July 16, 2014
The question How close are humans to immortality? has been studied at great lengths by different scientists in different fields. However a consensus has been achieved by a specific community of these observers on the answer to the question. Scientist Ray Kurzweil and his followers all agree that humans are about 20-25 years away from being able to live as long as they wish.
Yet what will enable the inhabitants of earth to do so? Kurzweil, a notable predictor of the milestones humanity achieved, believes that the key to immortality is nanotechnology. He thinks that given the trend of computers becoming smaller and more efficient, people will be able to have nanobots circulating in their veins, cleaning and providing perpetual maintenance. He also hypothesizes that robots will replace our organs when they fail. These advances would mean that so long as the robots are powered and working well, they will keep their humans alive and kicking.
Kurzweil’s predictions have been proven to be anything but inaccurate before. He successfully pinpointed the exact year that the smartphone would come out, and its capabilities, and he described the Internet before it was ever invented. Kurzweil has convinced his peers in the scientific community of his hypothesis of human immortality. Kurzweil calls his theory the Law of Accelerating Returns. He illustrated that through nanotechnology, humans will be able to halt and reverse the aging process. He believes that nanobots will be exponentially more efficient than normal human cells.
He thinks that not only will humans achieve immortality, but that they will be able to accomplish tasks that are impossible for the species with their normal biological makeup. Examples include such feats as doing an Olympic sprint for 20 minutes without taking a breath, or going scuba diving for upwards of four hours without oxygen.
Kurzweil urges his fellow human beings to hang in there, given how close they are to immortality. With added life and brain capacity, Kurzweil also suggests that nanobots will be able to enable humans to do things like writing a full fledged book in minutes. He continued to describe how the world will change around humans. Nanobots in humans’ bodies will be able to alter their perceptions and create virtual worlds, virtual sex will become commonplace and hologram figures will appear right in front of humans as if they were real.
He says that humans should look forward to a world where they become cyborgs that are invulnerable to almost every ailment the species faces today. To those who argue that humans should not be celebrating how close the species is to immortality because immortal life will bring never-ending boredom and despair, Kurzweil argues that immortality is the wrong term for these advancements. Immortality means that it is impossible for one to die. Kurzweil says that is inaccurate in this case, given that humans with nanotechnologies will be able to die. Dying unintentionally will be an almost non-occurrence, but willing departures from life will be available. He promises that human free will is not going to be at stake. Humans may be close to immortality.
By Andres Loubriel
I’m just as crazy about singularity becoming a reality one day. However I have a big problem with the morality of how humans will handle this “Dying unintentionally will be an almost non-occurrence, but willing departures from life will be available.” that’s a big ethical debate waiting to happen. So we are not allowed to commit moral sins like genocide but it’s perfectly alright to commit suicide in a possible future where most of the world is run by cyborgs or machines? Kind of seems like an affront to primary choice, the right to exist!
Dear Wayout, thank you for your comment! My opinion is that “willing departures” will not be suicife. There will be simply deaths by aging! You will have the option in the future either to prevent aging by using the proper medication or let nature do the job and inevitably die from age related diseases. You see, the debate to which you refer, is not a new one. Even today you can choose to postpone death (if for example you are sick) or take no medication and simply die.