Re: We're stuck with each other

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Tue Jan 22 2002 - 19:04:32 MST

At 06:37 PM 1/22/02 -0500, Eliezer wrote:

>people who'd
>turn down immortality if you offered it to them for free would probably
>scream to the high heavens if only the wealthy could buy it.

Yes, this is one of those infuriatingly silly antinomies. I keep meeting
people who do the Yuck Factor dance ("Oh no, how horrible, *I* certainly
wouldn't want to... oooh, yuck... *live forever?*... Thank heavens growing
old gracefully is *part of Nature's plan*... I'm so looking forward to it,
what a relief") and a minute later are getting quite strident about how
vile it will be if the poor in the Third World are to be refused
immortality because it's the sequestered privilege of the rich.

In fact, this ludicrous dichotomy probably masks some more plausible
concerns, the kind that usually take the form: `The desperate poor in the
Third World are starving and dying while you selfish swine plan to live
forever, guzzling the globe's resources and perverting the economies of the
less powerful.' Julian Simon Doing-more-with-less arguments to one side,
this is by no means a stupid objection *right now*. But if you retort that
if it's just *money* they're worried about, these good hearted souls could
fix the problem in a jiffy by banning expenditure on music CDs, chewing
gum, combs, soft toilet paper, sporting events and churches, and send the
savings direct to reputable aid organizations, they grow oddly sullen.

Damien Broderick

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