So How Long Should We Live?

A newspaper article states that we, as a society, need to implement rules, taxes, and regulations to stop obesity. They base this on research stating that obese individuals don’t live as long as non-obese individuals.

This brings up a few questions: Why is it so vitally important to live long? For instance, assume a person is 80 years old, completely senile, has trouble moving, and doesn’t recognize friends or family. It is doubtful, to me at least, that another 35 years of cloudy confusion and loneliness is the height of human morality.

The same goes for obesity. If the people in question enjoy their foods, why should we force them to diet? And even if they would prefer to be skinny at any cost, does that mean everyone else must be taxed extra for enjoying an unhealthy treat now and then? I question the assumption that potentially giving those ten extra years between 75 and 85 to some more people justifies major government intervention in everyone’s lives.

Mind you, I am in no way advocating euthanasia or the government cutting people’s lives short. What I do object to is this nonsensical fear of dying. I mean, let’s face it, everyone dies eventually. And the measure of a life is not how many days you had to spend, but what you did within the days given to you.

I’m not sure why we have this obsession with health and immortality right now, but my spontaneous reaction is that it is due to Sweden not having any sense of religion or philosophy anymore. Christianity is functionally dead in Sweden, and we have no philosophical education or national creed. So instead, everyone fumbles about in the dark for hope and meaning, but all they find is a paralyzing fear of one day dying.

Perhaps it is time for people to stop fearing, and to start living.


~ by Escaping Perdition on March 18, 2009.

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