happening. I thought now would be a good time to discuss this.

How would physical immortality affect society, government, industry, relationships, war, funding for research, investments and investing, birth rates, the law, people psyches, what sort of people would become immortal if it was low cost and available to everyone, what sort of people would not become immortal, will there be a war between mortals and immortals. Would politicians continue down the same short sighted path, or would they take a longer view, and in the end would that be better or worse for the population at large.

We do not need to discuss population growth, exponential and exponential minus some (n) growth, leads to the planets "people limit" being exceeded within the same 5 year time period. We do how ever have to discuss how to slow down the birth rate through smart policies, education, and lifting people out of poverty,

I am giving a very short period to discussing immortality ... one month. Does anyone think we can get eternity right in that amount of time?


Closing Statement from David Fuchs

We live in an age that has linear growth in some areas and exponential growth in others. Growth of knowledge in biology is exponential. We have citizen scientists doing great science in back rooms and garages, adding to this growth of knowledge, and this trend towards more people doing biology and genetics will only grow as tools that are easier to use or more game like (http://fold.it) are developed. Robotic tools are also being developed, which will also accelerate our knowledge of biology and genetics, by allowing one person to do the work that would have required hundreds in the past.

Many of the points made here were valid, many were off topic, and many were a result of belief systems being threatened.

The good ...

Exponential population growth and exponential minus the death rate not being roughly equal long term (John Smith). That immortality could be a driving factor pushing us into space, colonizing the solar system and beyond (Dr Sivaram Hariharan). That some people might try to centralize power and control the rest of humanity. That perhaps people would grow up and begin taking the long view (online observer).

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  • Dec 29 2012: Physical immortality is quite easy to achieve today. But considering we are each a copy of God, spiritual immortality is more desirable. If a husband achieves physical immortality while his kids and spouses won't take the discipline to get it, his life could become so miserable that he could regret that goal.
    However, to seek the highest and get the rest of life continues to challenge all humanity. How could it be that all human efforts to study and develop continues to limit itself to two out of the three parts of life? We all seem to care only about 1. Entry into life 2. Experience of living.
    The third and highest, because we are all spirit, is the exit from life through death. Fear has curtailed our courage to find God. Yet it's the best goal of life attainable today when we remember that spiritual evolution is eternal, continuing and uninterrupted.
    Recently, TED asked for someone to take him through a short course to achieve a wish on sustainability. I would gladly do it at no cost and as soon as he may wish to in his own home or anywhere. My method, as you can imagine, is based on that third part of life's process where we all must eventually discover why truth is the highest technology.
    Thanks for your time.

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