Re: What is the best place in the world to live? Re: AW: AW: crime in big cities and Europe

Date: Fri Jun 23 2000 - 10:18:43 MDT

Brian writes:
> Well it is an interesting quandry- if you are convinced that in the near
> future (less than 50 years) there will be technology available to make
> you near-immortal (with a copy of yourself on tape just in case :-) then
> why take any risks at all during the current era? Is it the most rational
> course of action to find the safest lifestyle and live accordingly?

Robin pointed out that it depends on how much you are willing to sacrifice
today for an additional year of life at some point in the future.
Normally people consider benefits in the future to be worth less than
benefits today. If you offer someone a choice between a delicious meal
five years from now or one today, they will prefer getting it today.

There are things you can do today to extend your lifespan even under
current technology. Avoid driving at night, eat certain foods, don't
do any risky sports, and so on. Yet most people are only willing to
sacrifice so much. This suggests that a year of life 30 or 50 years
from now is only worth a limited amount to them today.

Even if there were things you could do to give you an infinite life
span, this might not be of infinite value to you today. The benefit
of an additional year of life 300 or 1000 or 10000 years out is pretty
hypothetical right now. How much would it be worth today to have your
lifespan increased from 10000 years to 10001? It would be tough to
justify much of a sacrifice for such a minor percentage increase so far
out, yet it is an entire year of life.

A counterargument could be that we have hope and faith that our lives
won't just be getting longer, but they will be getting better. We will
be able to improve ourselves, to broaden and deepen our minds, to enhance
our bodies far beyond the limitations we face today. If you combine
infinite life with infinitely expanding quality of life, then you could
argue that this expectation would have a truly infinite value today.
In that case you could justify any sacrifice in order to increase your
chances of experiencing that possibility.


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