extropians: ethical problem? Some kind of problem, anyway...

ethical problem? Some kind of problem, anyway...

O'Regan, Emlyn (Emlyn.ORegan@actew.com.au)
Mon, 19 Apr 1999 11:24:00 +1000

On Damien Broderick's new book, "The Last Mortal Generation": I just finished reading it - very enlightening, thankyou Damien! In fact, it's how I found out about transhumanism, then extropians, then this list.

I especially loved the chapter about Black Holists, mostly for the tone of the discussion. I'm not usually one for wholesale bagging of people, but when the execution is so artful...

Actually, I'll ask an unrelated question of people at this point.

I decided quite a while ago that I would like to live a bit longer than three score and ten. I was convinced that science will be able to deliver this before it becomes an issue for me. Then I found out about Damien's book, because I'd been using the same phrase (last mortal generation), and someone pointed me to the book.

I have found that this has occupied my thoughts more and more, and so my conversation. In fact, I'm probably becoming an immortality bore. The problem I have is, that when I'm blabbing away about living in the last generation of mortals or the first generation of immortals, depending on luck basically (and a lot of people's hard work, sorry to all you out there), I suddenly get quite embarrased if I'm talking to or am nearby an elderly person.

How, after all, can it sound? I'm in my late twenties, and talking about how it's a travesty that people die, a pointless waste, and a violation of human rights which must be rectified, probably in the later half of next century, so I'll have to hang on tooth&nail to life until my mortality problem can be fixed up. Blah blah blah, I'm sure many of us go on with the same stuff.

How insulting is this to a person of, say, 80 years? Really, I'm writing them of, as part of the doomed past, so near and yet so far. It makes me feel like a heel, and yet my opinions about immortality (I love the loaded words) has not changed.

What does one do? Keep it to oneself? Go on regardless? Tell such a person "Sorry you are going to die, bummer eh"?

What do other list members think about this? I'd be *especially* interested in the opinions of older members.