Poll: Does death scare you?
Yes, I think about it all the time.
Yes, but I rarely think about it.
Yes, I believe the afterlife will be worse than this life.
No, we are all stardust we will just go back to being stardust.
No, I wasn't alive before I was born, so I'm sure it won't bother me too much when I'm dead.
No, I believe the afterlife will be better than this life.
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Death
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11-11-2015, 08:18 PM
RE: Death
How can I die if at the moment I die I cease to exist?

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11-11-2015, 08:21 PM
RE: Death
I don't think anyone has said it better than Jim Jeffries.

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Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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11-11-2015, 08:29 PM (This post was last modified: 11-11-2015 08:35 PM by Stevil.)
RE: Death
(11-11-2015 07:11 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  Ugh, this just straight up "does not compute". Logically I get what he is saying. But why..why is this something I should care about? Why should it be meaningful to me? That I don't get.
I take out of it that I am lucky to have lived at all. That dying is part of living, you can't have one without the other.
Why focus on death? Why consider the "unfairness" of death but not the "unfairness" of life?
Of course those that didn't win the "lottery of birth" don't get to contemplate the unfairness of that. But can you not consider how lucky you are without having others around to contemplate how unlucky they were?
What Richard is pointing out is that most possible people don't even get to be born. I know this may seem purely academic and not compute with you. But it is a fact that you are lucky to have been born against the "stupefying odds", your life could be savored as something unexpected and special rather than something to be expected and taken granted of. You may feel that you have the right to 80+ years or for some people they may feel they have the right to eternal life. If anything encroaches on your right you may then get angry at the "unfairness" of it.
We have two paths:
- Feel bitter for having only X amount of time to live
- Feel lucky for having X amount of time to live

Richard is trying to show why we could feel lucky.
"We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones"

Anyway, I feel his poem is beautiful and has meaning for me.
If it doesn't resonate with you, then perhaps something else does.

Perhaps in the context of the song, with the upbeat music etc and the way the words are spoken, perhaps it has more zing!
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11-11-2015, 08:56 PM (This post was last modified: 11-11-2015 09:00 PM by yakherder.)
RE: Death
(11-11-2015 03:19 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  I consider the "we are stardust" and "we weren't alive before we were born" sentiments to be void of value. I wonder what you all feel about this subject as well.

I can agree with this statement, but out of the options "we are stardust" was still the closest answer in regards to whether or not I fear death simply because it is factually true. At this point in my life, I don't fear death, not in the sense that you mean anyway. Not philosophically. I realize that in the moment of death, assuming it comes painfully and violently as I've always assumed it eventually will, there will be certain physiological reactions that could be defined as fear, and it is those reactions that cause me the most concern. I want to know that in that moment, whatever it is I'm dying for, I accomplish whatever task it is that I've deemed to be worth my life.

Ironically, the best way I've found to deal with it came from a cheesy movie called "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai" which, coincidentally, was released right around the time the concept was most relevant to me. A quote in the movie goes like this:

"The Way of the Samurai is found in death. Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily. Every day when one's body and mind are at peace, one should meditate upon being ripped apart by arrows, rifles, spears and swords, being carried away by surging waves, being thrown into the midst of a great fire, being struck by lightning, being shaken to death by a great earthquake, falling from thousand-foot cliffs, dying of disease or committing seppuku at the death of one's master. And every day without fail one should consider himself as dead. This is the substance of the way of the samurai."

At the time, I felt kind of silly finding something that I perceived to be so profound in an unrealistic B movie, but it sank in nonetheless. Upon further research, I found it to have been pulled and slightly reworded from a book called "Hagakure" written by a late 17th early 18th century samurai named Yamamoto Tsunetomo. He defines bushido as, essentially, the practice of living your life as if you are already dead, and that such a mindset is in fact necessary for a samurai to serve his purpose. I latched onto the concept, and still consider it to be an important part of my thought process today.

So... To answer the question, yes I think about death frequently and intentionally. But whether or not I fear it depends on how you define fear. I'm not afraid of not existing, so I don't fear it in the way that you're describing. I think of myself as a dead man walking, just going through my life as best I can until it finally happens. Maybe I'll get shot in a ditch in some random 3rd world country, maybe I'll get hit by a bus trying to cross the street, or maybe I'll live to old age and die of a heart attack. My coping mechanism is to anticipate the possibilities and meditate on them (or at least reflect and ponder them) until I'm as comfortable with the idea as I can realistically be so that I can then go about accomplishing whatever various objectives I have in my life without being hindered by fear of that which is inevitable.

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11-11-2015, 09:18 PM
RE: Death
(11-11-2015 08:29 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(11-11-2015 07:11 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  Ugh, this just straight up "does not compute". Logically I get what he is saying. But why..why is this something I should care about? Why should it be meaningful to me? That I don't get.
I take out of it that I am lucky to have lived at all. That dying is part of living, you can't have one without the other.
Why focus on death? Why consider the "unfairness" of death but not the "unfairness" of life?
Of course those that didn't win the "lottery of birth" don't get to contemplate the unfairness of that. But can you not consider how lucky you are without having others around to contemplate how unlucky they were?
What Richard is pointing out is that most possible people don't even get to be born. I know this may seem purely academic and not compute with you. But it is a fact that you are lucky to have been born against the "stupefying odds", your life could be savored as something unexpected and special rather than something to be expected and taken granted of. You may feel that you have the right to 80+ years or for some people they may feel they have the right to eternal life. If anything encroaches on your right you may then get angry at the "unfairness" of it.
We have two paths:
- Feel bitter for having only X amount of time to live
- Feel lucky for having X amount of time to live

Richard is trying to show why we could feel lucky.
"We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones"

Anyway, I feel his poem is beautiful and has meaning for me.
If it doesn't resonate with you, then perhaps something else does.

