Essays on Infinite Lifespans
ogy studies the ways in which human actions may be driven
by biological urgings that evolved because they provided
an evolutionary advantage. For instance, our emotions and
our thoughts indirectly aid our survival prospects. Emotions
enable us to empathize with others, helping us to better co-
operate with people. Social skills provide a clear survival
advantage. Rational thinking is a survival tool, because we can
use abstract thinking to understand and predict how the world
works. Life affirming things can even include art and philo-
sophical systems of thoughts. We have come to value these
for their own sake, but they arose by chance and remained
because they provided an evolutionary advantage for humans.
Of course it was genes that evolution was selecting for, not
the extension of individual lives. But survival needs did tend
to correlate with reproductive fitness. So making the survival
goal primary does not necessarily conflict with the many
other things we come to value. Immortalist morality conjec-
tures that everything worthy of value stems from the quest for
The most common philosophical objection to radical life
extension is that really long life would simply get too boring.
Perhaps we will simply run out of interesting things to do?
Would we end up in a static world where there is nothing new
under the sun? But the opposite is argued here. If everything
worthy of value comes from the quest for immortality, then a
long life should actually be more interesting and meaningful.
How could this be?
The first point to note is that once technology becomes
advanced enough to radically extend human lifespan, it
is likely that technology will also be advanced enough to