The Instigator
RandomT
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Thoht
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Is it good for the society if the life expectancy increases to 100 years?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/31/2019 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 820 times Debate No: 120109
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (0)

 

RandomT

Con

Global life expectancy is around 70 years now. If people continue to live longer, We might see a new set of challenges.
1. Employment: The retirement age of people has to be increased, Resulting in reduction of job opportunities for younger generations.
2. Medical costs: As people age, The medical costs go up. The present healthcare system helps you live longer, But not in a healthy way.
3. Social security costs: The pension and other costs will go up. The burden on Govt to meet the demand will shoot up every year without anything in return.

While it sounds good to see people live longer, Unless these challenges are met, The future could be scary for all of us.
Thoht

Pro

1. If life expectancy increases, It is unlikely that the health expectancy doesn't follow it. Health expectancy is the period of time in one's life where you are likely to be able to take care of yourself and have few serious ailments. Today's 50 year old may be equivalent to the future's 70 or 80 year old in terms of health. If this is true, The retirement age may increase.

2. The more developed a country gets the more its birth rate declines. The 'replacement rate' of a country depends on many factors. The definition though is whether or not we have enough people being born to replace people who are dying. If fewer people are being born than will die their jobs cannot be replaced et cetera. Our economy gradually declines in many meaningful ways. It's fairly dangerous. People staying alive longer would mitigate this problem. Other solutions would involve encouraging people to have children at higher rates by various means and even that may not solve it. Either way, A population having longer healthy lives and longer lives mitigates the problem short-term at the least.

3. Scientists will be able to increase their knowledge like never before. Imagine Einstein, Hawking, Or Newton with a few extra decades. This will increase the rate at which society advances and solves potential problems that may arise with overpopulation. It will give kids superior educations. Advancements will be made in every field that requires expertise. People will have grandfathers, Great grandfathers, And greatgreat grandfathers in their lives.

Overpopulation is not an issue in first world countries. These are the countries most likely to hit 100 years life expectancy by medical progress first. Even in third world countries though where overpopulation may be a concern, The older scientists with decades more time to experiment and advance their expertise will likely find solutions for it. The government, Worst case, Can impose something like a 1-child policy for some number of years.

It is inarguable that advancements and expertise will increase with a population with longer healthy lives, And all of our lives will be happier having longer to enjoy life in prime condition. As society stands now, We are close to getting out of our primes just as we get stable finances. IE paying off college debt, Buying a house (and paying it off) et cetera.

Your argument seems to be that life expectancy will increase without health expectancy increasing. It is unlikely. Medical costs might be higher, But may not be. This largely depends on how we get to the life expectancy of 100 years. Many issues are caused by cells that gradually get more and more damaged as they are replaced and errors happen more often. If we stabilize our cells and improve how we heal, There's no reason to think associated medical costs won't be the same or even decrease.

As far as social security, If the health expectancy of the population increases the retirement age will increase as well, And the social security age will increase. This has already been suggested and done by many countries with similar programs.

As far as employment goes, With higher population there are more jobs. Everyone that lives has 'demand' for goods. If the population increases from 1, 000 to 1, 500 people in a small society there will be more jobs because there is more demand for goods. There's no reason to think that job opportunities will be stagnant with a larger population.

The arguments you SHOULD use for overpopulation are things like 'limited food and water' or 'limited land and housing' et cetera. To which the argument is then there is no food shortage problem in the world. There is a distribution problem. The US may make enough food to feed the world on its own, But getting the food to every person is the problem. Who pays for it? How do we get the food from fertile lands to less fertile lands? These are problems that, If they do have solutions, Will be more likely to be solved by a larger population with more advanced experts than a smaller population with less advanced experts.

There are other ways to tackle the issue, But few of them will be in favor of societal improvements via shorter lifespans and healthspans.

