Poll: The torment of existence or the horror of non-being
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Better to not have been?
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26-10-2013, 05:54 AM
RE: Better to not have been?
Well, when I didn't exist before I was born, I didn't exist to know I didn't exist. So, it didn't bother me, because there was no "me" to be bothered.

And when I'm dead, I'll be dead, so I won't be alive to care that I'm dead.

The only true horror is life and, while I didn't ask to be born into this shit-hole, I was, so, I figure I might as well make the best of it while I'm here. Smile

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
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26-10-2013, 06:49 AM
RE: Better to not have been?
I am for whatever reason reminded of this:

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27-10-2013, 01:48 PM
RE: Better to not have been?
(25-10-2013 04:49 PM)The_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  I like the idea of an afterlife though.

Being interminably insufferably bored is Hell. I only been here half a century and I'm already bored outta my gourd.

(26-10-2013 06:49 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  I am for whatever reason reminded of this:

You realize you ain't quite right in the head. Right?

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27-10-2013, 04:21 PM (This post was last modified: 27-10-2013 04:37 PM by houseofcantor.)
RE: Better to not have been?
There's no meat in that bread. Dodgy

(25-10-2013 08:39 AM)The_Thinking_Theist Wrote:  Eternal nothingness! FOREVER! Can you even begin to comprehend what that would be like? Cessation of existence! Nothing! It don't get more horrific 'den 'dat!

Been there, done that, wrote the sequel. It's metaphysical misadventures such as this, make me feel like a "real prophet." But in more rational terms, I draw my Gwynnies sometimes - and it's later - and I'm like, "WTF just happened? And why did I have to come back?" Big Grin

Ya know what "god" is? Not the "first cause," for that is contingent upon causality; but rather, the undifferentiated medium. You're making a common mistake, to conflate "nothingness" with a "taking away of thingness." It's not that. When one loses the ego and stops being one thing, you start being no thing - the well of potential thingness.

Love is Void. I remember. Big Grin

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27-10-2013, 04:39 PM
RE: Better to not have been?
A lot of interesting and good points here. I think some people enjoy the idea of an afterlife because it gives them comfort. Some people might want to see relatives and spend time after they are dead in an existence that is "better" than "this life"...

Although, as Chas has mentioned, wanting something or believing something because it sounds good adds nothing to whether or not it is actually true. There's been a lot of research done regarding stimulating parts of the brain that cause hallucinations, many of which think are the cause of "near death experiences" - Although, I'm still skeptical of some of the research and the work because so far nothing is super concrete, but it's at least good progress.

In other words, people go through traumatic things and report NDE and suddenly feel like there's something out there afterwards. It's interesting to me that people report vastly different interpretations and of course everyone believes their interpretation is correct which is why I think it's nothing more than a coping mechanism for the, "Oh shit this is gonna hurt and i'm going to die. Time to pass out and go into la la land so I don't have to deal with this shit!" moment. You wake up and, "Holy shit guys, there was this light, and all sorts of shit, aliens poked my rectum and my grandma was even there with cupcakes. Heaven is real folks!"

My dad claims to have had one. He had a heart attack. Coincidentally enough, he reported it during when they put the paddles on him. His explanation was the same old, "I just knew it wasn't my time." gag and I just sort of shrugged it off.

Anyway... I digress. The way I postulate "non-existence" is simply absence of consciousness. You have no way of knowing what it was like to be a sperm or an egg before you were born. No way of knowing what existence was like until you had the contrast of your senses and consciousness. I imagine exactly the same thing upon death. You have no way of knowing what it will like to be dead because once you're dead your brain shuts down and consciousness ceases. I think people want more than that though because it's terrifying to them to stop being.

There's nothing to "eternally contemplate" in terms of "an infinite state of not being" because you aren't you anymore. What you identify as your consciousness and "you", your experience in the world, your contrast of sense, it ends. Unless someone has verifiable evidence to support otherwise, I see no reason to worry, speculate, fret or be afraid of it. Enjoy what you can, while you can.

I also like to consider the following:

Regardless of whether you believe in a god, or don't... (obviously you do The_thinking_theist) I think we can both probably agree we came from the same stuff. Stardust, matter of the universe. Regardless of whether you believe there was a first cause or no first cause is irrelevant if you can agree on that point.

If you can understand that we came from that same stuff, and if you can understand that we are conscious, you can understand that in a funny way that the universe itself is conscious. That's because you're a part of it, you are that stuff, you came from that stuff. Everything we have a good understanding of in the world of science points to that very stuff.

So if someone is to ask me if I would rather bask in my existence be it suffering or not.... or if the alternative would be eternal nothingness forever, I would choose even a plain existence. That is because life in the universe is a rare thing (so rare, we're the only life we know of so far). To contemplate that even for a period of up to 100 years (if you are lucky enough) that you have a chance to be a conscious part of the universe, to appreciate it, learn about it, understand it... for even a short period of time you are the universe, looking upon itself. Even on a bad day, a terrible day, you're the most badass matter, atoms, and energy in the universe. I don't think I'd give that up, even for a moment. Even when you die, in some odd way the universe uses you over in other be it another organism or life, or someday when the sun collapses and the matter of the planets ends up being used again someday in dust clouds... another nebula, star nurseries... who knows, you name it, lots of possibilities. It'll still be you, us, it.

Ok well... black holes are cool too, but at least in terms of "badass matter" we can really understand, anyway.

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27-10-2013, 08:25 PM
RE: Better to not have been?
Quote:You realize you ain't quite right in the head. Right?

I've always thought of it like, I'm right in the head, it's everyone else that's not quite all there.

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27-10-2013, 08:31 PM
RE: Better to not have been?
(27-10-2013 08:25 PM)earmuffs Wrote:  
Quote:You realize you ain't quite right in the head. Right?

I've always thought of it like, I'm right in the head, it's everyone else that's not quite all there.

No, that's not it.

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27-10-2013, 08:43 PM
RE: Better to not have been?
Yea well you would say that, you're not right in the head.

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27-10-2013, 11:44 PM
RE: Better to not have been?
I'm good with the whole death and non-existence thing although if I sit and think about it deeply enough it tends to freak me out a little so I don't go there often.
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28-10-2013, 04:48 PM
RE: Better to not have been?
(27-10-2013 11:44 PM)aurora Wrote:  I'm good with the whole death and non-existence thing although if I sit and think about it deeply enough it tends to freak me out a little so I don't go there often.
Smile

If you don't go there enough, you'll never find any meaningful truths about anything, but just the occasional pondering I advocate fully.

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