Why does one fear death?

  • Thread starter Lifter0569
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  • #51
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moving finger said:
Are you suggesting that you doubt everything and will continue to doubt everything for the rest of your life? I doubt that.
nameless said:
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.
………..Yes, and the only 'healthy' position to take is one of doubt of everything.
With respect, I dispute that you genuinely “doubt everything”.
For example, you do not seem to doubt the arguments put forward by the author of the website that you referred to regarding Pascal’s Wager. In your own words : “It is a fact.”
With respect, if this is not hypocrisy (ie claiming to doubt everything, yet also claiming that something is “a fact”), then what is?
nameless said:
a hypothesis requires supporting evidence to be taken seriously. Large 'claims' require large 'evidence'.
Hypotheses are put forward to explain experimental or experiential observations. Call this “evidence” if you wish, but at the end of the day all we have is experimental and experiential observations. The hypothesis “God exists” is just as good an hypothesis to explain our experimental and experiential observations as any other (except that it is not falsifiable, which makes it unscientific)
nameless said:
You can't possibly think that the onus would be on me to 'disprove' a claim of flying elephants?
If an hypothesis of “flying elephants” fits all of the known experimental and experiential observations then yes, in fact, the onus would then be on you (or someone else) to falsify this hypothesis. This is exactly how science proceeds.
nameless said:
I could certainly examine your 'evidence' critically, though. Got evidence?
Let’s start with “all of existence”. Everything in existence is compatible with, and nothing in existence is incompatible with, the hypothesis of the existence of God.
moving finger said:
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:
It is irrelevent to me how 'scientific' the claim is
I see. Perhaps (with respect) this says a lot about your philosophy?
nameless said:
……if no 'evidence' is produced along with the claim, intelligence dictates that it not be taken seriously, unworthy of refutation.
Scientific method dictates that any and all falsifiable hypotheses which are consistent with experimental and experiential observations be taken seriously, and the purpose of further experiment is then to try and falsify the hypothesis. This is how science proceeds – if you think differently that is fine, but nevertheless your philosophy would be by definition unscientific.
moving finger said:
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:
This is grade school stuff.
Yes, hence I assume you are familiar with it.
nameless said:
I'm not, nor have I ever said (produce quote, please) anything like 'science proceeds only by confirming hypotheses'.
You ask, so I reply :
nameless said:
With no data or evidence, theism IS error
nameless said:
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??
Am I in refutation mode? I am simply replying rationally to your own accusations.
I suggest we stop this silly game of “I said, you said”, it is not worthy of intelligent agents.
nameless said:
I 'doubt' the logical refutation that I have read by perhaps 3.7%.
I see. Thus claiming “it is a fact” does not actually mean “it is a fact”, rather it means “it might be a fact”. Thank you.
nameless said:
Is this all going to be personal attack or did you have a valid point you wanted to discuss?
Nothing personal here, I assure you. All of my arguments have been from a logical and rational perspective. If you wish to interpret rational arguments as a personal attack then that is (with respect) not my problem.
nameless said:
I look at NOTHING from a Xtian POV! I am not a Xtian.
I never said you were a Xtian. Neither am I a theist. But I do not need to be an atheist in order to view an argument from an atheistic point of view. Perhaps (with respect) if one could learn to view arguments from others’ points of view it might help one to understand them, don't you agree?
moving finger said:
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:
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.
Because (a) I “doubt” and (b) I believe in the law of the excluded middle.
nameless said:
There 'needs' to be third options because ther ARE further options, and deliberately ignoring them to 'prove' a hypothesis is error
With respect, this is logical fallacy.
The statement “the true God exists” is logically either true or false.
What would you suggest is “the third way”?
There is no “third way”. I am not deliberately ignoring anything, I am looking at the question from a purely rational and logical perspective. To claim that this is “downright dishonest” is to reject the whole foundation of logic.
nameless said:
…….and downright dishonest.
Now who is indulging in “personal attacks”?
nameless said:
If you have something of substance, evidence of your posited 'god', any real objections to his critique, come ahead and enlighten me.
I have answered your question, and "his critique" already.
I do not posit any “god”. But I do defend the right of others to do so.
nameless said:
But lets not waste time with word games and 'personalities'?!
I agree, but where have I done that? With respect, I have tried to keep this to a logical and rational debate.

As always, With respect

MF
 
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  • #52
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moving finger said:
I dispute that you genuinely “doubt everything”.
When I share something of the way that I think, and you basically (arrogantly and disputatiously) call me a liar, the conversation is over.
One thing that I DO doubt is that continuing this discussion (between us) will be 'fruitful' for either of us, or anyone else, and I don't think that we aught to hijack this thread any longer.
So I'll leave you with the last word.
 
