Essays on Infinite Lifespans   Russell Blackford 265 PROJECTS, RELATIONSHIPS, COMMITMENTS A better reply to Lucretrius than that given by Nagel or Kaufman is the following, based broadly upon the views of Williams  (p85–87)  and  (particularly)  Martha  Nussbaum (318–320), [1;6] even though neither would actually favor human immortality. The gist of the reply is this: Once we are born and begin to become part of a society, we soon have good reasons for preferring to stay alive, reasons that are forward- looking, so there is no symmetry with our the past before we were conceived or born. I might, for example, wish to complete a novel or a work of philosophy that I am writing. I might be obsessed with the fluctuating fortunes of a favorite athlete or sports team. I might be involved in an interesting and charming flirtation, or perhaps an ever-deepening love affair, and there might be various  people  who  are  dependent  on  me,  emotionally  or financially. In short, I might have a multitude of projects (some deeply serious, some less so), relationships (likewise), commitments, and interests that I can imagine extending and changing into the indefinite future. All of these are attachments to life, and almost  everybody  forms  them.  Even  Epicurus  died  with  a request to a friend to “take care of the children of Metrodorus!” (p151)  [2]  He  was  not  entirely  indifferent  to  what  would happen after his death. Indeed, none of us could be indiffer- ent to our own prospective deaths, what might follow them, and what they would prevent, while simultaneously retaining such attachments. Nor would we be better off without such attachments to life. Lucretius is doubtless correct that foolish obsessions can distort our lives and lead to unhappiness (p151–153). [4] Yet, our forward-looking projects, relationships and commitments are an important part of what is valuable in our experience.