Shropshire Star

Peter Rhodes on Putin's war, eternal life and dying of optimism

Cambridge University has set up a unit to study research on prolonging human life, perhaps for ever.

Anyone for eternal life?

This prompts commentator Dominic Lawson to admit he fancies the idea of eternal life. He confesses: “The idea of being dead petrifies me.” And of course, he's not alone. On balance I think I'm happier as a warm, sentient being writing this column than a cadaver rotting in a box. By just about any yardstick, composing is better than decomposing.

In my experience, people who claim to have no fear of death actually have either no imagination or a pretty shaky grasp on the truth. I recall many years ago a moment of blinding veracity in an editorial conference as we discussed a reader who had just reached her centenary. “Seriously,” asked one bright young hack, “who wants to live to be 100?” An old hack replied: “Just ask anyone who's 99.”