Right from the outset, the spur for the creation of new technology was the desire to reduce the personal impact of suffering and death. In this I agree with author Stephen Cave that to a large degree the rise to civilization was driven by the day to day minutiae of the quest for immortality: don't starve, don't be cold, don't get injured, don't be conquered, cure sickness, heal wounds, preserve life and health in the moment so as to see another dawn. We're still building the medical aspects of that edifice one small brick at a time, most of the way through dealing with infectious disease, and now turning our view to aging. The agents of technological progress, the researchers and the developers, gnaw away at each of the myriad individual causes of pain and mortality, one at a time, sometimes getting rid of them entirely (smallpox, insufficient food production), sometimes merely reducing them a little (heart disease, cancer). The next group picks up the banner, and continues to try to further erode that cause of mortality and sickness.
Progress is accelerating. We can envisage numerous paths ahead that might lead to a defeat of degenerative aging before the end of this century. We may well begin the replacement of our evolved biology with much more efficient and resilient designed machinery, such as artificial immune systems and oxygen transport nanomachines. We may augment ourselves with new tissues, perhaps genetically improved, such as additional thymus organoids or extensions to the kidneys and liver. Alternatively we may remain in our present human form for a long time, and simply repair the damage that causes aging. All of these will be spurred by the desire to remove first mortality, then pain, and finally - when nothing else is left - inconvenience and frustrated desire. There is a hierarchy of needs, and we will follow it.
If death is inevitable, then all we can do is die and hope for the best. But perhaps we don't have to die. Many respectable scientists now believe that humans can overcome death and achieve immortality through the use of future technologies. But how will we do this? The first way we might achieve physical immortality is by conquering our biological limitations - we age, become diseased, and suffer trauma. Aging research, while woefully underfunded, has yielded positive results. In addition to biological strategies for eliminating death, there are a number of technological scenarios for immortality which utilize advanced brain scanning techniques, artificial intelligence, and robotics.
But why conquer death? Why is death bad? It is bad because it ends something which at its best is beautiful; bad because it puts an end to all our projects; bad because all the knowledge and wisdom of a person is lost at death; bad because of the harm it does to the living; bad because it causes people to be unconcerned about the future beyond their short lifespan; bad because it renders fully meaningful lives impossible; and bad because we know that if we had the choice, and if our lives were going well, we would choose to live on. That death is generally bad - especially for the physically, morally, and intellectually vigorous - is nearly self-evident.
Yes there are indeed fates worse than death and in some circumstances death may be welcomed. Nevertheless for most of us most of the time, death is one of the worst fates that can befall us. That is why we think that suicide and murder and starvation are tragic. That is why we cry at the funerals of those we love. Our lives are not our own if they can be taken from us without our consent. We are not truly free unless death is optional.