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If you could live forever, would you? The choice may not be yours…

The year is 2040 and the latest rave is immortality implants and genetic changes only you can’t get them because our beloved government had decided (Since it is represented by our ‘Decider’) that they will be the body that will control how long our lifespan will be. At least that’s the quote from Francis Fukuyama, a former bioethics councilmen under the Bush administration (see the article Experts debate indefinite lifespan. Poll: what’s your opinion? for the story that inspired this post.)

This is where my question comes in. Lets say that this technology comes out and is wildly successful and everyone is presented with the choice to live for as long as they personally determine. What right does the government have to step in and make that decision for me? I mean we are talking about MY life here! I understand that the government has to manage things like food and land resources but does that really give them the control to tell me how many years I can spend in this existence? Besides, wouldn’t having some of the scientists that are helping to push us toward a space-based race live for a 1,000 or so years only benefit us? Sure, if no one dies (how many people would actually choose to live forever?) we’re going to run out of room eventually but by that time shouldn’t we be ready to start colonizing at least Mars? Think of all the posibilities that open up in space travel with a 1,000+ year life span. Travelling to the nearest star at less than the speed of light would now be possible in a human life time. I’m getting off the topic though, so what are your thoughts on this? Should the government be able to tell us how long we can live or is this a choice that should be left up to each person?

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