Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:03 AM
If You want immortality for all, not only for a very few extremely powerfull or extremely rich people, then definatelly the society has to change in order not to be produced overpopulation. Ofcourse, if You are dull enough to pay and work for the immortality of people, for who You do not care, and if You wish to sacrifice Your own immortality or the immortality of Your children and grand children, then changing of the society may not be needed in case the immortal technologies appear.
The changes, that will have to happen will be many and difficult ot be imagined from the perspective of the modern societies, in which You are used to live, e.g. they will be difficult to be imagined and to be accepted from You. I was thinking for some time (several months) how eventually the society may change and build in my mind different possible scenarios. The most acceptable (from the perspectives of the modern societies) possible outcome will be, to be achieved a zero birth rate for the immortals, and births in the immortal society, only if the immortal population needs people.
Ofcourse, this perspective may appear only if the society is adaptive enough. If the society is not adaptive enough, it will never develope some technologies, even if they currently exist. An example for non - adaptive society are the muslim societies, which will never have short skirts in the fashion for their females, and will always prefer their women to be packed as egyptian mumies. It is a question to the society - do You want to be immortal or not? If You want, then You have to do this, You have to change.
People will still die, yes, but the remainig immortals can reproduce controllably, so to fill the gap of needed people, that will appear after people die from whatever reason, including accidents, violence, war and suicides. It is not impossible, it is only question of acceptance.
"I do not think there would ever be a limit to how many children could be born"
Maybe You think like that, because You live in a society, in which, it is unthinkable, that someone will tell You how many children to have. But, governmental policies to lower the population exist today. For example the China policy for having fewer children. So, Your way of thinkming is a case of an unadaptive thinking, build either from You, or from an unadaptive society, which will overpopulate if occasionally the birth rates become higher for a long time. However, in an immortal society the children limit will have to be severe. People who give a birth of a child when it is not needed (both the man and the woman) will have to loose their right to be immortal and will be excluded from the immortal life support technologies. So, controlling the limit of the children is possible. It is again the case if Your society is adaptive enough to receive it.
" .... uncontrolled population, with an urban sprawl epidemic, extremely close living, and finding accommodation would affect the society"
This is another scenario over which I have been thinking. They will affect the society only if the population sprwls uncontrolled, which can be prevented. See the written above.
"the playful insentive to go into war among men would be stronger than ever"
This was one of the possible perspectives, that I was thinking about. This perpective will happen only in cases of overpopulation. I think, that it is not as acceptable as the severe controll of the birth rates perspective. Furthermore overpopulation exist today, and it is due to uncontrollable birth rates, not to longer life.
"If agelessness happened, learning would also be infinite, meaning no cognitive decline. Thus more mistakes could be made."
Do You suggest, that the infinite developing of the science will lead to mistakes, not to progress? This is another topic, and it is influenced and supported from religeous and phylosophy fouls. I personally do not believe, that the progress of science leads to mistakes, not to good things.
"The pursuit of power would be at it's greatest"
After thinking for a long time about that, I got to the conclusion, that the pursuit of power will be equal as the persuit of power, that exist today.
"Suicide rates would rise tremendously, simply because those with severe depression or unwanted conditions would not have the choice simply to fade away and die off."
I hope not to stress You with the fact, that this is true extremely for the existing today mortal societies and is very heavily discussed recently. It is called euthanasia, and in case You haven't heared for it, it is about people with unwanted conditions, who do not want to die from the condition and prefer to suicide with medical help. However, when these unwanted conditions get healed in an immortal society, there are more theoretical bases, that the suicides, because of this reason will become much lower.
Now for the immortality depression induced suicidals. I do not think, that someone, who wants to be immortal will suicide. However, there is a chance I to be wrong. But there is not a concern about that, because, as I wrote above, the births in the immortal society, will be only if the immortal population needs people. When someone suicides, the gap will be filled.