Should we seek to extend human life span?

Mark Walker of the Insitute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies makes a case for prolongevitism, the view that we should seek to extend human life span significantly beyond its current limits.

A number of technological developments on the horizon, for example, discoveries in genetics (Kenyon, 1996), stem cell research (Shostak, 2002), and the cessation of aging at the cellular level (de Grey, 2005), point toward the possibility that sometime this century the length of the human life span could be radically lengthened.

Singer argues that prolongevitism will lead to a lowering of aggregate utility. I will argue, to the contrary, that the empirical evidence available does not support Singer’s position; and furthermore, there is reason to suppose that aging populations will tend to become happier on average through a process of self-selection.

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