The downside of immortality

Vampires, werewolves, witches — these are all things we associate with the word immortality.

What we don’t associate the word with, however, are things like inequality, the halt of the evolution of ideas and overcrowding of the planet.

Although these aren’t generally the first things people think of, these are huge points to take into consideration when talking about Raymond Kurzweil’s predictions for the future. Kurzweil is the inventor of the first CCD flatbed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first commercial text-to-speech synthesizer amongst more things. He is also the author of many best-selling books

Kurzweil is confident that within the next few decades we will have discovered the secrets to immortality.

In one article he gave an interview for, he says if you look at video games and how we went from pong to the virtual reality we have available today, it is highly likely that immortality in essence will be possible.

He confidently believes in about 20 years, we will have millions of blood-cell sized devices, known as nanobots, inside our bodies not only fighting disease but also improving our memory and cognitive abilities.

While living forever sounds nice in theory, it won’t be.

For one, the evolution of ideas is quite possibly the most important aspect of humanity. Without it, we would still have the same beliefs as hundreds of years ago. Everyone would have been raised with the same values and ideas about how things should be as people in the 1900s were. Women wouldn’t have the right to vote or drive. People of color would constantly fear for their lives and never experience true equality, people who are attracted to the same sex would forever be judged and not allowed to even have the basic human right of getting married. If people never died, everyone who still believed this is the way things should be would continue passing that belief on instead of the population slowly becoming more understanding and loving.

In America, although it’s not as public, these are all still problems, and they are even worse in other countries.

Inequality and lack of justice are personally my biggest issue with the idea of immortality. As of now, America has come a long way and is slowly getting better. However, we have not reached total equality despite what many believe.

If a woman is raped the first question people still ask is “Well, what was she wearing” or “Was she drunk” as if it is actually possible to ask for it. Women are looked at and presumed to be small and fragile. We are generally expected to grow up, have a family and our career is supposed to come second.

Although racism is nowhere near what it used to be, it still exists, and it is still very much a problem. The country practically lost its mind and the thought of a black man being president, no matter how qualified he was for the position. Recently there was a colored man shot multiple times by a police officer who never got convicted, another was choked to death by another police officer who also got away with it, despite the fact that this colored man could be heard very clearly saying “I can’t breathe.”

With that being said the most immediate problem with the idea of immortality would obviously be the overcrowding of the planet. Not only would we run out of room and housing, but also food and all non renewable resources. This would cause a huge rise in violence as people panicked and fought for the things they need.

If someone actually succeeds in making immortality possible, we will forever be caught in a world that lacks empathy, understanding and equality, and at some point were going to run out of room and the other necessities for survival.