Posted: Wed, July 24, 2013 | By: Indefinite Life Extension
By Alisha Allen
The TV show,“Moonlight” (2007-2008) focused on one of society’s favorite subjects; immortal vampires. The two main characters were Mick St. John, played by Alex O’loughlin and Josef Kostan,who was portrayed by Jason Dohring. Mick was eighty-five years old, but appeared to be no more than 30. Josef, being a spry four-hundred-and-ten years of age, also looked like he was at the age where most men are just considering their first real-estate purchase.
Mick and Josef are best friends, but their views on vampirism contrasted starkly; Where Mick spends all of his free time trying to find ways to escape the “curse” of immortality, he is often chided by his friend, Josef, who thinks that there are certainly better ways to spend the overabundance of time that the two find themselves with. Josef tries to describe to Mick what it was like, having witnessed, first-hand as so much of history unraveled itself before him and how many historically important events he has seen with his own eyes. Josef also reminds Mick on many occasions of how nice it it is to never take ill, as humans do, or to age or lose their physical attractiveness-all downsides that come with being mortal. In one memorable episode, Josef asks Mick to take a deep look inside himself to determine whether it’s not immortality that he hates, but rather his fear of living.
I bring this up because during my discussion with people on the subject of Life Extension, I’ve come to group people in one of two general categories: The “Micks” and the “Josefs”. Like many, I have dreamt of immortality since I was a little child. I enjoy life and and would love for my life to never have to end. Growing up, I assumed that everyone shared this love for life, but as an adult, I’ve come to understand that the reality of it is quite the contrary. Not only do many not dream of life everlasting, but a lot of them will actually become offended when the idea is brought up!
I have heard all of the tired arguments against immortality that we’ve all come to expect by now: “I don’t want to see my children and grandchildren die”, or “the new people that I meet and become involved with would all be much younger than I would be”. People have accused me of wanting to “play God” and warn that I would get bored with life at some point.
As soon as someone brings up one of these considerations, I immediately am reminded of Mick from “Moonlight” and I’m a little bit disappointed in them. On the flip-side, there are (thankfully) a handfull of “Josefs”, as well.
Those who rebut the worry over having to bury your own children with the reality of how often a parent must bury his/her own child, regardless of the fact that they are not immortal bring a smile to my face by reminding me just how silly that concern actually is.
Every parent is faced with the possibility of having to bury their child from the day he/she is born! There is absolutely no guarantee that your children will outlive you, and if they do, what kind of parent wishes that on his or her own children, anyway? One thing is for certain: Someone is going to die before someone else, and the one attending the funeral is going to be the one who is hurting. If the fear of the possibility that it may be you who is tossing the dirt on the coffin is something that keeps you awake at night, then perhaps the best answer for you is just not to have children, in the first place. Where friendships and relationships are concerned, who’s to say that your friends and loved ones would be unable to extend their lives, as well?
And if there was no way for them to do that, wouldn’t you be that much more helpful to your new friends, having that much more knowledge and experience? And before we get too far into the “You’re trying to play God!” scenario, let’s just be fair about this: You don’t know that “God” exists. Without getting into the biggest debate currently taking place, let’s just ask the question: What If there is neither a “God” nor “Heaven”?
That would mean that when your life expires, you simply cease to exist. Against what cosmic rules would it be, in that case, if we were able to find a way to live forever? On becoming “bored with life”: I fail to see how it would truly be possible for that to happen. There will always be something to do. There will always be something new to learn and a new place to see. As technology and our understanding of the universe expands, it seems that with every question we answer, we find a dozen more questions that need answers! To the “Josefs” of the world, I raise my glass to you!
For every thing in this universe, everybody has a right to want it or to not want it. But if there is something which you choose to not want, then that does not give you the right to stand in the way of others who do. You may try to convince others to feel or to believe the way you do, but in the end, you cannot stand in the way of progress, jealously hindering those who wish to see and know more than you care to. Like all cutting-edge technologies and ideologies, Life Extension research often runs into obstacles thrown into it’s path by those who are too scared to embrace what they consider to be “impossible”, or even improbable; Lack of funding, religious groups, and even the apathy of it’s own supporters threaten every day to stem the tide, but the tide is coming, nonetheless. If you don’t care, one way or the other, about immortality, then live your life to the very best of your ability, cherish every moment and stand aside. If you are, like me, one of the Josefs of the world, drop your apathy! Do it now, before it’s too late and you spend the rest of your life wondering, “What if?” Let’s make this happen, however we can! Donate your time or your money. Volunteer if you have access to a research facility. Spread the word and help those who are interested get excited and get involved!