Ask Ray | Will future people lose sight of their humanity?
November 30, 2011 by Ray Kurzweil
Have you seen this Twilight Zone episode, “A Nice Place to Visit?” I think it is a good illustration of the likely consequences of our future.
I’m eager for my 12-year-old son to watch Transcendent Man with me. I think it’s important for him to understand the implications of free will.
Thanks. Yes, I’m very familiar with that episode of Twilight Zone. Rest assured that is not where we are headed. Remember technology is a double-edged sword and will remain so. We will continue to have challenges. We are doubling human knowledge every 13 months or so and that is a challenge.
What did you perceive as the message of that episode? I interpreted it as an illustration of the living hell that is created when man succeeds in finding a way to get everything he wants, including knowledge of everything. What if the result of this double-edged sword is the cutting of our own throats?
In our relentless quest to outsmart, manipulate, and exploit nature we may very well destroy the magical, ethereal, unnamable energy that allows humans to deeply feel and be emotionally vulnerable. Life is more than atoms, electrons, and chemical reactions.
Death is more than losing everything you love. It is the experience of deep visceral knowledge of love. Personally, I don’t believe death is the loss of everything you love. I believe our spiritual energy of love is everlasting and this energy is indestructible.
So, as I continue to correspond with you, I recognize that my fear of a future where humans lose complete sight of what it means to be human is not necessary. It is simply the final phase of the awakening that we are spiritual beings trapped in a human body.
We will never know “everything” and meet all of our desires, because our knowledge (and therefore our desires) expands exponentially and always stays ahead of our capabilities.