Sunday, May 9. 2010
For a quick review, look here: Shifting Gears #5: What If This Storm Ends?
+ Numerous cultures and theologies provide different explanations for what death actually is. Why don’t we have a “Unified Theory of Death”?
+ If you’re wrong about death, were you wrong about life?
+ Can there be a meaning in death, or is there only meaning in life?
+ How should one greet death? How should we greet life?
+ Do we tread more or less carefully, depending on how we feel about the end? Should we?
+ If there’s no “beyond,” is there any point to the “here and now”? How would our lives in this “plane” (using the dualist system) change if nothing lies beyond?
+ Does the mystery surrounding death actually help us live better lives?
+ Is fear a positive or negative force?
+ Is there existence beyond death? What’s the basis of your belief?
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When I think life I think of the what to do now. When I think of death I think of the what I should have done instead. You should greet life with a nod as a way of taking its challenge because life is not going to make it happy for you. It wants you to make yourself happy through it. It wants you not to regret all the mistakes you made it and treat every day as if there was no more of it because life is not lived until you use it well. Life is the pain of happiness that drives your soul until the happiness of living a good life takes the pain away. Death as well should be greeted with a nod, but rather it is a nod to saying that there's no more that could be done until life decides to give me another chance. Its not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. With death comes the final symphony, with death comes eternity, with death comes new life (however you may interpret that), and with death comes peace from the pain of life. Life is the pain of realizing that there is only death waiting for us, and death is the realization that there is nothing left to be afraid of. All the mistakes in life we want another chance in to fix only makes us regretful because we know that life does not stop and that there will be no second chances when death arrives to be able to fix those mistakes. The proper way to greet life would be saying to it that I will not regret and the proper way to greet death is saying that I'm thankful you gave me enough life to live.
Fear is a positively negative force. It is a saddening concept in itself that drives people to be the best they can be. You live well because you fear the consequences of death or post-death. You are good because you fear the consequences of being bad (but I already argued that we are all good anyways). You fear fear and therefore you are brave. Everything you do has a basis in everything else and fear is no exception. I can argue that you love because you fear to be alone, but fear is not the driving reason for that. It's just a part of all abstract concepts of decision making such as free will, morals, etc. To conclude, fear is the dark idea that promotes good actions because to fear is to understand the other end of that fear. To fear is to make yourself better than what fear can punish you with. Do not fear the truth. Only fear fear itself.
I like that last line of the first paragraph, since I live by the same standards. However, I don't think people live morally because they fear death. I personally don't think about what would happen to me in the afterlife if i did something wrong. I act morally because it is right.
Nicely composed! I really like your writing style. I agree with you about how the thoughts that comes to us when we think about life and about death. I am also with you about how fear is a positively negative factor. It is good for us, but also vice versa. Fear does promote our lifestyles, but up to a certain point it all goes downhill. If we give away all of our freedom to our superiors, we would be digging ourselves our very own grave. So, yes, fear is a double edged sword.
I think you meant The only fear is fear itself or something, but that's quite true I think.
You say that fear is the dark idea that promotes good actions. So would that make fear a positive force or a negative force? Does the end justify the means? Or is it only the mean and reason that counts?
You said death brings forth positive consequences, as a "nod" as you would describe it, but isn't there also negative consequences that may be a "shove downwards", such as fear in death allowing someone to justify sacrificing someone else's life(or lives) for their own survival?
I agree with you on which fear is a positively negative force. I think it can be positive or negative depends on how one uses it. It is also a negative force because one cannot get the full control over the fear.
"positively negative force"? There is a paradox going on here...
Anyways, it is both interesting and sad that fear drives most people to do things.
I agree we are living life so I think we all understand what we are doing.
I like how you are optimistic about death, william. I totally agree with you that if we are constantly fearful to death, we will not be able to enjoy our life.
I totally with you that we should not fear the truth and death, but make our lives without regrets. Nice job!
