"Being born is not a crime so why must it carry a sentence of death?" - Robert Ettinger, Founder of the Cryonics Institute
"Hundreds of thousands of people die in the world every day, two-thirds of them from ageing. Is this just life, the way things must be, or is it a problem to be solved? If, as the western tradition teaches, every human life is valuable in and of itself, shouldn't we be doing more to stop this appalling carnage?
(From The Sunday Times article, "I'm going to live forever", March 13, 2005.)
"To stay alive is a basic human drive. It is a precondition for all other activities. Life-extension is the natural progression of medicine from curing diseases and the effects of aging to preventing them altogether. It follows the dictum laid down by many religions: that human life is sacred and should be cherished and preserved."
"Psychologically, we're not equipped to live five hundred years . . . I think in order to make this viable, we need not only radical life extension but radical life expansion. We need to expand our intelligence and our capacity for experience as well . . . Then an extended life span would become not only tolerable but a remarkable frontier where we could pursue the real purpose of life, which is the creation and the appreciation of knowledge. And I mean knowledge in the broader sense, including music and art and literature and science and technology and relationships."
"In my view, we are the species that seeks to go beyond our own boundaries. Fundamentalism is the idea of putting artificial constraints on what humans can be - defining humans in terms of our limitations rather than by our ability to supersede our limitations. We didn't stay on the ground, we didn't stay on the planet, we're not staying within the limitations of our biology, and we're not staying within the limitations of our intelligence. The noblest purpose of human life is the creation, communication, understanding, and appreciation of knowledge in all its forms: from different art forms to different levels of expression in science and technology."
"I think defining meaning in terms of death - saying that death gives life meaning - is to define us in terms of our limitations. . . Up until now, we've had no opportunity to circumvent our mortality. So we had no alternative but to rationalize this tragedy - which is what death is - saying, "Oh, it's really a good thing. And it's ennobling; it gives life meaning." A large part of religion is to rationalize this tragic loss of knowledge and skill and personality as something positive. But really, what's positive about human beings is our pursuit of new frontiers."
". . . we will transcend death and that natural cycle. We're not just grapes on the vine - we are overcoming that natural process that we emerged from. Yes, we came from nature, but we are going to surpass it through the power of our technology, which comes from our mind made manifest in the real world."
Ray Kurtzweil, Co-author of "Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever", Rodale, 2004. Winner of the 1999 National Medal of Technology Award and the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT prize. He was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame in 2002.
(From an interview: "Chasing Immortality, The Technology of Eternal Life", by Craig Hamilton.)
"It's not really a matter of living forever, it's just a matter of not wanting to die. One doesn't live forever all in one go, one lives forever one year at a time. It's just a case of e;Well, life seems to be fun, and I don't see any prospect of it ceasing to be fun unless I get frail and miserable and start declining." So if I can avoid declining, I'll stay with it really."
Aubrey de Grey PhD, Biomedical Gerontologist.
Head of the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) project, Cambridge University, UK. Also Founder, Chairman and Chief Science Officer of the Methusalah Foundation.
(From an interview: "Hang in There: The 25-Year Wait for Immortality" by Ker Than for livescience.com, April 11, 2005.)
"What I'm after is not living to 1,000. I'm after letting people avoid death for as long as they want to."
Aubrey de Grey PhD,
(From the TV program: "60 minutes" CBS, January 1, 2006.)
"Aging really is barbaric. It shouldn't be allowed. I don't need an ethical argument. I don't need any argument. It's visceral. To let people die is bad."
". . . there is a threshold rate of biomedical progress that will allow us to stave off aging indefinitely. . . . If we can make rejuvenation therapies work well enough to give us time to make them work better, that will give us enough additional time to make them work better still, which will . . . you get the idea. This will allow us to escape age-related decline indefinitely, however old we become in purely chronological terms."
Aubrey de Grey PhD.
(From his book, "Ending Aging", St. Martin's Press, Sept. 2007, Chapter 14)
"By and large, people's desire to avoid dying any time soon - in the next year, say - is pretty strong if their quality of life is good. And by and large, people's assessment of their own quality of life is heavily influenced by their health. Putting those together, most people who are in full, vibrant, youthful good health don't want to die any time soon. And that's true however old they are.
"So I suspect that the main reason people intuitively feel that they're not interested in living longer than is currently normal is because they are imagining it as living in the same state that today's elderly live - in other words, in a state of diminished and ever more rapidly diminishing health. But why are you still clinging to that assumption, when gerontologists have been correcting it for 60 years or more?"
Dr Aubrey de Gray PhD.
(From The Methusalah Foundation website: pmfoundation.orgp)