Humanity 8.0, Season 2, Episodes 7 and 8: “The Case Against Death”.
Listen to Professor Ingemar Patrick Linden, on his book, The Case Against Death, published by MIT Press in 2022, interviewed by Dr. Ahmed Bouzid.
❧ Season 2, Episode 7: https://youtu.be/sq91anmvaZA
❧ Season 2, Episode 8: https://youtu.be/wOQlGEfWlgk
The conversation first touches on the three main arguments against radical life extension: (1) Overpopulation: Radical life extension will lead to the overpopulation of an already burdened earth, (2) Boredom: If we were to live for hundreds of years, we would run out of things to do and would spend long decades in a state of extended, tedious boredom, and (3) Nature: Death is part of the natural cycle of life—all living things die; fighting death is fighting nature and fighting therefore what is good. Professor Linden explains his responses to these three arguments. Previous episodes of the Humanity 8.0 podcast can be found here.
The conversation then moves on two additional topics: (1) The challenge that radical life extension might present to the young: In a society where human beings can live a healthy life for say 300 years, what happens to those who are chronologically young—that is, those who are, compared to the chronologically old, poor in knowledge, connections, and money? If vitality and energy are no longer their unfair advantage, what differentiates them from the old, and how can they compete economically in a world full of a well established “elderly” population? And wouldn’t such a society face the threat of a new class warfare: between those who are young (the new poor) and those who are old (the new mega-rich)?
The second topic revolves around Professor Linden’s dismissal of the Stoic stand on Death. Dr. Bouzid asks: Since the fact of death will still remain with us even if we were to live for hundreds of years, coping mechanisms such as stoicism and religion would still be needed. In fact, Dr. Bouzid suggests they would be needed more than ever to ensure that long-living humans can make the most of their long and healthy lives and not live in a state of fear and anxiety. Listen to Professor Linden’s answers to both challenges and the exchanges that ensue.
Main Topics: Radical life extension, Death, Transhumanism, Technology, Ethics, Economics
• The Case Against Death (MIT Press 2022).
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrPatrickLinden.