Greenflame

Jottings on science, religion, technology, pop culture and faith from the Antipodes.

Bioethics/Biotech, Transhumanism

End aging – help the poor?

Doing a bit of transhumanist web surfing today while pondering writing a paper on the transhuman agenda and Christian social justice and came across the article below over at Betterhumans.com.

In Betterhumans > Ending Aging to Help the Poor author Simon Smith argues,

Rather than hinder the fight against poverty, funding life extension research is one of the best things we can do to improve everyone’s quality of life.

There’s many things in his piece that I find unsettling including his argument that a fraction of the defense budgets of the Western world could be diverted to anti-aging research. The implication in the article seems to be that the research would then be used for the good of all. I’m sorry but I can’t see that happening. It’s like arguing that phamaceutical research benefits all evenly – rather than only those who can afford it. Pharmaceuticals become an economic “weapon” – just ask those countries who need them, can only afford generic drugs and then get slammed with economic implications.

There’s also the implication that unless we get the anti-aging treatment the elderly are inherently worth less than the younger – that they have nothing positive to contribute any more.

Anyway, have a read and a think about it. I think I might use it in class next week when we look at the doctrine of humanity.

1 Comment

  1. Tim

    The guy is on about economics and cost benefit. Surely to spend his “only ten billion dollars” (regardless of whether that sum could effectively provide a “cure for age”) on better public health measures – even if you only spent it in the USA – would improve more lives!

    On the theology, the post seems to assume that we all agree aging is bad, but it is built-in to the universe, so presumably has some purpose or role in the creator’s design…

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