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The Imposition of Death

Posted: Sun, April 07, 2013 | By: Indefinite Life Extension



by Gennady Stolyarov II

This article is part of a new series of educational activities aimed at increasing awareness of the desirability and feasibility of indefinite life extension. You can earn the “Longevity is Justice” Open Badge by reading the article, and taking a multiple-choice quiz offered by The Rational Argumentator.

Longevity is Justice - Open Badge

If you are reading this article, you probably do not deserve the death penalty.

You probably have not murdered, raped, or tortured anybody. In all likelihood,

you probably have not even committed petty theft. The most elementary understanding

of justice requires that only the guilty should suffer, and only in proportion

to their guilt. If a person willfully

inflicts harm on an innocent human being, this is widely recognized as a

heinous injustice. But only the worst offenders deserve death.

            And

yet, you have been sentenced to death,

and all too few people lament or object. Certainly, you might have the benefit

of a drawn-out appeals process, for some of you perhaps as long as eighty or ninety

years. During your appeals you can employ various maneuvers – diet, exercise,

medical treatments, avoidance of risk – to slow down the sequence of events that

threaten to destroy you, collectively known as senescence.  But with the scant few tools presently

available to you, the verdict is foreordained. You will lose. The system has presumed you guilty in advance, and it

will dispose of you in the same callous, merciless way that it has dispatched

billions before you. There is no cosmic justice, and, to survive, you will need

to help create such justice.

Image Source: Emblem of Justice by Mbiama

            The

desire to achieve indefinite life is simply the logical extension of the basic

principle of justice – for why should only events caused by humans be judged as

just or unjust? If the preservation of innocent human life is desirable, it

should be desirable even when the threat does not come from another human

being. The suffering and deaths of human beings due to accidents and natural

disasters are rightly lamented and combated using the most advanced methods

available. There is no controversy about the desirability of reducing the

impact of these calamities. Neither should there be any controversy about

reducing human suffering and death by combating senescence. The closer we come

to a world where only moral transgressions bring about suffering and only the

most heinous evils conceivable bring about death, the more our lives could be

said to resemble anything like justice.

            Death

is an imposition you did not ask for. You would not wish it on yourself

directly, and you would not wish to bring it about indirectly by committing a

crime so terrible as to deserve it. Yet many people today would find your death

to be normal, inevitable, and somehow even desirable – a part of their own

misguided conception of the natural order of things – despite your innocence

and your desire to live. Of course, if another human murdered you, most of

these people would condemn the murderer, and rightly so. But if senescence robs

you of your life in your sleep at the age of ninety, these same people would

shrug and say that this is just the way things are, have always been, and

always ought to be.  Why the double standard?

            Fortunately,

with the astonishing advances in medical science and technology that are

occurring in our time, your appeals against the verdict of the harsh court of

senescence need not be lost. Already, dedicated researchers and activists are

working on ways to defeat the greatest enemy humankind – including you – has

ever faced. You can inform yourself about their efforts and the most

cutting-edge longevity science by visiting the following websites:

* SENS


Foundation

* Methuselah


Foundation

* Immortality


Institute, now LongeCity

* Fight Aging!

* MILE - Movement for Indefinite Life Extension

* Singularity


University

* Resources on Indefinite Life Extension

            If

you would prefer not to be deprived

of everything you are and have – of your very existence – without your consent,

then exploring these resources and many others on the subject of indefinite life

extension should be your first step. If you are not yet persuaded that lifting

your death sentence is both feasible and desirable, then I urge you: give this

literature an honest, thorough examination. You might just change your mind,

and if not, then at least you will learn much that will intrigue, fascinate, and

develop you. You have nothing to lose and a potentially unlimited lifespan to

gain. And if you are already persuaded, then learn as much as you can about the

promise of indefinite life and about the many ways in which you can help.

If you have read this far, remember to earn the “Longevity is Justice” Open Badge by taking this multiple-choice quiz offered by The Rational Argumentator.



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