Death is the inevitable end of the life path that awaits every living creature on the planet, and there is no getting away from it. Or is it still possible to deceive an older woman with a scythe and live eternal life?
The immortal jellyfish of Turritopsis dohrnii can fully return to the immature colony stage after puberty as a solitary individual. Moreover, they can do this at any stage of life and under any external threats. In theory, in this way, a jellyfish can be “reborn” an unlimited number of times, which is immortality.
Is it possible that humans can someday, too, be able to live forever? We do not deny it. Developments in this area have been going on for a long time, but they have not made much progress so far due to the limitations of modern science. However, someday humanity will nevertheless invent the “elixir” of immortality. What will happen in this case? Let’s figure it out.
The planet faces the problem of overpopulation
Before us, many people lived on the planet, and we did not suffer from the consequences of their activities only because their life was relatively short and had little impact on the environment. But what will happen if each of us becomes immortal? The fact is that many people have children not so much to leave behind a legacy as from the reproductive instinct. There are almost 8 billion of us now, and the population continues to grow.
Imagine what would happen if everyone became immortal. In this case, the strictest control over reproduction will be required, up to its complete cessation. But until it comes to this, the Earth will have time to be filled with many billions of “superfluous” people.
Yes, there are tens of billions of places on our planet, but what about food? How to provide so many people with food and water? Overpopulation will exacerbate global conflicts, where food will become the main resource. People, like bacteria, not finding a place in the current ecosystem, will begin to “infect” themselves first the nearby planets and then the entire visible space, along the way destroying any life to make room for themselves.
People will stop striving for anything
If we draw analogies with fantasy, people will become like elves who stopped in the development of technology, culture, and other areas at a certain point, not considering further progress necessary and froze like that for many millennia. The thing is that people are pushed to take action by the finitude of their life.
They understand that every lost day moves away from fulfilling a dream because no one knows what will happen tomorrow. This means that we need to act here and now, move science, culture, and develop.
But why do this if you are an immortal being? Even if by immortality we mean precisely the infinity of life, that is, the absence of aging, and not invulnerability, people will reach in technological development only to the maximum means of protecting their fragile bodies, and that’s it, progress will stop forever.
In essence, something like global apathy will ensue. Why do it here and now, when you can wait, think about it for 1000 years, and then get to work? And there, after 1000 years, work can be postponed again until “tomorrow.”
The economy will undergo tremendous changes
It’s not that it has ceased to exist; it’s just that the world that we are used to seeing will radically change. Career growth will not even be at the forefront, and people will remain in the same places for centuries. Indeed, why try and try to climb higher to have time to enjoy the benefits of civilization to the fullest if you can calmly sit on the fifth point evenly and slowly walk towards your dream.
And stagnation is worse for the modern economy than the crisis. But at the same time, there will come an understanding of the finiteness of resources, the fact that they can be spent precisely during the life of the present generation. It will no longer be possible to consume resources mindlessly, believing that the main thing is to make a profit today, and tomorrow it will no longer be their concern. So, probably, people who have received the opportunity to live forever will be more careful with their planet.
Humanity runs the risk of plunging into madness
Fear is one of the main constraints on intelligent life. We are afraid of dangerous things because they can lead to our death. Moreover, you can feel the effect of the presence or absence of fear even today, with the help of games. Just start playing hardcore horror games without any cheats, and your palms will sweat with every rustle. Why? You understand that your hero is a mortal creature, and any monster that rushes out in front of him can be the last thing he sees.
But what happens if you enter the code for immortality? It’s all the same to you; you can grab a baseball bat in your hand and run to fight against crowds of zombies without fear of going to the next world.
The same may happen in reality, when people realize that they will live forever and are not in danger, since most external and internal injuries will heal quickly. When they get bored with the usual entertainment, they will gradually go crazy en masse since the brain needs to constantly update the situation and search for new information to develop. From boredom and the realization of their invulnerability, many can lose their humanity and start doing crazy and immoral things to get a little hormone of joy.
Deadly radical groups will appear, dreaming of destroying humanity
It seems that in the future, with the growth of scientific progress, people who want to live according to the precepts of their ancestors from the distant past should not remain. But look at the 21st century, at how the masses of people are being radicalized, striking more and more fanatical religions and cults, and you will understand that such a scenario is not fiction at all.
The fact is that being immortal, people in the understanding of fanatics will approach the gods, albeit only in terms of life expectancy. Such “blasphemy” may not suit the fanatics, and they will declare a sacred campaign against all humankind, which dared to become like one of the highest beings invented for thousands of years. Considering that, unlike most people, they will have a goal that must be reached as soon as possible, we think that the apocalypse version at the hands of fanatics is not so unrealistic.