Saturday, July 16, 2005

"Eternal life" as "anti-life"

Over at SOLO there is an article posted by Marcus Bachler titled "Who wants to live forever".

While the article discusses various issues regarding various opinions on the eternal extension of one's life, it misses some of the most important points. To begin with, it the idea that one could live forever, or even to be 500 years old strikes me at odds with reality. People have always been hoping to find some way to achieve "eternal youth". The idea of medical and health science advances that extend life way beyond what we have today seems more wishful thinking.

It is simply not good philosophy to ignore the constraints of the real world. Everyone will die eventually. To pretend otherwise seems, well, silly. Life implies a begining and an end. It is simply the way of things. To rebell against the reality of one's death is to rebell against the nature of life. While this appears incredibly obvious, it is also something that the world of Objectivism never seems to have gotten around to.

I actually consider this to be somewhat of a defect in Objectivistic ideas of psychology and ethics. Everything seems to be about success and robustness. However, it also is true that a natural part of living on this earth is aging, weakening, and death. To ignore these facts, to pretend they aren't there, or to live a crusade agianst their reality is pointless. It is a shame that Objectivism has so little to say about this.

None of this is meant to disparage the longevity activists. I think they should follow their dreams. I don't want to stop technology or discourage it. However, I do think that to imagine that we will never die is tilting against a windmill, and I have to question a philosophical group that seems to be so focused on it.


Post a Comment

<< Home