June 14, 2004
Death sucks at least as much as gun control!
Is there a constitutional right to live forever?
While only a fool would maintain there is (at least in the sense of positive rights), it's quite another thing to proclaim that the government (or anyone else) has the right to stop us from living as long as we want.
As long as we want.
That's the key here. Clayton Cramer (responding to Glenn Reynolds' Tech Central Station article) doesn't share the view of others who might want to extend their lives, arguing that he wouldn't want to live longer himself:
As you get older, your high hopes and ambitions inevitably collapse around you. The wonders of travel turn into a series of disappointments. Your high hopes for your children come crashing down, especially when you discover the moral ugliness of the culture in which you are raising them. (Via InstaPundit.)While I haven't seen my high hopes and ambitions collapse (for they were never that high to begin with) there's no way I can disagree with someone else's assessment of life, and in any event no one should ever be able to tell anyone how long he or she should live. Mr. Cramer is not happy with political and cultural directions in this country and so (unless I am reading him wrong), he does not want to extend his life. He does not say that others shouldn't though.
I could see how the same argument (that society is headed in the wrong direction) might just as well be an argument in favor of living longer, though. How else to influence things so that one might make a difference?
Life for me has never been "fresh and new" or "full of optimism and hopes." I think it's better now than it has been for a long time, but that may change. Nearly two decades ago, I sank into a decade-long depression, and I refused all medication and gave up on therapy of any sort. I took charge of my own life, and eventually, things got better (something I have posted about before). But it's really my business how I want to live my life, and whether I want to live longer or not. Just as no one should have the right to force me into their kind of therapy, nor should anyone have the right to stop me from refusing it.
Thus, I am completely supportive of at least the right to pursue life extension, just as I support the right to pursue happiness as long as no one else is harmed. I have no idea whether I will want to avail myself of new technologies.
But I am no more willing to allow others to prevent me from having them than I am willing to let them take away my right to self defense.
Yet, just as there is a serious gun control movement, there is a serious life control movement. These things are not the government's business. If you don't like guns, don't own them. If you don't want to live longer, then don't.
But just as they are my guns, it's my life!
NOTE: One of these days I am hoping to persuade Justin Case (who's much more knowledgeable about life extension than I) to start posting on these matters.
posted by Eric on 06.14.04 at 05:19 PM
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