The Instigator
Pro (for)
7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Radical Life Extension technology is worth pursuing.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/7/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,264 times Debate No: 43524
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (2)




In this debate I will be arguing that radical life extension technology is worth pursuing for individuals and society.

Round 1 acceptance
Round 2-3 arguments and rebuttals
Round 4 summary of arguments


Availability. That is my main issue. Obviously the demand would be high if this technology was created, and supply would be low considering the fact that the technology would be so new. Who would recieve the technology? My vote would be for the wealthy, because it's indefinite that this supply and demand aspect will cause the price of this technology to sky rocket. Do the wealthy deserve life extension more than the poor just because they can pay for it? I think not. It would cause a global controversy because those who couldn't pay for said "treatment" would still be dying while these wealthy, possibly undeserving, high class, individuals are living on with no worries. As it would be a great idea or concept to live on beyond the average lifespan, the aspect of worth would be excercised to a high extent. How do you tell if one life has more worth than another? What if said technology gets into the wrong hands? This is a radical statement, but what if a terrorist or a serial killer got ahold of this technology? Do we really want people like that living beyond their time? Is it worth it is my next question. Would it change the process of aging? Many issues come with age, by the age of 60 a large percent of beings are suffering from different illnesses and physical disadvantages. If we continue to live and add on years, will the same fate come? Will we still suffer these awful circumstances such as arthritis or loss of sight and hearing? Or would it get worse? Would extending the age in which we live just add on to more of our physical issues?
Now, I do have some aggreements with this proposal. I see as to how this may appear humane, you get to live on to see your great grandkids possibly great great grandkids. Maybe even beyond that. You get more experience than you would have. Christians may disagree though, some do believe that god has a set plan for them. That their days are numbered by him. I don't have that argument but it will be apparent. That brings me to my next question. What if death isn't really death? We don't know what is beyond our earthly time and some will argue that death takes them to a better place and extending their life on earth is wrong.
Debate Round No. 1


Radical life extension is worth pursuing based on how extreme the personal benefits can be.

I want to start by explaining how a modern version of Pascal's wager would look. . This modern version of Pascal's wager doesn't have a lot of the shortcomings it's predecessor does either.

Wylted's wager

1. Either radical life extension is possible in our lifetime or it is not.

2. If radical life extension is possible and we pursue it we may be able to add an indefinite amount of years to our lifespans.

3. If it is possible and we don't pursue it, then we will die significantly sooner then neccesary. At about 80.

4. If radical life extension is not possible and we pursue it then we will at least add several healthy years to our life through diet exercise and life style changes.

5. If radical life extension is not possible and we don't pursue it then we gain nothing.

As you can see the pursuit of radical life extension has several benefits that far outweigh negatives.

Why should society as a whole decide that radical life extension is a worthy pursuit.

Besides the potential upside of dramatically longer lifespans., there are the side benefits of an overall improvement in the healthcare due to the increased funding of medical research. There is also another benefit of the pursuit causing advances in technology that would have happened at a slower rate then if aggressive means of bringing them about being used.

Availability of life extension technologies.

We aren't talking about some magic pill here that some scientist will create to give people 100 extra years to live. What we're talking about is incremental improvements in medicine that when they come together give us radical life extension. A one percent improvement in a treatment here a half a percent there. It will be similar To the improvement between now and the year 1900 when most people didn't live past 50. . This is a 30 year improvement that went pretty much unnoticed by anyone living in those times.

This isn't the type of technology that can be hoarded by the rich. These type of healthcare improvements will be driven by your average joe paying for the new improved by 1% cancer drug that just came out. Just like the life extension technologies that have been implemented since the year 1900.

What if the bad guys live longer?

People tend to mellow out as they age? Testosterone levels lower. As a result of the lower testosterone people become less violent.