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  • #53
1,604
1
nameless said:
I dispute that you genuinely “doubt everything”.
nameless said:
When I share something of the way that I think, and you basically (arrogantly and disputatiously) call me a liar, the conversation is over.
With all due respect, you seem to be taking this discussion very personally and emotionally. My remark is quite acceptable in the context of a rational and civilised debate – “I dispute that you genuinely doubt everything”” is a legitimate statement to make – it means “I do not think that you genuinely doubt everything”.
If you wish to interpret this as a personal insult then I am sorry, but that is (with respect) your problem and not mine.

And please remember, when it comes to accusing people of personal insults, YOU are the one that claimed my position was one of being "downright dishonest".

nameless said:
So I'll leave you with the last word.
Very kind of you.
Take care in your future posts,
MF
 
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  • #54
55
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Back to topic: "Why does one fear death?"


Because it's in our nature to both be afraid of and exited about things that are unknown to us. Most people feel that they don't understand the concept of death, and they are therefore both afraid of it, and interested in it.

That's atleast my theory. :surprised
 
  • #55
14
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I think the infamous "fear of death" is a misinterpreted fear. I believe the root of the fear isn't the act of death itself, but the mystery that lies BEYOND death. We're of the understanding that death is an "irreversible cessation of all vital functions especially as indicated by permanent stoppage of the heart, respiration, and brain activity" (cited from dictionary.com). But what we don't know is what's in store after the event of death.

Humans crave understanding and knowlege. To not know something is to not understand something, and it's human nature to fear what it doesn't understand. So in turn, we fear the unknown and the possibilies it may entail.

I think it's important to clearly define the topic of this conversation. Death can be feared on many levels. For example, does one fear: the process of dying (i.e. the sensations of a fatal heart attack), the state of death (i.e. the physical state of being dead), or (most commonly) what lies beyond death? The answer varies depending on the individual, I suppose.

On a more personal note, I don't fear the state of or the process of death. I'm not exactly afraid of what happens after I die, but I'm certainly saddened by the thought I may never see the people I love again. That's what hits home for me, and I suppose that saddening thought is one reason why I don't like to consider the possibility of reincarnation (which I guess results in losing the memory of a former life). I don't want to forget those in my life, or myself, for that matter.
 
  • #56
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Niode said:
Humans crave understanding and knowlege. To not know something is to not understand something, and it's human nature to fear what it doesn't understand. So in turn, we fear the unknown and the possibilies it may entail.
I'd like to build on this. It is human nature to crave understanding. But through out history we have had a problem with speculating about the unknown. The earth is flat, the sun revolves around the earth. Humans observed these events happening and this is what they thought, this is the product of their reasoning. As time went on our knowledge of science grew, and with it, we made closer observations and realized how things are in reality. Death was an observable phenomena, the problem is we can't observe what happens to the psyche after death, regardless of science or technology; so as usual we speculate. Depending on what an individual believes will happen after they die, will determine their emotional response to death. That is why I believe one may fear the unknown aspect of death.
 
  • #57
meL
23
0
there is no death.
the body recycles.

The sense of the non-existant
self is fear...misery.

Have a peek.
Don't faint.
It's OK.
 
  • #58
I agree completely with post #44. :)
 
  • #59
1,604
1
meL said:
there is no death.
the body recycles.
is "the consciousness that calls itself meL" exactly the same as (ie synonymous with) "the body of meL"?

MF
 
  • #60
meL
23
0
moving finger said:
is "the consciousness that calls itself meL" exactly the same as (ie synonymous with) "the body of meL"?
MF
What consciousness?
There is only repeating.

Yes, the body of meL is only repeating.

Dont faint.:bugeye:
:surprised
ho ho ho
 
  • #61
88
3
Why do people fear death?

"To die, to sleep, to sleep perchance to dream, aye, there's the rub. For in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil....for who would bear the whips and scorns of time, the opressors wrong, the proud man's contumely, and the spurns that patience merits of the unworthy takes, when he might his quiet make with a bare bodkin. But that the dread of something after death, the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveller returns, puzzles the will and makes us rather bear those ills we have then fly to others we know not of."

Sorry if I made any mistakes; its been a while since I read "Hamlet".
 
  • #62
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I fear dying before GR and quantum theory are unified.
 
