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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE (2012), HUMANITY ENHANCED (2014), and THE MYSTERY OF MORAL AUTHORITY (2016).

Saturday, April 11, 2009

My most popular Facebook status ever

My current Facebook status says:

"Russell Blackford is still working on that article about life extension - explaining why Peter Singer is wrong about this one. Contrary to Singer, we SHOULD develop a life-extension pill if we can."

So far, this has received fifteen comments; that's better than I normally get when I post something here! Admittedly, a small number of them are from me, responding to comments from others, but it's certainly a topic that has attracted interest.


Tony Smith said...

With the aim of eventual coexistence between the future directions of humanity and the rest of terrestrial biology, I've long been playing with the idea that we should only make broad life extension technologies available off planet.

This of course presumes a rather different developmental timetable to my current working assumption that the first viable off planet economy will be predominantly robotic (because that is already happening) with some synergistic accommodation between posthumans and autonomous robots far down the track.

ronnyR said...

Hey Russell, where does Peter Singer argue against life extension? Id like to have a read of that. Eager to read your critique aswell.

@ Tony: Im in the process of reading Asimov's Foundation series, your comment reminded me of the Spacers vs Settlers issue in the stories. I wonder if such a planetary segregation between short lived and long lived humans would not inevitably cause antagonism and misunderstanding between the two groups in a similar fashion to racial hatred prior to our current multicultural communities.

Russell Blackford said...

"Research into Aging: Should it be Guided by the Interests of Present Individuals, Future Individuals, or the Species?" In Ludwig F.C., ed. Life Span Extension: Consequences and Open Questions. New York: Spencer Publishing Company, 1991: 132-45.

It's possible that he'd now take a different view, but as far as I know he's never repudiated it.