Thursday, April 21, 2005

Life Extension: Perpetual Papacy?

It seems the same thought occurred to Rand Simberg as did to me this week: What might radical life extension mean for the Papacy?
In a world of conventional life spans, we can always console ourselves with the thought that, if we're stuck with a dud pope, or a particularly nasty and competent dictator, or an overactivist judge, no one lasts forever.

But what if they do? What are the implications of this for the future of the Church? Or of dictators (who are usually the first in their own nations to take advantage of new medical techniques)? Or the Supreme Court? Or indeed, any position which, in our current finite-lived reality, is defined as a term for life?

I think Simberg is overstating the likelihood that RLE breakthroughs will occur during Benedict XVI's lifetime, but regardless, the issues he raises will have to be faced in the future.


Blogger William Luse said...

A papacy of infinite length wouldn't be so bad. Think of the torture it would inflict on someone like Christopher Hitchens.

7:45 PM  
Blogger Bernhardt Varenius said...

That was an appealing thought, Bill, until I realized it might mean being stuck with Hitchens for just as long!!!

1:47 PM  

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