Mt. Vernon Register-News

Community News Network

August 6, 2013

Life beyond 100: Americans divided about extending human lifespan

(Continued)

Of course people are already living longer, which has had impacts on everything from housing to employment. Pew cites the U.S. Census as saying every six years the average U.S. life span rises by a year. However most of the advancements in average life span have been because of a decrease in the mortality of infants and small children.

Respondents to the poll worry about how longer life spans would drain natural resources and harm the economy. The Pew report included an essay based on interviews with bioethicists called "To Count Our Days: The Scientific and Ethical Dimensions of Radical Life Extension." The report said dramatically expanded life spans "would raise a host of new social, political, economic, environmental, moral and other questions," including on concepts of marriage, parenting and the gap between rich and poor.

It quotes a range of religious leaders on the concept of trying to expand life span indefinitely.

Among them were Pope Benedict, who in 2010 warned against postponing death: "Humanity would become extraordinarily old, [and] there would be no more room for youth. Capacity for innovation would die, and endless life would be no paradise."

The Rev. Alistair So, chair of the Episcopal Church's Executive Council Committee on Science, Technology and Faith, told Pew there is nothing in the denomination's teaching against life extension, so long as it doesn't become "the focus of life" and that benefits were available for all.

Pew also quotes Abdulaziz Sachedina, chair of Islamic studies at George Mason University and the author of "Islamic Biomedical Ethics" as saying that striving for immortality would go against Islamic teachings because it would keep Muslims from heaven. "There is a deep-seated belief that death is a blessing," Sachedina says. "We look forward to dying."

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks