Would human life be better...

If our lifespans were hundreds of years vs decades, and we practiced better population control? Just pondering.

It seems like we repeat history far too often, and one of the reasons for this would seem to be we just don't have enough time for any of it to sink in and affect us more personally. One generation always seems to inherit the prior's mistakes before they die off, but if they had to live with them maybe that would change things.

Another thing I often wonder is that while new ideas are often needed, it is a problem when the youngest population sector on earth which has by far the least amount of life experience and frame of reference, often has the audacity to think they know better than everyone else. Perhaps we should skip right past an electoral college overhaul and rethink the voting age and especially qualifications in general.

Unfortunately for most people the U.S. and a few other countries are a circus, and the love of power run them all. Basically to all whom that applies to, way to pave the way for the future, idiots.

Human Life would be better if we valued human life.

I know this sounds like I'm waxing poetic, but as Hansel mentioned, we aren't important to each other. The collection of Power is. Be it through Resources, Fame, Political Clout... so many people who are at the top of those respective ideas did so by stepping over people. By promising things that harm others in the long run. These are not the actions of people who value human life. These are the actions of people who just want to achieve.

We see this in all aspects of life. How we 'get to know someone' normally will be summed up in 'What do you do?'. How do you maintain your status in life? What can I expect to do with you or get from you in our relationships proceed in a fashion? Once that is found suitable, only then do we deign to actually see if we can tolerate being with person for a long period of time.

How can we ask people to be better people if we keep perpetuating a society that doesn't even value who they are, but the accomplishments and the resources they can gather? They are already dehumanized from the beginning. How can they be asked to add to the collective when they don't have a suitable road map to follow? Where who they are doesn't matter as much as what they can bring to the table?

Human life would be better if we could separate our own intellect, sentience and self-awareness and those of others from the baser instincts upon which they're presently constructed. If we lived a life that wasn't completely founded on the genetic drive to survive, procreate and prove to others how worthy we are of survival and procreation, we might learn to value the broader experience of life. Well, maybe survival instincts should stick around (i.e.: can't have people so enthralled when they go swimming with dolphins that they forget to come up for air,) but that alpha drive to accrue power, wealth and influence can fuck right off, literally the reason behind every bad thing ever. On that base level, other people are seen as obstacles and/or competition and not as actual other people with their own lives and aspirations completely separate from our own. It's hard not to feel that way when all evidence points to the fact that life is a zero-sum game.

hanselthecaretaker:
If our lifespans were hundreds of years vs decades, and we practiced better population control? Just pondering.

I would personally love to live 200 years or so, just to see how the world changes, but I wouldn't want to deal with people that were born and raised in the 1800's with 1800's ways of thinking in today's world.

Telling grandpa that black people and Jewish people aren't genetically coded to be criminals is already tiresome as it is, I don't need super-grandpa raving about how the world would be better if we could just subjugate African people again like in them "good old days".

Rather than trying to change old peoples' way of thinking, it's simply easier to just let them die off.

bluegate:
Rather than trying to change old peoples' way of thinking, it's simply easier to just let them die off.

That's a terrible, terrible way of thinking, that....oh, do you reckon if the anti-smoking campaign hadn't been so successful, there'd not be so many old people left around to give the Brexit vote a majority?

I mean, you're not wrong, attitudes don't change, generations do, but that involves a lot of people dying, and needless death is one of the big reason why attitudes/generations need to change anyway.

Thaluikhain:

bluegate:
Rather than trying to change old peoples' way of thinking, it's simply easier to just let them die off.

That's a terrible, terrible way of thinking, that....oh, do you reckon if the anti-smoking campaign hadn't been so successful, there'd not be so many old people left around to give the Brexit vote a majority?

I mean, you're not wrong, attitudes don't change, generations do, but that involves a lot of people dying, and needless death is one of the big reason why attitudes/generations need to change anyway.

I'm not advocating actively killing people or anything like that.

And I wouldn't call dying of old age at around 70~80 "needless".

hanselthecaretaker:
If our lifespans were hundreds of years vs decades, and we practiced better population control? Just pondering.

I think we'd have a longer cultural memory and perhaps less likely to repeat error.

On the other hand, we might have slower development, as societies tend to be socially, politically and economically dominated by the older who tend to cleave to older ways and a reduction of new births and fresh ways of thinking.

We have stupid people both old and young and it would not change anything for the better or worse if we increase longevity, it would only allow bad or good decisions to go on for longer. As long as we continue to put bad people in charge regardless of age, they will continue to make bad decisions for a longer amount of time. I see this changing nothing long term except possibly making people suffer from bad decisions longer.

