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Debate Score:19
Total Votes:20
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Dermot(2572) pic

Should people be forced to die once indefinite lifespans are achieved?

The day will eventually come when the problem that is biological aging is finally solved. Needless to say, the advent of indefinite lifespans could result in some serious negative consequences, including overpopulation, the rise of a gerontocracywidespread boredom and restlessness, and a de-valuing of life. And in fact, in consideration of these possibilities, political scientist Francis Fukuyama — back when he was serving on George W. Bush’s bioethics council — said that governments have the right to tell their citizens that they have to die. It would be a kind of Logan’s Run world.

3 points

Good question which could, and probably would present some very bleak scenarios.

I feel however that by the time medical scientists have developed a ''cure for death'' other avenues of research will have culminated in the discovery of other inhabitable planets along with a vehicle for reaching them

2 points

Could you clarify the meaning of your question in the description? I'm unsure what the context is, so can't really answer.

1 point

Sorry Mack , I forget to fill the relevant context in , it's done now

1 point

Thanks for filling in the context. I thought for a moment that it was something to do with Hinduism, and the whole reincarnation thing. :)

I think the only option here would be to make the production & distribution of any sort of life-sustaining system that lasts too long illegal, indirectly forcing people to die. It wouldn't be very easy to force people to die directly, people would probably resist strongly, even with all these problems occurring, and it would definitely cause more problems than making it illegal.

They could also regulate the price very highly, so not many people could afford it, but this might cause more public outrage than just making it illegal, because of the unfairness.

2 points

That's actually a very interesting and fairly realistic future conundrum. While I think it's possible to create a serum to regenerate cells, I don't know about the possibility of having the ability to combat all viruses and diseases. Currently there is fear of super viruses where they have evolved beyond our usual means to exterminate them so if we get long life it may be contingent upon our ability to have a vaccine that eradicates all virus and diseases in one swoop so they can't evolve. If we can't I don't know if lifespans would be truly indefinite.

If it does though.....I'm going off the grid ;D

I think it would come down to money, like everything else in this world does. If you have the money to buy the right to live longer then you could very well live forever but we all know the "dregs" of society wouldn't have the ability longer than the average life span as it is now. If you've ever seen the movie...I think it was called In Time....I feel like that could accurately portray the society we would all live in.

1 point

That an interesting point Mint regards viruses and diseases also the possibility of a super virus that eradicated mankind .

Everything boils down to money and yes the system would favour the elite wouldn't it ?

1 point

I think the phrase "Nature has a way of correcting itself" would be used in this situation. Something as unnatural at eternal life, must be corrected and though it may take time, I think nature is fully capable of tossing us on our behinds and showing us who is actually the boss. She could certainly do it in the form of a mass plague.

1 point

Well, there's always the Charlton Heston / Soylent Green solution, also. I DO think the ideas of Dr. Korvakian (sp?) should be reconsidered. We are far more humane to our animals than we are to suffering people! At my age I feel I should have a choice whether to suffer or not. Guess I'm lucky, so far God seems to love this atheist ... I appreciate that. Compassion at its best! ;-)

I can think of a few on this site that would LOVE the Soylent Green solution ... as long as they didn't know the ending.

1 point

The arguments for widespread boredom have never been particularly compelling, I think. If it really became an issue, I imagine people could just opt out so there'd be no need for state imposed execution to resolve this.

Gerontocracy seems implausible, given how quickly they'd become outnumbered and the effects of demographics on power distribution. Even if there were a gerontocracy, that doesn't seem like it'd necessarily be a problem. Even if it were a problem, the people who would be killed under a gerontocracy wouldn't be the gerontocrats so no one else should want to endorse the practice of state sanctioned killing.

Overpopulation might become an issue, depending upon the timeline it plays out on relative to technological and space explorative developments. If we're talking unrealistic utopias, then sure maybe forced execution is defensible. But, realistically, one the option is on the table that's not how it's going to play out; the people who are sacrificed for the greater good will be the ones with less power, like always. And as an egoist who believes utilitarianism is a bankrupt bunch of hypocrisy, being sacrificed for the greater good isn't copacetic with me. If we've gotta do something then the better alternative is to restrict reproduction; it's an infringement on autonomy, but it's considerably less so than killing a person.

1 point

Hello Dermot:

Nahhh... You're considering ONE advancement without considering others.... In my view, you incorrectly assume we'll reach immortality BEFORE we reach the ability to populate the universe, so we'll have to kill ourselves off.

In my view, however, I think we'll reach them together eliminating the death conundrum you're talking about.


Dermot(2572) Clarified
1 point

Hi Excon , well it's all only speculation isn't it ?

The ability to populate the Universe is interesting where do you think the nearest habitable place in the Universe for humans to live is ?

How long would it take to get there ?

excon(2116) Clarified
1 point

Hello D:

We're just now discovering habitable planets, so by the time we need one, we'll have found it. Also, by the time we need it, interstellar space travel will be commonplace..


1 point

No, people have the #righttochoose what to do with their bodies........................................................

1 point

They shouldn't be forced however this will never be achieved as nature will always find it's way to balance itself.

0 points

The Left has already supported the death of even viable babies up to birth. We even had fools ask the question if it would be ok to kill newborns.

Do you actually think they would hesitate for one second to start killing old people if they became an inconveinence?

When man keeps playing God, the naturral order to life and death gets all screwed up.