Utopia, Apocalypse, or Neither?

Caused by either by our own actions or that of a deity, do you envision a utopian future for humanity (immortality, bliss, free access to knowledge, alien contact etc.) or a dystopian/ apocalyptic future (war, killer meteor, plague, big brother, alien invasion, etc.) Or do you think life will never get significantly better or worse; or that things will get significantly better or worse but humanity will take it for granted.

I think our physical lives will continue to become significantly better, but I’m not sure that the overall quality of our lives will improve. Over recent centuries there has been a steady decline in individual ‘happiness’ levels despite our having everything to be happy about (at least compared to the bad old days). Nobody needed to see a shrink back then. Perhaps as we worry less about our immediate survival, we worry more about existential questions, and these are not as readily answered as when to plant the corn for optimum harvest.

So, I think we’ll continue into a post-modern utopia (materially speaking) while we sink into the apocalyptic abyss of spiritual doubt!!!

There’s my two-bob’s worth.

Oh, and a meteor will get us. Sent by the deity to give us something real to worry about.

I envision a future not unlike New Jersey in 1973.

Now, if I can only figure out if this is goog or bad. :confused: :smiley:

I consider myself cautiously optimistic about the future, but I think that most people are closer to your view. To which I can only respond, “Cite, please.” Seriously, what evidence is there that happiness has declinded. Is it true that nobody needed to see a shrink back then, or did they just commit suicide because no shrinks were avaiable. Suicide, depression, alcoholism … these problems didn’t just pop into existence a few years ago.

I think there will be immortality, in that science will figure out how to stop the aging process. Free access to knowledge will happen, after all, it’s starting to happen right now. And no, I don’t see any aliens in the near future.

Sounds goog to me. Lots of early Springsteen!
But seriously - thing will get better, then worse, then better, then worse, then better… just like they always have.

To answer my own question, I think science and technology are going to provide a utopian existence for humanity within the next 75 years. I’m concerned about genetic discrimination, a surveillance society, nuke/chem/bio/nano weapons, rogue A.I’s, and other potential hazards but I’m optimistic that we can face and overcome these challenges. Humanity underwent more change in the past century than all the years that preceded it combined. The pace of scientific and technologic progress is hastening every year; I believe many people alive today will live to see humanity cross a threshold, after which change occurs so rapidly we have no clues as to what life will be like. But like I’m said I’m optimistic, which is why I think the other side will be heaven and not hell.

The groups which first started thinking about this are theExtropians, and the [http://www.aleph.se/Trans/index.html]Transhumanists

Um, maybe I’m being naive, but how does one challenge death? Sooner or later, prolonged for umpteen years, death is the one thing that characterizes life…eventually.

I don’t see how trying to avoid death adds to this conversation.

IMHO, immortality would suck.

kambuckta, if you’re not interested in living forever, no one is going to force you to. But, some of the ideas on the drawing board, are the continual replacement of your organs and cells with fresh exact duplicates, nanobots (autonomous, microscopic robots) which fight pathogens and rebuild aging body parts molecule by molecule, and the of ‘uploading’ a human consciousness into a computer. It’s all frontier science, but actual research is underway in institutions across the globe. I’m not pinning my hopes on immortality, but I wouldn’t mind the opportunity to see, learn, and experience everything the universe has to offer.

Lastly, immortality is relevant to this discussion because virtually all prophetic belief systems discuss it in one way or another. Theists believe that they will achieve immortality through reincarnation or the return of their savior. I however, am an atheist; I believe immortality may be achieved through scientific and technologic means.

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