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What to do if one could not die


Edtharan
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The thread How to live forever got me thinking. If we developed the technology to live for ever, or just be able to reconstruct a human being from the ground up (maybe using nano tech), what would life be like?

 

If you could "save" you curent body and have it later be reproduced if anything happened to the curent one, would the threat of death still exist?

 

Would a duplicate (rahter than a clone, this would be an atomic resolution replicant of you) have their own rights, or would there be laws that make creating a duplicate of a living person illegal (though it would still occure - knowing humans)?

 

What would this mean for space travel (we could save a copy of an astronaught and send them to a different star system and have them reproduced at the destination)?

 

Also what technologies might exist (or need to exist) that would allow this kind of world?

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Answers to questions in order they are asked:

 

I imagine life would be very very different for different people. For one thing, many, many people just wouldn't be able to handle living forever. We've built up so many coping mechanisms to deal with the fact that we grow old and die, like ideas of afterlife and the "natural balance of things" and whatnot, that many people would find the idea very offensive. As for myself, I'd probably become a lot less ambitious, since there's all the time in the world to accomplish whatever I have in mind. I'd probably work a career long enough to build up the funds to get an entirely different education and start over to avoid boredom. I'd lock myself in libraries for years at a time.

 

I'm not really comfortable with that particular version. I'd probably still consider that dying unless there was a direct transfer of consciousness.

 

Ultimately they would have to have their own rights, because in the end it's undeniably a person. There would probably be a intermediate period of bullshit about souls and stuff, but that would go away as people got more used to the idea. Creating a duplicate, if it were suddenly possible today, would definitely be illegal for a long, long time. Look at the people who are up in arms over human cloning, calling it unethical for some reason, even though it's basically just having an identical twin born at a different time.

 

You may have inadvertantly punned here. It's astronaut, meaning "star sailor," not astronaught, meaning "star nothing." But if they don't exist during the journey and are reproduced at the destination, that might just be appropriate...

 

Computing power many orders of magnitude better than what we have, and the ability to precisely manipulate trillions of atoms directly (instead of a few at a time indirectly, like we have now).

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