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Danger Lampost

Futurist & Technology Consultant,


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Why do so few people want to live significantly longer and healthier than a so-called natural life span?

As I have discussed the concept of immortality with people over the years, something has consistently surprised me. I ask people, "If you could live a much longer but still vital and healthy life, would you want to live, say, 200 years? 500 years?

Most people do not want to live that long - even if they could remain healthy and vital all that time. It seems what most people are saying, is that they actually *want* to grow old and die.

Yet we all supposedly want to be healthy and strong, and of course we would naturally want to heal ourselves if we got sick or injured - we seek health. Then why this death wish among most people I poll?

I'm obviously in the "Hell yeah, give me healthy immortality" camp, so I'm looking for help from other people in explaining the other side of this please.

Is that a coping mechanism to help accept our own mortality? Would you really turn down an opportunity to live much longer, along with your friends, and healthy?

Or is my own personal polling off? I guess we'll see!


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    Oct 21 2012: As Casey Christofaris stated below, I also believe that the reason why people seek longer lives are because they are afraid of death. I am also afraid of death. Think about it. It is this unknown zone that is covered with myths. You can no longer think, breath, move.. you no longer exist. You are nobody. I cannot bear this thought and I am sure that many cannot either. So I believe that the reason why people seek longer lives are due to their fear of death, fear of the unknown.
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      Oct 21 2012: I agree with you Rosa: people seek longer lives because they are afraid of death.

      However, I think if people find joy in life, then they might naturally also want to prolong that joy by prolonging their life. I'm certainly in that camp - I want to extend that joy. In my case, I realized that I find joy by being of service to other people, so in my case, I want to continue helping other people as long as possible.

      I think wanting to prolong your life is motivated by enjoying your life. Avoiding death is motivated by a fear of death. Both result in the same thing, namely extending your life, but for different reasons. I think most of us have both motivations at work, at some level, and I think both motivations are valid and one doesn't cancel the other out.
      • Oct 22 2012: Trying to avoid death and trying to prolong life may have the same result in terms of how long one lives but i bet they will have different results in terms of the quality of that life!

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