In total there are 0 users online :: 0 registered, 0 hidden and 0 guests (based on users active over the past 60 minutes)
Most users ever online was 616 on Thu Jan 18, 2024 7:47 pm
MuzadiYou're probably right in that our dispute is more semantics than anything else. I would say, however, that we are impassed concerning whether the observed differences in emotion and intellect are merely paradoxical, that is a result of perception, or are, as such, contravening states of being. I've been trying to get around to reading Critique of Pure Reason, it's on my Palm, but alas, so many other things to do. Kant does catch alot of flack, though.Nonetheless, where does that leave us? How does this answer the question: How should we as sentient beings live in the light of our mortality? Why shouldn't I slit my wrists? Why is my life somehow better than a grasshoper's life. Earlier today I wondered if my life wouldn't be better as a meercat, not that my life is especially bad or anything, but I couldn't formula a decent argument to the contrary.So my hope for this thread is to see our many brilliant minds push beyond a mere superficial examination of the issue and address the problem of actually living this mortal life of ours.
I have enjoyed reading the posts on this age-old question and concern; and it is clear that our perspectives on death -- its significance, our fear of it -- may evolve over our lifetimes. Excluding the clinically depressed, young people are likely to fear it more than the old, since they have not lived a full life. The death of a young person almost always seems more tragic than the gentle decline of someone who has made it to the end. Our attitude toward death may also be tempered by by any close calls we have along the way with death. I can speak from experience that, having survived cancer as a mere lad of 32 some (gad!) 28 years ago, I have thought often and hard on the subject. Now as (I guess) a member of the senile citizen class, I have less and less fear of death and use its inevitability (and relative imminence) to help define what I consider it important to do. It does seem to give lustre to the remaining time I have. But as to the fact of death, I have absolutely no fear -- and no expectation of anything beyond except personal annihilation. That comes as a kind of comfort. Beliefs in an afterlife have their beneficial effects in this life by providing comfort. At the end, if I am happy (in the Aristotelian sense, having lived a full and productive life), I think it will be a fitting coda.
Often in the mornings right after waking the first thing that happens is the feeling of emerging from a deep sense of disorientation. The next occurence is the realization of 'me' and a feeling of consciousness, of being, and the things I identify with that concept.. where I am and what time and day it is usually connect first. Following that is a shattering realization of an eternal oblivion. Knowing I'm going to be dead for infinite length of time is a little easier in the knowledge that waiting an infinite length of time for this moment to be alive didn't seem so long. Seen as being stuck between two infinite durations can actually cheer me up, since just being here seems like a bizzare and preposterous proposition.
Personally, I don't want to die prematurely. I guess my biggest fear is that of leaving too many things undone and having more negative effects than positive on others lives. I am not a religious person, so I am pretty much at peace with the fact that this is a natural life cycle and that my body will return to being worm dirt. To me, it's akin to what Robert Heinlein puts forth in "Stranger in a Strange Land". I would like to think that my death would make me simply more a part of the people in my life...my close friends and family. That rather than mourn for a long period of time, that they can rejoice at the time that we had together.Ernie(who is in no hurry to become worm dirt)
I am afraid to die. Mostly I am afraid of dying without doing anything notable. But I also realize that my fear of death makes my enjoyment of life possible. For if I believed that upon death I would be infinitely happier how could I enjoy my time here? I remember as a child the night before Christmas being pure torture. Any enjoyment I experienced was the anticipation of what gifts I would receive the next day. I did not then enjoy, as I do now, the time spent with family I had not seen for a long spell. So, not only do I fear death, I value my fear of death.
Reading rielmajr's response was encouraging for me, especially the following segment. I feel he has obtained an authentic understanding of human finitudeQuote:I have less and less fear of death and use its inevitability (and relative imminence) to help define what I consider it important to do.I am 23 and find myself spending much of my time on frivolous and trivial activities. I fear death, but I can't seem to grasp how very real it is, and consequently live as if my time is limitless. Well, anyway, I haven't seen much of rielmajr around lately. I miss his input and which he'd have stayed around.