Why does one fear death?

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  • #26
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The arrogant echoes of a braying ass fade into peace as Agnostic can play with the other children in my ignore cage.
Bye bye..
*__-
 
  • #27
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no fear, but definitely was shaky afterwards for awhile
 
  • #28
Waking Life

xPAGANx said:
I am afraid to die because I truly value living. I believe once I am gone my universe is gone. The universe may still exist, but to me it is gone completely. I will no longer be able to think. I just can't imagine nothing. The closest thing I can relate it to is sleeping, but even that is far from the mark. An eternal sleep of emptiness even my thoughts cannot penetrate.
Hello,

You (and anyone else interested) may enjoy watching the movie "Waking Life"...
Among other concepts, it explores the possibility that death is but a long dream.

[2001] Waking Life - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0243017
 
  • #29
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More like 'life' being a long dream....
 
  • #30
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Agnostic said:
I find among the philosophical community it is cool or trendy not to fear death...
have you considered the possibility that maybe it is the case that many philosophers genuinely do not fear death, and it has nothing to do with being "cool or trendy"?

unless, that is, you wish to be seen as a cool or trendy philosopher :smile:

MF
 
  • #31
  • #32
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..cool and trendy..
I found that statement so juvenile and ridiculous that it wasn't even worth serious comment.
 
  • #33
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People fear that which they do not understand.

Dying, Generally hurts.. who want's to get hurt?

We have invented countless negative, scary after-lives for ourselves, im sure no one wants to burn in "hell" forever, nor be stuck in limbo, or be reborn countless times without ever retaining a memory of the ordeal.

Basically it comes down to unknowing, we just don't understand what death is, so we will fear it.

I have come close to death a few times, and each time was different. During one of them I had a great epiphany and accepted it, I felt at peace.

The other times, I didn't want to die and struggeled to live.

I guess it all depends.
 
  • #34
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The question is slightly ambiguous. Does it mean fear of being dead or fear of dying? They are different. I personally don't fear being dead, dying scares the hell out of me. I don't expect to go like my grandmother in her sleep. I expect that my dying will involve a time of suffering, maybe a long time.

Being dead doesn't scare me much because I don't believe in hell even if there is something after. And if there isn't, then there is only dying.

Death is the one thing that sets us apart from all other life on this planet, we are the only species that knows what personal death is.

One thing about being dead does bother me a little. I'm a contrarian and if there is a choice to go into the light or not, I am contrary enough that I might not choose the light and I wonder lately what that would mean. Sure, we are indoctrinated to believe that the light is good but is it? No one knows for sure and maybe it isn't good, maybe it is something that consumes the soul. Maybe only the few souls that choose not to go into the light survive. Scary stuff, I hope if there is something after I don't have to choose..
 
  • #35
Psi 5 said:
we are the only species that knows what personal death is.
Do we???

I don't think so, we keep thinking about life, about its meaning, about death and why dying, what's afterwards, death is death, so what's death??
 
  • #36
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scix said:
Dying, Generally hurts.. who want's to get hurt?
Agreed, but the question is about fear of death, not fear of getting hurt.

I do not like the prospect of a painful (either physically or mentally painful) terminal illness, and (if in that position) I guess I would want to take something to help end it all quickly. I would then welcome death as a way to relieve/escape the mental/physical pain.

Thus, I do not fear death, but in a sense you might say that I fear pain.

MF
 
  • #37
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Nomy-the wanderer said:
Do we???

I don't think so, we keep thinking about life, about its meaning, about death and why dying, what's afterwards, death is death, so what's death??
imho, Psi should have said "we are the only species which appreciates it's mortality, which knows that death is inevitable"

MF
 
  • #38
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Psi 5 said:
....
Death is the one thing that sets us apart from all other life on this planet, we are the only species that knows what personal death is.
......
I stand by that statement as is. The closest thing I have seen in another species of understanding what death is is in Elephants. They will go to the bones of family members and fondle them, they know who the bones belong to. This does not mean they understand personal death or realize that they will inevitably die but they do know that a family member is gone and the bones are what's left.

We fear dying because of the pain that may be involved, because of the unknown consequences, because it signals the end that may not have another beginning.

We fear death because it is the unknown, because it may BE the end.

Would you fear death if you knew for a fact that it would be nothing more than falling asleep and then waking up to a new and better world? No, you would look forward to it, not fear it.
 
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  • #39
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Hello all. Please excuse this repeating of my previous post about fearing death, but I really think that the point that I made is extremely relevent and no-one really responded to my point, just about my 'poor' presentation of it.
Now that I have thought a moment, and can perhaps, a bit more intelligently, present this Truth here.
So once again in a nutshell;

There must be thought of death to fear death. One must somehow conceptualize death and then think about it somehow to 'fear' it. One cannot fear something that one cannot conceptualize. Fear of the unknown? One must populate the darkness with phantasms before one can 'rationalize' fear as an appropriate response.