  • #63
Lifter0569 said:
First, there are no religion specifics here anywhere. It is simply a question by philosophical reasoning.
To me and many others, this seems the most important question that one can make a decision on, in duration of their life. And I have not seen this type of question in here yet. And I would like to ask, do you fear death? If you do, why? Because of uncertainty? Well let me ask you this.
While assuming (using logically reasoning) that there are two possible paths after death, one being that you cease to exist, the other being able to think without being "alive"....
Hypothetically, someone does not believe in a creator. He believes he will cease to exist and not be able to think any longer once his body disintegrates from functioning. Logically, he should not fear death, and any entity with this given fate should not fear death.
The other path, being that you think outside of the universe. There is another "fork" in the road (assuming many religions are correct). A path of great happiness, etc. Or a place to feel only pain and seperation from our creator.
So, what have you done to cope with the inherent uncertainty with your inevitable death? What kind of philosophical thought process have you done to make that decision.
This topic seems most relevant.

I don't fear death, I just don't want it to happen to me. Fear is just the emotion that helps to avoid death. Living as long as possible is everyone's wish. Unless you're Al-Qaeda.
 
  • #64
mugsby
i've had something happen to me (a disease) which made me seriously consider killing myself (bought a gun). before that happened i would have never consider it as option that would ever entered my life. i had the romantic image of peacefully dying in my sleep. thankfully i've gotten better but will never be cured and i know when i become older i have a very real chance of a drawnout painfull death. so with this in mind i'm going to live as well as i can untill the pain overwhelms me. the only thing i ever get sad about is that i'm never going to have children that i can raise and impart what you would call my legacy. now what makes me mad is that i will have lived on this planet and have never of had the chance to make a differance. so i am hopeing that my brother or sister has a kid so that i may be a mentor and be remmembered that way, if not i'm going to try and find a kid that has potential to do something great and i'm going to help him as much as i can. i know it's wishfull thinking but thats what keeps me going. also i'm writing a book about my life (crazy life) in the hopes that it will far outlast the memory of my existence. i've even looked into having my ashes shot out in space or compressed into a diamond. it all seems pointless when eventually the sun will burn up the earth anyway but it makes me feel better. so what i'm trying to say is i don't fear death anymore but the one thing that scares the **** out of me is that i will be forgotten and my existence will have never even mattered.
 
  • #65
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Mugsby, your post is both touching and poignant.
I understand what you are saying and can only offer a word about what has worked for me. I've had 5 boys and there are grandchildren, etc... and I fully realize that in 1,000 years, or perhaps 10, who knows, there might be not a trace of even a memory.. so.. I try to live every moment, as 'in the moment' as possible, and I live my life LARGE! Enjoy what I can; I can 'be', I can 'do', or not, as I choose. No time for dishonesty, no time for freaking out over an imaginary future or past; just Be Here Now.
Everyone whose life that you touch will be 'touched' by your love and compassion (centering in the moment does that to folks quite often), as long as they live.. But that doesn't concern you. You just center, and radiate from the reality of Now. Perhaps they, having learned from you, will 'touch' other lives along their way...
"We shall all die, my friend, but we shall not all have lived!"
Live! And Live well!!
 
  • #66
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To die is scary, ,,but all others will also die is somewhat soothing!! :biggrin: Those who meet in heaven, or hell please do post ur experiences, and those who "cease to exist" .......................may your soul rest in peace:rofl:
 
  • #67
Critical_Pedagogy said:
I don't fear death, I just don't want it to happen to me. Fear is just the emotion that helps to avoid death. Living as long as possible is everyone's wish. Unless you're Al-Qaeda.
I don't fault you for repeating what the US government says.

But I should.

Al-Qaeda is yet another USA funded and trained "operation",
just like Saddam, Bin Laden, and the Taliban. Just like Hamas
is but an Israeli "operation" when one gets right down to it...

My point is, this climate of fear being coerced around us all -
through the "War of Terror" and natural disasters - has a BIG
effect on making people FEARFUL of death. Because, oh my,
around any corner might be one of those suicide bombers!!!!
Or one of those hurricanes might kill you!! Or... (get it yet?)

Why does one fear death? Because other people make death
so damn SCARY! People like G.W. Bush and Rumsfeld do much
to make people fear death. Hollywood tries really hard, too...
 
  • #68
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flotsam said:
I fear dying before GR and quantum theory are unified.

I bet you 100 dollars that you will still fear death just as much once they are ;)
 
  • #69
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Human Being said:
Or... (get it yet?)
Why does one fear death? Because other people make death
so damn SCARY! People like G.W. Bush and Rumsfeld do much
to make people fear death. Hollywood tries really hard, too...
People have always feared death, and feared for the death of their offspring (I said offspring because this applies to animals as well... for the most part).

