My growing older happens to be accompanied by a number of global issues that I find personally depressing, like global warming, excessive human population turning our planet into a garbage dump, and the rebirth of extremism in religion/Middle East fighting. The fighting stupidity has gone on in one form or another for literally thousands of years, because no one wipes out the stupidity of the warring religions that are simply used as an excuse to kill each other, or starve each other to extinction, fighting over lands that today aren't worth two cents beyond oil reserves.
The damned lands can't even support the expanded populations agriculturally or on any other basis than income from oil. And now the hatefulness and killing are exported to other countries and continents. After all, we infidels need to be dead, don't we? Or perhaps we only need to be slaves to financial institutions, businesses and governments in the USA, China and Europe. And, by the way, oil must become irrelevant to our production of energy, ditto coal, and very soon, so the whole Middle East problem is not where we should be focusing our attention at all.
Overall I am really unhappy to see what I define as a severe decline of civilization within my lifetime. It wasn't supposed to happen that way. I was taught that we all work hard to make life better for everyone willing to contribute to our sustenance, extension of our knowledge and our advancement as a civilization. What I see is promotion of the physical wellbeing of non-contributors at the expense of those who do work, and extreme migration of wealth to only the few. That is progress? I think not. I see no critically needed wisdom from people in power.
Yes, I am pleased with our growth of scientific knowledge and subsequent application, but utterly depressed to see a ruling class, an oligarchy, that is every bit as self serving and stupid as in all previous cultures known to man. There is essentially no wisdom or even broadly defined direction shown in planning the future of humanity. We are in fact regressing very badly socially and environmentally at the same time we are advancing scientifically. It makes no sense whatever, and can be explained only in terms of the immaturity of what we mistakenly call leaders in business and government.
Thus, as I approach my eventual demise, I am on one hand glad to leave this garbage behind, but aghast at what the implications are for my children and grandchildren. What, pray tell, is available to them as a fundamental reason, a foundation value system, for developing humanity? Why should they attach to any societal group to promote the interests of that group? Does any group exist that is worth working for diligently outside of the physical sciences?
The world that my progeny have inherited is terrible compared to the world in which I became an adult. It is spinning out of control. And it has all happened so fast ... starting slowly less than 200 years ago with the Industrial Revolution, and now we have this major societal and environmental decline, at the end of 6000 years of recorded history. We appear to have learned little of value socially in the past 200 years, else we would not be facing so much violence in our cities, combined with massive lying by government about "declining" crime rates.
Okay, let me be selfish. If I'm going to consider my thoughts from earlier paragraphs then I might also want to consider how I would feel at my age if the situations I described were replaced with all positive growth for humanity. How would I feel today if I found myself aging ... heading towards death not all that far off ... at the same time human advancements were leading us towards exceptional intelligence across humanity and then immortality? I think you know the answer ... I would feel absolutely terrible to miss the great opportunities to become super intelligent and immortal, which in combination would open all doors to an exciting future, for those motivated to participate.
But we aren't there yet. As of now it is a dream that might one day come true, and not by virtue of any of the beliefs of the various religions. Their afterlife scenarios, however ridiculous, are the one thing that keeps common people from outright destroying each other and their surroundings. Or does it? But wait ... We are destroying our surroundings ... And it is the combination of stupid greed in business and stupid excess reproduction on the part of ignorant people that in combination are the essential reason for this problem, uh, aided of course by truly dumb socialists in government.
A few years ago I wrote an article titled, The Great Leveler, and I was, of course, talking about death. The real point was that everyone, regardless of goodness or badness, becomes nothing. Zip! Zero! There isn't anything to look forward to following death. It is the end of time for the sentient being. It is eternal. In fact, it is the dumbest bullshit that anyone can identify, uh, other than the failure of more capable people to recognize that we are responsible to create eternal life, not accept eternal death. There is no pie in the sky magician ready to give us that as a gift for being good, whatever that means. There is a total responsibility on us to end death so the stupidity of losing all opportunity to experience our whole universe stops.
How many billions have died so far? How many more billions will die before we finally grasp the simple fact that we have to bootstrap ourselves to make immortality happen for humans, not beg for magic.
I am totally uninterested in hearing any whining about potential problems resulting from immortality created by man. Understand that whatever any of our civilizations have ever done that it all changes, totally. The old values and rules and social structures cease to have any meaning whatever. It all has to be recreated from scratch. The reward is so obvious that all efforts to achieve first extreme intelligence and then immortality, via science, should be honored and promoted as our highest goals. It is time to stop wasting our world and time to stop creating and then having to deal with truly stupid problems like excess population and the resulting issues like global warming and violence. It is time to grow up!
Meanwhile, I am facing eternal nothingness. The only comfort I have is in knowing that I will not be aware of my ceasing to exist. That is a very small comfort. Then, there is the sadness I have already experienced, of losing loved ones and many dear friends ... People who in part defined my life, in some cases like my deceased wife, Marie, a most major part of my life and all that I did and why I did it. But I too will merely go into nothingness as those people have before me. And yes, it has seemed like such a terrible waste of goodness to simply see all of them die and literally disappear forever. Before long I will become just another name on that list.
Thus, I wonder if humanity will ever grow up to achieve immortality or will we destroy our planet first? One thing is certain ... We cannot continue to operate the world in the manner we are doing today. We are self destructing and thus commiting everyone to eternal nothingness. We are creating the end of time instead of eternal life!
Is that what you want? Can you imagine any God who would treat that result as sensible? You best start thinking large instead of tiny. Help our leaders redirect their infantile goals.