Is Immortality Bad?


Want to live forever? OK, if that's not possible, how about twice as long as you would "naturally"? Let's say that researchers develop a pill that enables you to retain your youthful vigor until you're 140 years old. Sounds good, right? Not so fast, say some bioethicists, who warn that you will have to work longer if you live longer. To which I respond–here's the deal–you can have your social security at age 67 or you can live and work another 70 years–which do you pick?

In this LiveScience article, "Toward Immortality: The Social Burden of Longer Lives," some bioethicists also fret over:

(1) Marriage–would people want to stay married for 100 years? If not, they can get divorced just like they do today.
(2) Progeny–what would happen if people had children born decades apart? Nothing much.
(3) Job mobility–what if greedy geezers refused to let young turks get promoted? The young turks won't wait for the oldsters to die–they'll go out and found their own companies, schools and so forth and outcompete the stodgy geezers just like Bill Gates and Michael Dell did. It's not like the economy is a zero sum game with only so many jobs.

Even the anti-immortality President's Council on Bioethics acknowledged: "It seems increasingly likely… that something like age-retardation is in fact possible." I say let's get on with it and talk about the "social problems" that longer healthier lives cause when I'm 150.

Commercial break: If you're interested in my further musings on immmortality, stem cells and designer babies, you could always buy my book, Liberation Biology.