A big bravo for Tom Krattenmaker's "Life and Why It Must Continue" (S/O 2019), which makes the philosophical case for placing the survival of life as the highest good.
My only quibble is his dismissal of our desires to live indefinitely long. For one thing, our evolution is governed by genes and culture, so although our reproduction and death can lead to changes in our genes, they're not required for changes to our culture. A review of our recent human history would also show that this change in culture is immensely more powerful and important than the changes in our genes. And long lives could benefit that change enormously. As Immanuel Kant said:
Reason itself does not work instinctively, but requires trial, practice, and instruction in order gradually to progress from one level of insight to another. Therefore a single man would have to live excessively long in order to learn to make full use of all his natural capacities. This quote is the epigraph for my latest novel about what it would take to successfully make use of anti-aging technology. Even if you reject the entire notion, please tell me: To what age can we live before we really ought to die? And what if we no longer suffer from age-related breakdowns of our bodies?
Ed Gibney | Cultercoats, UK
Much of what Mark Anthony Kaye writes in "Living to Live: Rethinking Work and Idleness" (S/O 2019) parallels my experience, which I hope indicates that it...