My eldest son and I were making the daily commute to school this past week, and we ended up on the discussion of extending human life to hundreds of years. He’d overheard a news article about slowing down the aging process, which got him thinking. Naturally, I’m somewhat against extending human aging. I think if we don’t die out in a reasonable time frame, society will stagnate. The younger generations keep human society always moving forward to bigger and better advancements.

I was explaining this to my son, and he almost immediately realized another downside to extending one’s life span. What would be the cut off? And how would that be decided? Further than all that, I pointed out not only how would a limit to age be set, but is it really a good thing to live two hundred years? Does a longer life span mean one will find success and wealth? Or just an extra one hundred and fifty years of working in a gas station instead of forty? The realization that an individual with an extended life time could possibly spend three times longer in a dead-end job was staggering to my son. But I wasn’t done with that thought.death-panelSurely, gaining an extra hundred years would mean that eventually, humans would be forced to re prioritize their life goals simply because they possess more time to work on them. Would we humans then take more time for education? Or would many of us continue to follow our instincts of creating families and working our extra time away? And we never jumped into how much more social program would be needed. Instead we moved on to other good subject matter involving PS4s and Steam games. After I dropped him off to his school, I went back to the social risks involved with the extension of human life. For a brief few seconds I found myself justifying selective extension if the individual was an asset to society. I’d fallen into the murky pit of eugenics.

For those who aren’t familiar, eugenics is often defined as a controlled and purposeful evolution of human races by controlled breeding practices. In today’s day and age, this is being considered (and experimented upon) on the genetic level. World War II saw the horrors of eugenics gone wrong after hoping for a more perfect German race.More...

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Comment by Bluegrass Skeptic on May 19, 2015 at 5:02pm

Yes, extending life seems a rather premature avarice in science, imo. But what about the spiritual side of things that are being practiced in churches today in order to try and keep their doctrine pure?

Comment by jay H on May 17, 2015 at 6:16am

Throughout human history, the vast majority of us struggled with "dead end jobs" until we were too old. The much romanticized 'traditional farm' of say, the 18th century, consisted of back breaking work, and a bad harvest left you without much food for an entire winter (not that you had a rich variety over winter even with a good year). Without medical care, you were probably dead by 50. By comparison, a gas station is pretty cushy.

Like all animals, we need to constantly struggle to survive. But if our health holds out we keep on plugging away, that's how life is. Human life span has increased enormously over the past century, and we've managed to fill it up.(I doubt,however, that the big longevity ideas will really change things that much).

Comment by Gerald Payne on May 15, 2015 at 8:06pm

I agree with that Michael although I wonder if i'll be so convinced on my deathbed!

Comment by Michael Penn on May 15, 2015 at 7:52pm

In my lifetime I've seen men working and this was the only income for a household. Everyone got along fine.

Then women wanted to work and fought for that right. The powers that be made some adjustments and today it takes man and woman working to support the household.

If our lifespan increases and we live for 200 years, look for all this to simply continue. The powers that be will milk you dry. It is nothing to do with living longer. It's all about money..

I used to read that in the future we will all work less, and they told you why this would be so. It's a myth. I'm retired and was working 2 days a week. Just recently they decided to start working me 4 days a week. My idiot friend thinks this is wonderful and soon they can put me on full time.

It's no secret that we are exploited. 100 years is enough. We do not need to live longer.

Comment by Gerald Payne on May 15, 2015 at 5:38pm

I've just read an article on the 'many Worlds theory' of quantum mechanics, and the 'many interacting worlds theory'. If you could suspend belief these theories would solve your philosophical dilemma.

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