Questioning Fundamental Assumptions

How often do you take a chance to question fundamental assumptions? I’m guessing not that often. For one, who’s got time for that? For another, it can be uncomfortable. What if we’re wrong about something?

But questioning a basic assumption can be interesting, if nothing else.

I’ll give you an example: Do we have to die? There are those who say “no.”

I’ve long been interested in the work of Aubrey de Grey a biomedical gerontologist, who proposes the possibility of regenerative medicine preventing ageing for radical life extension. He brings an engineer’s perspective on the issue of ageing, saying, as I understand it, that there’re only seven types of ageing damage, and that we can come up with ways to treat them without having to totally understand them (similar to the way we can fix a car without totally understanding them). From his questioning of the pro-aging trance to his founding of the SENS Research Foundation, there’s a lot of interesting stuff here.

Have a listen to this episode of The After On podcast, where de Grey is interviewed, where he talks about everything from how he got into it to the concept of a longevity escape velocity. Whether you agree with him or not, there’s a lot to consider.

So, yeah, questioning the fundamental assumption of ageing.

But fundamental assumptions can be anything. Do I need to keep this job? Do I need to have a job at all? Do I really need to eat animal products? Can I trust the government to do the right thing (maybe not such a hard thing to question)? Do I need [fill in the blank] in my life? Should I stay in this relationship? Could I give away all my possessions?

That doesn’t mean that you have to come away with an answer that’s contrary to your current position, but it’s a good way to shake up your thinking a bit.

So, what fundamental assumption can you question this week? I’d love to hear.

Speak Your Mind