Exploring Life Extension

“Members of the Life Extension foundation typically are extremely dedicated to maintaining themselves in an optimal state of health. Many of them simply want to live as long as they can without suffering the debilitating effects of aging. Some of them are very hardcore; they actually want to live forever as I do. They don’t want to die. They don’t believe people have to die if science advances fast enough to overcome the molecular changes of aging and death.” –William Faloon

The desire to overcome death is nothing new. The Epic of Gilgamesh, the first recorded story of human history, accounts on clay tablets, a mythical king’s quest for immortality. 4000 years later, humans are still searching for immortality. With the modernization of health care, encouraged by biotechnology and computer science, remarkable gains have been made in extending human life spans. A child born today can expect to live more three times longer than in the time of Gilgamesh.

Stem cells, caloric restriction, cryonics, nanotechnology, and transhumanism have become the watch words of our era. Perhaps with the accumulation of these accelerating advancements, we are indeed on the verge of a complete reversal of the biological aging process. Regenerative medicine in our lifetimes. And if so, if we are able to overcome aging and then live forever, what would this mean for religion? What would this mean for governments and social systems which rely on a noble and timely death? Perhaps once we’ve conquered aging, we’ll no longer even wish to stay as vulnerable humans. Perhaps, we’ll expedite our progression from immortal beings into cyborgs and then into post-human entities.

But now, there are more pressing questions. What about the environment? Oppression by the wealthy over the poor? The problem of overpopulation. What about boredom with a life that stretches out forever? And even more ominous, what if the universe were to end in itself in a whimper, a long expanding heat death into the infinite? If so, what’s the point in trying to live forever anyways? (Excerpt from film)

  • Directed by ,
  • Produced by Not Available
  • Official Website: www.imminst.org
  • Transcript: View Transcript
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