Monday, December 27, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Prisoners to Get the Vote
Monday, December 13, 2010
Moral Philosophy in the News
I've mentioned my friend Toby Ord on this blog before, but he's in the news again for his charitable work. Kudos to Toby!
Comment: Mike from Bolton suggests that they could donate more money in the future by investing now. That may be true but, having heard Toby talking about this, I believe he thinks it's better to spend the money to alleviate suffering that's happening now. Indeed, I believe he thinks there's even a case of borrowing money in order that it can do good now and be repaid later.
This may involve the questionable assumption that it's better to save the life of a 20 year old today than that of a different 20 year old in 30 years' time, but I believe that's his view.
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Who Wants to Live Forever?
Apparently, scientists have had some success not only in slowing but actually reversing ageing in mice. The story was noted by Colin Farrelly here. This same story also led to this point of view on the BBC, in which the author questions the wisdom of combating ageing.
Here's my comment:
The point of reversing ageing isn't simply to keep us barely alive in the way that the author suggests at the end, but to arrest both physical and mental decline. If you could be as healthy at 100 as you were at 50, there's no reason why you couldn't continue an active life - for instance working and babysitting your great grandchildren.
The author may say "most of us don't want to live forever" but I don't see what evidence she has for this. In my experience, most people still in possession of their faculties want (as she says) to live longer. If this applies equally at 500 as at 50, then I see no reason to suppose that most people will ever reach a point where they're bored of life.
Colin has more on the imperative to tackle ageing.