n. A person who is prejudiced against the belief that science and technology will someday overcome human death.
Of course, people obsessed with control have to eventually confront the fact of their own extinction. The response of the tech world to death has been enthusiastic. We are going to fix it. Google Ventures, for example, is seriously funding research into immortality. Their head VC will call you a "deathist" for pointing out that this is delusional.
I was once interviewed by a group of "cryonic" enthusiasts in California called the "society for the abolition of involuntary death". They will freeze your body, so that when immortality is on offer you can be resurrected. I said I'd rather end my days in an English churchyard than a Californian refrigerator. They derided me as a "deathist".
He doesn't mean immortality in the figurative sense. In addition to his Singularity books, Kurzweil has published Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever and Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever. He considers most fatal illness the result of evolutionary errors that can be corrected, and refers disparagingly to "deathism" — our "millennium-old rationalization of death as a good thing."
A group of maverick technophiles called Extropians (from extropy, the opposite of entropy) have seized these digitopian scenarios and have become, in social critic Mark Dery’s words, "cyber-culture’s most vocal proponents of consigning the body to the scrap heap of the twentieth century." Their philosophy, not lacking in optimism, is also known as transhumanism: humanity may be transcended through future technologies that overcome entropy and death itself. To believe otherwise, according to them, is to be a "deathist."