TED Conversations

Emma Heikkinen

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Is is ethical to try to lengthen the human lifespan?

My concerns about the ethics of trying to lengthen the human lifespan are partly related to overpopulation, poverty and famine and also the demographic changes it would cause. We've just hit 7 billion people on this planet and continue to reproduce.

My other aspect on the ethical side of this is that isn't is a bit selfish to try to live longer and longer? Are the medical and genetic engineering projects to lengthen the human lifespan the modern search for Philosopher's stone and the ultimate sign of our fear of death?

Please share your thoughts and knowledge and ask more questions!


Closing Statement from Emma Heikkinen

Thanks for everyone for contributing to this conversation! I could not be happier that my first TED conversation got replies and actually gave me some very fruitful thoughts also. Happy holidays everyone!

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  • Dec 18 2011: I think it would be unethical to ignore the possibility of improving lives. We should do everything we can to learn and support cutting edge technology. I am amaze at this site. I just found it.
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      Dec 18 2011: Thanks for your comment!

      I agree with you that we should try to constantly learn and develop knew knowledge. In my opinion it is also very important to discuss the possible outcomes and side effects some of our new technologies and innovations might have. After all, if you innovate something brilliant that would for example improve significantly the lives of 10,000 people, but deprive other people on the planet of basic requirements for life, would it be ethical? I think everything is connected because we share this planet and it's limited assets all together and we should try to think of ourselves as a part of the entity and not just ourselves or our country etc. It's a very complex world we live in.

      I'm glad you found TED! I've been watching the talks for a long time, but just registered and joined the conversation myself(: Welcome!

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