I’d like to tell you about the main problems of scientific immortalism and why the idea is not accepted. But let me start with the definition. Scientific immortalism is a worldview based on the striving to avoid physical death or, at least, to postpone it to the maximum with the help of the achievements of exact, natural, and technical sciences.
So, the main problems are:
1. Negative attitude to the idea of physical immortality in culture
I believe this happened, because in thinking that radical life extension is not possible people assumed it to be unnecessary and harmful. It is much more convenient to think this way: no possibility – no need.
2. Ignoring the idea of the physical immortality of a person in philosophy
Throughout the history of mankind philosophical thought was occupied by justifyng the existence of death. Seeing no real possibility of physical immortality philosophers needed to explain the inevitability of this bloodcurdling unfairness to all people.
3. Awkwardness and uneasiness of people to openly declare and promote immortality ideas
This one’s clear. No one wants to sound crazy. If one speaks about fighting age-related negative changes in a body – that’s taken all right. But this interpretation does not motivate a lot of people. Everybody agrees that it’s a bad thing to be sick, but they are not ready to make some personal effort in order to accelerate scientific progress.
4. Lack of qualitative materials on immortalism. There are no outstanding bestselling books, no great films, no extremely popular websites.
There are a couple of books, of course, but it’s not enough. The idea has to be available to a much larger group of people.
5. Practical absence of philosophical substantiations of immortalism
6. Marginalization of immortalism
It’s no wonder that people with unstable mentality tend to reach to this idea. They create a negative background for it. But the situation has been changing lately, slowly, but changing.
7. Psychological protection against scary thoughts about aging and death
A person doesn’t think about this problem, so it’s like it doesn’t exist. There’s this phychological construct that protects the person from thoughts about death, about their mortality. Otherwise one would develop manias, phobias and suicidal thoughts.
8. Absence of understanding the “psychological keys”
It is now not obvious what arguments can be used in order to persuade people that they have to make a substantial effort to prolong life. It’s hard to prove to them that the expences are nothing compared to this result. If it doesn’t work – well, we’re going to have what we already have.
9. Negative historical experience
People have always been dying. Everyone is used to it.
10. Domination of current problems over the prospective ones
Today’s problems that require immediate actions take up a lot more space in one’s consciousness than some kind of contemplative fight against aging.
11. Absence of scientific outlook, an overall worldview in the majority of people
People quite often have some kind of mess in their heads that consists of sorcery, astrological forecasts, black cats and the migration of souls. Oh, and even more often there’s simply no worldview – just the routine troubles.
12. Ritual character of the realization of authorities’ power. Constant following of stereotypes
Do the authorities really have a goal of making people happy?
13. An uncontemporary position of scientists. Excessive enthusiasm about regalia, ranks, and other attributes
I sometimes have this impression that most researchers do not care about the discoveries, only about the citation idex and budgets.
14. Egoism of the senior generation. Unwillingness to solve a problem with a product that, in their opinion, they cannot take advantage of. Not always, but it happens quite a lot.
15. People do not understand the stage-by-stage approach of problem
solving. The fears of possible risks hinder people to realize their
personal interest in solving scientific problems.
Why do I all the time hear about overpopulation??? Is an imaginary risk a reason to die?
16. Absence of understanding of the unity of personal interests and the
interests of society.
Substantial life extension is a global problem, solving which requires joining the efforts of the majority of people. In this case the maximal personal gain is possible only when one acts on behalf of society, solving the problem both for everybody and for himself or herself.
17. A lot of false information. Swindlers’ activity
Quite many offer the solution, but such a thing doesn’t exist yet.
18. Antagonism against new ideas due to conservative ways of thinking
20. Low awareness in the population of scientific achievements and of immortality ideas
21. Low levels of humanism, philanthrophy in society
People often wish for somebody else’s death.
22. Low level of communication and cooperation between people sharing the ideas of immortalism
23. Absence of an authoritative leader
24. Absence of generalization and analysys of immortality organisations’ activity
25. Negative, consciousness-absorbing influence of commercial and public brands
26. Unimportance of the «meaning of life» question in the minds of people
27. Practical impossibility of public initiatives’ implementation
28. Lack of public, political debates
29. Greed, egoism
30. Alcoholism as refusal of reality, of the necessity of solving essential problems
31. Personal enthusiasm in one concrete area, unwillingness to be engaged
in anything else, as consequence, absence of open-mindedness
32. Mistrust to idea’s supporters, suspicion of ulterior motives
33. Absence of immortalists in the public “elite”
34. Disillusionment with the possibility of changing anything in a great number of the supporters of immortalism ideas
35. Super complexity of the problem
36. Absence of any action strategy or plan