Here we have a couple of new videos by CGP Grey and Kurzgesagt on why we should look ageing and death in the eye with a more challenging attitude.
Because the Reaper comes for all eventually, humans have developed a perverse relationship with death. Death is a part of life. “Death gives life meaning,” This is madness.
No parent would ask the Reaper of Age to wrinkle their child’s skin, weaken their bones, dim their vision, and their minds, cripple them in a thousand ways over decades to ultimately kill them, “to give their life meaning”
We don’t know how much we could prolong our lives. 120 years? Forever? And if we could achieve that, how would this change us? Nobody knows.
But one thing should be clear. Just because a thing is natural doesn’t make it good or necessary, and where humans focus, technology ever improves. With enough time and attention maybe one day we will be able to keep the Reaper at bay.
To make that happen, we need a new mindset. Our brains (culture) need be cleared of the millennia of death acceptance, as Nick Bostrom depicted years ago in his The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant:
Once upon a time, the planet was tyrannized by a giant dragon. The dragon stood taller than the largest cathedral, and it was covered with thick black scales. Its red eyes glowed with hate, and from its terrible jaws flowed an incessant stream of evil-smelling yellowish-green slime. It demanded from humankind a blood-curdling tribute: to satisfy its enormous appetite, ten thousand men and women had to be delivered every evening at the onset of dark to the foot of the mountain where the dragon-tyrant lived. Sometimes the dragon would devour these unfortunate souls upon arrival; sometimes again it would lock them up in the mountain where they would wither away for months or years before eventually being consumed.
Oh, by the way, beware of the new charlatans and their siren songs (in Spanish). A different mindset means a different mindset, not the same old mindset in disguise.