May your thoughts be clear,

-Thoht
Debate Round No. 1
RandomT

Con

Your optimism is appreciable. However, The reality is quite different.
1. With the asset bubble in last 20 years or so, How many millennials will be able to afford a house/flat? Imagine living for 100 years paying rent.
2. The dynamics of market make getting stable jobs very difficult. It's true new jobs will have to be created. However, A major chunk of jobs will be taken up robots or AI, Leaving less opportunities for people. How about 50-year olds trying to acquire new skills to compete in market?
3. While health expectancy is expected to correlate with life expectancy, The costs to sustain healthy life style keep going up. It's easy to see why organic foods costs more. People will have to spend a bomb in their old age to sustain life.
4. The fact the United Nations is considering Universal Basic Income to sustain life points to a scenario of fewer jobs, Esp in third world countries. Over a period of time, Most people live only to create 'artificial demand' for goods. The crux of the argument is while the advancement in medicine makes people live longer, Is it necessarily good for the society as a whole or only few wealthy would benefit out of it?
Thoht

Pro

There is nothing optimistic about my arguments. They all are well grounded in reality. I cannot imagine more than 1 or 2 ways life expectancy could increase that much without health expectancy increasing. I can imagine many more ways they both increase. Instead of hand-waving my entire argument perhaps you could respond to a few of the points? I'll respond to yours, At least.

1. Imagining living 100 years paying rent is no different from imagining living 70 years paying rent. This problem isn't to be attributed to increasing life expectancy. On top of that, There are something along the lines of 2 empty homes owned by investors for every houseless person in the US, If I recall my stats correctly. This isn't an issue with increasing life expectancy, But how capitalist economic policies in the US and most other countries contribute to houselessness.

2. Again, Automation is not a problem to be attributed to life expectancy, But an inherent problem of capitalism and improving efficiency and technology. One of the goals of our society should be to eliminate the need for people to have to work. There's nothing wrong with reducing the length of workdays and letting people enjoy comforts provided by AI and automation. You're attributing future technology problems to increasing life expectancy, Which is a false association. On top of that, Bringing up automation and AI as if it won't help the above problem of housing would be absurd. As far as stable jobs and slow job growth would go, This isn't exactly a problem that would spring out of nowhere. If life expectancy increased to 100 today we'd still have decades before the population would notice. The markets would have plenty of time to adjust.

3. I have seen few studies that show organic food being necessary for healthy lifestyles. I imagine people would be OK with paying for food if they could live a few more decades. This is also not a societal issue as much as it is a personal one.

4. Again you're attributing the problems of automation to life expectancy. It is nothing but a distraction from the topic. Regardless of the total number of humans on the planet or how long those humans live, Automation will happen. The capital owners will benefit the most if our system stays as "capitalist" in nature as it is. 'Socialism, ' to some degree, Is inevitable to fix this problem. If handled correctly humans will have time to create new fields of work that people will actually enjoy, Not be forced to suffer jobs that can be automated which we will not. It is also possible we all decide to eliminate the mandatory servitude of the human race and enjoy the closest to utopia we may ever get.

Many capitalists believe that automation will push humans out of menial work and leave them with creative work. This has some merit, But the transition issues will surely be problematic, And certainly could be screwed up hardcore enough to leave some societies worse off for a time. However, That is neither here nor there. If human life expectancy increases, We will have more older, Wiser, And experienced people in every field to lead us down the right path as best as can be done. I must repeat again though, It is invalid to attribute the problems of 'automation' to 'increasing life expectancy in humans. '

There are certainly arguments in favor of your point. Why not use them instead of bringing up problems with automation and economic systems? The best point you brought up is #3, And I think few people in society would mind having to pay rent for a few more decades or continue to pay for food if they could live. Having to pay for rent and food is not a societal problem as much as it is a personal problem in the first place.

Humans living longer would hardly be detrimental to society at all. If overpopulation might occur we may indeed have a problem. This would happen eventually if life expectancy were to increase at a higher rate than time passed in reality. IE if every year medical science improved to increase the life expectancy of people more than 1 year every year. This will be when we achieve immortality, Assuming that rate of increase lasts. There is no reason to expect that humans will not eventually be immortal. If the argument was societal problems for immortal humans prior to colonization of other worlds I would be on your side. Increasing the life expectancy to just 100 though would be good for first-world nations the most, And other nations overall, Not detrimental overall.

May your thoughts be clear,

-Thoht
Debate Round No. 2
RandomT

Con

I'm not giving a point-by-point rebuttal, But using your insightful counter-views to arrive at the core of the issue. I'm deliberately not bringing up the points like how personal/family relationships will be shaped up or mental issues associated with aging etc. So bear with me.