So this week I decided to avoid the obvious Shakespeare quotes that I usually use and go strait into the meat and potatoes of this article. Death is seen as the final journey and often the great mystery that fills our lives with both terror and aw. The thing that fills us with such perplexing emotion is just that idea of doubt, that we are wrong. That maybe Jesus does not save That Buddha or us truly was the one we should have been listening too. In order to fear death I believe you need to doubt what you believe in life. I think this is what leaves us so lost. That’s partially why a world religion does not exist and in the other part why some people view death as an ending. This is one of the things that I think is one of man, and women, greatest character flaws. You can ask someone about God and the after life and they tell you that they are going to heaven and God saves everyone. Then you ask them if they fear death and they usually get quiet and almost scared. That brings the question, do you truly believe at all, to mind.
Death is defined any ending resembling dying or ceasing to exist. In some ways the definition conflicts with my beliefs. I believe that we may leave our body on earth but we still go on regardless of where that location is be it the inferno or paradise. The way you face death should not be in fear unless you believe that there is reason too. Your life is meant to reflect yourself, if you live a good life and you feel that your heaven bound then believe it fully. There should never be doubt in your mind. My whole philosophy is that you need to live each day as your last and not to screw up your body just cause your young. Death is a new journey but it does not need to be feared.
Basically what your stating in the first paragraph is that by fearing death were contradicting our beliefs of what happens after life (if were religious), right? I never thought of it that way!...But at the same time, just because we believe in something, doesn't mean we can't fear it anyways. Take roller coasters for example. Are we not allowed to fear it even if we believe we are completely safe...?
I agree with you and your take on death. I also believe that even though our lives may end on earth, we still continue on regardless of the location. It's such an interesting concept that death is a new journey because we do not have any idea of what it is like to be dead until we get there.
"My whole philosophy is that you need to live each day as your last and not to screw up your body just cause your young."
I agree. When you live each day as if it is your last, you will be able to get more out of it as well.
I agree with you saying that just because we're young doesn't mean that we can screw things up. Life has consequences and it doesn't rely on age to have the consequences drastically ruin our lives.
I agree with you that death should not be feared. I think that most people don’t actually fear death but instead fears the pain that comes with death. Dying doesn’t just happen in an instant like a push of the off button. In order to die, one usually goes through some amount of pain and discomfort—illness, shots, chemotherapy, fatal wound, etc. Others may fear death because of the lack of knowledge about it.
i agreew with your concept, that there is something beyond death. That there is an afterlife and we should not fear death.
It's a mind provoking topic of whether there is life after death; it is indefinite, and no "right" answer, at least at this point. I do agree with you that people should live their lives to their fullest, regardless of the beliefs that person may carry .
I agree with you that one fear death because they have doubt in live. Those people always tend to failed on finishing something or regreting the life they have.
Everyone will experience his/her own life as long as they can before they go to heaven. We can fear death if we are afraid to die, but death will always be upon us. Our lives will always end in death, even if we may try to deny it. The fact is that life and death is quite common with those who want to die, like sacrificing their own lives to save one's life, and those who would rather save themselves to live longer. Life and death are opposite from each other, but they are still connected. In time, a person experience from birth to childhood, and as the person grows up, he/she usually spends time enjoying their life, until they get old, and the time comes when they are about to "leave the world behind". Life is obviously what any being would really want to have after we are born into the world we live in and go along with our lives. Life exists through everyone's heart and vision. When I see life, I would think of it as the start of one's life. Sometimes in life, we can might experience a bit of pain, especially experiencing someone else's death. Death is more of a tearful, heartbreaking tragedy, because we would all suffer from losses we cannot accept. It is sometimes said that death can be described as a step to eternity for people, said to go to hell for malevolent deeds. But at the same time, we can still think of a new life that exists after death. It is in a neverending cycle when birth comes, letting life thrive, then death comes, and then we go through rebirth. Though, I am uncertain if an afterlife might actually exist whether or not being reborn in different dimension (i,e. a different world).
Most of the time I would see fear as a negative force, because that is what people usually feel when they see something in reality or through imagination that gives sort of a depressed state or a nervous breakdown. We can fear whatever we come across, fears that might throw us at the edge of probable eternity or even make us lose confidence. We might be afraid to die, thinking it is the end of the life of you. I sometimes had fear haunt me in my dreams, in my sleep, but I just could not let it keep on haunting me. People can suffer more than just from fear, when they fear too much, then fear would sure end their life. Fear is really nothing that matters to anyone; if one is strong and brave, fear would only affect them a minimum amount. Some people can be scared of things they have never tried before, liking roller skating, swimming, or going through a scary place at an amusement park. However, those fears are just temporary to those who keep on trying until they think they can do without being afraid. It is okay to get scared sometimes, but not all the time.
