Hang around Silicon Valley for awhile and the obsession with immortality is clear. Techies want to solve that granddaddy of problems: Death.
Peter Thiel, the billionaire investor behind Facebook and co-founder of PayPal, recently made headlines for his reported personal and professional interest in whether blood transfusions from younger people can improve and even extend life for older people.
... "Why are tech leaders interested in immortality? It's a combination of scientism and extraordinary wealth," said Adam Gollner, author of "The Book of Immortality." "Are Silicon Valley CEOs investing millions into physical immortality any different from the fantastically rich and all-powerful emperors in the Tang dynasty of China who died taking mercury-based elixirs of never-ending life? Time will tell."
... In 2004, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs spoke movingly of his own brush with mortality in a commencement speech at Stanford. He concluded that "death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new."
... Larry Ellison, Oracle's co-founder and executive chairman, has long held an interest in funding life extension, primarily through the Ellison Medical Foundation. He, too, appears to maintain an almost childlike rage about accepting death.
"Death makes me very angry," he has said. "It doesn't make any sense to me. Death has never made any sense to me. How can a person be there and then just vanish, just not be there?"
Story is here.
Steve Job's comments on death reflected his Buddhist worldview, viewing death as "good" and "natural" instead of the Biblical perspective that death is the catastrophic result of sin and the final enemy destined one day to be vanquished by God Almighty Himself (1 Cor 15:52-57). Death will never be conquered by man whose most strenuous (and expensive) efforts to keep it at bay are pitifully ineffective.
So fearful of death is venture capitalist Peter Thiel that he funds anti-aging and longevity research, and is also taking steps to "live to 120", his stated goal. He foolishly takes human growth hormone and has said he will participate in cryonic freezing upon his death. The obsession with immortality is rooted in the fear of death, a fear the Christ alone can deliver us from (Heb 2:15).
The most poignant sentence in the article is also a warning, "Literature is full of the vain and misguided who lost their souls pursuing immortality." The movie clip above from the 1931 masterpiece "Frankenstein" admonishes the foolishness of those who seek immortality on their own terms. Ultimately, I believe the majority of those who achieve fantastic wealth in Silicon Valley have already tragically sold their souls (Matt 19:23).
For those who stubbornly refuse Christ's atoning sacrifice, death will have the last laugh.
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain (Phil 1:21)