In the past I've discussed whether or not we are obliged to future generations, morally bound to work on making their world a better place by producing rejuvenation biotechnologies. Here, it is suggested that we are obliged to past generations - that we owe much to their efforts to improve the human condition and should thus continue to do the same, as a sign of respect at the very least:
Humanity has braved the weather many times over the millennia, surviving long enough to invent language, an earth-shattering breakthrough in their time. Language to them was as big of a game changing breakthrough than the internet is to the world now. We pushed on through famines and wars, the cold, the heat, the wild. We figured out how to harness fire. We learned how to farm so we could live in greater abundance. That gave rise to more free time to invent and explore, and led us through progressions like the bronze and iron ages. This in turn enabled so many other things eventually leading up through times like the great industrial age. Humanity exponentially shifted a gear soon after, and moved on through the technology revolution.
The struggle and strife and hardship and toil that has been gone through to get us here is deeper than I can imagine. I try sometimes, as many of you might also, and its horrifying. The world is filled with graveyards; the soil is drenched in blood, sweat and tears. The dreams realized and the dreams shattered echo across the millennia and eons. If we could have collected all the hardship on video to play it in a huge montage then I imagine it might kill us from strife. We owe this to them, we owe the creation of indefinite life spans to them. They have brought us through all that to this great cusp of destiny.
We grab the baton, on the ground work that our ancestors put down for us, with their blood coursing through our veins. [They] had to die for us to be here. They had to give us all that they did and then die so that we may have what we have. We don't have what we have because it magically appeared here. We have it because they toiled and died for us to have it. We cannot pilfer it and waste the opportunity, we have to keep pioneering existence, we have to keep building, we have to keep pushing the boundaries, because that is the wage they earned.