November 28, 2006

KASSTING CALL (via Mike Daley):

The Hard Stuff (Phil Bowermaster, November 24, 2006 , The Speculist)

Lacking the controversy of Borat and the hype of Casino Royale (hype which we have enthusiastically been a part of here at The Speculist), the new Will Ferrell / Emma Thompson film Stranger than Fiction has not received an awful lot of attention. And that’s too bad. Stranger than Fiction entertains an idea that we have largely scorned here at The Speculist: a proposition often cited by opponents to life-extension research. In fact, it’s an idea that has been endorsed by no less than Leon Kass himself.

Simply put, the idea is this – the eventuality of death gives life meaning and beauty that it would not otherwise have. In a paradoxical way, death is what makes life meaningful. So it would be a great loss, Kass and others have argued, to delay death in any substantial way. To do so is to cheapen life, and it’s just not worth it.

Up to now, you could count me among the supremely unconvinced. But this movie – that’s right, a Will Ferrell movie – has given me cause to rethink this significant philosophical question and I find that, upon reflection, my views on the subject have changed. Somewhat.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 28, 2006 8:21 AM
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