The Death of Death?

Many of our tech elites are spending vast amounts of money to defeat death and achieve physical immortality.

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The April edition of Life Extension magazine contains an article called “The Death of Death,” subtitled “The Scientific Possibility of Physical Immortality and its Moral Defense.” To say that its “moral defense” lacks any teeth would be a laughable understatement. 

The article bears the same title as a book authored by Jose Cordeiro, Ph.D., and David Wood and comes in the form of an interview with the authors conducted by Laurie Mathena. In Mathena’s preface, we read, “The Death of Death offers an intriguing look into the advances in research that have led us to this point—as well as the scientific possibility of a future that overcomes mankind’s greatest common enemy: death.”

Needless to say, Mathena’s statement immediately throws the article into conflict with the majority of the world’s religions, particularly Christianity; for all Christians hold that mankind’s greatest common enemy is the potential loss of one’s eternal soul. 

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If the reader has availed himself of my previous articles, he may know that I have an interest in natural medicine and, God willing, hope to enjoy health into my twilight years; but that hope is a far cry from what is being proposed in this article. 

Notably absent from the “moral defense” within the article is any discussion of procreation, which, of course, becomes an unnecessity if these dreamers are successful—and Scripture seems to indicate that perhaps they will be. What does our God, the primordial anti-globalist, think about all of this?

The whole world had the same language and the same words. When they were migrating from the east, they came to a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there. They said to one another..“Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky, and so make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered all over the earth.” The LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the people had built. Then the LORD said: If now, while they are one people and all have the same language, they have started to do this, nothing they presume to do will be out of their reach. (Genesis 11:1-2, 4-6)

In the Genesis quote above, I made bold the font of the phrase that reads, “nothing they presume to do will be out of their reach.” On a purely terrestrial level, that is perhaps the scariest line in Scripture. 

The first part of the “Death of Death” article gives a terse summation of the recent advances in longevity science and the primary causes of aging before it begins to address the compelling questions: Who is paying for all of this, and who will benefit from it?

The benefactors for this enterprise comprise an unsurprising list that I’m sure the reader could deduce on his own. The authors preface this list by stating, “People are beginning to understand that this is a real possibility and closer and closer in time. The question today is not whether it will be possible, but rather when it will be possible.”

The donor list for this promise of immortality includes, of course:

  • Peter Thiel (famous since PayPal)
  • Jeff Bezos (Amazon)
  • Sergey Brin and Larry Page (Alphabet/Google)
  • Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)
  • Larry Ellison (Oracle)

It goes on to say that Saudi Arabia, in 2022, announced the creation of the Hevolution Foundation “to finance at least $1 billion of research about longevity per year over the next two decades.” And this is but a small sampling of the heavy hitters. 

Citing a book written in 2004 called Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever, by Ray Kurzweil (director of engineering at Google) and Terry Grossman, they boldly predict that “By 2045, at the latest, we will reach technological singularity and immortality, both biological and computational.”

Notably absent from the benefactor list above is one of the world’s wealthiest individuals, Elon Musk. It would be hyperbole to draw any conclusions from that absence; however, Musk is, to my knowledge, the only billionaire advocating for population growth, and failure to discuss procreation is the gaping abyss in The Death of Death discussion. 

Our billionaire friends are largely unashamedly anti-population. They would very much like for most of us to go away.  Our billionaire friends are largely unashamedly anti-population. They would very much like for most of us to go away. Tweet This

In the prologue to the 2011 movie In Time, the protagonist, Will Salas (Justin Timberlake), lays out the premise: 

I don’t have time. I don’t have time to worry about how it happened. It is what it is. We’re genetically engineered to stop aging at twenty-five; the trouble is, we live only one more year, unless we can get more time. Time is now the currency. We earn it and spend it. The rich can live forever, and the rest of us just want to wake up with more time on our hands and hours in the day.

Salas lives in a ghetto where people live day to day with, literally, very little time on their hands (their time remaining is visible on an LED readout on their left forearm). 

In a bar, he meets a man named Henry Hamilton (Matt Bomer), a wealthy man (over 100 years on his clock) who is slumming because, after 105 years of living, he has found such a life to be aimless and joyless. He is hoping that indiscreetly buying drinks for everybody in a slummy neighborhood will bring things to an abrupt ending. 

In the pair’s final conversation, Hamilton says, “For a few to be immortal, many must die,” to which Salas responds, “What the hell’s that supposed to mean?” 

Hamilton explains: 

You really don’t know, do you? Everyone can’t live forever; where would we put them?…Why do you think that taxes and prices go up the same day in the ghetto? The cost of living keeps rising to make sure people keep dying. How else could there be men with a million years when most live day to day?

In broad concept, the movie’s premise is the future of humanity in the shadow of the new tower of Babel. The poor are despised. Not only are they despised, but their poverty is purposefully engineered, thereby slating them for elimination. Killing will be the only stimulating pastime left for the immortal who will have forfeited all that brings real joy. Children will be of no use to them other than as sex objects, slaves, spare parts, and food. Children, otherwise, will be their potential competitors. 

This scenario has long since left the realm of a science-fiction premise and is unfolding before our very eyes. It is time that the prophetic words of Malcolm Muggeridge haunt us from sunrise ‘til sunset:

What will finally destroy us is not communism or fascism, but man acting like God.
Supposing you eliminated suffering, what a dreadful place the world would be! I would almost rather eliminate happiness. The world would be the most ghastly place because everything that corrects the tendency of this unspeakable little creature, man, to feel over-important and over-pleased with himself would disappear. He’s bad enough now, but he would be absolutely intolerable if he never suffered.
The only ultimate disaster that can befall us is to feel ourselves at home on this earth.
As an old man…looking back on one’s life, it’s one of the things that strikes you most forcibly—that the only thing that’s taught one anything is suffering. Not success, not happiness, not anything like that. The only thing that really teaches one what life’s about…is suffering, affliction.

Muggeridge had enjoyed success and fame, and he found no solace in it. The battle lines are being drawn. If we have built enough wealth to be a “have,” if we have proven ourselves to be the highly-successful cheap products of our own efforts, we will be candidates for immortality in a world that never satisfies. Count me out.

I suspect that human immortality, the new tower of Babel, will be met with the same divine intervention as the first: The Omnipotent Anti-globalist will confound our communications. The tower being built now is not of brick and bitumen but a tower of scientific knowledge, ultimately reduceable to a faint memory. To lean again on our friend Muggeridge,

Accumulating knowledge is a form of avarice and lends itself to another version of the Midas story…man [is] so avid for knowledge that everything that he touches turns to facts; his faith becomes theology; his love becomes lechery; his wisdom becomes science; pursuing meaning, he ignores truth.

When it comes to science, if it’s printed in a book, it’s history. The world’s most recent knowledge repository is largely electronic. It is admitted that solar or nuclear events could devastate our computer-dependent uncivilization, BleachBit-ting it nearly out of existence, leaving one to wish that, in Chesterton’s words, he owned “a cow and three acres” rather than a Park Avenue town house. 

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 

It will be the ultimate irony when, in the end, the would-be, self-made, immortal gods of this world are bested by God-fearing rural peasants and their children.


  • Jerome German

    Jerome German is a retired manufacturing engineer, husband, father of eleven, and grandfather of a multitude. He contributes articles to Crisis Magazine and Catholic Stand. A singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, he has recently (under the pseudonym Jerome Linus) taken up the long-overdue task of recording and publishing songs that he has been writing for most of his life. His first effort, In God We Trust, hit stores worldwide on January 12.

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