Immortality and Intergenerational Justice
Immortality would cork the generational bottle. The immortal generation would be the last. Is there an obligation towards future generations to give them a chance, and, if so, what is the basis of the obligation? Possibly we consider positively the interests of future generations because we understand ourselves in relation to Others, as explained by Lévinas. And future generations are the exceedingly significant Others. We may not be altruistic per se but our reality and understanding of our selves are dominated by the relationship to the Others. Yet, if future generations have no power will our desire for self-preservation be outweighed by our interest in and concern for the Others? Future generations might have the strongest power base possible, however, because they might have the support of our genes. The interest of our genes is that they are passed on, not that we as their abode become eternal and that they will become eternal as part of us. The result for the genes might be similar, but this is not how genes are ‘conditioned’. The genes will tell us that the most precious thing is off-spring, and our answer, that we are both the present and all future, is unlikely to hold much sway in a setting that is informed first and foremost by what evolution in its classical form dictates.