If one were as completely 'in the Moment' as possible in our lives, we would be so Aware of our NOW world, so Conscious, so awed, in such bliss, etc... that we just wouldn't have any time, literally, to 'fantasize' about some potential 'future'. The less of 'you' in the HERE/NOW, the less Aware, the less Conscious, the less spontaneous in interaction, Zen, etc... Then in creep the insane creeps, like fear, hate, love, attachment, delusion, etc.... There is literally no room for these mental concepts in the HERE/NOW! HERE is your 'Center', in the HERE/NOW! The further you 'wander' from your 'Center', the more 'eccentric', insane, unhappy, lost, suffering you will become.
Thats why fear sucks! Not death! which is a natural beautiful part of a natural beautiful life...

So, I'll pick 'C', that the 'fear of death' comes from a form of 'mental eccentricity' that can be healed and the 'fear' seems to disappear at the same time.

(for what it's worth...)
 
  • #40
Psi 5 said:
We fear death because it is the unknown, because it may BE the end.
Exactly it maybe the end, or maybe not! U donno how ur future is gonna be later, u donno if ur still gonna be able to dream about what u wanna be, what u wnana have...Or enjoy the things u used to...

But we actually donno how is it gonna be, we only know that there's something called death...It's worth fearing it.

Or at least when u r living, and dreaming of doing some certain things, or reaching a certain goal, u wouldn't wanna die before accomplishing ur mission...Before enjoying a certain feeling.

It's very abstract.
 
  • #41
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Psi 5 said:
We fear death ......... because it may BE the end.
In all honesty, I do not fear death.
And I do not understand why anyone should fear death if they truly believe it is the "end". It's just like falling into a dreamless sleep from which you will never awake. What is there to fear about that?

MF
 
  • #42
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tis reminds me of when Paul Atreides was getting tested by the bene gesserit reverend mother Gaius helen Mohaim in Dune...

...handle the pain in the box or die a certain death

LITANY AGAINST FEAR

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear - From Frank Herbert's Dune Book Series
© 1965 and 1984 Frank Herbert
Published by Putnam Pub Group
 
  • #43
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moving finger said:
In all honesty, I do not fear death.
And I do not understand why anyone should fear death if they truly believe it is the "end". It's just like falling into a dreamless sleep from which you will never awake. What is there to fear about that?
MF
Because that is a possible result, I doubt anyone TRULY believes in a particular outcome, deep down everyone has doubts that the end won't be what they like to think they believe it is.
 
  • #44
My Take

There are many aspects to the thread author's question.
For those who believe in a paradigm like eternal glorification versus eternal damnation, fear of death would probably depend on what one thought their fate was. Someone who thinks they are "going to Hell" may fear death more because of that viewpoint. Someone who "knows" they are "going to Heaven" might fear death very little, thinking that death is part of the "plan" anyway. Thus, for some people, fear of death is fear of "going to Hell".
The process of death itself can be painless, or extremely painful. Thus, for some, fear of death is fear of extreme pain.
The process of death itself can be instantaneous, or extremely slow. Thus, for some, fear of death is fear of being aware (or being unaware) that one is dying. Going further, some people have selfless reasons for wanting to be alive, such as raising their children. Other people have selfish reasons for wanting to be alive, such as partying more. In these cases, fear of death is fear of not having accomplished enough in life. Being aware of one's own death process can be a peaceful experience, or a period of ultimate regret and sorrow. However, for some people, death occurs without their knowledge - either because it is an instantaneous surprise, or their state of consciousness prevents awareness. Some people want to "see death coming", perhaps so they can experience the whole "life flash before the eyes" thing. Others merely want to avoid being figuratively dead before they are physically dead.
 
  • #45
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Psi 5 said:
Because that is a possible result, I doubt anyone TRULY believes in a particular outcome, deep down everyone has doubts that the end won't be what they like to think they believe it is.
One could argue that "deep down" we all doubt everything, even that solipsism is false. But one must have the courage of one's convictions - otherwise we would all take Pascal's wager, wouldn't we?
MF
 
  • #46
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moving finger said:
One could argue that "deep down" we all doubt everything, even that solipsism is false. But one must have the courage of one's convictions - otherwise we would all take Pascal's wager, wouldn't we?
MF
It is intellectually healthy to doubt everything.
What is "the courage of one's convictions"? To stand by some 'dearly held belief' despite data and experience and evidence that that belief is in error? Is that not what a 'conviction' is? I dunno, it still sounds like the kind of 'convict-ion' that makes 'convicts'! I don't think that there IS another flavor.
And 'convict' or not, no thinking person takes Pascals wager seriously as it is deeply flawed and unworthy of repetition as anything other than an example of fallacious thinking. See http://www.update.uu.se/~fbendz/nogod/pascal.htm" [Broken] for a thorough refutation of his fallacious 'wager'.
 
