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Is anyone baffled by the thought of their own death?

  1. Nov 9, 2007 #1
    Every now and then I think about how someday I'll be dead and I'll never experience life as a human again. I just can't picture my eyes closing for the final time and never awaking again. It's actually rather depressing to think about. I kind of wish the universe gave us everlasting life. But does anyone else find the thought of their own death baffling?
     
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  3. Nov 9, 2007 #2

    turbo

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    Not baffling at all. I look around and see that all creatures have a term of life, and that some lives are cut short by disease, injury, etc. It may be hard for you to come to terms with the fact that your intellect (your interface with the universe) will no longer exist, but given the apparent infinite expanse of the universe, is the interface of one creature important?
     
  4. Nov 9, 2007 #3

    Evo

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    I look at death as the inevitable end to the cycle of life. Don't dwell on it, you can't prevent it.
     
  5. Nov 9, 2007 #4
    Look at this way. We know earth is about 4.5 billions years old, and the universe about 13 billion years old, and you are only aware of it for as long as you are old. Wouldn't hurt if you are not aware of it for another billion years or even infinity. When you die, the atoms in your body will disperse into the environment, and be used up by other things, such as trees, animals or other people yet to be born. Even some atoms in your body right now were used by dinosaurs, and other prehistoric creatures millions of years ago. We live on a tiny tiny earth in the vastness of space, timing with unimaginable dangers, such as black holes, supernovas. It's sort of hard to reconcile oneself with such reality, because it conflicts with most values people were taught.
     
  6. Nov 9, 2007 #5
    No, I don't think it is. It was just wishful thinking on my part because I don't take life forgranted, and the thought of death ending the joy that life brings to me is saddening at times.
     
  7. Nov 9, 2007 #6
    I don't usually. I occupy myself for most of the time. But on occasion when I ponder I just think about how sacred myself really is and how it's never going to be in this form again once I go.
     
  8. Nov 9, 2007 #7

    Evo

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    That's true. Try to pursue what makes you happy, if that is possible. For a lot of people, that's not possible. I hope it is for you.

    If it's any help, I read that as people grow old they start to welcome death and are not so afraid of it.

    There are studies that show that the elderly are the happiest. I don't believe that, but that's what the studies said.
     
  9. Nov 9, 2007 #8

    -Job-

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    It's a good sign if you find it hard to think about your own death, it means your life is not that bad. :smile:

    If it makes you feel better we're probably, if not dead, at least "turned off" most of the time. Sleep is just as baffling as death. And is life continuous anyway? It's possible that we're dead every few picoseconds.
     
  10. Nov 9, 2007 #9
    Death is something I will gladly accept only when I consider my needs and dreams complete. It will be the grand finale and honestly be exciting to see what happens after it.
     
  11. Nov 10, 2007 #10
    For me, the positives of life outweigh the negatives of having to think about losing everything.
    But still it is somewhat of a tragedy to be alive, build up all this value in yourself and for others, and then die.
    But like Evo said the elderly seem more prepared to die as they get older, and maybe death is a bit like sleep, the final release of life is a GOOD thing, depending on how you look at it.
     
  12. Nov 10, 2007 #11

    Pythagorean

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    I guess I'm somewhat baffled by the idea, but not so much by the stop of the heart as by the end of consciousness. I like how we can interpret information and create ideas and pass them on through eternity, and in that way, Einstein and Newton are nearly immortal.
     
  13. Nov 10, 2007 #12
    It really is, and it's so short too to begin with. It takes you about 20-30 years to build up long term interests and dreams, and then in another 30 years you're ready to retire. It just seems like a terrible waste how all of that value you build up for yourself disappears with you along with everything you believed in or thought of. However, I do agree that the joy and positives of life do outweigh the negative finale.
     
  14. Nov 10, 2007 #13

    Bob

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    What is life? If you had not lost your life, when your body go to dust all you have experienced have became eternal and you also have opportunity to experience more.

    The question is "What is life?".
     
  15. Nov 14, 2007 #14
    It's all part of the mind-body problem. We find it pretty much unthinkable that our mind could be destroyed by something wholly material.

    I have two points to add:

    1) You know you were born, right? If death is mysterious, birth is at least as mysterious. What caused my mind? When did it appear? These questions bemuse us all. Yet we accept that we were born and in fact it seems perfectly natural and good to have been born. You can say the same about death.

    2) Whatever causes the birth and death of minds, it's beyond the scope of science, because mind isn't a phenomenon - it's like the TV screen on which phenomena play out.

    It's controversial but entirely reasonable to think that behind the world of phenomena (our sense experience) there is a world of material causes, real things, "noumena", "things-in-themselves" - and we only ever perceive the phenomena they cause, we don't perceive them directly. So while we can never know what causes the birth or death of a mind, it can still be a material thing out there in the world, just like the material things out there in the world that cause me to see, smell, taste, hear and feel stuff. The cause doesn't have to be God.
     
  16. Nov 14, 2007 #15

    Pythagorean

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    Personally, I'm just as "baffled" by my birth and the origin of life in general.
     
  17. Nov 14, 2007 #16

    Ivan Seeking

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    Don't worry about it. Once it's all over you'll barely notice a difference.
     
  18. Nov 14, 2007 #17

    Ivan Seeking

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    Just out of curiosity, why would one assume that death is "it" - the end - when we can't possibly know?
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2007
  19. Nov 14, 2007 #18

    Pythagorean

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    It probably comes from the assumption that consciousness is a product of physical and chemical events in the brain and that when one dies, those processes end.
     
  20. Nov 14, 2007 #19

    Ivan Seeking

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    So then the logic is to make a leap of faith about the greatest mystery of all, based on an assumption?
     
  21. Nov 15, 2007 #20
    since science has no explanantion at all for concsiousness i am inclined to think that maybe it can live on. Everything about our physcial bodies obviously dies, but the parts of us that make us who we are, our mind and our conscious experience, could, maybe, live on. I think this for a number of reasons. Mainly that Near death experiences all seem to be very similar, implying that there is some definate process that happens after death. http://www.near-death.com/ is a good site if you want to weigh up what evidence there is for afterlife.

    Most people think that great academics do not believe in such things, but when you look at a lot of their personal beliefs, a lot of them do. Einstein said: "Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds." Einstein wrote favorably about psychic process on telepathy research in a preface he wrote of Upton Sinclair's book Mental radio. If its good enough for einstein to consider, its good enough for me.

    Further evidence for this is that the strongest psychedelic known to man, DMT (the drug which gives us our dreams), is endogenous and has been hypothesised to be created in vast amount during death and birth. The effects of the drug are nearly identical to all NDE's. Shamans have used this drug to visit the 'spiritworld' and higher dimensions of conscious experience for millenium. Dr Rick Strassman has done a lot of research into this before he was stopped by various drug laws, but he did get a chance to publich a book on it, "DMT the spirit molecule", which has been acclaimed by a lot of top academics, read the reviews on amazon (http://www.amazon.com/DMT-Molecule-Revolutionary-Near-Death-Experiences/dp/0892819278). Maybe this is part of the biological mechanism that initiates afterlife. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimethyltryptamine

    Can i prove life after death? no. But i do like to stay optomistic about it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2007
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