Rejuvenation would be only for the rich

I know. You didn’t really make this objection. You’re a smart reader. You were just curious to know if there really are people who actually bring this up as a legitimate concern. Well, there are.

The first thing to keep in mind is that rejuvenation would not be a whim. It’s not like going to the spa, or getting a beauty or cosmetic treatment. You don’t just book a rejuvenation session at your local beautician and go there. Rejuvenation therapies would be a medical treatment, or rather, a life-saving series of treatments preventing you from ever developing any of the diseases of old age that eventually kill you. It’s something your doctor would prescribe when the time comes.

Now, admittedly, I don’t know what’s the health care system of every country in the world like, but I know it isn’t uncommon that expensive and life-saving medical treatments are subsidised wholly or partly by the State one’s citizen of, or by one’s health insurance. If anyone turns up their nose at the thought rejuvenation ought to be considered an indispensable, life-saving treatment, that’s only because they’re used to think dying of old age is okay, i.e. that once you hit a certain age, yeah, we’re sorry you’re dying, but it’s okay that you do. It’s not.

As I have argued at the bottom of this article, it’s to be expected that rejuvenation therapies will be paid by the State. (For brevit’s sake, I’m not going to explain why here; see the article I linked.) Notwithstanding, for the sake of the argument, let’s assume in some States this would not be the case, and people would have to pay for their own rejuvenation out of their own pocket, if they can afford it. You say this is a valid reason not to develop rejuvenation treatments? (Of course you don’t. I know. You’re a smart reader. We’re just playing what-if here.)

Okay then. Let’s talk about the State of Brokeland, where the economy is so bad they’re keeping it together with duct tape they stole from a charity flea market. In Brokeland, you need to pay for your own health expenses because there is no public money to pay your treatments for you. Forget rejuvenation—say you’re 30 and you’re unlucky enough to get a life-threatening cancer. The State isn’t going to pay for your therapy, and you’re jobless and with no chance of affording whatever cancer treatment you need. Now, is this a valid reason we should not develop cancer treatments? If not everyone can afford it, then no one should have it? Really? Particularly when taking into account that, yes, maybe at the beginning something like rejuvenation would be expensive, but, like any other thing, would likely become cheaper and cheaper as time goes by, because of scientifical and technical improvements? Are you fucking serious? (No, of course you are not. We’ve established that already.)

You can easily see this is another typical guilty trip humans like to take. We don’t want to feel bad because we have stuff other people don’t have, so when we’re talking about things that don’t yet exist and whose existence could make us feel guilty, we play the trump card of potential social disparity. We don’t want to widen the gap between rich people and poor people, so let’s just not create anything that could make the rich better off. After all, it is so much more convenient than actually doing something to narrow the gap by making the poor better off instead!

Not everyone’s got electric installations and plumbing in their houses. Are we willing to give them up because of that? Or would it have been better if they hadn’t been invented in the first place? What about the fact that as long as something does exist, there is a chance everyone will get it, while as long as it doesn’t, no one gets it? Not developing rejuvenation because it could initially be not accessible to everyone changes nothing for those who wouldn’t get it anyway, while those who would get it are going to be worse off than they’d be otherwise. The poor ones who couldn’t afford rejuvenation wouldn’t benefit from rejuvenation not existing; the only ones who would benefit from it—in a somewhat perverse way—are those who could afford it, because their sense of guilt would be appeased. So, either way it still sucks for the poor ones, and it’s better for the rich ones. (Hint: Money is a really bad idea.)

We arrived to an obvious conclusion: Rejuvenation would not be the cause of social disparity. Social (and economical) disparity already exists and needs to be dealt with on its own. Pausing human progress until that’s dealt with makes zero sense. We can’t first make sure we build a 100% equal society everywhere, and only then invent things for everyone to benefit. We’d all have died of infections if we had done so. We need to first invent rejuvenation, and then make sure it becomes accessible to everyone as soon as possible—which, by the way, is stated in SRF’s goals:

SENS Research Foundation works to develop, promote and ensure widespread access to rejuvenation biotechnologies which comprehensively address the disabilities and diseases of aging.

It’s unbelievable what kind of crazy objections to rejuvenation some people can come up with, right?

leafOnly for the rich answered on LEAF
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