We might all aspire for humanity to live long and prosper, because as a species we are not limited by death in quite so crisp a way as individuals tend to be. As individuals after we have survived birth and our infancy we have a reasonable chance of living to old age, and I have personally known a few people who have reached one hundred years. However, at that age those individuals were clearly old physically. A species such as humans might live for millions of years, and the individuals nearing that terminal point for the species might be perfectly healthy to the end of their natural lives. The ending factor for a species is that the environment has changed and is changing more rapidly than the individuals can evolve to adapt to it; that probably happens because they get too localized to some detail about their environment and that mode of living shrivels away too quickly. That probably won’t happen to human beings because we, being intelligent, highly social, and mobile, will figure out ways to survive, at least in smaller numbers than presently inhabit our planet.
So, making the grand assumption that people will survive for a million years, what should we presently living people aspire to for the people to come? It is important that we ask this question now because we are obviously in a period of profound technological and social flux, and what we do now will have long-term consequences. We may not be able to project in our minds what the people of the distant future will be like and what their needs will be, because CRISPR technology and goal-driven testing as the evolutionary pressure will have a great effect on what we humans will choose to evolve to and become.
Even with those unknowables we can safely assume that our distant progeny will want to live and to make up their own minds as to what they should do with their time and energy. That comes back to my present guiding life principle – Live and participate. It is obvious that there is no reason for a human, or any other living thing, to live if they are prevented from participating in their environment. If they are not participating they are not really alive, just existing in physical reality, and so if they are alive they must participate in the struggle for existence. Thus, from that tautological idea comes the prime directive, even for living human-derived life forms of a million years in the future. Live and participate!
With those thoughts in consideration it becomes clear that we must do what we can to assure that life is not eliminated from our planet. Our concerns should be focused on CRISPR life forms, advanced computer life forms, and of course major wars of extermination. Therefore we should place considerable attention to solving our social problems and seek to bring humans to a level of maturity where social problems can be solved by all people in benign ways. That may seem impossible, and yet the number of people currently being killed in wars is one one-hundredth the average of the last century. Thus, clearly there are forces in play in the present moment that make the aspiration for very long-term peace a possibility for humans, even for a million years.
Live and participate.