There may be but two certainties in life—death and taxes—but of those two, death is most frightening. Humans hate the fact of death, and so we constantly tell ourselves stories to avoid its inevitability. According to the philosopher Stephen Cave, these stories about a god, a nation, a family, or an art help us manage the terror of our own demise. They’ve also fueled the expansion of civilization for eons. Wednesday, Cave joins us to explain how our unique and implacable yearning for immortality makes us human.
Stephen Cave writes regularly for the Financial Times, and has also written for the New York Times, the Guardian, Wired and others. His new book is called Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization [Amazon|Indiebound].