Life Extensionists - Ethics and Politics of Life Extension

Ethics and Politics of Life Extension

Though many of scientists state that life extension and radical life extension are possible, there are still no an international or national programs focused on radical life extension. There are political forces staying for and against life extension. In 2012 in Russia, and then in USA, Israel and Netherlands the Longevity political parties started. They aimed to provide political support to radical life extension research and technologies and ensure fastest possible and at the same time soft transition society to the next step - life without aging and with radical life extension and provide such the access to such technologies to the most of the currently living people.

Leon Kass (chairman of the US President's Council on Bioethics from 2001 to 2005) has questioned whether potential exacerbation of overpopulation problems would make life extension unethical. He states his opposition to life extension with the words:

"simply to covet a prolonged life span for ourselves is both a sign and a cause of our failure to open ourselves to procreation and to any higher purpose ... desire to prolong youthfulness is not only a childish desire to eat one's life and keep it; it is also an expression of a childish and narcissistic wish incompatible with devotion to posterity."

John Harris, former editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Ethics, argues that as long as life is worth living, according to the person himself, we have a powerful moral imperative to save the life and thus to develop and offer life extension therapies to those who want them.

Transhumanist philosopher Nick Bostrom has argued that any technological advances in life extension must be equitably distributed and not restricted to a privileged few. In an extended metaphor entitled "The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant", Bostrom envisions death as a monstrous dragon who demands human sacrifices. In the fable, after a lengthy debate between those who believe the dragon is a fact of life and those who believe the dragon can and should be destroyed, the dragon is finally killed. Bostrom argues that political inaction allowed many preventable human deaths to occur.

Read more about this topic:  Life Extensionists

Famous quotes containing the words ethics and, extension, life, ethics and/or politics:

    In history the great moment is, when the savage is just ceasing to be a savage, with all his hairy Pelasgic strength directed on his opening sense of beauty;—and you have Pericles and Phidias,—and not yet passed over into the Corinthian civility. Everything good in nature and in the world is in that moment of transition, when the swarthy juices still flow plentifully from nature, but their astrigency or acridity is got out by ethics and humanity.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    A dense undergrowth of extension cords sustains my upper world of lights, music, and machines of comfort.
    Mason Cooley (b. 1927)

    Some things in life are bad
    They can really make you mad
    Other things just make you swear and curse
    When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
    Don’t grumble, give a whistle
    And this’ll help turn things out for the best ...
    And ... always look on the bright side of life.
    —Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Mr. Frisbee III (Eric Idle)

    The most powerful lessons about ethics and morality do not come from school discussions or classes in character building. They come from family life where people treat one another with respect, consideration, and love.
    Neil Kurshan (20th century)

    I am in politics because of the conflict between good and evil, and I believe that in the end good will triumph.
    Margaret Thatcher (b. 1925)