The Phenomenon of Death
Daniel Callahan’s essay raises big and important questions about how the biotechnological project to extend life and defeat aging may bring many undesirable consequences. At worst, it will usher in a new age of extended debility, with able minds trapped for decades in enfeebled bodies or able bodies lingering for decades with enfeebled minds. At best, our future success at extending vigorous life will create serious disruptions of the social order. But the essay fails to illuminate, more fully, the nature of death as a human problem, or to establish the basis for setting limits on the worst excesses of the bio-immortality project.