Thoughts on death

peto verum
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Thoughts on death

 

Here is some personal ponderings that I thought I would throw out. The anonymity of the forums is very liberating. That said. Death?  Is it safe to think that the first beliefs in supernatural deities may be attributed to attempting an answer by a cognizant beings questioning of the finality of death?   Death for ancient people must have appeared spontaneous and erratic. One day you are tickling a child the next day they are stricken with illness and die. Of course as science and understanding increased of our natural environment, the spontaneity and erratic nature of death becomes more understandable. That is not to say that death isn’t a sad time or tragic in some instances and welcome in others.   For me examining why the initial creation of a god was needed helps me to conceptualize a theist (strong) beliefs in a god. A study in empathy if one will allow me. Personally, I’m not agnostic nor hinting at it, I’m not questioning gods existence at all. He does not exist. I’m trying to understand how others come to believe god exist and when theist throw out causality arguments and logical arguments etc, etc. what they fail to convey to me is how ancient/original man formulated their first beliefs without being students of causality arguments and logic etc. etc. Many Christian beliefs fall short of my empathic ability due to the fact that some of the higher thought required and attributed to the first Christian(s) simply could not have existed.  For me dying is scary but only due to the fact that I like control, or maybe I should say, a more direct input into my “situation.” An illustrative example may be to try to express my concern over my children and that they will be safe and secure. If I die in a house fire then that sucks for me but my fear (of dying) is that I wouldn’t be able to help my children get out of that same fire. If my death were to result then I would never know if they got out, thus the root of my fear. If many people shared my similar thoughts then I can see how the perpetuation of a supernatural deity could take root and flourish, what a relief it would be if a supernatural being was there to keep my “essence” intact long enough to either help my children or allow me to know what came of them after my death. My death doesn’t correlate directly with my fear of dying rather my fears is based on what may occur after my death.  I’m more afraid of missing something, space travel, alien contact or anything that may happen in the future. To lighten this a bit, I’m afraid of missing the future, not of dying. I’m not an earth-shattering, deep thinker so pardon me if I don’t articulate myself very well.   Epicurus pretty much settles the fear of death for me, personally, with his saying, summarized in my words;  I knew of no passing of time before my birth therefore I will know of no passing of time after my death.  If an imaginary supernatural being could be created to help individuals deal with such fears of the inane part of living as “death” then I could see its evolution into what we have today. Other folks thoughts and insights may may add to my own. If one likes the Epicurus trilemma “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”   Why create a god at all?

 

KORAN, n.
A book which the Mohammedans foolishly believe to have been written by divine inspiration, but which Christians know to be a wicked imposture, contradictory to the Holy Scriptures. ~ The Devil's Dictionary


100percentAtheist
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 Have you read the book

 Have you read the book "Death with Interruptions"?


peto verum
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I have not read it

...so I looked it up online.  Looks as though it may be a fun read.  I liked this line in a review from the NYTimes, “Death With Interruptions” also has a surprise for a title character; death is nicely conceived by Saramago as a spiteful female shape-shifter  ... ... ... ."  I think this book is base on a real life person; my ex-wife.

KORAN, n.
A book which the Mohammedans foolishly believe to have been written by divine inspiration, but which Christians know to be a wicked imposture, contradictory to the Holy Scriptures. ~ The Devil's Dictionary


mrOriginal
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Such an awesome post.  I

Such an awesome post.  I wish more had read it and responded.

 

I also share your fear of what is to come with science, alien life, and the general evolution of our species as a whole, and not being around to witness these types of events.

 

However, I think we will destroy ourselves long before we get any visits....or end up visiting other species throughout our galaxy/universe...

 

"Whoever feels predestined to see and not to believe will find all believers too noisy and pushy: he guards against them."

Friedrich Nietzsche


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I'm not afriad to share my

I'm not afraid to share my experience so far. I have been in th hospital for about a week with acute leukemia.  I am presently on chemo but am subject to a lot of random odds as to whether I will make it or not. If I were a betting man I would bet I would not be around to collect the bet. We are aware of our own consciousness. This is a wonderful phenomena.  We wonder what this process is. We associated it with breathing and believed it left when breath( spirit) did. Is there any basis to think that ths process resides apart from the informational structure in which it is programmed? If I have a stroke on my left side and I say to loved ones this is not my arm...whose is it... how should the doctor explain it to them? The associative module in the left part of the brain no longer maps the right arm? The right brain now has it acting apart from unifying it with a conscious global workspace.  Another stroke and I can grin but not talk. Is part of my soul gone or turned off?   And if I can't feel my right foot ( and that is part of consciousness is'nt it) what is really turning off?  If I see colors spreading across the room are they there or has some chemical dysfunction caused the random firing of previous associative experience?  If I am found Unconscious and can not be awakened but have EEG responses could my conscious still be feed by dreams off and on? Then those neuronal processes cease. I am no longer conscious but I keep my heart beating through a billion wonderful years of evolutionary programming am I alive or dead?  My heart stops and my neurons fire looking to interprete the experience and I have a flash of consciousness of past experiences or a projection to interpete the sounds of the room around me.  And then that too fades.  From non-consciousness to consciousness to eternal sleep ( non-consciousness ) Not really a bad trip. It's the living where injustice occurs and only there can be righted, suffering eased by us and not by any other,

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whip cream."--Frank Zappa

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Brian37
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Your query has been

Your query has been addressed countless times in human history.

The reality is that inventions of myths are rooted in a very real flaw in evolution. We seek patterns, but our sample rates are skewed and we have a tendency to lean to what we think works, rather than test our claims to see if they are true. Dawkins describes this in "The God Delusion" as the moth mistaking the light bulb for the natural moonlight it uses to guide itself.

Fear of dying is a REAL evolutionary trait that drives us to avoid danger. Death reminds us of our mortality which is the opposite of surviving. The Ancient Egyptians were successful for 3,000 years because of their successful marketing in their society that the sun was a god. Humans mistake success as truth. The ability to gain in the form of power or money or political or religious power, is OFTEN mistaken as having a superstitious cause, when the reality is that a false comforting gap answer can have a group affect that is successful.

People fail to realize that the label is not the cause, but their own natural selection of forming groups to increase the chances of future offspring.

Superstition IN ALL IT'S FORMS past and present is a result of our species ignorance about reality. We can and often do get lucky(creating offspring) by grouping under false banners. The group, is doing the real work, the banner is artificial and meaningless.

Islam for example, is not successful because a god named Allah is real, but is successful because the idea is popular and creates the REAL need all our species have in "safety in numbers"

If you are a used car salesmen, lying to the customer can work to get them to buy something that may not be good for them, BUT it DOES work for you in that you gain resources, MONEY.

 

 

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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