Universe's resources

The universe's resources (sometimes called the cosmic endowment) is the stock of physical resources in the universe currently accessible to humanity.

If humanity does not go prematurely extinct, the number of people—or moral patients generally—who will ultimately exist is potentially astronomical. These figures are useful for judging the value of work aimed at influencing the long-term future, and in particular for estimating the importance of avoiding existential risks.

Nick Bostrom argues that, barring disaster, Earth will be capable of sustaining life for approximately another billion years (Bostrom 2012). This means that if Earth’s population were to remain fairly close to what is today, then, assuming hundred-year life-spans, the planet would ultimately host about 1016 people....

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