240 An Introduction to Immortalist Morality Can  it  be  logically  proved  that  life  is  better  than  death? The question is debatable, but such proof is not necessary, provided that virtually all readers can agree that this is a good starting premise. One does not have to agree that in all cir- cumstances life is better than death. Sometimes death may indeed be preferable. All that is being proposed is that in gen- eral, life is better than death. Most sane people could probably intuitively agree with the claim. In fact, the preference for life appears to be a universal throughout human culture. It is near universal for humans to celebrate birth and lament death. Let  us  now  apply  the  idea  that  life  is  generally  better than death to the ethical question of human life extension. Suppose that at some point in the future science finds a way to eradicate aging and disease, so that – barring accidents or violence – a person could live on indefinitely. Let us further suppose that science can not only lengthen life, but also fully reverse any disabilities and symptoms of old age, so that every- one can enjoy the vigor of a healthy 20-year old. Put aside the question of whether or not such a thing is possible for the moment. The question we are asking here is whether or not eternal youth would be ethical. How long would you choose to live, if you had the choice of living in good health for as long as you desired? A variety of possible objections to the offer of eternal youth present themselves. The objections can be divided into two different categories: practical and philosophical. Practical wor- ries might include: the population problem, the problem of scarce resources and environmental pollution, eternal youth that is only available to the wealthy, the accumulation of too much wealth and power by an elite group of immortals. We shall not here examine the myriad of practical problems that radical life extension might cause. It shall simply be noted that the historical record suggests that almost any scientific or technological advance causes new practical problems. (As an