An online student of mine faced the following Task 2 question recently on their exam:
People nowadays live longer than they used to. What caused this situation? Is it a negative or positive development?
People today enjoy longer life spans than at any other point in human history. The most notable causes of this are generally accepted to be the medical and technological advancements of the twentieth century and the heightened ability of nations to share information with each other. It is argued these advancements and the ultimate postponement of death yield positive results the world over. This will be proven by looking at how longer life spans give people more time to contribute creatively to the world as well as a chance to develop a heightened level of wisdom that only comes with age.
Firstly, the longer people live, the more time they have to create things and the richer human culture becomes. A tragic example of the caliber of talent humanity can lose when great creators die young is Mozart. Mozart died in his thirties, which was young, even for his time. Had he the privilege of living longer, he could have contributed so much more to the world. Thus, it is clear why the extending of the mortal deadline should be seen as a positive thing.
Another constructive quality that comes as a result of living a long time is wisdom. As most people would agree, persons of age tend to have a deeper understanding of the world than their younger counterparts. Thus, it is argued the collective wisdom of humanity could be increased simply by providing more people with the opportunity to live longer. It is for this reason that the idea of extending lifespan is considered a good thing.
After looking at how age allows people to create more in addition to awarding them wisdom, it is felt that the delaying of the point at which a person passes can only be seen as a positive thing. It is hoped human evolution will continue to postpone the inevitable arrival of death.