Seven days ago, I asked my readers what they would do if they discovered a “cure” for mortality that would keep people alive (and healthy) indefinitely.
I was pretty sure that my preferred answer, only share it with your friends and family, would win.
That is not the case, but before I discuss that, the final results:
58% of those polled said they would keep a cure for death secret.
One said of immortality, “I think I don’t really trust humanity, as it currently stands, with it.”
25% voted to find a way to treat everyone on earth, essentially giving immortality away.
One voter made a great case. He points out, “If people have more time to think, and are less motivated by fear, society should markedly improve.” He argues that people become better with age and if fewer people die, there will be more long-lived individuals to help improve and stabilize society.
And finally, 17% felt that they should only give the gift of immortality to a few close friends and family. I was leaning in that direction, but then my uncle made a fantastic observation, “Sharing it with your family and friends is nice, but what about their family and friends who don’t get it?”
That is what struck me-
I have considered the ethical dilemmas of selling immortality, the economic and environmental difficulties, but my uncle’s comment made me realize that we are more than mere collectors of facts.
We are collectors of relationships. We so easily connect and bond with others. We don’t want to lose those we love. I don’t think someone who discovered a “cure” for mortality would be able to keep a secret, that if revealed, would save those they love from death.