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Briefing Paper: The promise of scientific immortality – who wants to live forever?

Briefing Paper: The promise of scientific immortality – who wants to live forever?

Hannah Waite and Nick Spencer’s briefing paper on the topic of scientific immortality. 31/05/2022

This briefing paper looks at what people think about immortality. Humans are (uniquely?) able to foresee their own death and many have claimed that it is from the ensuing desire to avoid annihilation that religion is born. The Theos/ YouGov survey asked the UK public what they thought about the prospect of living forever – whether through general scientific means, or specific technologies such as cloning or cryogenics. This session looks at the answer – do the British people want to “live forever”? – and what this means for our ideas of human aging, death, and the religious impulse.  

The topics are drawn from the research project Science and religion: reframing the conversation, undertaken by Theos and The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion. 

 


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