Taboo Subjects

John de Rivaz John at longevb.demon.co.uk
Mon Mar 25 04:54:47 EST 1996


You raise some interesting points. You have studied Psychiatry so maybe you 
can also work out some of the answers. here are some ideas to go on, in no 
particular order.

1. The established society is based on a birth-live-suffer-die cycle and 
there are many professions and organisations that would lose thier livings 
if this was changed.

2. Obsequience to religion or government or profession or other 
collective provides a comfort level that replaces being a child and having 
parents (at least in people who donlt think that deeply). Although there 
are few collectives that wage open warfare against immortalism, many people 
intuitively feel that they would be against it if asked.

3. The inbuilt desire to look after the next generation includes a powerful 
sacrifice meme that suggests one should die to make room for another.








In article: <4j49bc$1vok at news.doit.wisc.edu>  yracheta at facstaff.wisc.edu 
(Joseph) writes:
> 
> I work in academia in the biological sciences. The Phd.'s I work for and 
even 
> most I don't work for balk at the notion of immortality or even 
lengthening 
> the life span to any great degree. They say things like, "Why, what's the 
> point who would want to live for ever anyway." Or things like, "It isn't 
meant 
> to be, it would be to egotistical and ecologically unsound".
> 
> It seems that some scientists are working on the problem but never state 
it in 
> their papers. They usually couch it in terms of cellular senescence, 
> regeneration or oncology. Is it that taboo a subject. Is everyone afraid 
of 
> being labeled a crackpot. Or is it that the research and the reality are 
so 
> far removed from each other that we won't see any progress in this area 
for 
> another 100 years. 
> Moreover, I have not seen any discussion or consensus about the ethical 
or 
> social issues that such a discovery might bring up. I personally would 
like to 
> live longer than the current norm and the scientific challenge that the 
> problem poses is very compelling, but when I think of the 'correctness' 
of 
> such a breakthrough I am at a loss. Is it a  selfish egotistical endeavor 
and 
> would we cause global havoc, or would it really benefit mankind and 
remove 
> that "the one who dies with the most toys wins" attitude.
> Are there any ethical treatise or government reports on these ethical 
> potentialities.
> 
> Joseph Yracheta
> Dept. Psychiatry
> University of Wisconsin
> yracheta at facstaff.wisc.edu
> 
> 
-- 
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