The Response Of Fears About Radical Life Extension Consequences Are Unrealistic Essay Example
Radical life extension is not only an idea, nowadays; good health care, suitable living environment, and high level of technology are, in reality, helping people living a longer life. However, radical life extension is just like the butterfly effect. All of the fields of life are affected as a result of working on life extension such as social and economic issues. In the article, “Fears about Radical Life Extension Consequences Are Unrealistic”, author thinks radical life extension is beneficial for human beings. As for example, longevity helps people improving their life; thereby improving their opportunities to contribute to society. Most of the opinions from the author are highly commendable. However, I don’t agree with some of the points of the author.
Firstly, author thinks that radical life extension would not cause the population-growth problem. In her opinion, the main reason of the population-growth problem is birth-rate not the death-rate. In the article, author gives us an example; estimations showed that Sweden's population would increase only 22% over 100 years, if the entire population of Sweden would become immortal. The reason of this phenomenon is that death-rate does not produce the population-growth problem. In my opinion, life extension not only affects the population-growth, but also helps in reducing the birth-rate. In the 19th century, average human life expectancy was about 40 years, and the average childbearing age was 15-19 years. At the end of 20th century, average human life expectancy was 71.1-78.7 years, and average childbearing age was 27-30 years. We can see that with increase in average life expectancy; average childbearing age have also been increased. Late childbirth can help to control the birth-rate, thereby solving the population-growth problem.
Secondly, the author mentions that more time in life means more opportunities. In her opinion, in spite of popular stories of young technology entrepreneurs, innovation always comes in the late stages. If the scientists have a longer life, they would have more opportunities to contribute to society because they have more time to dive into their fields. However, in my opinion, the author has considered only about Eliot. For normal people, life extension would cause employment issues. At present, people’s retirement age is 60 years. If life expectancy increases, people would have delayed age of retirement. Young people would find it difficult to get jobs, because there are lots of experienced people to compete with them. For young people, life extension means fewer opportunities because companies would always like to work with people, who have a good level of experience rather than good paper qualifications.
Thirdly, the author thinks that longevity technology not only helps rich people, but ordinary people can also get benefit from this technology. “InsteadThe rich have an incentive to make the technologies accessible to everyone, because that means more customers.” New technology means profit and wealth; this is the reason that businessmen will promote this technology. However, in my opinion, this idea is too subjective. Author doesn’t consider the cost of the technology. In the article, the author mentions that it took 16 years for one-quarter of the American households to get a personal computer. Nowadays, 90 percent people own a computer; it shows that still 10 percent people are in the lower strata, who don’t have a computer. Longevity technology cannot be promoted to everyone, and the lower strata of society would not be able to enjoy this technology. This situation would cause social issues such as mental illness, because they don’t even have a chance to enjoy this technology.
In conclusion, radical life extension is a double-edged sword, it would bring many benefits but it would also raise a lot of issues. In the article, author brings a lot of good viewpoints to us. With the development of science and technology, 150 years old would not be the end of human life. Moreover, law and society will also improve with development of technology. However, possibilities are manifold in the future. Radical life extension will be a challenge for human beings.