Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind: serialised in quotes XXXI: Should our best minds be trying to give meaning to death or defeat it?

Of all mankind’s ostensibly insoluble problems, one has remained the most vexing. Interesting and important: the problem of death itself.

The best minds [in the past] were busy giving meaning to death, not trying to escape it.

When the gods created man they set death as man’s inevitable destiny, and man must earn to live with it.

For men of science death is not an inevitable destiny, but merely a technical problem.

Our best minds are not wasting their time trying to give meaning to death. Instead, they are busy investigating the physiological, hormonal, and genetic systems responsible for disease and old age.

The leading project of the Scientific Revolution is to give humankind eternal life.