The Fragility of Life
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21-10-2012, 09:25 AM
The Fragility of Life
I'm not exactly sure where I'm supposed to post this, or if there's even a place for it, so please spare me. You've probably all heard something like this before, but I just needed to get it off of my chest.

This weekend, my dad and brother went to visit a couple of our friends at their lake house in Alabama, while my mom and I stayed home, having other business that needed to be taken care of. Last night, they were at my friend's house, about to leave to go to an auction, when they heard screams for help from the house next door. They ran over there, and when they did, they found that a man was choking on a piece of steak. My father and his friend tried to do CPR on him, but it didn't work. The man died, right there in front of them.

I guess it really shouldn't upset me so much; I didn't know the man. But the truth is that it really does bother me, especially since I don't believe in an afterlife. It sort of shocked me...the way that life can end so quickly. Morbidly, I wonder how those last few minutes must have been for him. I'm sure he didn't swallow that steak thinking of his imminent death. It's amazing how quickly joy can turn to sorrow; comfort to danger; life to death. I can hardly comprehend it.

Now I can really see why people rely on religion so heavily....We humans just aren't ready to accept that after we die, it's over. It's that hope, that crash-pad that is the idea of an afterlife, that keeps some people so hooked on religion. We use it as a way to justify deaths by saying simply that they "are in a better place." I can see how believing in something like that can be to a psychological advantage. It's just so much easier to say that they are still living than it is to accept the hard fact that they are dead...for good. It sort of sickens me how readily people jump onto this explanation. Though I hate to admit it, it seems that some people really do need religion in this way. I really wish that weren't so.

Thoughts?

"Leave the atom alone."
-E.Y. Harburgh
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21-10-2012, 09:34 AM
RE: The Fragility of Life
It does sound rather poetic. Sleepy

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21-10-2012, 09:38 AM
RE: The Fragility of Life
There is a super volcanoe under yellowstone park. If it erupts it will wipe out all life on the planet. How's that for fragile?

When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity.

You cannot successfully determine beforehand which side of the bread to butter.
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21-10-2012, 10:42 AM
RE: The Fragility of Life
Hey, DW.

That's a rough experience. Big love to your dad and brother.

I should point out however that religion predates the notion of the afterlife.

I mean, I think most of what you said is true, but I think that the system it is a part of is broader than you're suggesting.

There's a really fantastic BBC documentary series called How Art Made the World. In part 5, they discuss images of death, their link to the notion of the afterlife and death icons like the crucifix and their purpose. It's really superb:





I'm curious though. Why does it sicken you so? And what would you prefer if it weren't so?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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21-10-2012, 11:07 AM
RE: The Fragility of Life
Welcome back, Ghost. Smile

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21-10-2012, 11:31 AM
RE: The Fragility of Life
Similar situation with my son in the military. Faced with the possible hazards of combat, the idea of an afterlife seems rather enticing. Sickening thing is that the religious programs that have access to him and other soldiers capitalize on this appeal. I do what I can to counter balance this but he's smarter than me now and I'll have to let him learn his own lessons in his own time. But y'know, if it causes him to not stress out about dying it so much... I'm -kind of- ok with it. Of course there is a lot of farce with this line of thinking but I know how my son is and I can see how this could help him up to a point. I want him to fear death but I don't want him to drive himself crazy with it. I can only hope he never forgets the aspects of reason against mysticism I've tried to teach him these past several years.
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21-10-2012, 12:41 PM
RE: The Fragility of Life
(21-10-2012 11:07 AM)Vosur Wrote:  Welcome back, Ghost. Smile

Ditto. Where ya been? I thought you might be.... oh, the fragility of life!

DreamWeaver, you too. I haven't seen you around for while. Welcome back.

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21-10-2012, 01:32 PM
RE: The Fragility of Life
(21-10-2012 09:38 AM)Xinoftruden Wrote:  There is a super volcanoe under yellowstone park. If When it erupts it will wipe out all much life on the planet. How's that for fragile?

fixt.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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21-10-2012, 01:34 PM
RE: The Fragility of Life
(21-10-2012 01:32 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(21-10-2012 09:38 AM)Xinoftruden Wrote:  There is a super volcanoe under yellowstone park. If When it erupts it will wipe out all much life on the planet. How's that for fragile?

fixt.
fine, ruin my stargate fantasies o terse and deadly one. Sad

When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity.

You cannot successfully determine beforehand which side of the bread to butter.
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21-10-2012, 02:04 PM
RE: The Fragility of Life
I find such fragility depends less on "no afterlife" than on the realization that anything could happen at anytime. We expect to get old slowly, finally catch some disease and slowly waste away. We don't expect to die from choking on steak. We look both ways before crossing the street, we don't run with scissors, we buckle out seat belts - only to be drop-kicked by a cow? That's harsh.

I"m totally cool with no afterlife beyond my ashes fertilizing some tree. I'm not cool about dropping dead this afternoon. I'm just not done yet, and I've got other things planned.

We have enough youth. How about looking for the Fountain of Smart?
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