Thursday, March 02, 2006


A Question of Ethics


Here's an interestng proposition I was mulling over last night while I was running at the gym:
You have been given a unique and amazing opportunity - offered either by God or another Spiritual Being, or via the miracles of modern science. Regardless, a proposition has been offered to you. You will be allowed to live, disease and illness-free, until you reach the age of 80. There's always a catch, of course, and it's no different here. With this proposition, you accept with the understanding that on your 80th birthday, you will collapse and die. Without the deal, you may live well beyond those 80 years, of course. The choice is yours - a guarantee of health, and a limited time window of life, or a risk of both health and future years.
As I thought about this proposition, I felt pretty sure that most people would take it, assuming that 80 years is a pretty decent age. But maybe I'm wrong.... would you take the deal?

Following up, if you DID accept the deal, what would be the cutoff at which you would no longer accept the deal? In other words, if the deal was for 70 years instead of 80, would you still take the deal? 65 years? At which point would the deal no longer be attractive to you?

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Posted by FleshPresser at 8:10 PM /

7 Comments

  • Anonymous Anonymous posted at 10:12 PM  
    I'd take it.
    At 65-70 id have to think about it,
    and 60 would be the complete cutoff deal.

    -Lizzi

  • Blogger Meghan posted at 1:41 AM  
    I wouldn't take it... no matter what the age.

    It's the mystery of the game that keeps me getting up each morning.

  • Blogger Kitten posted at 10:24 AM  
    VERY interesting question.

    Life is such an adventure and it is the combination of all experiences that make you who you are. Being healthy and disease free is wonderful, but not everything. What about happiness, fulfillment, adventure, and love?

    Personally, I think of my children and their lives ahead of them. I can imagine the faces of my future grandkids as I watch them play. I don't think I could give up one single second of my life and think I would take the risk to live past 80, just so I could enjoy them longer.

    Selfish? Yes! Foolish? Maybe! Risky? Without a doubt! Worth it? You bet your bippy they are!

  • Blogger Rece Anthony posted at 5:53 PM  
    I would never take a deal like that. Never would want to know when I would die.

  • Blogger FleshPresser posted at 6:13 PM  
    Lizzi - I think 65 would be the cutoff for me, as well.

    Kitten and Meghan - I'm with you on the whole "life is a mystery" philosophy. 110%. I think ahout more as being a guarantee that I'll be around long enough to take care of my kids and make sure they're rooted well. And I'm sure that I could do that without the deal. But the thought of a guarantee is tempting, only for their sake.

  • Blogger Kayte posted at 1:14 AM  
    Sounds like the majority opinion isn't quite what you expected...but I think I would take the deal. Having 80 years of guaranteed quality life opens up so many possibilities. Many of us take our health for granted, but one mis-step, one accident, one virus can leave you vegged out on life support or wholly/partially disabled...if I could be guaranteed avoiddance of that, I'd say yes.

    As for a D-day cutoff, 80 sounds reasonable...I think 70 is pushing it a bit, but without foresight who really knows what the better decision is.

  • Anonymous Anonymous posted at 2:32 AM  
    I also agree with "Life is a mystery" but when you know the types of illness you are going to be prone to or are already developing... arthritis, back problems, alztimers, carpel tunnel, cancer(as some examples), a disease free life, though it is shorter, seems well worth the deal.
    quality over quanity,
    you know that you will be able to do everything you want to to the best of your ability.
    I am young and in 10 years if asked the same question I might answer differently... however I am heading into a very physical career, my health is a big factor in all of that and the quailty of work I can produce.
    -Lizzi

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