Instapundit often links to articles on the latest ideas in life extension. I'll admit to having dabbled in it since my early 20s, ingesting various antioxidants, phytochemicals, anti-inflammatories, microbrews, and other magic potions.
Do they work? Well, it's difficult to conduct a randomized double-blind controlled study on oneself. But I mainly do it for reasons of general health and hypochondria, not because I want to live forever. Also, I try to do anything that can give the old melon a boost, even if it's at the margins.
It seems to me that the desire to live forever must relate to the decline in religiosity. There is a widespread belief among atheists that people are religious mainly because they fear death -- or in other words, it's just a secret desire to live forever, or life extension by another name.
I can say without hesitation that if I were given the choice of a greatly extended life without God, or of the usual four score and change with God, I would choose the latter. Why?
Because a life without God, no matter how long, would be intolerably boring. Nothing would mean anything. The life of the spirit, which is the most interesting adventure there is, would be off the table. Therefore, what would I do with myself?
By the way, this presupposes that if I were an atheist I would be an honest one. I would understand the implications, which, if seriously entertained, lead to futility, despair, and pointlessness. Basically you are reduced to a life of raw sensation. Anything above that would just be pretending. But that gets boring rather quickly.
Interesting how that works. I'm a big baseball fan, and the Dodgers are having their best year since I've been alive. In fact, they're doing so well that it's almost... boring, something I would never say if they were in second place, or a few games out of a wild card spot. Similarly, pursuing terrestrial immortality can be interesting. But having it? Boring!
What would I do with my mind if I couldn't use it to explore the wild Godhead? I have a painfully low threshold of boredom. Frankly, almost everything bores me. And yet, I am almost never bored. But that is thanks to God. So, if there were no God, I would die of boredom. In that context, life extension would only rub it in.
Put it this way: because God exists, I'm getting a kick out of this terrestrial life. But for the same reason, I wouldn't want it to go on forever. Conversely, if God didn't exist, life might not go on forever, but it would sure feel that way.