There's also a movement called transhumanism, which has as its goals the radical extension of human life, eradication of disease; elimination of unnecessary suffering; and augmentation of human intellectual, physical, and emotional capacities.
A statement on transhumanist values says the only thing missing right now is the "technological means necessary" to reach immortality.
Ah, there's always some small detail.
The Journal of Medical Ethics published a paper in 2007 with arguments against extending the human lifespan.
Martien A.M. Pijnenburg and Carolo Leget contended that while individuals have a right to life, they don't have the same right to an extra long life, especially when the lifespan in sub-Sahara Africa is less than 40 years.
That's the worst possible argument. I doubt most people in that part of the world have a Buick or cable TV either.
I suspect most of the people working on ways to live forever are wasting a lot of the remaining time they have. The fact that we know our time is limited, that we don't know when we'll die, creates some sense of urgency about our lives.
As the Pew poll found out, most of us would like to live a little longer.
We just don't want to live too long.
Kercheval is host of TalkLine, broadcast by the MetroNews Statewide Radio Network from 10 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. The show can be heard locally on WCHS 580 AM.