Is living forever (or at least a very long time) just the stuff of science fiction?
Not so, say an increasing number of scientists and futurists. Advances in medicine, biotechnology, and other fields hold the promise of slowing, stopping, or even turning back the human clock.
Let’s start with this question: If medical treatments and devices could let you live to age 120 or older, would you want to?
The possibility of radically extending human life raises a host of moral, ethical, and religious questions. This prompted the Pew Research Center to conduct a survey of Americans, asking about their views of radical life extension, aging, and related matters.
If you said that you would not want these life-extending medical treatments, you have a lot of company. The majority of Americans (56%) says that they, personally, would not want medical treatments that would allow them to live at least to 120. Just over a third (38%) says that they, personally, would want these life-lengthening treatments.
What about other people? Do you think that most people would want medical treatments that let them live decades longer, even if you would not want to?
Over-two thirds of Americans (68%) believe that most people would want medical treatments that greatly extended their lives. Just over a fourth (27%) believes that most people would not want these treatments.
So, we have a curious paradox: Most people think others would want radical life extension, while most people, personally, would not.
If medical treatments and devices could let you live to age 120 or older, would you want to?
Did the paradox surprise you?
How would you explain it?
- Immortality: What if you could live (nearly) forever?
- Immortality: How long would you like to live?
- Immortality: Is it good, bad or even … unnatural?
- Immortality: How do you feel about more old people?
- Immortality: What about quality of life?