The Utility of Life Extension

From Agoraphilia: "What if you could costlessly extend your life by one year? Suppose that the additional year would be a decent one - not a fantastic year, but definitely worth living. By 'costlessly,' I mean that you could achieve this life extension with no sacrifice of utility in previous years, so you really would just be tacking one more decent year onto the end of your life. Would you do it? I sure would. Now, suppose you've tacked this additional year onto your life. You now have the option of improving the quality of that added year by slightly reducing the quality of previous years - perhaps by saving more money or improving your nutrition. ... Moreover, the resulting increase in utility in the last year will outweigh the reduction in utility in the earlier years. Would you do it?" The author goes on to illustrate a paradox in utilitarian considerations - but consider for a moment that the above material perfectly describes saving and investing for future years, or investing in healthy life extension research. It all boils down to this: if you're enjoying life, why leave? Why let yourself be forced out by degenerative aging if there is some way to act in advance to prevent that from happening?



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