Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant
Allegorical story that uses a dragon-tyrant as a stand in for death, to explore the implications of life extension/immortality technology. The author invents a world ruled by a dragon-tyrant, where the citizens of the world must send regular human sacrifice to the dragon every year. The citizens pick the oldest people among them to die, and establish a bureaucracy around the dragon. At the end of the story, they figure out how to kill the dragon.
Some points/arguments made by the story:
- If we have the technology to prevent death and/or slow/reverse aging, we should aggressively and pursue that. The author attaches a moral imperative to this. In the story, the king is blamed for not stopping the last few trains out the station before they kill the dragon.
- The author argues that once it's possible to prevent death (ie. achieve immortality), spiritual and religious beliefs around death should be discarded
- The author argues that if life extension technology is possible, it should take higher priority than other research that only makes incremental improvements