Recycled Nonsense

What motivates people to write columns mocking those working towards reducing pain, suffering and death by developing medical technologies to extend healthy life span? I can't visualise these humorists writing a column to deride the cancer research and advocacy community, or to cry out that everyone should just get Alzheimers, suffer, die and be done with any attempt to avoid that fate. Yet there is no fundamental difference between seeking a cure for any specific age-related condition and seeking a cure for all age-related degeneration. It's all about preventing suffering and death ... I think you have to lock yourself into a particularly blank mental room to avoid that truth.

Worse, this column in the normally - at least moderately - sensible Wired simply regurgitates the old, tired disproven, debunked, plain old wrong arguments against healthy life extension. Malthusianism on resources, the prospects for boredom, economic misapprehensions and false extrapolations, accusations of hubris. The hubris thing always annoyed me - since when is it hubris to visit a doctor, to seek a cure for a medical condition, or to support medical research and better health?

I can't help but feel that many of the people opposed to healthy life extension simply don't like living all that much - why else would they want to die? Life is what you make of it; if you're not making anything of it, there's always the option to leave. But please let the rest of us attempt to improve things - medicine, science, longevity, the works - unmolested.

Or at least work on developing some new, un-debunked, non-disproven talking points with which to take your cheap shots at people attempting to better the human condition.

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Comments

"You wanna live forever? Go ahead. As for me, I'm just going to make the most of the time I've got."

At least he doesn't intend to stop the rest of us.

Posted by: cosmos at December 8th, 2005 11:40 PM

cosmos - actually, by arguing against longer healtier life, he is spreading anti-long life ideas. To whatever extent he succeeds, he is working against us, and against life extension.

Reason: "What motivates people to write columns mocking those working towards reducing pain, suffering and death by developing medical technologies to extend healthy life span?"

Naked evil? I question the ethical status of people like these. I doubt that one can innocently reach the idea that it is better to age, getting weak (and experience more pain) and die, than not.

Posted by: ND at December 9th, 2005 12:17 AM

I sent a message to the guy the second I read his artical. It was crap and I let him know. I hope poeple like that stop trying to ruin it for the rest of us.

Posted by: Joe at December 9th, 2005 8:30 AM

Joe,

I'd say that someone who openly refers to themself as "The Luddite" and opens off his piece by referring to death as a "great experience" is beyond your power to convince. Don't waste your time.

There's nothing wrong with Wired posting the occasional contrarian viewpoint. It's hardly as bad as the MIT Technology Review situation. Wired puts this guy in the opinion column and Kurzweil on the cover. It's also good practice for those who advocate the cause to shoot them down every now and then.

Heh. The real comfort is though that I'll only have to listen to him for another 30 years. The the issue should resolve itself. :-)

Posted by: Brock at December 9th, 2005 10:30 AM

The guy is obviously a closet jesus freak. This in itself precludes him from being rational. In my opinion, anyone who dedicates their life to a fairy tale (e.g. the Bible) is clinically insane.

Posted by: Dan at December 9th, 2005 12:46 PM

Thanks for debunking that article, Reason. I'm surprised WIRED published that. They should do a cover story on Aubrey.

I'm still dying to hear about the Technology Review challenge to SENS.

Posted by: Kip Werking at December 9th, 2005 12:50 PM

Once we start seriously extending healthy lifespan religions of all types will collapse.

The way you can out religious freaks in these arguments is to simply say well I enjoy life a lot, and so I would want to live more of it. They will try to claim that they enjoy life too, but then they are trapped.

What they really want to yell out is that they want to go to heaven, and for you to be forced to go to hell, which involves you dying.

Posted by: AA2 at December 9th, 2005 2:24 PM

"cosmos - actually, by arguing against longer healtier life, he is spreading anti-long life ideas. To whatever extent he succeeds, he is working against us, and against life extension."

We don't have to fear their arguments, if we believe ours' are superior.

Posted by: cosmos at December 9th, 2005 3:13 PM

Hey we should not oppose the critics of life extension for the simple reason that it's a great way to weed out the moron underclass.
We can also think of it as a great way to make more room for all of us that actually wish to live.The only problem is that the religious freaks control the White House.Time for a revolution!!!

Posted by: davros at December 9th, 2005 5:41 PM

cosmos: "We don't have to fear their arguments, if we believe ours' are superior."

Inferior ideas, like those of communism, sometimes wins. We shouldn't fear their ideas, but we should oppose them and recognize that they, like all bad ideas, in fact can do damage.

Posted by: ND at December 10th, 2005 3:02 AM

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