Ethics, Sociology and Philosophy
the extropian transhumanist movement, Max More, argues
that Superlongevity without Overpopulation is entirely
Another instinctive objection to the scientific conquest of
death is to claim that dying is, after all, natural. Businessman
and activist Mike Treder takes issue with the contention that
this is Upsetting the Natural Order. He sees death as an
evil to be eradicated, and the desire for immortality to be far
from unnatural as do many of our scientific contributors.
Eric S. Rabkin, Professor of English Language, examines
the way in which the human struggle for immortality has
been represented in literature. In a thorough and insight-
ful investigation he comes to conclude that the desire for
immortality is The Self-defeating Fantasy. Opposing the
preceding author, who advocates the expansion of conscious-
Who would choose such a neutered eternity?
We can see that there is another dimension in the discussion
of life span: identity and its conception. Dr. Manfred Clynes
leads us in a challenging discussion on Timeconciousness in
Very Long Life. If the time we experience is more important
than the length of time we live, how would it alter our iden-
tity if we were conscious of time in a different way?
After such abstract excursions, some readers will no doubt
be pleased to come upon an essay by a true identity who is
by no means neutered: Shannon Vyff, mother of three, is
a real life immortality advocate who practices caloric restric-
tion, is signed up for cryonic suspension and lobbies for life
extension research in her spare time. In her Confessions
of a Proselytizing Immortalist she shares her own story,
thoughts and experiences.
But should someone like Shannon really call herself an
Immortalist? Ben Best, President of the Cryonics Institute,
himself a firm advocate for conquering death, feels there are