[extropy-chat] On the Inevitability and Goodness of Superlongevity

Marc Geddes marc_geddes at yahoo.co.nz
Sat May 28 07:26:56 UTC 2005

Fascinating, Dr Walker, fascinating.

>It is 
>somewhat surprising to me that some people get more
>bothered about 
>superlongevity than other possible types of

I think the main worry people have is that it is
somehow 'selfish' or 'narcisstic' to want to live a
long time.  Probably things haven't been helped by all
those bad sci-fi movies where the budding immortalist
is always portrayed as a mad braking mad egoist.

I think it needs to be made claim that we are
advocating for longevity in a *utilitarian* sense, not
an *egoist* sense.  That is, we want to get life
extension technology out to as many people as

Just on a side-note, it was interesting that you
mentioned the ethical debate between what you called 
welfarists (who want to maximize utility in the sense
of happiness) and perfectionists (who emphasize growth
as the highest good).  I'm inclined to think that
ethics is some sort of *combination* of the two (that
is: I think that both welfarists and perfectionists
are both half right).

Note that welfarists emphasize the *intrapersonal*
(individual internal  positive experiences), where as
perfectionists emphasize the *interpersonal* (the role
individuals play in the world, or how they interact
with the external world and the people around them). 
So welfarists are dealing with *intrapersonal* ethics
(what personal values to pursue), where as
perfectionists are dealing with *interpersonal
ethics*(how we should relate the external world).

For *intrapersonal* ethics, I think welfarism equates
to Eudaimonia (which I interpret as a combination of
health and happiness).

For *interpersonal* ethics, I think perfectionism
equates to what I have called Volition (a constant
striving for perfection requires growth, which amounts
to a constant expansion of over-all choice or freedom
- Volition).

So remember my handy formula for morality.  Here it

Morality = Eudaimonia x Volition

Eudaimonia is welfarism, Volition is perfectionism and
the multiplication sign indicates that I think ethics
is some sort of interaction or combination of the two.


THE BRAIN is wider than the sky,  
  For, put them side by side,  
The one the other will include  
  With ease, and you beside. 

-Emily Dickinson

'The brain is wider than the sky'


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