The Instigator
athxna
Con (against)
The Contender
CosmoJarvis
Pro (for)

We should aim to extend people's lives indefinitely

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/3/2017 Category: Health
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 546 times Debate No: 98656
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (0)

 

athxna

Con

I think that we should not aim to extend people's lives indefinitely. In the Oxford English Dictionary, 'indefinitely' is defined as 'for an unlimited period or unspecified period of time'; in this statement, it is stating that we should aim to extend people's for an unlimited amount of time.

I am against this statement, as extending people's lives doesn't mean that we stop ageing. We still continue ageing, and this process is prolonged. This means extended suffering, so why should we aim to create more agony for ourselves? Do you really want to extend your life when you're old and frail, unable to do much? One of the main reasons why people want to extend their life is to have more time to do the things they love, however, when you've aged and you're no longer able to do a lot of these things, do you still want to keep living forever? What's the point then?

Another reason I am against this statement is because our planet will not be able to keep up with the demands of everyone. We are already starting to witness the problem of overpopulation, and if people's lives are extended indefinitely, that means that the population is going to continue growing at a rapid pace, and it wouldn't drop at all as no one is dying. How would we cope with the demands that this quickly growing population brings? We will run out of resources, including food, energy, space, clean water etc, which can lead to issues such as famine, and many will starve. However, we won't have an end to this suffering; as we are living indefinitely, you will just suffer for eternity.
CosmoJarvis

Pro

If humanity were to extend human lives indefinitely, that would be an astounding feat. We could preserve the greatest minds: scientists, engineers, military generals, etc.

Unlike your interpretation of how humans would be like if they were given "immortality," I believe that humans with a largely extended lifespan would experience aging. I, on the other hand, believe that the key to immortality for humanity, or at least the key to extend humanity's lifepan, would be to modify human cells to suspend aging. "Like [the Turritosis nutricula, and bowhead whale], we are built of cells, and some of those cells can be immortal too," (DOC 1).

"Another reason I am against this statement is because our planet will not be able to keep up with the demands of everyone. We are already starting to witness the problem of overpopulation, and if people's lives are extended indefinitely, that means that the population is going to continue growing at a rapid pace..."
I will not disagree with the belief that humanity is reaching its carrying capacity, and immortality will only increase the pace in which humanity does. However, I do believe that humanity is capable of traveling to different planets, and colonizing there. Programs such as NASA are already researching and working to make this a reality, and if we can preserve the minds of intelligent scientists, we can increase the progress of colonizing on other planets.



Extra Notes:
The Turritosis Nutricula is a type of jellyfish which is believed to be "immortal." After reaching its mature state, it will revert back to its younger state.
The Bowhead Whale has a lifespan of around 120 years.

Citations:
DOC 1: "The Recipe for Immortaliy," http://discovermagazine.com...
Debate Round No. 1
athxna

Con

In opposition to your first point that ageing would be prevented, similar to how the Turritopsis Nutricula reverts back to its younger state, there's a slight problem in that the jellyfish only revert their cells in times of crisis (1). Another problem is that the cells in the jellyfish transdifferentiate during the process, meaning if we were to follow their example, there is a huge possibility that our memories would be wiped out during this process (2). This means that your argument that immortality can preserve the greatest minds wouldn't be possible. Their memories would be wiped out, and they would be a completely different person. Also, if we were to modify cells until we were immortal, what is the cost of this? How many experiments would we have to go through? Is it really ethical?

In argument to your second argument of colonising different planets, what planet can we colonise on? I agree that NASA are researching into colonising Mars, but the water on Mars isn't drinkable. Also, Mars is VERY cold - typical night time temperatures close to the equator are -70 degrees Celsius (3). We would not be able to survive on other planets without technology permanently bound by our side. Imagine the costs and time to get the suitable technology for everyone alive now to live on Mars, never mind those that will be born! Colonising other planets does not solve the problem of overpopulation.

Immortality also means that no new ideas would be brought in (4), because we'll have to limit birth due to overpopulation problems. We would not advance, and we would not evolve.

Sources:
(1) http://www.mnn.com...
(2) http://www.thatsreallypossible.com...
(3) http://www.science20.com...
(4) http://www.naturalnews.com...
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by CosmoJarvis 1 year ago
CosmoJarvis
The explanation, " because we'll have to limit birth due to overpopulation problems," is not same to explaining it with "because of the low death rate," or something to that variation.

The article clearly stated that the primary reason to the stopped flow and creation of new ideas was because there would be a low death rate, and so those who are unwilling to change their beliefs and are bent on influencing others with their conservative ideas will prevent the creation of newer ideas.
Posted by athxna 1 year ago
athxna
Pro, I say that because I ran out of words, and that was the easiest way to summarise it. The article states that 'the fixed resources on the planet Earth can only support a fixed number of people, therefore, to support the lives of all those already there, they will have to limit new births'. I hope you agree that it is stating that we'll have to limit new births because of limited resources. I hope you'll agree with my point that overpopulation is a major contributing factor of this problem of limited resources. I say this because 'fixed number of people' means that we cannot afford to overpopulate, which means that we will have to limit birth due to potential overpopulation problems, no?
Posted by CosmoJarvis 1 year ago
CosmoJarvis
Yes, but you explain that this happens " because we'll have to limit birth due to overpopulation problems." That's not the explanation the article gives.
Posted by athxna 1 year ago
athxna
Pro, on the fourth source, it literally says 'a civilisation that could give its population the ability to live forever would be doomed to eternal stagnation'. The article explains that immortality would MEAN little to no new ideas would be introduced, under the subheading 'Immortality would halt the advancement of civilisation'. Please read the sources fully.
Posted by CosmoJarvis 1 year ago
CosmoJarvis
Con, you refer to your fourth source by saying "Immortality also means that no new ideas would be brought in (4), because we'll have to limit birth due to overpopulation problems." I checked the article, and found that the article did explain that immortality prevents that little to no new ideas would be introduced and spread because of the death rate. Please do not make false inferences on your sources. The reasoning behind this was literally following that point.
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