With the advancements longevity scientists are working on, and likely to make significant breakthroughs in the near future, the prospect of living longer, or even forever, is in the cards.
But here’s the thing:
There’s just one problem: More life doesn’t necessarily mean a better life. At a certain point, parts of the body stop working properly, making it difficult to enjoy the time you’ve got. Medical conditions like Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and arthritis can make the final years of one’s life an exercise in suffering. Living for 1,000 years isn’t much of a boon if only the first 80 — or even the first 900 — are physically pleasant.
But then again:
Luckily, there are also scientists working to extend the amount of time during which a person is healthy. Some interventions seem more realistic or pragmatic than others, but it’s becoming clear that getting sick with age is anything but inevitable. These approaches might even change the way we think about the very concept of getting old.
So, if you had the option to live a lot longer, or even forever, would you go for it? Or would you turn it down, based on the prospect of eventually suffering intolerable existential fatigue?