• James McMaster

Immortality within Humanity’s grasp?

Yuval Noah Harari tells us that ‘death is a technical problem that we can and should solve...if traditionally death was the speciality of priests and theologians, now the engineers are taking over’. This concept would appear, on the face of it, to have some merit. After all, we can kill cancerous cells with chemotherapy, we can exterminate the bacteria in lungs with antibiotics, and even if our ‘tickers’ stop ticking we can reinvigorate them with medicines and electric shocks. If that doesn’t work- we can even get a new heart! After all, when being told that someone has died, we rarely accept it as a naked fact as if death just happens on its own, rather we want to know why they died and what caused the death. Dying is the inevitable outcome of certain problems, and there are those who feel that these ‘certain problems’ can be conquered.


As strange as it may seem, Harari informs us that an increasing minority of scientists are working on, not just defeating disease, but the Grim Reaper himself. If all of this sounds rather ‘science fiction’ think of this; in 2002, Ray Kurzweil (winner of the 1999 US National Medal of Technology and Innovation) was appointed a director of engineering at Google. A year later Google lunched a sub company called Calico whose mission statement is ‘to solve death’. In 2009 Google appointed Bill Maris to preside over an investment fund. Maris, who does believe in manmade immortality has stated ’If you ask me today, is it possible to live to be 500, the answer is yes’. Significantly, this is not just rhetoric as Google is investing a significant share of its $2 billion into in life-extending projects. However, it has to be conceded that even if Google’s scientists manage to crack the ‘immortality nut’ this will only be available for the very rich....


Strangely, in all such thinking, very little regard is paid to the Creator God who made us. According to God mankind was originally made immortal (which explains are desire for immortality), but lost this precious gift through our disobedience to God. After that God put limits to our lifespan which, like all God’s judgments before the Judgement Day, is lined with mercy- would you want to live forever in this sin-ravaged world? Regardless of the technological miracles that man may perform, he will never bypass God’s set limits. However, God has not given up on His ‘immortality project’ and has promised that all who believe in Jesus will receive, right now, everlasting life and will one day live in a New Heavens and a New Earth. Here are Jesus’ words;


“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life”.


So, thanks Google, but that is the life that I am going for and it’s available right here, right now, for rich and poor, for big knobs and little knobs, for all who will come to Jesus in repentance and faith!

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