The Coalition to Extend Life launched today an online petition to U.S. Congress and President in order to make the technological possibility of Indefinite Life Extension a national priority and public policy goal of the United States. They ask the power people to create the 4 main conditions that will make it possible.
1. a National Institute for Life Extension be created with sufficient revenues to fund research in this area.
2. the Food and Drug Administration classify aging as a disease.
3. a National Commission be organized to study the social and economic impacts of this new reality.
4. a “Manhattan Project” to cure the terminal disease of aging.
What’s new here? Indefinite life extension could be addressed as an independent political issue with a bunch of supporters. If you are pro, sign the petition, if you are not, never mind but do not oppose – says the background assumption. Well, I am definitely pro, so at first I felt tempted to sign the petition, because I liked point 2 and 4 from a technological point of view. But I don’t think that at this point the address is right and it should be a mail to the U.S. Congress and President with this subject. If I were the sender of a letter with a similar content like that I would write the names of tech savvy power people, Silicon Valley big guns and venture capitalists in the address field and try to motivate them in an economical fashion. On the other hand I agree with Reason in that the right for indefinite life extension falls into the category of positive rights so it is not the best move to put it into the government’s hands. Even if this positive right can be derived from our strongest, universal, concrete human and negative right, the right for life.
To sum up: If you feel yourself tempted to sign, I encourage you to do that, although I am reluctant in this respect. The idea of this online petition can become a very useful PR tool for our very niche Issue, if a critical mass of people is reached.
My favourite signature and comment from the list: Amos Avon Cooper: “I’m almost 86 years old. I’m thankful to hear your message.”