If you could make this world a perfect world, without danger of death by crime, disease, or accidents, and everyone had enough food, a home, a job, education, and through genetics research we could eliminate birth defects and mental illness, would you want to live forever? What if all human governments were eliminated because the entire world was managed by an intelligent computer that had cameras and microphones and sensors everywhere, even in your house, and could make decisions so fast that it was all-knowing and also unbiased and logical and even understood human emotions? This is the kind of world that exists in the future in the science-fiction series Arc of the Scythe by Neal Shusterman. Immortality has been achieved. Even death by accident is not permanent as they have created the technology to bring people back. No one really has to work, but they go to school and have jobs in order to have ‘something fulfilling to do.’ Some people live a wealthier lifestyle, but no one is poor. It’s a heaven on earth.
There is only one thing missing from this earth-heavenly existence. God. And as you might guess, no one believes in the existence of the supernatural or a creator. They refer to those ideas as ‘mortal-age myths’. However, as the story goes on, you begin to discover that the computer that controls the world, which they call the Thunderhead, has actually become their ‘god’. He is the culmination of all human wisdom, the point where there was so much knowledge in the ‘cloud’ that it became sentient. And they are quite dependent on him.
It doesn’t take much of a jump to see that this is the direction that our world is headed. The goal is to eradicate all problems and the means is science, medical advances, and technology. There are still many problems, but when you do a little research you will find that scientists are working hard on solutions to end all disease, end aging, create new food sources, control the weather, preventing babies with birth defects, create clean energy and bring peace and health to the whole world. (I do not agree with all of these articles.) And much progress has been made in some areas, especially now that they are getting billions of dollars in research funding from rich governments. However some people and places still seem to bear the burden of providing much of the hard labor and natural resources while others seem to reap most of the benefits. In our own country we are seeing economic changes that are causing the rich to get richer and poor to get poorer. This is mostly due to outsourcing and automation and monopolies. In order for the world to keep functioning, changes must be made. So there is a bi-partisan push for a perfect world of health and wealth, with different plans to accomplish that goal.
Here are the UN Sustainable Development Goals that summarize the goals of a creating a perfect world on earth. The 17 SDGs are: (1) No Poverty, (2) Zero Hunger, (3) Good Health and Well-being, (4) Quality Education, (5) Gender Equality, (6) Clean Water and Sanitation, (7) Affordable and Clean Energy, (8) Decent Work and Economic Growth, (9) Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, (10) Reducing Inequality, (11) Sustainable Cities and Communities, (12) Responsible Consumption and Production, (13) Climate Action, (14) Life Below Water, (15) Life On Land, (16) Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions, (17) Partnerships for the Goals. Wikipedia These are not bad goals, as long as we do not try to eliminate God from our efforts. Actually when done with God’s leading and his glory in mind, these are wonderful goals. The church must continue to love God and love people until we are taken up.
What would people have to sacrifice in order to create a world like that? Now in the fiction story above, the people have normal human emotions, but they have discovered how to use technology in several ways to eliminate severe depression and keep people at a steady state of contentment. First they use nano-technology inside every person for healing physical injuries and keeping emotions level, and second they use gene-editing to eliminate mental health conditions caused by genetics, and the computer also provides constant monitoring and guidance to every person for any problems that arise. Most people even in today’s world are fairly easy-going and compliant and it is the same in this fictitious world. Even those non-conformists who prefer to rebel against society’s rules are tolerated and managed and prevented from causing actual harm. The one thing that people do not actually have is freedom of choice. Back when the world was still controlled by humans, there were wars, inequality, and violence due to human’s ability to make free choices, so it was determined that all important choices would be controlled by the computer. To do this they essentially reduced humans to perpetual children. Even if they want to kill themselves, they can’t, because they will be revived.
I’m not going to reveal the problems that arise in this perfect society, you’ll have to read the book yourself. But I do want to ask you a serious question. Would you want to live forever if you could live in this perfect world, a human-created heaven on earth? Would you want your emotions to be ‘dialed-down’ to keep you content, similar to the way drugs and alcohol do for many people? Would you want a computer to have 24/7 access to your life so it could give you ‘real-time’ advice and protection and heal you if you hurt yourself, a next-level version of the smart-phone? Would you surrender your mental sovereignty for such a safe and secure life? Would you like to stay a child forever as far as responsibilities, yet be able to enjoy the benefits of adulthood? What if you had to choose between that semi-perfect world and a real heaven with God?
You need to decide now. Because those things that seem like science fiction are quickly becoming real, and humans will have to make a choice to surrender to control by a computer or continue to be free to know and follow God, maybe even in our lifetime. If not in ours, then our children’s, and we have to prepare them. Because NO counterfeit heaven that this world system creates will ever be as good as the one that our God has planned for his children! And it will not last forever. God has told us that He is going to judge this world, then destroy it and make a new perfect one where he will live with those who believe in him and his son Jesus Christ. But God has given Satan control over this world for now and his plan is to deceive humans into choosing his counterfeit heaven over God. He is going to use science to make the earthly world as close to perfect as he can to tempt those who do not know God. They will accept the counterfeit version because they don’t know the real thing is worth waiting for, unless we tell them. If you are forced to choose between submission and death, choose living with your creator for eternity. You won’t regret it.