Quality of intellectual and emotional life

by April from Ohio on June 11, 2010 · 2 comments

in Online submissions

Who’s to say that advances in gerontology would inspire people to take better care of themselves, and thus reach a more enjoyable old age? We’ve already done amazing things to prolong life. And yet, are we really any better to ourselves? I look at supermarket shelves, rates of smoking & alcoholism, the never-ending race we run as capitalists…. and I think, not so much.

I’m just as concerned about how science will preserve our brains as our bodies. For the sake of argument, I think the edge can be pushed pretty far. Assuming quality of intellectual and emotional life can follow the same curve as physical life, I see no reason why we couldn’t hang around on the planet for 100, 200 years, maybe more. I’d like to think humanity might get a little smarter about its politics if this were the case.

Columbus, Ohio

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Reluctant Cynic June 11, 2010 at 5:16 pm

“I’d like to think humanity might get a little smarter about its politics if this were the case.”

Somehow I doubt this would be true though I’d like to think the same. Seems like another opportunity for the rich and powerful to hoard money and power. How could it not do that? Is everlasting life going to be free? Will the shanty towns of Brazil be teeming with 500 year-old beggars? Don’t think so.

Sam June 11, 2010 at 9:31 am

hard to say whether people would take better care of themselves. at first glance, it seems insane to risk dying 100 or 200 years prematurely because you choose to smoke or drink excessively (or eat poorly or just generally don’t take care of yourself). but plenty of people risk longevity for short-term pleasure now, with “only” a 60- or 70- or 80-year life span ahead of them. either way, you only live once.

one might argue that it makes sense to take *more* caution with a *shorter* life span. maybe years get less valuable when you have more of them to spend.

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