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Piety, Prolongevity And Perpetuity: The Consequences Of Living Forever

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Chapter Summary

The reward-punishment model of moral conformity was directed initially at subordinate social groups-slaves, peasants or workers. It was essentially an aspect of social control. Alongside this system, dominant social classes experimented with medical practices (elixirs of life) to gain immortal life. In modern societies, recent medical advances in therapeutic stem-cell research have led some radical gerontologists to argue that in principle human beings could live forever. This chapter is concerned with the moral, psychological and theological implications of the proposition that humans could live for indefinitely long periods, that is, enjoy the benefits of prolongevity. The author argue that there is in one sense little change from the past. Life extension will be enjoyed by the rich not the poor, and by the north and not the south. Prolongevity, if it is achieved, will also prolong the social divisions of this world.

Keywords: elixirs; prolongevity; reward-punishment model



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