Don’t Fear Death.

Someone talked about their fear of death in a blog and this was my response:

Life and death are the same thing, ceasing to be one thing and becoming something else.  Your five year old self is no more just as you will be no more some day.  You have already died many times, you didn’t even notice it. 

Every 7 years or so every atom in your body is replaced.  “You” did not exist during “your” childhood.  What we think of as “I” is a momentary thing that is always in flux.  The only way to preserve yourself would be to just stop.  To be frozen in place.  Don’t fear that you will die some day, fear that you will stop learning and changing and growing and be the same thing forever.  That is much worse.

Advertisements

About agnophilo

Nerd.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Don’t Fear Death.

  1. FalconBridge says:

    That is an awesome response. I agree never changing would be worse.  Boredom alone.

  2. With all due respect, that’s a load of nonsense.It is one thing to regard your 5 year old self and your present self as distinct entities.But death and life are not related in anything like the same way. That 5 year old did not die, he transitioned and learned and developed into something new. Death is not merely change. It is closure.’I’ is a useful construct to understand the locality of existence and particularly of consciousness. ‘I’ applies at all stages throughout life to the collection of thoughts and experiences that comprises the individual ‘I’. Death terminates this process. Anybody who truly enjoys life ought to fear death. It is a horrid prospect, that your passage of change reaches an end and your aspirations and hopes and dreams are all ultimately confined to a finite space in time. There’s nothing wrong with this fear. It is healthy. Denial of the reality of death is not healthy. It’s annoying.

  3. agnophilo says:

    @FalconBridge – Boredom itself would be a change.@twotothefightingeighthpower – You get that there are other people and things in the world, right?  Life doesn’t stop just because you die.  And when the loose collection of parts we call “you” dies it keeps on changing.  What, you think the atoms in your body have only ever been you?  They’ve been plants, animals, dinosaurs, comets – they’ve even been stars if you go back far enough.  “You” are just one link in that chain.

  4. YouToMe says:

    @twotothefightingeighthpower – “But death and life are not related in anything like the same way. That 5 year old did not die, he transitioned and learned and developed into something new. Death is not merely change. It is closure.’I’ is a useful construct to understand the locality of existence and particularly of consciousness. ‘I’ applies at all stages throughout life to the collection of thoughts and experiences that comprises the individual ‘I’. Death terminates this process.Anybody who truly enjoys life ought to fear death. It is a horrid prospect, that your passage of change reaches an end and your aspirations and hopes and dreams are all ultimately confined to a finite space in time. There’s nothing wrong with this fear. It is healthy. Denial of the reality of death is not healthy. “Agree! Was just thinking along those lines

  5. YouToMe says:

    I get what you’re saying. Reading your response now. Okay nevermind ” I will stop commenting and discuss now”Lol

  6. agnophilo says:

    @twotothefightingeighthpower – And by don’t fear death I don’t mean don’t avoid getting killed, I mean don’t fear your eventual mortality.

  7. MiDarkLyfe says:

    Like any fear or worry, the fear of death saps the life out of the present. Why not sit around and worry about asteroids hitting the planet, or the next ice age? Or while away your hours fretting over the fate of the global food supply or the next pandemic? What a waste of time.You will die. You can’t know when or how. Accept it.

  8. tgwiy says:

    I heard a quote a while ago “If you’re not afraid of death, you’re not living big enough.” I like that, because it reminds me to always be learning, moving, fluid. That said, I’m not afraid of death, I welcome it. It’s something we all have to deal with, so why be afraid? 

  9. Nothing in the universe is static. Even the atoms out in the cold, empty, vacuum of space are still moving. I thought about this before… if something was “perfect” or without flaw it would mean that it would never change since everything is in decay from the beginning but thats impossible so nothing can also be perfect or forever. I still believe that life is brain and body, life is consiousness, and reality is that consiousness stemming from the brain. Outside the brain that was wonderfully given to us nobody will know because it only knows the electrical signals recieved from outside stimuli. You need a physical brain to interpret this reality. Whats outside of that is the question that we can only speculate. Its like the universe expanding but wondering what its expanding into. I kinda subscribe to the idea of a matrix and the idea that there is nothing. Everythings just naturally happening as apart of a grand biological system and us humans with our self-awarness do our own meaningless things everyday to give us what we want, need, and deisre. Ugh, all this is given me a headache lol and I feel like I’m talking in circles. Hope I made sense… Good post. I like reading stuff like this better than politics.

  10. striemmy says:

    The only problem with your set of statements and rebuttals is that the brief period you regard as your life is the ONLY period in the chain of transition of all of the components of your body together, were connected directly to your consciousness. To imply that the components of your body continuing on in another state is a continuance of you is to feign ignorance of the very real fact that “you”, your consciousness, you subjective experience of the universe, your memories, your emotions, your thoughts, your existence in any real sense of the word, ceases to be at the moment of death. Perhaps even sooner for people that end up in comas or in persistent vegetative states. People SHOULD fear death. Fear is a powerful motivator. The fear of death leads to advancements in medicine to prolong it and elevations of quality of life to spend what time we do have here wisely. I personally am not at all worried about where my molecules go after I die, because they aren’t me. 

