Does religion need death in order to be relevant to the living?
[W]hen we invent a real treatment for aging – when we can stop people from growing old, when we can rejuvenate ourselves at will – that will be the acid test of whether most religious people really believe what they say they do. Most religions teach that death is only the gateway into another realm of existence, one so blissful that we should envy the dead rather than mourn them. In a world where death is inevitable, that may be a comforting belief. But what happens when death is no longer inevitable? What will happen in a world where, barring rare accidents, people must choose to die?
I don’t buy into the ” we will will conquer aging” trope but the writer does pose a provocative question.
How much do we and our institutions and structures of belief need aging in order to function normally?
The writer makes the following claim without any supporting evidence.
I have little doubt that human beings will eventually invent a therapy that prevents aging, maybe even one that reverses it. I’m not saying I expect this to happen in my lifetime; in fact, I think it probably won’t.
I’ll take the other side of that bet.