By Kurt Baier (auth.), Nancy S. Jecker (eds.)

The getting older Self and the getting older Society moral concerns regarding the aged have lately come to the fore. this could come as no shock: because the flip of the century, there was an eightfold in­ crease within the variety of american citizens over the age of sixty­ 5, and nearly a tripling in their percentage to the final inhabitants. these over the age of eighty-five-­ the quickest starting to be crew within the country-are twenty­ another instances as a number of as in 1900. Demographers anticipate this development to speed up into the twenty-first century. The getting older of society casts into brilliant reduction a num­ ber of deep and troubling questions. at the one hand, as contributors, we grapple with the instant event of getting older and mortality and search to discover in it philosophical or moral value. We additionally ask yourself what responsi­ bilities we undergo towards getting older relations and what expectancies of others our plans for outdated age can reasona­ bly comprise. nevertheless, as a neighborhood, we needs to come to a decision: What particular position, if any, do older individuals occupy in our society? What constitutes a simply distribution of scientific assets among generations? And, How can associations that serve the previous foster imperiled values, comparable to autonomy, self-respect, and dignity? just recently have we started to discover those issues, but already a wealthy and fruitful literature has grown up round them.

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In our case, the fact to be explained is the origination of the universe out of nothing; hence, there could not be such a perplexity, for we need not employ a model incompatible with this. If we had a model incompatible with our "fact," then that would be the wrong model and we would simply have to substitute another for it The model we employ to explain the origin of the universe out of nothing could not be based on the similar origins of other things for, of course, there is nothing else with a similar origin.

Altogether it amounts to very little when compared with the endless history of the inanimate universe. Biology teaches us that the human species was not specially created but is merely, in a long chain of evolutionary changes of forms of life, the last link, made in the likeness, not of God, but of nothing so much as an ape. The rest of the universe, whether animate or inanimate, instead of serving the ends of humans, is at best indifferent and at worst savagely hostile. Evolution of whose operation the emergence of humans is the result is a ceaseless battle among members of different species, one species being gobbled up by another, only the fittest surviving.

It is impossible to distinguish between one long continuous universe and two universes separated by nothing. How, for instance, can we tell whether the universe including ourselves is not frequently annihilated and "again" reconstituted just as it was? Let us now waive these difficulties as well. Let us suppose for a moment that we understand what is meant by saying that the uni- 24 Baier verse originated out of nothing and that this has happened only once. Let us accept this as a fact Does this fact call for explanation?

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