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Danger Lampost

Futurist & Technology Consultant,

TEDCRED 20+

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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 23 2012: May it be because I am a 'slow learner', or just 'odd' in a way, but I would embrace the chance to extend my lifetime with one condition only - that was, that I am to decide to die whenever I wan't to.

    As far as I can see, as more intellect we grow and - hopefully - wisdom gain throughout our lifes, as less time remains to finally profit from it by its application.

    The only disadvantage I see in extending lifetime is the reduction in evolution flexibility, which may be negative influenced by such a project. But I think, that our minds are not designed for 'infinite' or much prolonged existence, so that there might be a 'natural' barrier, from where most individuals would just wish to end freely.

    One day, I am most certain, we'll have the technology to consider those questions more seriously.
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      Oct 23 2012: I agree with what you say.

      The part I find most interesting in your comment is about having the right to decide to die whenever you want to. Do you think that suicide is an option that should always be available to everyone at any time? Or only for those on extended life span?
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        Oct 24 2012: To me, suicide is one of the highest forms of human dignity, as long it refers to the individual being only and that the decision is formed by a free and healthy mind.

        Political, religious and other 'non being' related motivations are excluded.

        Even though the 'healthy mind' condition is quite a topic on its own, each of us may sense what it would mean for ourselfs.

        As we all carry the instinct of survival within us, a concious decision against it, must therefore bear an ultimate and final conclusion, which is to respect by others.

        Support, help and understanding by others within the process of such a descision is assumed, as, to me, only by this the definition of a 'free mind' should be framed.

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