Your argument can be summed up as follows:

1. A lifespan of 70 years is not different from 100 years. Lifespan increase is a step towards immortality, Which has its own set of problems.
2. Automation and AI are intrinsic to capitalism, And will help people enjoy comforts of life.
3. Increase in lifespan of scientists and thinkers will be boon as they can use their expertise for longer period.
4. Living expenses and Healthy lifestyle is a personal problem.
5. Older, The wiser one becomes.
6. Overall, Increase in lifespan is not a societal issue, But a combo of personal and economic issues.

My thoughts:

1. As per some studies, Human population will reach a peak point at 11 billion in few decades and remain steady thereafter. The problem of increase in life expectancy is not same as overpopulation. The life expectancy is a problem associated with rising median age (predicted to rise by 30% in next 30 years). Young population can adapt to the challenges faster and better. Demographically 'older' countries, Like France and Japan, Have witnessed stagnation in GDP growth, While 'younger' countries like China and India have higher GDP growth rates. Since employment is correlated with GDP growth, Increase in life expectancy isn't good for larger economies.

2. Science is focused on minimizing the impact on environment, One of the core issues of overpopulation. But why did USA walkout of Climate agreement (COP-22)? Isn't it because of 'older' generation not believing in global warming despite evidence? Despite advances in science, It is collective wisdom which decides the fate of it. Unfortunately, Age doesn't correlate with wisdom.

3. While automation and AI reduce redundancy, The assumption that creative work will be left to humans is not completely correct. In Yuval Harari's 'Homo Deus', This notion is dismantled. It's not long before creative fields like Arts and Music will be conquered by the AI. Yes, New opportunities will be created but not much in quantity, As much in quality. The issue linking Automation and the life expectancy is employment. Guess, 'automation and jobs' is a hot debate across globe, So will leave it out.

4. In future, The way I see things are, Either you hit a jackpot early in life, Or struggle all along. The allure of (pleasure-filled) long life coupled with pressure of make it big faster changes dynamics of society. Of course this may reduce life expectancy (source: https://www. Smithsonianmag. Com. . . ). Drug abuse and suicides of youth is rising due to this pressure. From societal POV, A breakdown in present value system is inevitable. After all, Life isn't just about being alive, But respect and dignity matter too. Such a life may not be possible for many.
Thoht

Pro

1. A lifespan of 100 years versus 70 years would be a world of difference, But there are few if any causal links between much of what you have said and lifespan.

2. Immortality definitely would come with huge challenges if it were to occur prior to tech advancements in several ways. Most notably, The colonization and possible terraforming of other worlds, But that's a bit off topic.

3. Automation and AI aren't an intrinsic problem of capitalism alone, But they are a way worse problem in a capitalist system than other systems. It is probably inevitable that socialism of some sort will take over. The only other possibilities are the world you seem to fear where the ruling elite hold all the power and the rest of us are starving or dying, Or violent revolution against the wealthy elite. Also a bit off topic, But my main point is that this is not a problem that life span has any clear effect on. Perhaps just that automation will come sooner due to increased expertise of scientists, But again the only reason that is a problem is our current economic system. There's nothing wrong with automation and AI in and of themselves. (Strong AI is another matter entirely, And arguments can be made against human progress itself)

4. Yes, Increases in lifespans, But more importantly healthspans of experts in all fields will improve many things.

5. I don't see "you have to pay for rent and food for 30 more years" as a legitimate argument as to increasing life expectancy/healthspans being 'bad' for society. If increased lifespans led to overpopulation and issues could potentially arise over access to clean water, Food, And housing, Then you may have a point. As it is, We produce plenty of those and there is no reason to suppose a population increase over the span of some 30+ years giving us plenty of time to adjust would cause problems. If we suddenly increased our population by 30%-50% overnight then we would probably have an issue, But that's just not how increasing lifespans would work. There would be no population boom in the short term. It'd be a long term game.

6. I'm not saying that the majority of the population 'becomes wiser' as they get older. Experts in their fields certainly will. On top of that, Our current generation is more computer savvy and I'd submit far more versatile than previous generations due to the advent of the internet and computers. We are a far cry away from the previous generations. I tend to have more faith in our ability to adapt than the previous generations.

