The Right to Life after Death Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • ABSTRACTImagining a future world in which people no longer die provides a helpful tool for understanding our present ethical views. It becomes evident that the cardinal virtues of prudence, temperance, and courage are options for reasonable people rather than rational requirements. On the assumption that the medical means to immortality are not universally available, even justice becomes detached from theories that tie the supposed virtue to the protection of human rights. Several stratagems are available for defending a categorical right to life under these circumstances, but none is compelling. Justice and human rights should therefore be understood as social conventions whose stability depends upon rejecting a tyranny of the immortals in favour of cultural traditions that connect rights and liberties with the means for their enjoyment.

publication date

  • 2007