Anti-aging technology has started to gain traction among the United States military and the ultra-rich. While billionaires like Amazon founder Jeff Bezos are happily funding immortality research, rival billionaire Elon Musk isn't.
Reported by Business Insider, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO slammed immortality tech. While the likes of Bezos and other billionaires are heavily funding research in the field, he believes the tech is immoral.
Musk wants everyone to die
Speaking at the Wall Street Journal's CEO Council Summit in December, Elon Musk explained that he isn't a fan of anti-aging research. The billionaire claimed that he isn't “aware of any secret technology to combat aging”. However, even if he was, he wouldn't agree with it.
The Tesla CEO explained that granting humanity immortality would be a bad idea. In his opinion, if humans lived forever, society would quickly stagnate, unable to grow past its current state of being into something greater.
"It is important for us to die because most of the time people don't change their mind, they just die," the CEO said. "If you live forever, we might become a very ossified society where new ideas cannot succeed."
Musk has often criticised the older population. In recent years, the billionaire went after both Donald Trump and Joe Biden, claiming that presidents should be younger. The CEO believes that anyone over the age of 70 shouldn't be able to hold positions of massive power. But does that mean people have to die?
A tale as old as time
Of course, humanity warning against the futility of finding immortality is one of literature’s most classic trends. From the tale of The Holy Grail to The Fountain of Youth, writers across millennia have used the topic as a cautionary tale.
One of the most famous stories warning against immortality is found in the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of humanity's oldest stories. In the tale, Gilgamesh spends years searching for eternal life, but never finds the answer.
In the story, Gilgamesh found that “when the gods created man, they let death be his share”. After his death, the protagonist's legend is spread across the Earth, immortalising him in text seemingly forever.
Of course, stories of immortality are cautionary tales, but as humanity hasn't experienced immortality, we don't know how it would play out. Maybe Musk is right, maybe it would stagnate growth. However, there's also the possibility that it could bring some good. After all, who doesn't want to spend more time with those they love?