7. Overall, An increase in lifespan/healthspan is a societal BOON. The few 'issues' involved would be heavily outclassed by the positive impacts. I don't view an increase in lifespan as a personal/economic issue solely at all. I merely point out that most of what you cite as arguments against it are not related to lifespan/healthspan directly, But are economic and personal issues that matter little to not at all when arguing about societal impacts.

As for your thoughts:

1. GDP is a poor measure of what makes a society "good. " Many countries far younger on average compared to France and Japan are far, Far 'worse. ' This really depends on what metrics you're looking at. What makes a society "good? " If you think the answer is GDP or 'jobs' I would say you're selling human potential short, And have extremely odd values. Isn't life expectancy, Quality of life, Health expectancy, Crime rates, Happiness, Access to luxuries, Stress, Ability to purchase housing, Ability to start a business, Freedom, Et cetera far more important? A meta analysis of all of these would likely not point immediately to younger societies immediately being better.

Saying younger people can 'adapt to challenges faster and better' is an odd notion. Children are raised with current day technology. They don't need to 'adapt. ' This is their existence. Experts in fields are who are really doing the work and inventing new things. How often are these people spring chickens? On top of that, There are few arguments to suggest older experts with greater healthspans would not lead to far superior outcomes as far as advancement and economic efficiency goes.

2. Science denial is hardly an issue of older people alone. It'd be more valid to point to the uneducated, The republicans, Or religious people than it would be to point to older people alone specifically. You can say older people are more likely to be less educated or religious, But it seems strange to take the problems of 'religion' and 'education' and apply them to 'lifespan' rather than applying them to the actual cause. The difference of old people voting democrat versus republican is something like 60-40 if I recall my stats properly. On top of that, I don't need to defend current day old people for my argument to work. I can defend current day young people living to 100. A generational issue is not an argument against increasing human lifespans.

3. Employment isn't something that links automation and life expectancy. I've been over this. Automation will occur regardless of life expectancy. Employment will decrease due to automation, Not to life expectancy. You can say "if there are more people, More jobs will be lost! " but those are simple raw numbers. The percentage will more or less be the same. On top of this, There are plenty of creative jobs that cannot be automated simply because we enjoy humans doing those activities, Not AI. Labor is a market that can likely be entirely automated and few humans will care. No one wants to watch an AI play video games (streaming), Make youtube videos, Et cetera. You can argue this point if you'd like, But I can just as easily say humans will merge with technology and be superior to simple strong AI in the end and thus the problem of automation will be solved. Also, I can say "why is it intrinsically good for humans to have to work? " There is no argument for why humans should be forced to work, So it is not necessarily bad that we may not have to in the future.

4. You seem to be falling for the trap that you are accusing society of falling for. Why is it important to hit a jackpot early in life, Why is it important to make it big fast? Struggling is part of life. We all do it. Some more than others. Life can be about a lot of things for a lot of people. What if all someone wants to do is get high? Why is that 'bad? ' Respect and dignity may matter to you but may not matter to others.

Either way, This has been a really strange argument. You bring up economic, Personal, And off topic problems that aren't caused or even correlated to lifespan alone. There are many arguments you could have made that are valid, But I'm not sure many of the ones you bring up are. All of them have easy fixes, For the most part. None of what you bring up outweighs improved proficiency to all our experts, Increased healthspans allowing for families to have more time with each other, To enjoy life, Et cetera before we probably vanish into nothing. The problems you bring up can largely be solved by improving education, By reducing superstition in society, Et cetera. All of those problems will likely improve simply from increased proficiency of experts alone. Improved experts lead to improved education systems lead to reduced superstition in society leads to less science denial.

Really the only argument for life expectancy not reaching 100 is if you have a personal belief that life after death exists and it is superior to life. At that point though, Why you care at all about what is good for today's society is a legit question. Wouldn't society be better off if we all died in our late 20s for someone who believes in a better afterlife?

There really aren't arguments against lifespan/healthspan increases. Your personal dislike of the current older generation is not an argument against increasing lifespans.

May your thoughts be clear,

-Thoht
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
No votes have been placed for this debate.

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use.