Also what if Einsten lived longer and contributed more to science? What if all geniuses lived longer.? With the reduced testosterone and the average person being older you can bet you would run into a higher percentage of non hostile people. Let's not forget manipulating the DNA of yet to be born children would probably be at least one factor in increasing hi an life span. If parents could control a child's DNA to lower the kids chance of getting diabetes they would ofcourse be on the look out for genes associated with personality types likely to commit crimes as well. The technology to help us live longer will also be used to lower crime rate.

Would life extension mean living in a horrible state longer?

This is why people should have the right to die whenever they want. I'm sure that life in this state would be extended due to improved treatment, but there is also a bunch of people in their 100s that do get around just fine. It's important that people take care of their health so they can die peacefully but there's no reason life extension couldn't mean being able to add a bunch of youthful years as well. It's a mixed bag but atleast if the technology is available we can have the freedom to take advantage of it or just shun it.

What about an afterlife?

No amount of radical life extension technology will make you invincible. Even with an indefinite lifespan the average person still won't live past 1,000 years. If your a religous person and you want to give up life in the carnal form to go meet your maker then you should have the freedom. With people living significantly longer you can bet people will make sure their government recognizes their right to die.

Technology hoarders.

Lets give another example as to why technology hoarding just isn't smart. The billionaires who have the means to develop and hoard this technology would be unwise to do so.

In order to hoard the technology it means they would have to use a bunch of experimental medicine. If they don't release this stuff on the public so they can have some sort of widespread experiment to work out the kinks, then they are taking a huge risk. Not only do they not have time to work out the kinks in this technology but very few people would be qualified to work on the technology if they needed to. The billionaires need us as lab rats we will have to have access to this technology if they are to survive as well.

What about overpopulation and the problems that come with it?

Make no mistake overpopulation is an issue that needs to be tackled with or without life extension technology. I think it's wrong to reduce overpopulation by withholding technology that reduces the chance of getting age related diseases. It's funny how the people who are worried about overpopulation would rather take away my freedom to live past 80 then they are to lower the birth rate. Why favor the non existent or the yet to be existent over the currently existing population?

Here is a few things you should take into account though.

1. The more industrialized a country becomes the lower the birth rate.

2. The more industrialized a country is the lower the pollution is.

3. Technology has increased food production.

As you can see the overpopulation problem isn't going away with or without radical life extension. What will help is pushing as hard as we can to bring about more and more emerging technologies. Without emerging technologies we will likely have to deal with the overpopulation problem sooner and in much more ruthless ways. Emerging technologies will at the very least buy us some more time and if we can keep increasing the planet's standard of living we might be able to bring down the birth rates without limiting people's freedom to reproduce.

A lot of people have kids because they know they are going to die soon. If radical life extension appears to be on the horizon, a lot of people who otherwise would have kids are now going to pass up the oppurtunity.


jscjvmadb forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


All arguments extended.


You stated in your paragraph about afterlife that we could not become invincible. The indefinite fact here is we do not know that. We also don't know if we can even increase our life span from what It is now. So if we are going to logically consider this we can't rule out anything especially when nothing is definite.

Living to be healthy.

The reality of it, is that this procedure wouldn't cure any kind of illness. It isn't some magic pill that cures cancer or rids you of aids. Currently 26.5 million adults have been diagnosed with heart disease.- That is a fatal disease and you aren't going to cure it with this "medication". The reality of it is that these people are still going to die. 26.5 million people and that is just due to one disease. So this would only benefit the healthy, disease ridden humans. As great as that may seem the utter fact that you could be choosing one life over another especially one who is already outliving the other just seems inhumane to some. I love the idea but at the same time the probability isn't high. Obviously Cancer is a huge global issue. We have no definite cure and either way they are still struck by that awful disease that will end their life in most cases.

This will be expensive!!

Supply and demand- When there is a low supply there is a high demand. This isn't going to be an easy thing to mass produce. So the demand will be high because of the obvious reason of wanting to live longer. That being said the price will be high as in any other situation. Even if it isn't in our lifetime when it does come out millions are still going to die daily.

