Caplan on Arguing Against Longevity

MSNBC is running an op-ed by Arthur Caplan on a few of the more common knee-jerk objections to engineering greater human longevity: "arguments that we should not live a lot longer because we will grow decrepit are simply silly. No one proposes that we spend a lot of money on biomedical research to pursue a longer life of decrepitude and suffering. The idea behind radical life extension is that we live a decent quality of life for a lot longer. If all that is in store is frailty and mental decline, then the debate is over before it starts. But that is not what the debate is really about. ... As for violating some natural limit if we live a lot longer - what limit? We have already doubled our lifespan since the days of the Hittites, Israelites, Greeks, Babylonians and Egyptians, all of whom were lucky to make it to 35. Are we already living unnatural, and thus immoral, lifespans? ... Evolution cares not a whit how long you or I live, only that we survive to reproduce. There is no such thing as a 'natural' lifespan - only what we can do with agriculture, engineering, medicine and public health."


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