Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"Debate: Does Longevity Put a Strain on the Economy?" (GE)

From GE Reports:
Nov 24, 2015 by Daniel Callahan, Co-Founder and President Emeritus of the Hastings Center
The question that’s often overlooked in the debate over longevity is not whether we can — but whether we should — radically extend life expectancies. The clear answer is, no.  
I have spent many of my 85 years thinking about old age, what it means and what we might do about it. There is always something disturbing about the debates I have with enthusiasts for radically extending life expectancy. The topic is typically introduced with three cheers for life extension beyond our present boundaries, followed by exciting — sometimes breathless — talk about all the scientific breakthroughs on the horizon that would get us there. I always try to stir up interest in the question, “But is that a good idea?” 
Few seem prepared to even discuss the question of not can we — but should we — extend life as far as possible. The answer seemed to be self-evident answer: No one likes to get old, do they? But I think the question is unavoidable, and the answer is clear: Life extension a glaringly bad idea. 
There are there two ways of thinking about significantly extending life expectancy, by which I will mean well over 100: what we as individuals might like, and what might be best for the human community. I have seen several public opinion surveys from different countries showing variable responses to the question of how long individual people would like to live. In Australia, a surveyfound that 80 would be long enough for most. In Germany, a study found 85 to be the ideal. And in America, two separate surveys found 90 to be the desired age. In none of them was there much desire to live beyond 100....MORE
Well there you go, I guess Mr. Keohane was right.