(In “Is Death an Option?”, I noted some of the sillyiness of TransHumanists who argue that once they have made accidental death obsolete, people should have the right of “voluntary euthanasia, under conditions of informed consent.” but I missed the most major point of all.)
Many people may simply be addicted to life. Just as an alchoholic can’t say no to another drink, many humans may be unable to say no to the next life extension treatment even if it life makes them unhappy! Perhaps we need life addiction clinics that counsel people who keep incorrectly choosing to live longer!
But if it makes sense to create such clinics in the future as the technology for life extension improves, it certainly also makes sense to create such clinics today. After all, there are probably many people today whose lives are not worth continuing. Yet they persist in surviving day-after-day unable to quit this habit. Some don’t even know how bad their lives really are. They are obviously in desperate need of help!
At this point we are obviously begging the question of how to help, and of this I am less sure. Although society typically waits until alchoholics are brought low enough to overcome their denial and seek treatment, it is less patient with more severe addictions. We don’t simply wait for heroin or coke addicts to seek help, we actively terminate their access to the substances they abuse. Perhaps a similar approach is necessaryfor a problem as severe as life addiction. Life isn’t simply something its addicts periodically use, it has become part of their identity! Immediate and forced cut-off of their life may be required.
Although not every living individual is an addict, it is very hard to tell the difference between use and abuse and very easy to fall from the former to the later. Given the risks, we should think seriously about banning it.
(Inspired by Swift’s Modest Proposal)