  11. moss_icon says:

    What, you think the atoms in your body have only ever been you?  They’ve been plants, animals, dinosaurs, comets – they’ve even been stars if you go back far enough.  “You” are just one link in that chain.”It’s this very fact that makes me speculate over reincarnation, despite my atheism. What if ‘conscious’ is in someway part of that very atomic structure and could, potentially, ‘resurrect’ itself somewhere down the line as another life-form? It’s completely unscientific and merely fantasising on my part – I don’t need it to be true or believe it. But atheists can still wonder.

  12. Nearly all of the things pleasurable and meaningful in life ends with death. This fact doesn’t change with any of the observations of the entry.

  13. Far too much logic and critical thinking skills happening on this particular blog. You must hate God. 

  14. maniacsicko says:

    my thoughts when reading this is basically what some of the things that striemmy and Celestial_Teapot have said..

  15. mommachatter says:

     For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (I Corr. 13:12 (KJV)) If that conscious part of us doesn’t survive on some plain then why did God take the time to describe heaven, the final judgement, and the pit. No, I say it is the ones that belives that once we die it is over calls God a liar.   Personally after two heart attacks, three open heart surgeries, four strokes and now they say I have some sort of cancer, if I didn’t think similarly to Agnophilo, I would be lost.  That very fear of death would deny Christ and the purpose of His coming.  But do I fear death? Hahaha I’m human and I fear change of any sort, but with the rational part of my brain I know the former to be true.  Between my first two strokes (4 weeks apart I spent four days never moving from my recliner, sitting there being afraid…of what use was that?

  16. @agnophilo – oh, come on. you just ignored what i said and restated your opinion.it doesn’t matter what the atoms that comprise you were, or what they will become. ‘i’ does not exist anywhere once death sets in. it is pretty churlish to insist otherwise.you may take comfort in the fact that you are part of a greater whole, which is good for you, but it doesn’t make death okay.i like being alive and conscious. i do not like the idea of not being.

  17. agnophilo says:

    @MiDarkLyfe – I agree.@tgwiy – I don’t want to die but I’m okay with the fact that I will someday.  Not like I have a choice anyway.@TheThoughtsofJake – Yes it made sense.  And theoretically time (motion) stops inside a black hole.  But even then you have hawking radiation so maybe not.@striemmy – I didn’t say you should be worried about where the molecules that make up your body go when you die.  And the question of what exactly constitutes “you” is an important one.  Do “you” end at the boundaries of your skin?  If so if you lose a limb and it rots to dust are you dead?  Is “you” your mind?  If so if you learn something new do you die?  Or is “you” the cosmos itself and we’re all just ripples in one big metaphorical pond?  None of these views is more logical than the next, whatever we want to call “you” can be viewed as one unified thing or as many separate parts, as can the universe.  You may notice I agree with some eastern philosophies : )@moss_icon – I don’t see the slightest reason to think atoms store your consciousness, by that logic my computer could “reincarnate” on another hard drive someday.  I do however think we have a group consciousness and that what we say, do and think echoes on long after we die.  Just as what you think is in part echoed from countless people through history.  Or did you invent democracy, egalitarianism, logic etc?@Celestial_Teapot – They end for you, they do not “end”.  Or is your life not pleasurable because people have died?@LadyboyRevolution – You lost me.@maniacsicko – See my responses to them.@mommachatter – I didn’t say that when we die it’s all over, I actually said the opposite.  And I’m sorry about your health problems : (  My goal was to portray individual life as being part of a grander cycle of change and invention.  I think, to put it in christian terms, that creation wasn’t something that happened once upon a time – it is something that is happening now and will continue for a very long time, and we are a part of it.  All things in infinite combinations.  And while for instance things like cancer are bad, the properties that allow for cancer to occur are the same properties that allow everything else to occur.  We have to take the good with the bad, and some unfortunately have more bad than others.  I don’t know what your life has been like, but I hope you’ve experienced much joy and beauty and love, and I hope you hold onto that through whatever else you face in life.@twotothefightingeighthpower – I didn’t ignore anything you said.  And the point was to get you to stop focusing on your ego and look at the bigger picture, but I guess you’re not willing to do that.  And if “you” ceasing to exists ruins life then as I said consider your life ruined many times over.

  18. striemmy says:

    @agnophilo – Actually, the logical quality of many of those positions decline sharply as you more accurately define what constitutes “you”. If you define a human being as a living, functional collection of tissue then the fallen arm doesn’t count anymore and the question of whether you’re dead becomes absurd. If you define a human being as a consciousness in flux, capable of assimilating new information, of forgetting old information or rejecting information altogether, then there goes the concept of you dying when you learn something new. This is the first time I’ve ever seen you give a response that I could counter so easily. 

  19. mommachatter says:

    I’m sorry, did it sound like I was disagreeing with you? Oh contrare, I think you have a good hold on life and I was hoping to support you. As for my health…I was riding bicycles until early last year and then ‘they’ got all spooked that I might get dizzy and fall off…not a chance! But now I have the opportunity to make them all run to keep up with one of those little personal go carts like they use in grocery stores. I put my rat terrier (10 lbs) in the basket and we go as fast as we can so that his ears blow in the breeze.There are blessings to be found in all ages and I have found my nitch in this one. In spring a tree may be covered in blooms, later in summer it has it’s leaves that make the wind sing, fall brings the colors gold, rust, red, yellow, brown and an occasional evergreen. Then there is the winter when ice forms on the bare branches they look like amber glass. I like amber glass.I do hope someday you can be a teacher, you have a lot to teach that is not in books.

Speak yer mind.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s