I agree with you about fear because, after all, courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to overcome it.
your perspective of fear as a sometimes negative force is interesting, i guess i've never seen fear as a good thing.
I like your first paragraph. I basically agree with how life and death are completely separate, that we shouldn't worry about death simply because it's so far away.
Sure death can come unexpectedly, even now, but life is life and death is death. There's nothing you can do and it will happen eventually.
I totally agree with you that at times fear can be a good thing. I also agree that even though we try to deny it as much as we can that death will happen and we should just accept it. Great post.
i agree with you about your description of life. but the one thing that gets me is the idea of rebirth. so if the world's population increases, does that mean more dead souls are choosing rebirth? guess we'll never know eh?
Fear can be both a positive and negative force. Many people use fear to push people to do things. For example, when trying to run away from a criminal, the fear of getting caught pushes you to run faster. The fear of failing or not being able to graduate pushes you to study harder and more efficiently. However, fear can also be a negative force. There are some people that that can take things to the extreme and end up limiting themselves. Those who are so fearful of what could go wrong never get to experience certain aspects of life. People that are frightened of getting in a car accident and therefore never get behind the wheel are really limiting themselves. Depending on the type of person and situation, fear can be motivational or a setback.
People should realize that death is a part of life. It shouldn’t be treated any differently if you lived your life the way you wanted to live without any regrets. Realistically, we don’t have full control over death. We like to think we do, but we don’t. I mean, there are ways to prevent yourself from dying earlier, such as eating healthy, crossing the street and looking both ways first, etc. Ultimately, when it is someone’s time to go, it is time. For some, it happens at a younger age while there are some that are still setting records of who the oldest living person is. I feel as if people focus more on life and take advantage of everything they have, then death wouldn’t be so frightening. People that live life without any regrets or wanting any ‘re-dos’ will be able to accept that death is apart of life a lot easier than someone who keeps wishing for a second chance.
I literally laughed when you gave the criminal example for i think I'd still collapse and get caught! Haha
I can relate to fear being a setback for there are times throughout my life where i end up doing worse because of nervousness. Like taking a test, or giving a speech. No matter how long i had practiced or study, my brain sometimes manages to freeze right when i need it the most! I can't control being nervous and it sucks
Yet, it can be motivational. Knowing the possibility of getting a "brain fart" on a test, I study even harder than i usually do just to make up for it.
"People that live life without any regrets or wanting any ‘re-dos’ will be able to accept that death is apart of life a lot easier than someone who keeps wishing for a second chance."
I agree with this statement. Dying doesn't mean the end of everything. It can also be that someone's second chance of living.
I also really agree with this. It was greatly worded and completely true
I agree with what you said about how fear is what motivates people to do things either faster or more efficiently for people, like me, "fear" the consequences for not doing what I am suppose to be doing.
I think the mystery surrounding death actually helps us live better lives. Because the future is unknown, we always want to go all the way until the end to see the result. However, if we already know what happens in the future, we probably would not try as hard when we do not know the future. Because we stop trying to go further, we would not improve and live better lives. Personally, I always try to live well and do my best that I can because I do not know if it is the last chance of doing it or not. I do not want to regret of not trying hard enough because I am certain that those regrets would stay with me forever. Since I do not know when death is coming, I always tend to live better and move forward. On the other side, if someone foretells and tells me that I would die in a very tragic way, I would be worrying everyday and not enjoying my life at all. When the mystery does not surround death anymore, it is hard to live well and not worried.
Fear is a positive force because it motivates people to be prepared and aware. When we fear something that would happen, we would do everything to stop that and try to find ways to avoid it. When we are scared, we are always prepared and we learn from the process of protecting ourselves. For example, when I am scared to fail the math test tomorrow, I would study hard tonight so that I can do well on the test. On the other side, if I were not worried to fail, I would not study since I do not care about the result. However, I believe that fear is a positive force because I do better when I fear something that would happen. Fear makes us to be better and more prepared.
