Who Wants to Live Forever?

I just read an article on Bloomberg News, and this quote, from the lede, jumped out: “If you ask me today, is it possible to live to be 500? The answer is yes.”

The speaker is one Bill Maris, who is the president and managing partner of Google Ventures.  He is apparently ready to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in companies that are working on ways to “slow aging, reverse disease and extend life.”   The idea, apparently serious, is that he wants to find ways to make human beings practically immortal.  He says, ” “I just hope to live long enough not to die.” If you want to read the whole article, it’s here.

But my question is “why?”  Not long ago I was listening to a radio interview during which the concept of human immortality came up, and both the interviewer and the interviewee were quite enthusiastic about the idea of never dying.  But, again, why?very old

Isn’t 70 or 80 or 90 years enough?  If you live to be 500, when do you retire?  At 300?  And what about all those old — really old — people who keep their jobs for hundreds of years?  Where would be the opportunities for people just entering the job market?  And if you retire at 300, and have been working in the public sector and have a fat pension… you think that’s breaking the backs of local and state governments now?  Just wait.

But I think I’d just get tired of it all.   There are days now when I’m actually not all that enthusiastic about pushing ahead to 61.  As I see it, only the very rich would be able to afford immorality.  So we’d have a world in which some people would die at the normal human age: 80, 85.  And those who had achieved and paid for immortality would would be an omnipresent, threatening overclass. And why would someone who has toiled all his or her life for very little want to be immortal?

Frankly, living 500 years sounds to me like hell on earth. How about you?  Do you want to live forever?

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Vic Nesheim on March 9, 2015 at 6:32 PM

    Absolutely! Since I was born some 200 or so years too “early”, I’d like to get to where I’m suppose to be!

    It’s been demonstrated that it takes somewhere around 10 years of intensive effort to become considered “expert” at, well, anything. I suppose I could Google for the source, but it rings too true.

    Retire? Pshaw! Never! At 61 this year, I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count how many challenging things I’d like to learn. In my life so far, I’ve been Building Contractor, Coal Miner, Land Developer, Computer Programmer, Factory Owner, Salesman in different industries. There is so much more! At 30, I swore I’d not own a computer until I could talk to it (a la Star Trek); at 40, I was programming them for the USAF. Confirmed bachelor at 30; father of 2 at 40. Broke at 25; millionaire at 45; broke again at 55. Life’s a roller coaster – enjoy the thrill ride!

    You mention people keeping the same job for 300 years – why would anyone? With infinite possibilities; discoveries to be made.

    I’ll tell you this – even if my physical age was frozen today and I was given the opportunity to choose – if I lived to be 1000, there would not be enough time to do all that I wish I could.

    To quote you from above, “…not all that enthusiastic about pushing ahead to 61.”. Brother, watch the sunrise, smell the grass on a spring day, watch a child at play, a passionate professional, a construction worker BUILDING something – life is full of miracles, joys, passions – take them in, revel in the energy and DO SOMETHING!

    Life deals many of us lousy hands at time. There are those that seem blessed and cruise though with barely a ripple, I’ve been on both side of the haves and have nots, but it’s still wonderful to be alive. We are miracles in our own right.

    You call the prospect of extreme longevity hell on earth; to me, it would be not unlike paradise. We are, all of us, “wired” differently, Steve. I have subsisted and I have prospered and I’ve loved every minute of it.

    Reply

  2. I’m with Vic — discoveries are rarely made in a technological or economic vacuum. So other discoveries may make life much more interesting for an extended lifespan. I find it interesting, too, that most of the times this debate comes up, people think of what they “do” for a living, rather than who they are for their life. This may be the most profound insights should we extend our lifespan. Are we more than our jobs?

    I have friends who are researchers in the longevity field and have been talking to them about some of the discoveries mentioned in the article. They mention it’s not about extending life, but about extending health, too. So, it’s not like the eventual idea is to pickle you at an advanced age, but to actually make aging more flexible.

    Not a done deal, but not impossible either.

    Thanks for the interesting topic, Steve-o.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Charlie Neld on March 15, 2015 at 9:42 AM

    Hi Steve,

    Living forever in today’s world is scary indeed. But the concept of living forever is clearly stated in the Bible. How does it come together so that we all can look forward to living forever with happy anticipation? God’s original purpose for man was to live forever on a paradise earth. But Adam and Eve blew it and submitted to the enticements of Satan the Devil. That’s not just a “story” as we can see from what is happening today on the earth. The prophet Jeremiah stated accurately that man cannot rule himself. Do we see evidence of that? Sure do! There is not one segment of society that we live in today that isn’t in turmoil. Reading the bible at 2 Timothy 3:1-5, it is clear we are living in the last days. Last days of what? A wicked earthly society. Haven’t you seen the deterioration of society in your 60 years? Jehovah God made the earth to exist forever. His purpose has not changed. He made righteous mankind to live on the earth forever. His purpose has not changed. First however, He will rid the earth of wickedness. What do we have to do? Learn of God’s purpose and how we can qualify. Jehovah is a God of love. He truly cares about us. He loves us so much he offered his son Jesus Christ to die in our behalf. Jesus expressed his great love for by willingly offering up his life for us. On April 3rd, the memorial of Christ’s death will beheld at a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses near you. If you go, you will be warmly greeted. The memorial will last about a hour. In the meantime, check out jw.org. It will provide an abundance of bible information and answer any question you may have. Things are going to change and change for the better real soon; an opportunity for all of us to get a firm hold on the real life. All the best

    Reply

  4. Being the honest person that I am, I only want to live 2 more years… collect early SSA & pay off my current creditors. Then I will die debt free, still fat, and hopefully happy.

    Reply

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