End of the end? Dead humans can be turned into diamonds
If the Prince of Darkness could have turned corpses into diamonds, he'd have done so, and opened a jewellery store. Now, the technology is there. Euthanasia? Disease? Abortion? Genocide? War? The implications are difficult to deal with as this report suggests
Scientists already knew this, but most people hadn't a clue. Now we do. It's possible to turn a human corpse into a diamond by high-tech engineering whose physics is actually rather simple.
A story has just broken along such lines from the Italian newspaper Corriere del Veneto, which reported that the 55 year old father of his son killed in a traffic accident had, in discussion with the funeral parlour, come across a Swiss firm that performed the transformation and has now delivered to him the diamond that used to be his son.
The usual cost charged by the firm, whose Italian branch is called Algordanza, is between $4,800 and $17,800 depending on how large and what shape the finished product is desired to be.
The son had been buried months ago, the report continued, and the rotted remains were exhumed and cremated. This was a vital part of the transformation process.
"'Remembrance diamonds' are created by filtering and refining the carbon found in cremated ashes, then secured in a chamber, where intense pressure and a temperature similar to that of a volcano are applied, creating a synthetic diamond," an Italian English-speaking newspaper reported on the basis of Corriere del Veneto's original article.
One might say, fair enough; or rather one might not, depending on one's point of view. What about abortion in countries such as Russia where termination has long been used as a form of contraception? Piles of foetuses turned into diamonds? And what about pulling the plug on patients in comas? Or new incentives for relatives to encourage euthanasia?
What if there's an outbreak of plague; or psychopathic warlords see financial value in what they can get out of their victims?
Several religious figures and ethical philosophers contacted by The Commentator asked precisely such questions.
For many, it is almost distasteful to think about this, but economists also said one needed to know whether the value of the diamonds created by corpses outweighed the technological cost of transforming them. Are there economies of scale?" one banking analyst, who did not wish to be named, asked.
The mining company De Beers came up with the advertising slogan "A Diamonds is Forever" in 1948. But people do not last forever in physical form, and much debate is likely to ensue now that the two propositions can apparently be reconciled.
James Halling is a feelance writer and analyst. He uses a pen name when writing in public to protect his family identity. To read other such items in news and comment form look over The Commentator's website by clicking here
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