The important principle of life’s default positivity was introduced via Thomas Nagel’s Death essay in an earlier post. This essay is a masterful essay of analytical philosophy: dense, full with deep thoughts, yet it is clearly written and most arguments and positions can be recovered with relative ease. On the other hand, it keeps you engaged as it opens up new questions and make you think further. Today my job is to type here almost the complete last section of the essay as it provides a great description of why the assumption of open-ended, indefinite lifespan is a familiar, default and ‘natural’ inner experience of people. As such it can be used as an argument for wanting to actually live an Open Life and push for developing the technology (what I call Open Healthspan) eventually yielding an external experience matching this inner experience. Continue reading “Thomas Nagel and the familiar inner experience of Open Lifespan”
Last time I’ve introduced the principle of life’s default positivity, and the first formula provided was the one used by Thomas Nagel in his Death essay:
It is good simply to be alive.
Another way to phrase this is comparatively
It’s better to be alive than dead.
Let me introduce now a potential counterargument, extracted from the words of one of my favourite fictional characters, Rosencrantz, played by Garry Oldman in Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. Mind you, this is Stoppard’s but not Shakespeare’s Rosencrantz, speaking. How about watching it first:
Here’s the corresponding section from the script: Continue reading “Is life in a box is better than no life at all? Help and hope, so.”
It is good simply to be alive, even if one is undergoing terrible experiences.
So first formula
1. It is good simply to be alive.
The argument: Humans with Open Lives can act on ecological scales
Our daily today is posing a heavy philosophical question: can we build a better self without building a better world? For understanding the level of this question one needs to take a moral/ethical concept of the self granted. But we don’t need to dig into the depth of the malleability of personal identity, but mostly focus on our narrative, social construct of our selves that is a prime bearer of moral values and changes and agent of moral decisions. Continue reading “Daily Effort: Can we build a better self without building a better world?”
Here I’m republishing an edited version of my earlier post from this year on my earlier blog. This post expresses an important political position/consequence of the Open Lifespan philosophy.
A quick answer to the post title question
Sure, but only if we know what types of aging we are talking about. My original, more boring but less sensational post title elaborates on this: Counteracting biological aging and neutralising chronological ageism should go hand in hand. (For the record, am not a big fan of using military/aggressive terms such as fighting). We desperately need to use the proper terms and choose the right type of aging we talk about depending on the context we talk about it.
I’m into Open Lifespan/Healthspan since I was 14 and am several decades older now, in early middle age. Since my teenage commitment got me into aging research and science, I became sensitive and appreciative towards the issues that arise with aging so I was sensitised towards the issues of older people early on. I’ve always looked at them as forming the forefront, the avant-garde of experiencing and understanding accelerated biological aging and trying to counteract the biological, physiological decline and metabolic damage that accompanies it. So that meant respect, by default. Continue reading “Fighting aging and fighting ageism: two sides of the same coin?”
Similarly to my previous post, Open lifespan needs an open narrative: life as a series, the indirect philosophical background of this post is the meaning of life question. But the direct philosophical foreground is ‘agency'.
In ‘Agency, Life Extension, and the Meaning of Life‘, professional philosopher Lisa Bortolotti argues that the so-called agency objection against a loosely defined life extension technology should be rejected.
Briefly put, the agency objection argues that one important component of the meaningfulness of human life is being constrained as an agent and since ‘life extension’ removes these constraints it undermines this meaningfulness of lived lives. Continue reading “Open lifespan as a coherent life plan enables super-agency”
Trying a quicker, less detailed blog format now, maybe because I’m writing from the beach, by Lake Balaton, and using family vacation time. The philosophical background of this post is the ‘meaning of life’ question, and I will be dealing a lot later with this question in the context of open lifespan. The foreground is aesthetic, uses analogies from cinematography.
1. Closed Lifespan -> Closed Narrative -> Life as a Feature Length Movie
Philosopher Joshua Seachris thinks ‘narrative ending links closely with the meaning of life’. Continue reading “Open lifespan needs an open narrative: life as a series”
Perhaps the most frequent, most misleading and hence, most annoying framing problem around biomedically achieved healthy lifespan extension is that the headline making machinery is using the term immortality without any restrictions when only discussing the first detailed technological plans and the articulating will behind breaking the closed lifespan barrier of ~120 years or so. What do I have in mind? Here’s some pointed questions to consider when deciding you might be one of the people tempted to scream immortality too soon: Continue reading “Open or Closed Lifespan: that is the question, not mortality vs. immortality”