The Future of Immortality and Other Essays for a Nuclear Age

The Future of Immortality and Other Essays for a Nuclear Age

The Future of Immortality and Other Essays for a Nuclear Age

The Future of Immortality and Other Essays for a Nuclear Age

Excerpt

After collecting these essays, my feeling was: "So this is what I have been doing for the past fifteen years!" There are surely more pleasant ways to spend one's time than worrying about war, mass murder, and nuclear threat, but I seemed to have made a choice to spend much of mine doing just that.

So much so that I first learned of the Soviet nuclear disaster at Chernobyl during a question period following a talk I gave on the subject of Nazi doctors. The questioner had herself heard of the accident on a television news report just an hour or two earlier, and wanted to know how it was possible—given the human potential for evil she had just heard me describe, together with our misguided relationships to technology—for us to retain a sense of hope for the future. I had no easy answer at the time, nor do I now. But the beginnings of such an answer lie in exploring the ramifications of the question—which is what this book attempts to do. The exploration includes a great deal of darkness but also significant glimmers of light. That is one of the reasons I decided to take the title from the essay "The Future of Immortality"—a phrase that is my way of speaking of our efforts to maintain ourselves as part of the great chain of being.

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