X-Message-Number: 5281
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 23:57:19 -0500
From: "Keith F. Lynch" <>
Subject: Re: Effects of immortality, effects of the "singularity"

In #5266  (Thomas Donaldson) writes:
> If we are all of the same physical and mental condition, for instance,
> it will no longer be the case that only young men are sent to war ...

That doesn't necessarily follow.  So long as people over the draft age
will outvote people eligible for the draft, which should always remain
true, especially with enhanced longevity, the situation could remain
stable indefinitely.

Excuses might include the currently-popular idea that every young person
should have to sacrifice, to "give back something to the community",
to "learn discipline", to "earn their citizenship".  And the idea that
young people are more disposable because they typically have fewer
attachments -- they are less likely to be married, to have children
dependent upon them, to be CEOs of major corporations, etc.  Their
main attachment would probably be with their parents.

Remember what Pericles told the parents of the dead soldiers:  If you
are young, you can have more kids.  If you are old, you won't have to
suffer for many more years.  His words are less true today, since people
typically live for many decades after child-bearing years are over.
But they will be accurate again in the future, when the potential to
bear children will never be lost.

As for whether a new child can really replace a dead one...  Well...
Probably not to the parents, and certainly not to the dead child in
question.  But that never stopped politicians before.
Keith Lynch, 

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