life extension vs. natural law

Michael S. Lorrey (
Mon, 18 Jan 1999 11:03:06 -0500

Ken Kittlitz wrote:

> At 01:51 PM 1/15/99 -0500, Michael S. Lorrey wrote:
> >> Why should we look to them any more than looking to vegetarians?
> >> The human body can adapt to any number of culturally diverse diets.
> >
> >It may adapt, but what is it most efficiently evolved for? The page she
> >referenced purports to show that the human digestive tract is, in fact,
> >optimized for a meat diet. On a basis of natural law, this means that it
> >is in fact not naturally immoral for humans to kill animals and eat their
> >meat. One might say that it is more moral than displacing herbivorous
> >animals in the food chain of an ecosystem with humans practicing the less
> >efficient herbivorous lifestyle.
> I think good arguments can be made both for and against a meat diet, but
> bringing "natural" into it isn't a wise idea. By the above rationale, it
> would be immoral to live past one's "natural" life-span. After all, the
> same evolutionary history that caused our digestive tracts to be the way
> they are also saddled us with finite life spans. In fact, a common argument
> against immortality is that "death is natural".
> I don't know what your own views of the morality of life extension are, but
> assume that like most people on this list, you are probably in favour of
> it. If so, how do you reconcile your stance with its violation of natural law?

Since nature is only concerned with the reproduction of the species, once a being has lived past its reproductive age, it is no longer needed by nature, however, nature does not need for humans to die immediately after reproducing (as is the case with some species like some spiders and preying mantis'). Arguably the fact that humans can live so long past their reproductive age indicates that humans living after reproductive age impart positive evolutionary benefits upon others reproducing, so living longer than nature is capable of (humans are, in fact, one of the longest lived animals, thus indicating that we already push the limits of what nature is capable of) may increase this benefit, provided that people are able to be productive self sufficient individuals. Moreover, life extension also includes the desire to be able to reproduce far longer than currently possible, thus increasing our capacity to meet the goal of nature, to reproduce. Life extension also gives us the ability to survive long space voyages to planets in other star systems, thus fulfilling nature's other goal, expansion of the species into other ecosystems and niches....

So you see, natural law can fit just fine into life extension.