Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Do you want to live forever?

An article appeared in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend, discussing the possibilities of extending human life expectancy. While the discussion is hardly a new topic, the growing population certainly makes it an interesting one. There are social and economic realities we live in that weren't applicable a hundred years ago. Our world is a shrinking one. Is it really worth it to continue this type of research?

I write about paranormal creatures with extended lives all the time, but the reality is a much different story. We have problems with overcrowdedness and lack of resources already. Can you imagine the strain the world would take if the population didn't have a natural break to it? Of course, if extending lives meant those people would then be able to produce more that would be of benefit to the world at large, I wouldn't hesitate in the slightest. But how likely is that to happen? I just don't know. I'd like to believe in altruism, but the cynic in me calls that part foolish.

And what about relationships? Divorce is a defining reality for a lot of people. Would we be forced to reimagine our concept of marriage? If someone spends over a hundred years as an adult, is it realistic to think they'd do so with a single person?

The romantic in me would like to say yes, but I know that it wouldn't necessarily work out that way. Relationships take work, especially over longer periods of time.

What are your thoughts?