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Lifespans Are Long Enough

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  • Curing Old Age Is Narcissistic

    Clip: The debaters argue back and forth over the potentially narcissistic motivations to cure humanity of old age.

  • Will only the Wealthy Afford to Live Longer?

    Clip: Aubrey de Grey, Paul Root Wolpe, and Brian Kennedy discuss who would have access to treatments that can extend human lives and whether or not it will increase the gap between rich and poor.

  • We Can't Know the Future of Human Lifespans

    Clip: Ian Ground and Brian Kennedy argue over what it could mean for humans to live longer lives in the future.

  • Why Human Life Is Long Enough

    Philosopher and lecturer Ian Ground, from the University of Newcastle, and Paul Root Wolpe, director of the Emory Center for Ethics argue FOR the motion "Lifespans Are Long Enough."

  • Why We Should Cure Aging

    Aubrey de Grey, Chief Science Officer and Co-founder of the SENS Research Foundation, and Brian Kennedy, CEO and President of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging argue AGAINST the motion "Lifespans Are Long Enough."

Debate Details

The Future Of The GOP

What if we didn’t have to grow old and die? The average American can expect to live for 78.8 years, an improvement over the days before clean water and vaccines, when life expectancy was closer to 50, but still not long enough for most of us. So researchers around the world have been working on arresting the process of aging through biotechnology and finding cures to diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer. What are the ethical and social consequences of radically increasing lifespans? Should we accept a “natural” end, or should we find a cure to aging?

The Debaters

For the motion

Ian Ground

Philosopher & Lecturer, University of Newcastle

Ian Ground, PhD, has taught philosophy in a range of roles, including senior lecturer in philosophy, at the universities of Newcastle, Sunderland... Read More

Paul Root Wolpe

Director, Emory Center for Ethics

Paul Root Wolpe, PhD, is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Bioethics, the Raymond F. Schinazi Distinguished Research Chair in Jewish Bioethics,... Read More

Against the motion

Aubrey de Grey

Chief Science Officer & Co-Founder, SENS Research Foundation

Aubrey de Grey, PhD, a biomedical gerontologist, is the chief science officer of SENS Research Foundation, a charity dedicated to combating the aging... Read More

Brian Kennedy

CEO & President, Buck Institute for Research on Aging

Brian K. Kennedy, PhD, is the CEO and president of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. His innovative work in the biology of aging began as... Read More

Where Do You Stand?

For The Motion
  • Radical life extension would lead to overpopulation and depletion of resources.
  • Scientific resources are better spent curing known diseases and improving existing quality of life.
  • Radical life extension is at odds with the natural and cultural process of life and death.
Against The Motion
  • Radical life extension is simply the next step in scientific and medical progress.
  • Anti-aging technology prevents the suffering of old age and age-related disease.
  • Longer lifespans increase an individual's ability to contribute wealth to society.

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The Research

The Research

What Happens When We All Live to 100?

Gregg Easterbrook
October 1, 2014

If life-expectancy trends continue, that future may be near, transforming society in surprising and far-reaching ways.

Live Very Long and Prosper a Lot

The Futurist interviews Sonia Arrison
March 1, 2016

Think how culturally and materially richer we would be if people could live, be healthy, and contribute to society up to ages of 150, 200, or beyond.

On Dying After Your Time

Daniel Callahan
November 30, 2013

We may properly hope that scientific advances help ensure, with ever greater reliability, that young people manage to become old people. We are not, however, obliged to help the old become indefinitely older. Indeed, our duty may be just the reverse: to let death have its day.

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