I don't want to know the truth of death either. I want the future to be mysterious. Without the unknown, our lives will be boring and dull.
So you don't think fear is a negative thing at all? Fear can also prevent people from reaching their full potential.
Example: A student is afraid of swimming/drowning and refuses to get in the pool. This fear prevents him from completing the swim survival test and thus, graduating high school.
I see the point you are trying to make with you example, but fear could also be positive in that situation as well. If the child fears of failing to graduate, he would overcome his fear of swimming.
Hi Emma! I agree with you. I do not want to know the future either because I would want to go all the way to see the results myself. If I know my future, I might make the same decisions. I might make decisions based on what I know about my future. I like it to be a mystery.
We think alike. I think fear can sometimes be a positive force too. I have an example on my post below. Fear is like a motivation. Motivation was the word that I could not think of when I was writing my post.
I suppose in the case of death, it is better to be ignorant about what comes after it. It is kind of like, in my opinion, spoiling the book's ending by flipping to the last page (like 1984, haha!). If I already know the ending, the story seems less interesting and I tend to drag through the remaining pages.
I agree with your point on mystery and death in general. Because our future is essentially a mystery we do need to work hard. If i knew I would die a tragic death, I wouldn't try and enjoy life either.
We do not live our lives depending on how we feel about the end. We cannot predict death, nor can we avoid it. Although we could guess at what happens after, it will not change the reality when it happens. Since we have, or at least we think we have no power over what happens when we die, why should we live our lives thinking about the consequences of how we live it.
Rather, we do not think about acting morally, but it is natural to do so. When someone drops a pencil, others help pick it up. When someone cries out in pain, others naturally ask, “Are you ok?” Although we do not know for sure what happens after death, the general population lives morally without a reason to do so. Death, therefore, does not determine how we live our lives, nor should it.
What would it feel like to live every day carefully, second guessing every major decision we make? What would it feel like to live in constant fear of the unknown? It is not worth it to waste one’s life in stress and fear.
You made really good points about acting morally, the whole pencil thing. It's short, but you got your point across!
But many people still do good things because they feel the they will be rewarded in the afterlife. Like karma, many people don't do good for the sake but because they know they would benefit in the end.
I disagree. I think we have been so conditioned by our culture to do "nice" things for others that we simply ignore death. I don't think these situations show death is not a factor but show our lack of thought about the subject. If people thought more about their own deaths I think they would start to ignore the conditioning they were brought up with and formulate opinions of their own on how to act.
I agree with you that most people don't let death bother them nor hinder their daily lives that much. Like you said, it's pointless if we throw away our lives just because this life will end at some point. And for me, the day I die just seems so far off at this point, it's almost feels surreal, like it could never happen.
When you said "We cannot predict death, nor can we avoid it." i disagree because in a way we can predict death. For example, doctors can accurately predict the life span of a cancer patient who does not take treatment and that patient can avoid death by taking the treatment to prolong their life.
I like your point and agree with you. Unfortunately there are many people in society that do live their lives based on the fear of death and the afterlife that lay ahead of them.
I agree about how we live our lives and we don't base it on when we are going die we base it on what are we going to do tomorrow.
Your view is so Brave New World style!!
Haha, anyways, I was just wondering, if fear, like you said, doesn't ever do us any good, then does that mean that you've never been motivated or done something because of fear?
This is nothing personal by the way
Because for me, I need fear as motivation! For example, if I know that I'm going to fail my physics class if I don't study for the final, then that fear of getting a D and being kicked out of college before officially entering into it will definitely motivate me to study!
"Unified Theories of Death" will destroy our identity as a person. Everyone is different; so does their philosophies regarding certain issues, such as death. One can never know how to predict or compose the meaning of death. Sure, some of us know what death feels like -- losing the articulation of your voice and the oxygen from your nasal passage. However, we, as humans, are limited to this particular access of knowing what death actually is. Death, as what I believe, is only the beginning of your actual life, whether we go through it in hell or in heaven. The Buddhists' idea of death involves achieving Nirvana as their reward in their life. No one can predict what death actually is, since their perspectives towards it differ from one another.