No, I don't think it would be better. Humans already see themselves as divorced from nature and significantly longer lifespans would only aggravate the latent hubris that is the source of most misery and strife. That our lives have clear end dates and that we are the observer of our own physical decline as time marches on serves to offer us atleast a modicum of humility for the frailty of being and the transience of human existence. If any kind of reverence for our mortality is left even further behind that would distort human nature beyond recognition. Imminent death is the omnipresent reminder that we are, and always will be, human despite our advances and destruction even if life itself becomes more unnatural. Take away that last reminder and everything will be even worse for it. Nature bestowed us with limited lifespans for a very good reason.

The longer our lives are, the more strain we put on the environment around us. Longer life isn't the solution to anything.

Another thing I often wonder is that while new ideas are often needed, it is a problem when the youngest population sector on earth which has by far the least amount of life experience and frame of reference, often has the audacity to think they know better than everyone else. Perhaps we should skip right past an electoral college overhaul and rethink the voting age and especially qualifications in general.

Damn son- all I can say to that is you would have got along swell with Reagan during the disastrous Vietnam period:

stroopwafel:
No, I don't think it would be better. Humans already see themselves as divorced from nature and significantly longer lifespans would only aggravate the latent hubris that is the source of most misery and strife.

I'm not sure that's true.

I think often with time and age comes reflection about one's place in the wider world, time to stop and reflect, less perception of need to dash to short-term objectives and considerations.

It would significantly depend on how this "live longer" actually works. Does that mean that dementia and other age related problems come later too ? Do we get centuries of people with physical and mental capabilities of an average 30-year old ? A 50-year old ? A 70-year old ?

And if you want to get deeper in, how long would those century living persons be fertile ? How would that change family structures, which in many places still are important parts of the social fabric ?

Maybe if we lived shorter lives. Imo the reason things take so long to change is because old people are the ones running the show. So imagine if our life spans were halved, then we'd get new blood into positions of power more often, leading to quicker change.

Agema:

stroopwafel:
No, I don't think it would be better. Humans already see themselves as divorced from nature and significantly longer lifespans would only aggravate the latent hubris that is the source of most misery and strife.

I'm not sure that's true.

I think often with time and age comes reflection about one's place in the wider world, time to stop and reflect, less perception of need to dash to short-term objectives and considerations.

For some yeah, but do you think that perspective would still be there if time wasn't creeping up on people? Even memories are of a revisionist nature, always reframed and re-contextualized to serve a current need. Similarly as opportunities and beliefs are adjusted to serve the remaining years. Add another 200 years to the lifespan, and that process would not materialize. Maybe you can compare it somewhat to the delay of adolescence in contemporary society, and how older generations would 'grow up' more quickly. Not that that is a bad thing per se, but it shows how much introspection is dependent on external changes.

stroopwafel:
Maybe you can compare it somewhat to the delay of adolescence in contemporary society, and how older generations would 'grow up' more quickly.

I'm not convinced there is a delay in adolescence and that older generations "grew up" more quickly. We're talking about concepts of when people started to do various things with certain responsibilities (get a job, married, have kids), which tend to occur later in life nowadays than they used to. However, I think that's potentially a misleading measure of "growing up".

I think (as mentioned above) that the most likely result of expanded lifespan and slower births would be to slow societal development. But I don't see any particular reason it would make people feel more superior to and divorced from nature.

There are already so many problems with old generations refusing to accept new ideas, can you imagine how much worse it would be if the old people in power were from the Victorian Era?

I would perhaps say that it is the short span of our lives which propels us to achieve so much during them. Look at bucket lists, for example. Most folk never really get round to doing what they want with their lives due to a kind of 'fuck it, I'll do it later' mentality. But you give that same person a deadline (excuse the pun) and suddenly their entire life's to-do list is crossed off within six months.

Also, from a genetics point of view shorter lifespans and higher generation frequency drives evolutionary progress far more quickly than species with long generation periods, so there's that.

I think the answer to that would depend if human life would be the same. If we lives for 1000 years instead of 100, it makes a difference if we would mature at 18 or 180.

hanselthecaretaker:

Another thing I often wonder is that while new ideas are often needed, it is a problem when the youngest population sector on earth which has by far the least amount of life experience and frame of reference, often has the audacity to think they know better than everyone else. Perhaps we should skip right past an electoral college overhaul and rethink the voting age and especially qualifications in general.

That is what is known as an Appeal to Age which is a logical fallacy (an off-shoot of Appeal to Tradition). You can't dismiss something just because it is new, and nor can you dismiss something just because it comes from a younger perspective. New ideas aren't necessarily better than old ones (not vice-versa), but being unwelcoming to new ideas is a problem. Truth is true no matter where is comes from, and progress and improvement can only happen by accepting new ideas. The opposite is true as well, however, that new ideas are not necessarily better than old ones.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here