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Mens Sana Monogr. 2016 Jan-Dec;14(1):187-213. doi: 10.4103/0973-1229.193083.

In Search of Rationality in Human Longevity and Immortality.

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1
M.Sc., Ph.D. (Southampton), Research Professor of Philosophy of Sciences (Honorary), Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University, Belur Math, Howrah, West Bengal, India.

Abstract

The human body is machine-like, but self-moving, self-regulating, and self-adjusting, governed by willpower and intelligence. Aging of the body is basically a maintenance problem and so it could perhaps be postponed by thorough and frequent maintenance. Aging brings on a cascade of ills and health problems leading to deterioration of physical, mental, emotional, and social dimensions of life. This paper deals with solution of the problem philosophically in the light of Indian scriptures without entering into traditional bioethical issues. With a meaningful reason for existence, life can be extended. Examining the scientific perspectives on aging, some common manipulations for its extension are discussed. These are calorie restriction, vitamin and antioxidant treatment, exercise and hormonal interventions, etc. Finally, the question of longevity is explored through pursuance of eternal value-based activity and spirituality in the tradition of Indian heritage.

KEYWORDS:

Accumulation of damage; Aging; Gene-evolved mechanism; Human evolution; Indian philosophical perspectives; Life span; Longevity; Manipulation of aging; Psychosocial and spiritual dimensions of aging; Spirituality; Unselfish love

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