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Is Longer, Faster, Stronger, Smarter Life also the Happier? Reflections on Slower Sustainable and More Inclusive Life Experience

  • Philosophy


Worldwide concern with advances in life extension and enhancement technologies has brought together scientists, corporate managers and ethicists together in the world Forum on Tomorrows People, Oxford University to debate the pros and cons of the current path. My contention in this paper is to suggest a reflection on an excessively technocratic approach to life enhancement and extension. A meaningful life is not just an individual life. It is embedded in social networks and collective consciousness. Focus on extension technologies for individuals distracts attention from the networks. Undoubtedly, caring institutions for the elderly are needed because lot of countries are having aged population. Perhaps in our anxiety to remain youthful forever, we have created a dilemma before the scientists and technologists who also are confronted with the problems of children, youth and physically challenged people. I discuss six key dilemma in the paper viz., (a) Why elongate the suffering? (b) Should an elderly person, on the brink of the death be given another chance, even if probability of survival is low or should the resources go for a child needing support for future? (c) Whose decision matters? (d) Whose rights matter more? (e) How to measure suffering? and (f) Who is smarter, stronger and stable?

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