How Long Should We Live? Part III- Continued

Photo from morgueFile.com

Photo from morgueFile.com

I wrote the last two posts about the biological and ecological consequences of living longer, but also of doing away with death altogether. Now we come to something that intrigues me the most. What happens to society when we live longer, possibly endless lives?

We always hear about generation gaps, will they widen into insurmountable gulfs? Would the older people have careers and influence while younger people waited at the bottom of a broken career ladder? Or would more people mean more jobs for everyone?

photo from morgueFile.com

photo from morgueFile.com

Could you ask your great-great-great-great grandmother for money if she had accumulated more wealth in her longer life? It’s possible she would be more generous than a stranger. But you might be one of a thousand relatives looking to borrow money. If that were the case, she might not know you or have any interest in helping such a distant relative. If families did stay close, would clans form, clans that might go to war with one another?

If you are young and immortal for eternity, could you be sure that the cutie you’re hitting on isn’t your great great great grandson or daughter?

Photo from morgueFile.com

Photo from morgueFile.com

Would marriage patterns change if we knew there would be way more than 50 anniversaries?

I started out discussing generation gaps, but maybe they would close. What is good for one immortal generation is good for all. If you thought you could live forever, you couldn’t excuse your actions by saying, “My children should worry about that, I’ll be dead before it becomes my problem.” It might just force more people to think long term, but then again if you have eternity to get things right…

The best part of reading or writing science fiction is the exploration of things that have not happened but could. Maybe some of these issues, biological, ecological and social,  will work their way into the series of books I’m writing. Maybe they’ll work their way into our daily lives before long.

2 responses to “How Long Should We Live? Part III- Continued

  1. Laura,
    I really enjoyed your thoughts and questions here. The question about hitting on your great great great grandson or daughter puts this “what is mortality” question into focus.

    A completely different twist (not related to mortality, but rather to humor) that your post made me think of is the song “I’m My Own Grandpa” with some information about the song at

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I'm_My_Own_Grandpa

    Jim

  2. “Death is not the opposite of life, it is the opposite of birth.” – Eva Saulitis in Fairbanks, Alaska October 18, 2013. Eva is a biologist and teacher who writes poetry and prose about life, death and extinction from her home in Homer, Alaska.

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