Is death really a technical problem?

Is death really a technical problem?

Harari states that science is only happening if there is a ‘mutual reinforcement’ of science, politics and economics. Scientific research cannot happen if political and economic institutions don’t provide the resources for the research. Many scientists act out of pure curiosity, as the book mentions. But to finance their research, they need money, because all the research they do is very expensive. An example of some scientific discovery that was shaped by political interests is the study of nuclear physics (Harari, 273). Governments of America and the Soviet Union supported this research because this study would enable them to produce nuclear weapons, which would help them win wars. During the last five centuries humans have believed that they could increase their capabilities by investing in scientific research, and this is clearly a good example of that.

The idea of progress has definitely showed that science has begun to solve one unsolvable problem after another. It has definitely showed the linkage of science, empire and capitalism in many cases, for instance the example mentioned about nuclear physics. Problems can be solved by applying new knowledge, but it might not be every problem that can be solved. For instance, the book says: “for men of science, death is not an inevitable destiny, but merely a technical problem.” (Harari, 267) This quote from the book gives us an idea of how the research of science has grown. Personally, I do not believe that death can be solved. Death is the law of nature and it is going to happen to all the living being. People die due to being ill or basically just feeling weak when they get older. The idea of progress will not be pivotal in this case, because the problem will probably never be fixed.

One thought on “Is death really a technical problem?”

  1. I like how you mentioned that scientific research cannot happen if political and economic institutions don’t provide the finances/ resources for the research. I think that is the most fundamental and important factor when discussing scientific research and why our scientific research is steered into the different directions that it is. No political or economic institutions want to fork out ten of millions of dollars to fund research that they wont benefit from somehow. In your second paragraph when you say that death cannot be solved, I somewhat disagree. I think it is hard to imagine now, but life expectancy is on the rise, due to scientific advancements in medicine and a better scientific understanding of the human body and health. I don’t see people having the ability to live forever in the next 10 years, but I think as scientists find more and more treatments and cures for deadly diseases, advancements in pacemakers and organ transplants, humans will continue to live longer and longer (unless Earth gets to polluted and war struck, and we all die of disease or nuclear bomb explosions before these scientific achievements in immortality can be made haha). I have no clue if someday humans will be able to live forever, I just felt like exploring that idea a little more. Great post.

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