This holiday season you may have heard someone jokingly wishing for world peace for Christmas. If that’s so, they may get their wish if technology achieves some very basic things. In order to understand how world peace could be possible, it might be worth exploring a few of the things that cause conflict and what technologies would effectively eliminate those conflicts. Is it possible new gadgets really could bring about world peace?
First, it seems territory disputes are a major source of conflict between populations. But more important than the space itself, there are major conflicts about the resources in the spaces as well. Veiled threats of war are often only a few steps away from demands to share the wealth of resources a territory has. Of course in the complex geopolitical structure this is only one of the things that can cause a war, but there is a technology that could solve it – although one we have not developed yet. A machine that could rearrange the atomic structure of one material and turn it into something else could turn broken eggshells into gold or soil into food with the push of a button. The most likely way for it to come about? While the Star Trek-like replicators may be far from a reality at the moment, nanotechnology is already experimenting with altering things on very basic levels. Is it possible one day the entire planet could be a paradise where any resource can be pulled from the dust in the air?
Another huge conflict comes about due to ideological differences. Technology in this instance is a bit more complicated and has more opportunity to go bad. If a technology could truly rewrite someone’s mind, then we may have to ask ourselves if it was really worth it to no longer have war. But if it could instead simply educate people of the horrors of war, and provide them knowledge of peace as well as heal old wounds of previous conflicts, we would already be well on our way. Such a machine could come about in the form of an artificial intelligence. While it’s hardly an answer to everything, such a device/creature could certainly be programmed to look at situations without bias and help guide society in a direction of peace and prosperity. Of course that is assuming it didn’t get out of control.
Finally, while space travel would allow people to expand, the creation of inhabitable planets is the only true answer to any eventual overcrowding we may have. In this way we could be sure to create life and prosperity wherever mankind touched down.
But while these technologies could lead to a better way of life, they would also have the potential to be turned into nothing more than machines of war. Perhaps the greatest change that will allow us peace on Earth is a change in philosophy or even just feeling more empathy toward other forms of life. Of course this decision will likely have to be made before or just as new technologies are developed, so it may be necessary to change now.