Monday, December 26, 2011

Long life

On the public radio program On Point today, the talk was about the possibilities of people living for hundreds, maybe thousands of years.
I only heard a few minutes because of work but that was enough to remind me once again about how stupid smart people can be.
Here we are today in a world with a human population that is probably double of what it should be if you just happen to care about the health of the planet. And let us not forget that the marvels of modern medicine are pretty much limited to a person's ability to pay for the marvels of modern medicine.
Obviously, I am firmly against any and all research to prolong human life beyond what it now is. And this is not to say I wish death upon anyone. Rather, it is to say I do appreciate life with all its complexities and view death as one of its most needed components.
Death is a mechanism for change, for growth and evolution. We seem to recognize this fact when it comes to products bought and sold but have a hard time recognizing this when it comes to humans. Oh, sure there are some we are happy to see die, such as a Hitler. But would be satisfied with drawing the line with only the most unsavory of characters? Would we soon find ourselves deciding who gets to live a long, long time and executing the less desirable? And who determines who is less desirable?
But perhaps the more important question should be - would an exceedingly long life diminish the wonder and value of life? Already it seems the vast number of humans is reducing the value of a human life. You doubt that? Okay. How much are you willing to be taxed to house the homeless, feed and educate the poor? Face it. There is an economic consideration.
And what about the children? Would children become the enemy of a growing older population. Have children already become the enemy?
Sometimes you get what you ask for and then find out what you wanted and got is holy hell.

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