Good Points

Yes, this science will be absolutely astonishing. Life changing at least, and we'll have more experience, but if what we want is more life there is other ways to go about it. You made a point about healthier life styles, that alone could have added 20-40 years to some people's lifespan. I'm sure we will learn more about nutrition and growth later down the road and that will benefit, but the idea of a medication is a little unreal in my opinion, and we will be achieving longer lives as we already have been but through simple natural recognitions.
Debate Round No. 3


" you stated in your paragraph about afterlife that we could not become invincible." "......we do not know that."

We don't know anything about the future, let's not get ridiculous in our speculations though. Even if invincibility became a possibility, it's unlikely that it would be forced on people. The only people missing an afterlife in your scenario would be people who didn't believe one exists.

" The reality is this procedure wouldn't cure any kind of illness "

What procedure? Radical life extension technologies would obviously be a convergence of several different technologies that push back life expectancy a little here and a little there, and when all of it comes together has a huge impact. I've already mentioned the radical life extension that has occurred since the year 1900, which can be attributed to probably over 100 things.

Radical life extension would likely benefit the sick and the healthy alike. Better medicine will help us push back our sick years and preventive medicine such as vaccines will prevent many sicknesses.

" This will be expensive "

Why are you assuming low supply and high demand. I've already explained why this wouldn't be the case. You can't assume because something is high demand it will be low supply. Or because it's low supply it will be high demand. Even if the costs are high so what. At least some people would be able to live longer and some are better then none.

If you look at my opponents last paragraph in the previous round you will see she is now a proponent of radical life extension. She points out that we will learn more about nutrition and it will allow us to add several years to our life. She points out that this knowledge ( technology ) is a good thing. Con has conceded the debate.

Vote pro.


jscjvmadb forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Plus, they have to login at least twice!
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
I will try that. Then I can at least look at their other debates and make sure they will give me a good fight. Thanks a lot.
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
The apply in comments rule works well, last time I opened a debate challenge was before a couple of system changes around here, but you're welcome to borrow from the setup:
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
Thanks I will when some of my other debates finish. Next time I will put some stuff in place to make sure I face a worthy opponent. This is something I'm passionate about so I'll try to face someone who should tear me to shreds.
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Very complex issue, I suggest opening the debate up for another challenger.
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
I really wanted a tough debate on this one I'm a little disappointed.
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
I will address as much of that in my arguments as I can if space permits
Posted by Poiesis 3 years ago
Besides the availability issue described in round one, there is another problem. Population.

The damage that the human population is doing to the biosphere is already staggering. This is in no small part do to artificial intervention. We are already living longer, and the population is climbing.

If we live longer, we'll definitely want to make sure that it's a quality life. Eventually we will be able to reproduce for a longer time as well. Will we then begin to dictate when people can reproduce? Will we decide who can, and how many children that they are allowed to have?

Eventually, we will run out of resources even if we don't pursue this technology.

The only people who should be considered for this type of alteration before finding another inhabitable planet would be the astronauts who intend to leave our solar system to find one.

But if it exists, people who are not supposed to use it will do so. Either way, the wealthy are already searching for this tech and they will eventually be the ones to get it. It's not a comforting thought.
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
The technology for um.... Let's say natural male enhancement will never be where it claims to be. If those pills work we would all be taking them. Then what would be the point of taking them? Sure the female portion of the population would be happier, but who cares? Also I would probably be the first to overdose on those things. Imagine the extra cost to add those new dimensions to my casket.
Posted by Elenchus123 3 years ago
I would argue that this technology would be fantastic for the deranged and deluded minds on this planet, Theres only so long you can go without the long dick of the truth slapping you in the face. Hehehehehehehehe
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by hiroki01 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Pro because Con forfeited twice. Sources to Pro. Overall, Pro made the better argument. The most powerful point Con brought up was the threat of overpopulation, but unfortunately she didn't develop it to its full potential.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Double forfeit...