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  • #47
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nameless said:
It is intellectually healthy to doubt everything.
Nevertheless it is not healthy to remain in doubt about everything for the rest of our lives (try doing that without being a hypocrite).
nameless said:
What is "the courage of one's convictions"? To stand by some 'dearly held belief' despite data and experience and evidence that that belief is in error? Is that not what a 'conviction' is?
Not necessarily. Where is the "data and experience" which shows theism is in error?
nameless said:
See http://www.update.uu.se/~fbendz/nogod/pascal.htm" [Broken] for a thorough refutation of his fallacious 'wager'.
Thanks for the link to the so-called refutation of Pascal's wager - but I believe I can argue against each one of the points given there.
:smile:
MF
 
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  • #48
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moving finger said:
Nevertheless it is not healthy to remain in doubt about everything for the rest of our lives (try doing that without being a hypocrite).
Doubt fertilizes the soil in which understanding and wisdom grow. Surety is intellectual death and stagnation (fossilization). I doubt and am not a hypocrite. Is this a trick question? When doubt leaves, fanaticism, fundamnentalism, zealotry, arrogance and fascism, etc... are the weeds that begin to grow, along with 'beliefs and faith' and 'convictions', instead of critical thought and current hypotheses...

Not necessarily. Where is the "data and experience" which shows theism is in error?
Really?? Please show me any data or evidence for the existence of a god? With no data or evidence, theism IS error, intellectual error anyway. Perhaps not emotional error, but that is something else. As far as I am concerned, accepting a hypothesis, such as a god, with no evidence whatsoever, to the point of 'belief' and 'faith' is emotionally needy pathology, not intelligence. Just my opinion.


Thanks for the link to the so-called refutation of Pascal's wager - but I believe I can argue against each one of the points given there.
You can argue all you like, but the refutations that I have noted are rather definitive as far as I can see. When he says that there is a lack of a third option, how do you argue that? It is a fact. Go "nanananaananananananana I cant hear you" and move on from there? The fallacies are clearly enumerated. But feel free to write your own refutation of the refutation. I'll be happy to read it. Perhaps you'll alter my perspective...
 
  • #49
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nameless said:
I doubt and am not a hypocrite.
I never said that you were a hypocrite. We all doubt to some extent. What I said was “it is not healthy to remain in doubt about everything for the rest of our lives (try doing that without being a hypocrite)”.
Are you suggesting that you doubt everything and will continue to doubt everything for the rest of your life? I doubt that. :biggrin:
nameless said:
Really?? Please show me any data or evidence for the existence of a god?
With respect, science proceeds on the basis of falsification of hypotheses (read Popper). "the existence of God" is such an hypothesis, however it is NOT a falsifiable hypothesis, which strictly speaking makes it an unscientific hypothesis.
It is well understood in science that no hypothesis can ever be proven, all we can ever hope to do via experimentation is to find data which either support or falsify the hypothesis. To my knowledge, there is no data which falsifies the hypothesis of the existence of God, and (because of the way God is defined) I doubt whether it will ever be possible to falsify this hypothesis – hence it is unfalsifiable – hence unscientific.
nameless said:
With no data or evidence, theism IS error, intellectual error anyway.
…….. accepting a hypothesis, such as a god, with no evidence whatsoever, to the point of 'belief' and 'faith' is emotionally needy pathology, not intelligence.
With respect, you are simply displaying your ignorance of accepted scientific method here (see above). An unfalsifiable hypothesis such as “the existence of God” is unscientific, but you are wrong in your conception that science proceeds only by confirming hypotheses – it does not – it proceeds mainly by falsifying hypotheses.
nameless said:
You can argue all you like, but the refutations that I have noted are rather definitive as far as I can see.
At the top of this post you claim “I doubt”
I’m glad to see that you keep an open mind and that you indeed “doubt” the refutations – or is this hypocrisy? :rofl:
nameless said:
When he says that there is a lack of a third option, how do you argue that?
It is a fact.
Oh, is it a fact indeed? What happened to your “doubt” all of a sudden? :biggrin:
You and the author of that article are looking at the question from a purely “Christian-centric” view. Christianity, Catholicism, Islam, Hinduism, etc are all earthly religions and in their human-interpreted forms they are indeed incompatible. However it may be the case that the true God transcends all of these homocentric religions, therefore the question boils down simply to a choice : Either the true God exists or does not exist – either believe in the true God or do not. No third way. Simple as that. Why need there be a third option?
nameless said:
Go "nanananaananananananana I cant hear you" and move on from there?
I hope you will understand if I say that this rather infantile comment is not worthy of reply. :yuck:
With respect
MF
 
