Opposition to life extension

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The opposition to life extension is a stream of thought which focuses on the dangers posed either by life extension technologies, or object from a more philosophical point of view.


Bioethicist Leon Kass argues life extension is un natural and therefore undesirable.[1] Others argue the dangers of overpopulation that could hypothetically be caused by such technologies.

The potential to entrench undesirable power structures makes many people sceptical.

What if Rupert Murdoch could live forever?

The concern about the collapse of current economic and legal systems[2] as well as relationship dynamics[3] is expressed in these SMBC comics.

In February 2016 Aubrey de Grey and Brian Kennedy of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging argued against Ian Ground and Paul Root Wolpe of the Emory Center for Ethics whether lifespans are 'long enough'.[4] The debate led to a swing in support towards life extension.[5]

Health and social issues

Currently there are many practical health and social concerns associated with mainstream idea of 'life extension'

These include:

  • Loss of physical and mental health in old age
  • Loneliness and other poor indicators of overall life satisfaction

In politics

A small fringe of transhumanists advocate that life extension technologies should be banned until such a time as they can be equally distributed in order to head off potential unequal access.[6]

In fiction

Immortality or longevity in fiction are well established tropes. Typically the immortal race or character is disadvantaged in some place, perhaps bound to a limited source of energy, culturally or politically stagnant, or simply plain evil and destructive.

From the earliest Greek deities to modern sparkly vampires, to be long lived or immortal is to be experience suffering, disability and often death at the hands of adversaries.

External links