Essays on Infinite Lifespans
havoc? Clearly this is foolishness. Of course we should use
all available means to better human life. We have been doing
it for ages with fire, farming, steam, electricity, antibiotics,
vaccines, dental prosthesis, organ transplants, etc.; and we
should not stop now. If modern science and technology can
safely improve the human condition by overcoming natural
limits, including aging and death, then they should be used
to this end. Determining whether something is good or bad
simply by asking whether or not it is natural does not follow
All this is not to say that we should ignore the moral and ethi-
cal challenges that confront us. Questions of safety, propriety,
individual choice, and societal responsibility must not be dis-
missed, but must be considered gravely and at length. Issues
of overpopulation, reproductive rights, resource distribution,
and environmental impact must be addressed forthrightly.
This can only be done, however, in an atmosphere of open-
ness and progressive thinking.
EMANCIPATION FROM DEATH
For those who still believe that opposing death is some-
how wrong or unnatural, please remember that opposition to
human slavery was also once considered crazy and dangerous.
Arthur C. Clarke has written:
Every revolutionary idea evokes three stages of reactions:
At first people say, Its completely impossible. Then
they say, Maybe its possible to do it, but it would cost
too much. Finally they say, I always thought it was a
good idea.