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Should We Live Forever?: The Ethical Ambiguities of Aging

Overview

In Should We Live Forever? Christian ethicist Gilbert Meilaender puzzles over the implications of the medical advances that have lengthened the human life span, wrestling with what this quest for living longer means for our conception of living well and completely. As he points out in his introduction, "That we often desire, even greedily desire, longer life is clear; whether what we desire is truly desirable is harder to say."

The six chapters of this book take multiple ...

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Should We Live Forever?: The Ethical Ambiguities of Aging

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Overview

In Should We Live Forever? Christian ethicist Gilbert Meilaender puzzles over the implications of the medical advances that have lengthened the human life span, wrestling with what this quest for living longer means for our conception of living well and completely. As he points out in his introduction, "That we often desire, even greedily desire, longer life is clear; whether what we desire is truly desirable is harder to say."

The six chapters of this book take multiple perspectives on issues surrounding aging and invite readers to consider whether "indefinitely more life" is something worth pursuing and, if humans are created for life with God, whether longer life will truly satisfy our underlying hunger.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/07/2013
Meilaender (Neither Beast nor God) addresses aging like a tutor in a Tudor library, the fire embering in the grate. For this brief study, he speaks conversationally and in the manner of a well-read master: "We need to think about how to think about growing old." Meilaender analyzes age-retardation from three competing angles: humans are finite organisms; humans are distinguished from other organisms by freedom and reason; and humans are marked by ecstasy, that is, drawn out of themselves toward God. In six chapters, the theologian and ethicist explores transitional humanity, living forever, and a generative life. He writes eloquently on an unexpected topic: patience. Throughout, he offers his own witty opinions and quotes widely, from experts on aging, such as Erik Erikson and Margaret Urban Walker, but also from philosopher Martha Nussbaum, Christian apologist C.S. Lewis, and poet John Hall Wheelock. After the tutorial, Meilaender offers an afterword seminar â?“ an imagined conversation -- for three voices, each representing a different viewpoint on his argument, then ends on a note of eternal youth. (Jan.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802868695
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 1/14/2013
  • Pages: 135
  • Sales rank: 815,344
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Gilbert Meilaender holds the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Christian Ethics at Valparaiso University and served on the President's Council on Bioethics from 2002 to 2009. His books include Neither Beast Nor God: The Dignity of the Human Person, Bioethics, Should We Live Forever? and The Way That Leads There: Augustinian Reflections on the Christian Life.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix

1 How Shall We Think about Aging? 1

2 Transitional Humanity 21

3 Hoping to Live Forever 39

4 A Generative Life 57

5 Patience 75

6 A Complete Life 89

Afterword 107

Index 115

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