28 January 2024

Staying Young


Staying Young


Topic and Notes by Lawrence



The idea behind this topic is linked to life expectancy and quality of life. We can also go a step further and by young we also mean open minded, curious and motivated. There is not dispute that the condition of our body does determine our physical being, but what about our mind?



The challenge, however, and assuming we still have a reasonable physical constitution, is to keep an alert mind and moved by curiosity. Basically, staying young also means we still have the motivation to learn and discover new experiences. So what are the philosophical issues regarding staying young?



As a working theory, I want to argue that there three issues involved: political philosophy, ethics and epistemology.



Political philosophy is the domain that ought to help us with wealth distribution and physical well being. While political philosophy covers a number of subjects, wealth distribution gives people a chance to experience self fulfilment and economic mobility.



At a more complex level, political power also has the duty to provide education despite this idea being too wide and open to interpretation to fully cover in these nots. The key function of education is to help us develop skills in thinking and assimilating information and knowledge.



As I have argued already, the most important factor that will help us stay young is our health. And by health I do not only mean access to healthcare when needed, but also access to healthy nourishment such as wholesome staples (processed staples are not necessarily healthy).



Unfortunately, only a handful of countries and political systems have robust and efficacious health care systems that is accessible when people need it and not when people can afford it.


The British Medical Association estimates that the 2024/2025 health care budget will be £186.7 billion pounds sterling (Department of Health and Social Care Budget - https://www.bma.org.uk/advice-and-support/nhs-delivery-and-workforce/funding/health-funding-data-analysis ). Excluding, for our purposes, the effects privatisation has on this budget.



However, compare the health care budget with the £570bn estimated to be held in tax havens by British residents; also known as overseas tax evasion (How much UK tax is evaded via tax havens? 22/7/2022 - https://www.taxjustice.uk/blog/how-much-uk-tax-is-evaded-via-tax-havens).



I agree that in 2024 these figures from the UK might be at the extreme end of morality, especially political morality and ethics, but this imbalance is not exclusive to the UK alone. What is clear is that the competing forces of wealth and healthcare are certainly an issue for people in the 21st century in their endeavour to stay young.



I have already mentioned that education is an important factor for our state of mind and mindset. In theory, education should help us prepare for our state of mind in the future. In reality, our state of mind also depends on the conditioning we experience in life especially in a work environment. Society we live in is also a factor in our ability to learn and be curious.



Although this might not be a complete truism, for many decades modern education has focused on teaching “what is” rather than “how to learn”. Some education systems do include developing skills in people on how to learn; but this is still not yet a universal practice. Knowing how to learn also implies the ability for people to question the authority and politics of political institutions. The road to staying young is full of traps and spooky monsters, but this does not mean it cannot be done, as many people are succeeding to be these days.



The empirical question, however, is still how many people have the opportunity to stay young given human nature?



Best and take care




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PhiloMadrid Skype: Wed 31st Jan at 8:00pm: Staying Young






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