Perhaps in the context of the song, with the upbeat music etc and the way the words are spoken, perhaps it has more zing!
Well I definitely hold to, "I am very happy I am alive" but that has no direct relationship to the fear of death for me.

I don't consider myself "lucky" to be alive in the sense that R.D. is saying it because that is all tautology IMO. Basically, "because we exist we beat the odds of not existing." I suppose consider myself fortunate to have been born into the class/lifestyle I was born into...but even then "luck" has nothing to do with it. It happened so it is so. It's not like *me* as the sovereign and distinct individual that I currently am could have been brought into existence in a radically different way. Because I would argue that that would no longer be *me*.

I never sit around thinking "damn so little time left, this sucks." But I do think, "gosh, one day *this* will come to an end." That's the scary part. *This* being the current me existing and thinking.

Anyways, not knocking on the poem itself, and I'm glad you find meaning in it. I just can't wrap my head around putting almost any positive spin on death. It seems unnecessarily romantic.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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11-11-2015, 09:29 PM
RE: Death
(11-11-2015 09:18 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  Anyways, not knocking on the poem itself, and I'm glad you find meaning in it. I just can't wrap my head around putting almost any positive spin on death. It seems unnecessarily romantic.

The world doesn't move on unless we each relinquish our turn on stage, no? The same feature soloist for all eternity would be the worst music show ever.

That doesn't mean I can't resent the eventual end of my own turn, of course; that's what cognitive dissonance is for!

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11-11-2015, 10:05 PM
RE: Death
Adrianime Wrote:I just can't wrap my head around putting almost any positive spin on death. It seems unnecessarily romantic.
Well "if you are going to die" implies that "you have lived"
Sure that too is a tautology, but I feel it is worth pointing out.
It's about appreciating what you have got or what you have had.
It's like the saying, "it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all".
We are selfish to the core, we expect many things, we want equality or better for ourselves, some of us want what others have, some of us feel it is all too unfair when we compare our situation to others. The focus here is on me and what I don't have.
What many of us often don't take the time to do is to appreciate what we do have. We don't appreciate that we are alive now as we take that for granted, we don't appreciate that we were once in love and enjoyed the happiness that may have brought us. We tend to want more rather than to appreciate what we have got.
Regarding Death, we want more life, we want not to die, rather than to appreciate the life that we have got/had.

So the essential message is to take the time to appreciate what we have got (warts and all) rather than to want, wish or demand more.

I think it is an uplifting, positive message rather than a romantic one. Why is it romantic to point out that we can look at things from a POV of "appreciation" rather than "wants"?
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11-11-2015, 10:56 PM (This post was last modified: 11-11-2015 11:08 PM by Adrianime.)
RE: Death
(11-11-2015 09:29 PM)cjlr Wrote:  The world doesn't move on unless we each relinquish our turn on stage, no? The same feature soloist for all eternity would be the worst music show ever.

That doesn't mean I can't resent the eventual end of my own turn, of course; that's what cognitive dissonance is for!
haha I initially read your response wrong. I read "turn on stage" like "turn-on stage" so I was thinking the stage when we are turned on???

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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11-11-2015, 11:07 PM
RE: Death
(11-11-2015 10:05 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
Adrianime Wrote:I just can't wrap my head around putting almost any positive spin on death. It seems unnecessarily romantic.
Well "if you are going to die" implies that "you have lived"
Sure that too is a tautology, but I feel it is worth pointing out.
It's about appreciating what you have got or what you have had.
It's like the saying, "it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all".
We are selfish to the core, we expect many things, we want equality or better for ourselves, some of us want what others have, some of us feel it is all too unfair when we compare our situation to others. The focus here is on me and what I don't have.
What many of us often don't take the time to do is to appreciate what we do have. We don't appreciate that we are alive now as we take that for granted, we don't appreciate that we were once in love and enjoyed the happiness that may have brought us. We tend to want more rather than to appreciate what we have got.
Regarding Death, we want more life, we want not to die, rather than to appreciate the life that we have got/had.

So the essential message is to take the time to appreciate what we have got (warts and all) rather than to want, wish or demand more.

I think it is an uplifting, positive message rather than a romantic one. Why is it romantic to point out that we can look at things from a POV of "appreciation" rather than "wants"?
I don't think being selfish and being appreciative are mutually exclusive. So I don't think it has to be a "rather than". I can want more life and also appreciate the life I've had. In-fact the more I've appreciated the life I've lived the more I would want more life.

I may answer the romantic question later, I have a headache at the moment and can't put together a clear response atm.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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11-11-2015, 11:07 PM
RE: Death
(11-11-2015 10:56 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  
(11-11-2015 09:29 PM)cjlr Wrote:  The world doesn't move on unless we each relinquish our turn on stage, no? The same feature soloist for all eternity would be the worst music show ever.

That doesn't mean I can't resent the eventual end of my own turn, of course; that's what cognitive dissonance is for!
haha I read your response wrong. I read "turn on stage" like "turn-on stage" so I was thinking the stage when we are turned on???

The one is a subset of the other, to be sure.

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