On the most recent episode of the Hardcore History podcast, host Dan Carlin details the gruesome punishments Persian king Darius I allegedly dealt to a captured city:
Darius I: “I cut off [the rebel king’s] nose, ears, and tongue, and I put out one of his eyes…after that I impaled him…I hanged the men who were his foremost followers. I executed his nobles, a total of forty-seven. I hung there heads…inside the battlements of the fortress.”
In his Carlin-esque way, he adds a final musing to the anecdote: the people who committed what we’d describe as atrocities are no different than you or I; were we to take a newborn baby from today, put them in a time machine, sent them to 550 BC, and checked back on them in 530 BC, that young adult would give a full-throated defense of mass killing of defeated cities.
When people insist they want to live for 1000 years, or perhaps spend eternity ageless, many thinkers frame this as a fear of death, an irrational and selfish thrash against the natural order.
But perhaps a more humane reason to wish for another 1000 years is to live to see humanity, in fits and starts, crawl towards its better self.