If I had power without limits
I would make all weapons and other threats, and both human and natural evils disappear.
I would raise back to physical life everyone's loved ones who have passed on.
I would make it so that when a persons' time to go came, they would die natural peaceful deaths and not because of disease or infirmity.
I would raise back to physical life everyone who ever lived on earth, and because there would undoubtedly not be enough room on the earth for them all, I would create other worlds just like earth for them to live on with all their loved ones.
I would not change anything about man and woman kind other than filling all their hearts with nothing but love for one another.
I would make the whole earth and all the other earths I made abundant with food crops.
I would make all pollution go away.
I would heal all amputees and not allow anymore birth defects.
No one would be hungry, or cold, or hot, or alone, or scared.
But this is just a dream.
Live life to the fullest, make the best of every moment. This is the only life we get such as it is. There will be good times and there will be bad times, and I just happened to notice not much of this rhymes.
Reminds me of the SF story "Rumfuddle" by Jack Vance, where portals give instant access to an infinite supply of parallel worlds. Many people choose to live on their own private Earths, and commute through the portals to work or school.
It's also apropos because the character who discovered and controls the portals, Alan Robertson, is exactly the sort of benevolent despot you described earlier, "a person with [a lot of] power who is much more benign than current theist gods."
And as Mark Twain and others have pointed out, your grandpa would be busy trying to find his grandpa, and so on!
OH! My favorite activity, imagining a preferred future and developing plans to make it happen. Here goes:
First of all, the population of the Earth would reduce in numbers. Right now it is 7,215,304,500+ and growing. World population is increasing by 90 million people per year. The world's human population has more than doubled since 1950.
I read somewhere, sorry, I can't remember where, that the preferred population of the world is 2.5 billion people. Now that does present a problem. How are we going to stop growth and implement a reduction to that puny number? Not likely to happen.
Well then, what else to do? Here are some possibilities at the macro level:
1. Educate women; an educated woman with options has a higher probability of having fewer children.
2. Value work and pay living wages. Strengthen labor unions world-wide. Workers can't win by striving alone. It takes numbers to confront vast wealth.
3. Value the role of the family by making work and homelife taken into account.
4. Separate church and state; tax church income; stop privileges to religious; prevent creationism in public schools.
5. Think in the future tense, thinking ahead to the impact on future generations and the Earth when making decision.
6. Hold reporters accountable for truth telling; deliberate lies harm the nation.
What can an individual do?
1. Get rid of all my myths, superstitions, traditions, values, beliefs, attitudes that can't be supported by evidence.
2. Confront and challenge those who would divert me from staying focused. Do this publicly, verbally, in print, and on the internet.
3. Look ahead three generations when making decisions. Will my decisions help or harm future generations or the environment?
4. Build strong family, neighbor, and friends ties. I am strong, and I need others to discuss ideas, explore options, to reach common goals and celebrate the good things, and have support when I need it.
5. Value the gift of life, realizing I have only a very short period of time on this planet and I want it to count for something, if nothing more than to encourage others, enlighten myself, enjoy it all.
Well, that just scratches the surface. I look forward to reading what others have to say.
Some of you are forgetting one fundamental point in your critiques. It's only a fantasy, a dream, of what I would do if I had power without limits. In our imaginations we can do the impossible. A man can dream can't he ?
I would do what you would, with a couple of additions. One is I would heal everyones brain malfunctions that caused them to think illogically.
I would also create eternal life for myself and anyone else that wanted it. Some people think they would get bored with eternal life, but not me.
I can imagine so many new things to learn and experience in this extremely vast universe, as well as so many things that I would enjoy repeating, a great number of times, perhaps even an infinite number of times, that I can't imagine ever being bored.
However, if anyone did get bored, I certainly wouldn't prevent them from checking-out of life.
I also suspect that most people that say they only want to live a certain length of time, would, when that time approached, decide to extend their life, and I suspect they wouldn't get as bored as they think.
I am curious by what you mean when you say "time to go".
Thought of another thing: I would give everyone that wanted them, bodies that could withstand any environment, including the center of the sun. Also, they would have self-contained propulsion system so they could travel anywhere at fantastic speeds. And, if I had power without limits, I could give them warp speeds. Then there is the ability to detect every part of electromagnetic spectrum, as well as extreme hearing abilities.
But I, and probably most people would want to retain all the enjoyable things our present bodies have, like taste, touch, and sex.
By "time to go" I meant the end of the natural life I had given them. But I like your ideas too, maybe even better than my own.
Thanks for the compliment Anthony.