Scott Badger wrote:
> > Michael S. Lorrey wrote:... If it is seen as common that all
> > > are immortal, and that immortality is some sort of right, would not
> > > death of any kind be seen as too excessive to allow as a punishment for
> a crime
> > > or for a defense against a criminal in the act. Thoughts, anyone?
> > Mike, the thing that concerns me more than this is the notion that
> > if some of us achieve immortality (or greatly extended lifespans)
> > through extreme effort, cost and discipline, that we would be targeted
> > by those who choose short lifespans. Look around you: most people
> > choose to shorten their own lives in one way or another. I ride
> > motorcycles, way too quickly, for instance. In general, people
> > eat terribly unhealthfully, drink way too much, *smoke* tobacco still,
> > among other life shortening habits. I could easily see how some
> > misguided, deliberately short lived person would see an immortal
> > as a threat to mother earth, or some such foolishness, and would
> > try to identify and kill us. spike
> Reminds me of that old Heinlein story, where some foundation was created and
> covertly arranged the marriages of people whose anscestors were long-lived,
> breeding them for longevity. After numerous generations, it worked and the
> foundation had to explain to the subjects why they weren't aging like the
> rest of the population. They all had to keep it a secret for fear that the
> rest of the population would never believe that it had been accomplished
> through genetics. They would assume that a "potion" had been discovered
> that would stop aging. Eventually the secret got out and "Methuselah's
> Children" barely escaped from Earth with their lives. I won't ruin the end
> for those who haven't read it yet.
I consider Lazarus Long to be an ideal transhumanist. Since its been in print for 50 years I would hope that most on the list have read it. If not, I highly recommend you do.
> Your other point:
> >most people choose to shorten their own lives in one way or another.
> made me wonder. Do you think when people have nano-immune systems and other
> enhancements designed to optimize and protect our bodies from abuse that
> they will take that opportunity to see just how much abuse their new bodies
> will take? I mean, I would eat a lot more pizza and drink a lot more beer
> if I knew that my nanites were programmed to disallow the formation of love
> handles. I might even pick up smoking if I knew that my lungs wouldn't be
Good point. However, I think that people will discriminate between self imposed risk, and externally imposed risk. While they swill their brew, smoke their joints, and 'catch all the local diseases', they will paradoxically be outraged at the imposition of risk upon them by others without their consent. We are already seeing this now. When such low threats like the impact of a ecosystem killer asteroid or comet are seen as too high for comfort, you know you are in the loop...