Life extension and boredom

Life extension and boredom is an argument against life extension which states people whose lives are extended will repeat the same experience many times over, leading to a meaningless and boredom-filled existence.

Responding to this is for instance Ackerman1 (pg 329–330):

[The large philosophical literature on whether greatly extended life would lead to boredom] is often very sensitive to differences among various types of people and various types of pleasures. Thus, Overall says, ‘The perceived value of endless life could well be closely related to the general type of person one is and the sort of life one chooses to live’ (2003: 179). Gems says, ‘Some people seem especially able to enjoy endless repetition of the same experience’ (2003a: 35). Moreover, there are some experiences whose repetition few people find boring. As Momeyer points out, ‘so long as appetite remains strong, food and sexual union remain satisfying’ (1988: 19).

But sensual satisfactions are far from all that can keep immortals from boredom. People can also be continually learning new things, at least in so far as their mental capacities are up to the task (which hardly seems an implausible supposition in a world scientifically advanced enough to achieve immortality).

  1. “Death is a Punch in the Jaw: Life-extension and Its Discontents”. Felicia Nimue Ackerman. The Oxford Handbook of Bioethics. Bonnie Steinbock ed. 2007.