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Radical Life Extension Is Unethical And Unrealistic

1059 words - 5 pages

The idea of extending life challenges the circle of life: we come into this world, we live, and we leave. It is not right for people to go against that law and it is completely unethical. Radical life extension poses many threats to our society and would disrupt our way of life.
This idea has many disadvantages, especially to low income classes. This practice would emphasize the problems we already have with health care and treatments that prolong life and would set the gap between economic classes even more than it is today (Andersen). Sooner or later life extension will only be available to the upper class and all of the lower class will continue dying at, what is now, a normal age.
Radical life extension also diminishes the worth of life.
Dvorsky quotes Mckibben when he says that life would be meaningless without death and that the human race would lose the sense of sacrifice. The shortness of our life is what motivates us to accomplish all that we can with the time that we are given. He even goes on to say that it would take the honor out of life. There would be no reason to fight for your own country or lay down your life for someone, because who wants to shorten this newfound longevity of life? Without the knowing that death is not too far off, society will become relaxed and ungrateful for the life that they have been given.
We would start to become bored with our lives because eventually days would become routines and life would ultimately become boring as opposed to life how we know it now, knowing that we have a time limit to accomplish the things that we want to.
When speaking of this practice some people use the word “posthuman.” They say that radical life expansion decreases the worth of life and that eventually the human race would be wiped out, leaving only “posthuman” beings (Agar). Radical life expansion opens the door for people like you and I to lose ourselves, becoming things we initially did not set out to be. There are many psychological issues that tie into this species. Certain scientists have said that the “posthuman” self would be so detached from the younger self that it would regret the decision it had made for itself many years ago. Others say that there must be a time to realize and accept that we are going to die and by having this practice we are only teasing our minds (Andersen). By using this practice we are hurting our own selves and making decisions selfishly when our future bodies will not agree with our initial decision.
Another problem we face is that the majority of the population will be of elder, unable to work people. Charles Blow compares this idea to the problem Detroit is having right now with pensions. He argues that pension liabilities will rise if this practice goes into place (Blow). How is America, or even the world helping themselves if they are increasing the number of people in nursing homes and not increasing the number of working people, or people who could actually be discovering...

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