Ilia Stambler. The pursuit of longevity The bringer of peace to the Middle East. Current Aging Science, 6, 25-31, 2014.



Despite the common apprehensions regarding the aging population, this work aims to argue, on both deontological and utilitarian moral grounds, that any increase in general life-expectancy will be beneficial for the Middle East, countering the common fears associated with this increase. A set of ethical arguments concerning increasing longevity is presented, from both the deontological and utilitarian perspective. A wide selection of economic, psychological, demographic and epidemiological literature and databases is analyzed to determine common correlates of extended longevity. On the deontological grounds, the value of extended longevity is derived from the value of life preservation, regardless of its term. On the utilitarian grounds, the value of extended longevity is demonstrated by its correlation with further human values, such as education level and intellectual activity, economic prosperity, equality, solidarity and peacefulness. With the common apprehensions of stagnation and scarcity due to life extension found wanting, the pursuit of longevity by the population can be seen as a cross-cultural and cross-generational good. Though the current study mainly refers to sources and data relevant to the Middle East, a similar pro-longevity argument can be also made for other cultural contexts. In view of its numerous benefits, normatively, the goal of longevity should be set clearly and openly by the society, and actively pursued, or at least discussed, in academia, the political system and broader public.

Download PDF