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Overpopulation and other consequences of human immortality

Overpopulation and other consequences of human immortality
An immortal could run as many marathons as they wanted to over the course of their infinitely long lifetime. Above, athletes compete in the Berlin Marathon in Germany on Sept. 25. (Maurizio Gambarini / EPA)

To the editor: A desire for human immortality raises many questions, and trying to decide which career to pursue next is perhaps a lesser concern. ("Death isn't great, but it sure beats the alternative," Opinion, Oct. 3)

Do we keep aging? If so, what does a 1,000-year-old human look like? How would we restrict new births to avoid catastrophic overpopulation? As the Queen classic "Who Wants to Live Forever" tells us, "This world has only one sweet moment set aside for us."

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As I enter my sixth decade of life, looking back on a fruitful, satisfying life makes aging not so bad. We regret the things we didn't do much more than the reverse, so live your life to the fullest, take a few chances, and when your time is up, you'll be ready.

Bruce Bates, Laguna Beach

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To the editor: One way we can live forever (if that were ever to be a possibility) without suffering the curse of "deep nostalgia for the past" would be simply to purge our desperate obsession with "ever more careers worth pursuing, ever more books worth reading, ever more virtual worlds worth exploring, ever more romantic partners worth experiencing."

We could then evolve into a small part of the cosmos that finds peace and harmony by doing nothing more than opening our arms to each passing day.

Ronald Rubin, Santa Monica

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