On the occasion of my 3531st birthday*, I would like to offer up the following for your consideration:

First, regardless of your conclusions regarding my veracity, or lack thereof, I would like you to approach this with the assumption that I have been telling the truth, or as much of it as I can, regarding myself and my life.

Question #1:

What obligations, if any, do I have to mankind as a whole?

Question #2:

Would it be wise to allow myself to be examined in pursuit of determining what I am, and why I am what I am?

Question #3:

Finally, which is the more selfish act: To allow mankind to march forward on a path of its own making, or to fundamentally change the definition of what Man is, merely to assuage my own loneliness?

*-Yes, this is just a guess on my part.

5 Responses to “Questions”

  1. Happy birthday and many more!

    1. I don’t believe you have any extra obligations to mankind due to your extraordinary lifespan.

    2. It might be interesting to hire a private lab to do some bloodwork anonymously and to send the results to a PO box.

    3. I don’t believe either of your two choices are selfish. You’re a part of mankind, so regardless of anything you choose to do, mankind marches forward on its own path. I also think that most of mankind agrees that our lifespans are too short. A large portion of medical research goes toward extending our lives. Therefore, anything you do to help mankind achieve greater longevity would never be viewed as selfish. Quite the opposite, in fact. Assuaging your loneliness is just an added benefit.

  2. Happy Birthday!

    1. Only those obligations you wish to assume.
    2. No examination is likely to reveal those answers. Even if it did, what difference do you think it would make in your life? Don’t ask the question if you don’t want to know the answer.
    3. The selfish act is for me to wish you would fundamentally change the definition of what Man is and to also assuage your own loneliness.

  3. 1. Extreme longevity conveys no greater obligation than, say, extreme height. But it doesn’t get you off from anything either. (It does give you some unusual opportunities to be of service, if you so choose, but that’s another thing entirely).

    2. That depends almost entirely on the nature of the examination, and on who’s doing it. Dissemination of the results is an even more vexed question.

    On the flip side, though, it may become tough to avoid. You already try to stay out of hospitals — which may not always be possible. But biometrics and DNA testing, for ID and other purposes, are getting more common and more pervasive. In another few decades, if this civilization doesn’t blow itself apart in the meantime, your physiological and (presumably) genetic anomalies may get hard to conceal (except, perhaps, in genuine wilderness). If that’s the case, some discreet investigation now might give you useful advance warning of future difficulties.

    3. The purity of your motives is something other people can’t help you with — but to anyone else, I don’t think it matters much. By my lights, at least, whether whatever you’re contemplating is ethical depends on the knowable likely consequences, and informed consent on the part of the humans involved — not on your own private motives. Adam Smith wrote quite a bit on the good that can come of selfish motives; conversely, a great deal of evil in the world has come from the pure of heart (or people who thought they were — but in the end, that amounts to the same thing).

  4. Hello. Thanks for the opportunity to answer these questions.

    1. One thing I would suggest is to catalog human events. So much of our history is lost. In the event of a global catastrophe of some kind, you would have records of everything that came before.

    2. Personally, I would avoid it until such time when humans are able to extend their own life times to extremes. It’s been suggested that old age is a degenerative disease we all suffer from (or must of us, anyway). If so, it is reasonable to assume that we may be able to cure it, which would likely lead to longevity. At that point, your extreme age would be more accepted. You would probably be subject to curiosity to historians and anthropolgists (see question #1), while the rest of society would see you as an interesting oddity.

    On the other hand, your unusual condition might be helpful in enhancing the human animal (particularly your regenerative capabilities). The question is how to do this serreptitiously. Ever consider a career in the scientific community? That might be a nice cover for your “discoveries.” Then, of course, you would be a public figure, which may lead to problems.

    3. I guess my final paragraph in question two would apply here. Truthfully, the choice to better mankind is the same for you as anyone. I wouldn’t blame you either way. None can see the future, and helping or ignoring mankind does not one hundred percent guarantee that your actions will be positive or negative. Still, if you feel a particular action would be helpful, it never hurts to try. I guess my answer is not terribly helpful. Sorry.

    BTW, a thought occurred to me that made me snicker. As a child, it was customary to give a (playful and gentle) spanking for each year you had lived (plus one to grow on). Assume a spanking takes two seconds, it would take just under two hours to wish you a happy birthday. Even if I knew you very well, I think trying such a thing would be hazardous to my health. So, I will simply say, “Happy Birthday.”

  5. Assuming what you say is true…

    1. I like the idea of a catalog of the history you’ve witnessed. While you’ve not been associating with the movers and shapers of history, the small stories are important as well. Other than that, why should you have any higher level of obligation to the race than one human chosen at random?
    2. Only if you wish to die an early death, so to speak. Your gift/curse/genetic lottery win will arouse envy, and when “They” find out they can’t have it, well, neither will you.
    3. Fundamentally changing the nature of Man. You aren’t God.

    Happy Belated Birthday.