Tuesday, August 28, 2007

anti-aging: overpopulation

I wrote some posts a long time ago regarding the possibility of being able to stop the aging process [edit: actually, only two posts it would seem. I had planned more...] some time in the future (which seems like a likely possibility), specifically arguing against the arguments against non-aging. A substantial number of people dislike (even hate) the idea of non-aging, and prefer to age and die. I don't.

One objection that I didn't say anything about is that of overpopulation. If we don't age, the rate of dying would naturally decline (but it would not reach zero - people would still die from other things: accidents, sickness, murder...), and the population might start growing rapidly.

If so, is that a problem?

The growth might not be as dramatic as one might think, for several reasons.

Firstly: the age in which people have children now is adapted to our life-span. People can't at present have children at age 200, because they won't be alive. But that will change completely if aging is stopped. There will be no age-related restriction and people will be free to get children whenever they want. And I suspect many will wait. Humans are often pushed into things they don't really want to do, because people expect them to do certain things or because they can't wait because it will be too late. Those expectations will disappear as the age in which it will be "too late" will disappear, because it will never (theoretically) be "too late". And if people get children at age 200 rather than 25, that will make a difference in population growth.

Secondly, much of the population growth today is in primitive and poor nations (often influenced by religious ideas geared toward child production in various ways), like parts of Africa and the Middle East. In the West (including semi-West nations like Japan), on the other hand, the population is actually shrinking (and would be so even more if the immigration groups, still influenced by their earlier culture, hadn't been included in the statistics), which is seen as a big problem by many. In case of non-aging this unwillingness to reproduce wouldn't be a problem anymore, but an asset.

Thirdly, if overpopulation is starting to become a problem, it will get rather unpopular to get children. It will be seen as irresponsible and bad. That certainly will affect peoples desire to reproduce.

Fourthly, if overpopulation really becomes troublesome we will, as a last resort, regulate against it, and have some sort of system with a queue, and let one child be born for each person that dies (or something like that).

Fifthly, at some point in the future we will probably (assuming a continued development of science and technology) start going into space big time, and start colonizing other planets.

Finally I got to post this one. I've had it in my draft for some time. I've lost most of my interest in the topic, and I have more pressing things to attend to. If anti-aging technology is developed and put in use before I die, fine. If not, then I get to know if something is waiting beyond the rim. Fine too, unless it's a hell of some sort. That would really suck.


Temposchlucker said...

Anti-aging might be the only way to become a grandmaster for me.

Blue Devil Knight said...

As long as there are religious fanatics, there will be people who want to have too many progeny. If nobody sane will listen to their rantings, their kids will have no choice.

XY said...

We have to struggle against religious fanatism and hope for the best.

As for becoming a grandmaster -- with anti-aging, we will have the possibility of becoming grandmasters of a great many things. Technomages!

Blue Devil Knight said...

LOL. In the meantime, get off your butts, exercise, and take a multivitamin.

XY said...

I do take multivitamin occasionally, and I eat right, but there will grow flowers in hell before I do any physical exercise. :P (Except walking, if that counts.)

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