Have you ever played Rise of the Tomb Raider? If not, no worries, there are plenty of examples of what I’m going to talk about in other media. Either way, in this game the main character Lara Croft talks about a MacGuffin that can unlock the secrets of immortality. She talks about how it would change everything, stop sickness and disease, and all the usual nonsense people think up in these situations.
So let’s think for a moment about why this line of thinking is naïve and catastrophically flawed. First, yes, the basic premise Lara is discussing here is correct. A fountain of youth or other immortality device would have the potential to change the world and, more appropriately, humankind. But for the better?
Hardly. It’s true that a variety of human maladies could feasibly be either eradicated or heavily improved by something like this. But given humanity’s bloody and unpleasant history, do you honestly believe this is the outcome we could expect? (more…)