If you don’t die, you can’t reach God

Preamble: I am an atheist. So I don’t have any God-related issues concerning rejuvenation/living forever. Other people, though, may believe there’s an afterlife waiting for them once they die, or that curing ageing equals playing God. I don’t think these are particularly problematic concerns.

First, if anyone at all, believer or not, wishes to die at any point, I am in no position to object. It’s their life, not mine, and they can do with it whatever they see fit. If you are afraid of never reaching your god because of quasi-immortality, I think you should be free to die the way you wish, be it by ageing or whatever way you prefer (as long as you don’t take others down with you). I think it’d be crazy to terminate your life for this reason, but hey, whatever sinks floats your boat. It’s your choice, and you should be given it. Rejuvenation isn’t about forcing people to never die. It’s about giving them the possibility of living in perfect health for as long as they see fit.

Speaking of the ‘playing God’ problem, I think the real problem is one of definition. What does ‘playing God’ mean? Is it defined anywhere in your holy book? Why is curing ageing ‘playing God’, but curing diseases isn’t? We have already established that curing ageing doesn’t make you immortal. Rejuvenation isn’t about throwing a challenge to your god. It’s about putting an end to people’s suffering, which I understand gods generally appreciate. (When they aren’t in the mood for plagues anyway.) If your god is almighty and all-knowing as you probably think it is, I’m sure it will take your life and everyone else’s whenever it sees fit anyway. I wouldn’t be afraid of its judgement after your death: If you supported rejuvenation, you supported a cause that prevented people’s suffering, including your own. That’s pretty damn noble.

Finally, whether somebody lives or dies, religious people generally interpret this as God’s will. If a man is very sick and doctors can’t save him, after his death believers will likely say that God decided his time had come. However, if doctors were able to save the man, then believers will likely thank God for deciding to save his life. So, either way, it is God’s will. If in a few decades doctors will be able to save people from ageing, maybe this is God’s will too. For all we know, he might have specifically arranged things so that rejuvenation is created at a certain point in time. He might have had some reason beyond our understanding to call to himself all people prior to a certain point, and save the lives of everyone after it. This point might be the moment rejuvenation becomes real. Of course, as an atheist, I am extremely sceptical about it, but if you are a believer, this might make sense to you.

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3 thoughts on “If you don’t die, you can’t reach God

  1. I understand the skepticism, mostly as a gut reaction to an idea most have never seriously considered before, but I think it involves a serious error.

    To wit, the Bible is explicit about everlasting life being a GOOD thing, so why should we oppose life extension? The Bible also makes clear that nothing a man can do will make him live longer or shorter than the time appointed by God – so if we can actually cure aging, it implies that God wishes us to have longer lives than previous generations. Finally, the Bible is clear that God wishes to grant eternal life to all who will accept it. This presents two implications: First, the Bible says nothing about what mechanism God will use to grant eternal life, and we should not rule out that God might use radically improved medical care as the means; and second, it implies that the those who reject a cure for aging might also be rejecting God. While the possibility of resurrection at a later date persists, those who turn away from life in the here and now are establishing a bad precedent. (This applies to cases where there is a real chance of full or near-full recovery, of course – not to extreme measures to extend life for a few miserable hours.)

  2. The Bible says in any case Jesus will come back and transform the world to a Heaven on Earth, giving those still alive new immortal bodies and raising the dead. If that’s true there’s no harm waiting for it and living as long as possible in the meantime.

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