  • #50
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moving finger said:
I never said that you were a hypocrite. We all doubt to some extent. What I said was “it is not healthy to remain in doubt about everything for the rest of our lives (try doing that without being a hypocrite)”.
Are you suggesting that you doubt everything and will continue to doubt everything for the rest of your life? I doubt that.
Yes. I have learned that the quickest way to be 'shown the light' is to firmly think that you absolutely know something. There is and will always be an element of doubt (for me, of course) about everything. Even this. It is the only wise position to take. It is the only position if I wish to continue to 'evolve' intellectually and in understanding. Otherwise, from surety, we have fanaticism, etc... and the horrors that come with that kind of mindset. You certainly don't need me to enumerate on that?! Yes, and the only 'healthy' position to take is one of doubt of everything.

With respect, science proceeds on the basis of falsification of hypotheses (read Popper). "the existence of God" is such an hypothesis, however it is NOT a falsifiable hypothesis, which strictly speaking makes it an unscientific hypothesis.
With respect, a hypothesis requires supporting evidence to be taken seriously. Large 'claims' require large 'evidence'. The onus is on the one making the outrageous claim to provide outstanding evidence. (read Masterson, Williams, et al.) You can't possibly think that the onus would be on me to 'disprove' a claim of flying elephants? I could certainly examine your 'evidence' critically, though. Got evidence?

It is well understood in science that no hypothesis can ever be proven, all we can ever hope to do via experimentation is to find data which either support or falsify the hypothesis. To my knowledge, there is no data which falsifies the hypothesis of the existence of God, and (because of the way God is defined) I doubt whether it will ever be possible to falsify this hypothesis – hence it is unfalsifiable – hence unscientific.
It is irrelevent to me how 'scientific' the claim is, if no 'evidence' is produced along with the claim, intelligence dictates that it not be taken seriously, unworthy of refutation.

An unfalsifiable hypothesis such as “the existence of God” is unscientific, but you are wrong in your conception that science proceeds only by confirming hypotheses – it does not – it proceeds mainly by falsifying hypotheses.
This is grade school stuff. I'm not, nor have I ever said (produce quote, please) anything like 'science proceeds only by confirming hypotheses'. I'm well aware how science works. I'm really curious where you see me saying anything like this. Can you not refute something real (since you appear to be in a 'refutation' mode), instead of putting incorrect words in my mouth and pointing at 'my' error??

Originally Posted by nameless
You can argue all you like, but the refutations that I have noted are rather definitive as far as I can see.
At the top of this post you claim “I doubt”
I’m glad to see that you keep an open mind and that you indeed “doubt” the refutations – or is this hypocrisy?
Are we playing some kind of word game here? Do you have a point?
I 'doubt' the logical refutation that I have read by perhaps 3.7%. I 'doubt' your ability to refute the refutation by maybe 98.3%. No hypocrisy here.
Is this all going to be personal attack or did you have a valid point you wanted to discuss?

Originally Posted by nameless
When he says that there is a lack of a third option, how do you argue that?
It is a fact.
Oh, is it a fact indeed? What happened to your “doubt” all of a sudden?
You and the author of that article are looking at the question from a purely “Christian-centric” view.
Sorry. Incorrect. I look at NOTHING from a Xtian POV! I am not a Xtian.

However it may be the case that the true God transcends all of these homocentric religions, therefore the question boils down simply to a choice : Either the true God exists or does not exist – either believe in the true God or do not. No third way. Simple as that. Why need there be a third option?
How is it that you go from "it may be the case", to "Either the true God exists or does not exist – either believe in the true God or do not. No third way." in one breath. There 'needs' to be third options because ther ARE further options, and deliberately ignoring them to 'prove' a hypothesis is error, and downright dishonest. Shall I enumerate further options? I think that the author was rather thorough in his multitudinous logical critique of 'Pascal's Wager'. If you have something of substance, evidence of your posited 'god', any real objections to his critique, come ahead and enlighten me. But lets not waste time with word games and 'personalities'?!

Besides, I think that we have wandered rather far afield from the original topic.

moving finger said:
I hope you will understand if I say that this rather infantile comment is not worthy of reply.
True. Apologies. I've been dealing with too many kids lately.. I could have worded that better.
<sheepish grin>
The underlying point does, nevertheless, remain.
*__-
 

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