During my Internet travels I ventured across this Ted Talk from Aubrey De Grey who puts forth a very strong arguments for the development of indefinite lifespan; and if that does not sound appealing, his majestic persona will. De Grey states that we are faced with a dilemma when considering extending life expectancy in that no one will die, or at least the death toll will become much lower and the earth will become severely over populated. He recognises that one argument in relation to this fact is that the birth rate will have to dramatically reduce in order to facilitate for the increase in people. However he does identify that it is important for some people to have children and that we will have to decide whether to have a high birth rate or a low death rate. He very boldly states that this is acceptable and humanity should make that choice, but he argues that we cannot make the choice on behalf of the future. He thinks it would be wrong of us to not explore and develop these technologies and therapies and that we would be denying future generations the possibility of indefinite lifespan and this would be “immoral”.
De Grey proposes a very valid argument here in that he recognises that creating indefinite lifespan will have huge implications, most notably on over population but he is adamant that we must develop this possibility. I think he is very right in saying that we cannot deny the future of such opportunity but I think that deciding on a time to stay stop will be very controversial. At the moment, our expected lifespan in continuing to increase, and as a result of this the earth is becoming more populous, but when does the time come when we have to cap life expectancy because there is physically no more room, when we are 120, 150, 200? Of course, the issue is that lifespan is exceeding at a much faster rate than what technology can physically facilitate.
He also argues throughout the video that we have the potential to seriously improve technologies that will prevent major illnesses and diseases and that it is important that we start progressing towards this. He reiterates that it is important to thrive in this aspect of biology because we are already aware of how to dramatically improve health but a lack of finance is holding development back. He argues that it is important that that the idea of improving health and lifespan are explored and developed and that more financial support is required because these are opportunities that are simply too important to ignore and let diminish. De Grey’s argument here is obviously very pivotal and it asks a very intriguing question. What is the main factor in holding us back from advancing even further in technology, money or knowledge?