Re: Can You Live Forever? Esquire article

J. R. Molloy (
Mon, 10 May 1999 13:42:53 -0700

Natasha wrote,
>The following is a quote from _Consilience_ which explains my thoughts on
>this thread.
>"I believe that in the process of locating new avenues of creative thought,
>we will also arrive at an existential conservatism. It is worth asking
>repeatedly: Where are our deepest roots? We are, it seems, Old World,
>catarrhine primates, brilliant emergent animals, defined genetically by our
>unique origins, blessed by our newfound biological genius, and secure in
>our homeland if we wish to make it so. What does it all mean? This is what
>it all means. To the extent that we depend on prosthetic devices to keep
>ourselves and the biosphere alive, we will render everything fragile. To
>the extent that we banish the rest of life, we will impoverish our own
>species for all time."
>*I have separated the last sentence from his original paragraph for
>"And if we should surrender our genetic nature to machine-aided
>ratiocination, and our ethics and art and our very meaning to a habit of
>careless discursion in the name of progress, imagining ourselves godlike
>and absolved from our ancient heritage, we will become nothing."

Yes, I particulary appreciated this last parapraph from Wilson's book. He has written a concise and cogent, not to say entirely compelling statement in that one paragraph. The outstanding excellence of his analysis requires reading the 297 pages preceding it to fully grok it.

(Wilson's last paragraph prompted me to add a new tag line to my email in order to better clarify my own philosophical position.)


--J. R.
CEE CEE Rider:
Conservative Existential Empiricist
Consilient Extropian Environmentalist