People fear death because they don't know what will happen once they die, and they don't want to give up what they are doing now, maybe it's just the same thing as a fear for the unknown.
 
  • #70
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who dies? things come and go. if i am the body, why doesn't the body get up and refuse to be buried after i leave it? if i am the mind, why have "I" remained the same throughout all of its changes? same goes for the body. so who dies? if every living "thing" or every physical thing and mental state changes, and must change, what is the "me" that has persisted through all of the changes, unchanged?

you are not worldly to begin with, but it is a rollercoaster of a dream, no doubt. in fact, sometimes i forget that i got onto the coaster initially and that i will eventually get off when it's over.

dreams are deceivingly realistic. ever notice how one rarely wakes from a pleasant dream, but quickly awakens, to ones' great relief, from a disturbing dream... might make you question the so-called "problem of evil", eh?
 
  • #71
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I look at death from another more intuitive angle. Though I don't believe in any religion, I still believe that when one dies, his spirit does not.

Death, according to me, only occurs to the organic species. We, human beings, are composed of organic parts as well as spiritual parts. I think when we die, our organic parts rot and disintegrate; but, our spiritual parts are indestructable. What happens to our spirits, I do not know, but I believe in the existence of spirit.

Personally, I am not really afraid of death. I only feel sad for the people who care about me. I have had two near-death experiences and neither of them seemed scary. In fact, I think when one's about to die, he would feel really calm. I agree somewhat with someone who said that when one dies, his brain releases a substance that calms the body.
 
  • #72
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firstwave said:
In fact, I think when one's about to die, he would feel really calm. I agree somewhat with someone who said that when one dies, his brain releases a substance that calms the body.
When I had a near-death experience a few years ago, I was everything but calm. I had a horrible feeling/taste in my mouth and kept thinking that I can't die, and that I don't want to die.....
 
  • #73
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Well, because all organisms have a will to live, and not just people, I do not beleive that it is an emotional matter, or a matter of fear. It quite possibly be broken down to evolution. If an organism does not have the will to live, it will perish. If it perishes, then those that did not have the will to live will not pass on its genetic legacy. So it is naturally favorable to have a will to live, and thus have a desire to defeat death with any means possible.

But if I was to take a more philosphical look at it, and not so much of a practical look, then I would have to say that living is most likely pointless, but by continuing to live, you may find some interesting things. Like how I found physics, which may provide me (and us) with the ultimate meaning and/or purpose to life.



Human Being said:
Al-Qaeda is yet another USA funded and trained "operation",
just like Saddam, Bin Laden, and the Taliban. Just like Hamas
is but an Israeli "operation" when one gets right down to it...
My point is, this climate of fear being coerced around us all -
through the "War of Terror" and natural disasters - has a BIG
effect on making people FEARFUL of death. Because, oh my,
around any corner might be one of those suicide bombers!!!!
Or one of those hurricanes might kill you!! Or... (get it yet?)
Why does one fear death? Because other people make death
so damn SCARY! People like G.W. Bush and Rumsfeld do much
to make people fear death. Hollywood tries really hard, too...
Where did that come from, im sorry, but I find that rather rediculous...
 
  • #74
I'd like to reiterate my recent point, concerning a "different" way of
interpretting the open-ended question, "why does one fear death?"
In a previous post on pg. 3 of this thread, I gave a more traditional
analysis of why people fear death. There's another way to answer.

Like any other piece of knowledge, people learn about death from a
"teacher" who has already learned about death. Parent, friend, etc.

Knowledge of death and other issues which directly involve humans,
gradually accumulate into a worldview that affects decision making.

A person's worldview is shaped by their belief system - which is yet
another piece of knowledge acquired from one or more "teachers"...

Organized religion's often the foundation of a person's belief system.
Hence, it shapes their worldview, and thus their thoughts on death.

Eventually, most U.S. citizens become exposed to mass media daily
doses of death in their news and "entertainment". Images of death.

Ultimately, many U.S. citizens become afraid of death, not because
death itself scares them, but because all the imagery scares them!!

This imagery most definitely includes that which their belief system
associates with death. Eternal damnation often comes to the mind.


Why does one fear death? Now, I have given two analyses of why.
Comments PLEASE. What good are my words if they inspire noone?
 
  • #75
WhiteWolf said:
Where did that come from, im sorry, but I find that rather rediculous...
Critical_Pedagogy wrote:
"Living as long as possible is everyone's wish. Unless you're Al-Qaeda."


That's where my statements came from.
Depending on perspective, what CP said
is far more ridiculous than what I said....

His final three words inspired me to think
about how current events affect people,
specifically regarding their fear of death.
 

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