I've always had a fascination with longevity. Some animals only live 24 hours while some plants or animals can live hundreds of years. It's been theorized that people could live to be 1,000 years old if the major diseases could be eradicted and oxidative stress damage (basically cell damage) could be halted.
Do you think people will ever live to be over 200 years old? Over 500 years old? Longer?
Would you want to have an extended lifespan if you were protected from disease and the effects of old age? Would you want to live forever if possible or do you have religious, ethical, or other practical purposes for objecting to it?
I want to write a book about what life might be like if people didn't have to die and would like other people's input on the subject. Maybe you can give me other possible ramifications that I hadn't considered if such a thing were possible.
Personally, I'm afraid of death so I'm all for anything that can lengthen the lifespan. However, I realize that nothing lasts forever so solving one aspect of human mortality only opens up a whole other can of worms. According to scientists, our sun will eventually turn into a red giant and destroy the Earth so we'll only continue living if we find another solar system to move to. We'd almost have to move to a new planet anyway if no one dies because the Earth would get overcrowded quickly. Plus, how might social change be hampered if old generations continue on indefinitely instead of eventually being replaced by new generations?
What an interesting thing to think about ! My initial response is that I'd like to live longer if all my loved ones did the same. Or that I wish my beloved dogs could have a longer life span.
Admittedly, I need to ponder this a little longer !
My answer would depend on how long I can afford to live. Given what's happened to our 401K, not so long.
I'd have no desire to live longer. I've met all the goals I have had in my life already. And the idea of having to go on every single day for a couple hundred years, even if I was in good health, seems incredibly tedious and boring. Hell the idea of spending the next 30 years of my life going to work and coming home seems unbearably tedious and boring.
If I died today I would be perfectly fine with it since I did meet my goals and do everything I wanted to do. I have no regrets or things I wish I could have done. And I don't fear death. So for me the average human life span is more than enough for me.
causingchaos--If you've got another 30 years to go before retirement maybe you need to set some new goals to ward off that boredome!
Back to the thread....the overpopulation that would quickly result is not likely to be solved by moving to another planet unless they develop some kind of "beam me up" mechanism of transport...rocket ships aren't big enough to keep up with the population growth. There would have to be a LOT fewer babies...something like China's one child policy earthwide.
An issue to consider in your book...if people lived to be 400 years old would women still only be able to have children for twenty or so of the first 40 years?
The logistics of a vastly increased lifespan are what bother me:
Overpopulation is already a problem. It would get horrible.
How would we feed everyone?
There are already problems with availability of decent & decent paying jobs. It would get totally out of hand.
Would we have to continue to work past our current retirement ages?
If not, how would we support ourselves for extended lives past our retirement?
Housing, cars, pollution, & facilities to put, entertain, maintain all these people. What about them?
Personally I look forward to the day I can retire.
No more worrying about how I will support myself or the long term viability of my job. No more getting up so darned early to go to work at what I feel is an unnatural hour for people to be doing business. No more dealing with going out at 35 degrees below 0, simply because I have to. No more $500.00+ out of pocket per month for insurance for 1 person. No more dealing with 22 year olds who think they know everything or think they can get away with whatever they want or still have the "mean girl" mentality of the immature.
I just don't want to work any longer than I have to just because I'm going to have a very long life.
We spend our lives raising our children, paying off our homes, working to provide for ourselves. I'm looking forward to the stress, worry & inconvenience being gone.
Given a standard retirement age of 65, dying at 75 seems reasonable to me. Ten years of healthy, financially solvent free time, ended by a peaceful passing away in my sleep. I have no wish to live interminably myself, and given the state of the planet, I think that it is morally reprehensible to prolong people's lives for no good reason other than that some people are afraid to find out what's on the other side.
I'll take 85 to 90, that's when the brains in my family seem to start to slip. :)
A more recent study suggests that the human life span might have a cutoff after all at about 115 years, 125 years max. Cutting down on diseases and adopting a healthy lifestyle can only take a person so far. We can't live infinitely with the parts we're given.
The focus now is on increasing a person's health span, which is the number of years they can enjoy in good health.
The original article is here for those who want to read more: Have Humans Hit Their Longevity Limit?
I would like to live as long as possible as long as I am not in any pain or discomfort you know from aging diseases like arthritis OR have something like loss of hearing.
My Dad is 90 and is healthy as a rock. But he has lost his hearing. And yes he wears hearing aids. But still while he never complains, I just cannot imagine hearing loss.
My Mom is 89 and is healthy as well but does struggle with arthritis. She keeps it in check with pain meds and walking allot.
My parents spend their winters in FL and golf 3 days a week. My Mom has about 3 different bridge groups she plays in. (They just celebrated 65 years married)!!!
My MIL is 89 and she is pretty healthy as well. She just needed a pacemaker. And is doing wonderfully. She also wears hearing aids.
She is a walker and walks daily. Spends quite a bit of time knitting.
All still live in their own homes.
I will say my grand daughter is very lucky she has 3 great grand parents!!! :nod
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