If it became possible to live forever...then what?

Well, maybe "live indefinitely" would be more accurate. The universe won't last forever, apparently. People could still die accidental deaths or could commit suicide. However, suppose people started taking a drug that locked them in at whatever age they are.

Obviously, we'd need some new rules because otherwise there'd be problems. Overpopulation is the first one that comes to mind.

What problems do you foresee and what new rule(s) would be required to deal with them?

Population for starters. How would we manage new births?

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Unseen, did you see the trailer for the Age of Adeline? Lol

Yes, I have seen that preview. I plan on seeing the movie. It looks very good.

Yah me too...your post made me wonder if that was where you got the idea for this post....it looks like a tear jerker movie that's for sure!

The Un one, there is a book by Kurt 2BRO2B where he has this hypothetical world. No one dies except through suicide or accidents. The population of the world is set at a cap. If you desire to have a child, you donate someone to die. Maybe that would deal with the problem of over population.

There will still be a struggle for resources, unless we also find a way to live harmoniously. 

That's what I meant about new rules for living in a world where death is rare and/or optional. I was mystified by the title at first, but then quickly realized it's "To Be Or Ought (zero) To Be."

Another book, a chestnut, used in many schools, is set in the rural past, is Tuck Everlasting, about a family of people who never die.

Also, a sub-theme of the silly British Doctor Who series is the tragedy, for him, of forming close relationships with people whom he will inevitably outlive.

Well if people were able to live for hundreds of years, starting from now, then it becomes much more likely for them to witness space travel. Given that they not only live for centuries but indefinitely, they'd probably opt to send their progeny (whatever that is in this context) to other worlds. The moon, Mars, and spiral out and far beyond. 

Next thing I'd like to see happen in a world like that is integration with technology. If you're gonna live indefinitely, why not tinker with your body a little bit while you're at it? People could also fiddle with their own genes. Raising the mutation rate with each successive generation (again, in context). Speciation, intentionally on the part of the member, is mind boggling. Imagine what it would be like to not only change yourself so much it becomes harder with time to relate to your former self, you can produce offspring that will be even more bizarre in just about everything. And also don't forget the sex. 

How would we manage new births?

I'm guessing it may need to be stricter than one birth per family. Maybe forced (reversible) sterilization and then governing bodies could hand out "you may now have a child" certificates as needed.

A possibly more important question is this: evolution will effectively stop for us yet evolution of our natural predators, bacteria and viruses for example, will continue. How long do we have until evolution of micro organisms takes us all out. Or are we assuming immunity from sickness?

A possibly more important question is this: evolution will effectively stop for us yet evolution of our natural predators, bacteria and viruses for example, will continue.

I'm not sure that no longer aging means that our immune systems can't adapt. In fact, that may be part of living indefinitely: having ironclad immune systems.

Zero population growth would be pretty much mandatory and probably require reversible sterilization. If the reversible sterilization was not possible then a strict limit of one offspring per person with mandatory (nonreversible) sterilization after that. Which would mean finding the father of a child no matter what.

Living indefinitely doesn't change human behavior to being peaceful. A logical law is mandatory death penalty if you are the aggressor and kill someone else. Drive drunk and kill someone - death penalty. Get high and kill someone, the same. Even killing someone in self-defense would need to be thoroughly examined to verify the "defender" didn't push the "aggressor" into the act. But any investigation must be utterly thorough running down every lead. No question could remain unanswered. One year maximum for appeals then death (in part because there should be no grounds for an appeal) unless the initial ruling was nullified because another more likely suspect was found.

But this assumes the living indefinitely treatment was cheap enough to distribute world-wide to everyone. If it isn't then it would likely be kept secret or large scale violence would likely happen. Unfortunately it would probably mainly be available to the wealthy if kept secret rather than the people who would be most likely to improve society (rather than suck it dry and leave it dying as long-lived wealthy people would). So you'd end up with a world where the people who should not have gotten the treatment are the only ones who did.


Before distribution of the cheap treatment, I think we'd need to fix most of the world's problems re food, clean water, living conditions, cheap power, pollution, etc. Otherwise the boon becomes a bane and the world descends into chaos.

It's a cool idea but our world is not ready for it.

Zero population growth would be pretty much mandatory

And how could that be brought about and enforced? The UN?


Exactly; this is a cool idea but fraught with many problems for implementation.

Another problem with some of what I mentioned is that different countries have different laws regarding homicide but I proposed that we would enforce a single uniform set of laws for homicide. That isn't going to happen just because we start distributing a cheap treatment.

Many things in the world need to change before we can hope to utilize such a treatment without it destroying us.

The same pill that allows life forever makes everyone sterile.


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