Fear should be considered both positive and negative force due to its bipolar nature. We were born with the natural instincts to flee away from dangerous things surrounding us that we cannot conquer. On the other hand, fear can inhibit us from taking one step away from our "comfort zone". preventing us to reach goals and visions that hae been set for us in the beginning. Fear - that is caused by our bodys adrenaline and our emotions, can be somewhat considered as an useful force to improve the quality of mankind's life. In other words, fear has become a necessary factor for the existence of our race.
I agree with you that fear can be both positive and negative, but it is more on the negative side for me. Fear allows us to enhance in certain ways, but it leaves damaging effects.
I love how you incorporated Buddhists and nirvana. Did you get it from reading Siddhartha?
I agree with how fear can be considered both positive and negative, but I believe that for different reasons. It can be positive in the aspect where one can fight to overcome their fear, strengthening their inner power. Yet it's negative because fear because it can often lead to wrong judgement of people and actions.
Death is a process in itself. It's the end of the tail being bitten by the head or a new beginning. As for fear, you have the same views I do except you summed up in a few sentences what I had to write an eternity with. Good response.
Death isn't something that always a bad thing. It should be taken in stride, and not always freaked out on. Everyone has differing opinions on death because it is something that is so unknown. We can never know until after we have died, and then we can not come back to tell people. If we did, it would be as zombies and then we would get shot before we can say anything. People always talk about having meaning, or doing something with their lives, or whatever their personal mottois, but in reality what point is there to any of this? yes it leaves a mark and future generations might read about it,but most of the time you waste your own life and happiness for the sake of being remembered. Live your life, be happy and enjoy the short amount of guaranteed time you have of existance.
Monism and dualism is a pointless battle for whoes fear of death is greater and how can we brainwash more people? At least for the most heard radicals it is. That is not the majority of either party, but those people are never heard so we are stuck with the radical opinions. Certaintly the fear of death helps some people live better lives, but it also makes people live worse lives. if people stopped treating death like a national disaster everytime it happened or was threatened, generally people would probably live better lives. No don't get me wrong, if a family member dies, or a close personal friend, grieve. I am not going to say you can not. However, dont let it encompass your life and destroy your relationship with everyone else. Just be happy and live without worry.
I agree with you when you say that death is something that should be taken in stride, but I disagree that you should live your life without worry. Sometimes worry is good, because it shows that you care.
I completely agree with the idea that death is meant to be taken in stride. We can not let death affect everything we do do. Death is meant to be a positive force as opposed to negative.
Yes, with death, it defines the life we live. so instead of being afraid of it, just accept it, and go from there.
In the same way the meaning of life varies from person to person, there is no “Unified Theory of Death” for too many people hold different beliefs. The difference is that death brings about more controversy for nobody has ever lived to tell of their experience through it. However, many cultures and theologies provide different explanations due to what’d fit their needs, like how Catholics follow the Pope for they yearn forgiveness and enlightenment. From my perception though, that is exactly why atheists choose against religion - the fact it more or less stands as an excuse for the weak to keep living. The whole purpose of religion is to gratify those who work hard with the concept that they’ll be rewarded after death, yet to those who don’t believe, why do you need to take away the incentive of living for the now for something illogical and unrealistic? Ultimately, whether or not there is life later shouldn’t hinder the present as the unknown should push you to live positively and appreciatively daily. In truth, optimistically greeting life is the only thing we can do. Just because death stirs a fear within us doesn’t mean that we should face it any differently as death is still natural; you can’t have it without life, just like you can’t have day without night or happiness without sadness.
Even though I’ve clarified how one should face life and death, the meaning behind both is still questionable. As much as I’d love to avoid sounding cliché, it’s practically universally understood that life is about happiness and love. There are many examples in the media and statistics that even back them up that state without those characteristics, life just feels empty and pointless. Sure, money and lust provides temporary joy as they provide those shallow or materialistic luxuries that we greed for. Yet, you find that those many turn to drugs, plastic surgery, and other absurdities to take up their time here on earth. In reality though, once one has found genuine happiness and love are they then rewarded of actually living. Alternatively, there is also meaning in death as it symbolizes the ending of us all. Scarcity is what brings value; when there are limited resources, the higher the price, being restricted with so many hours in a day, the more errands we try to complete. Likewise, by giving us a time limit to exist, it increases the importance of life. The meaning in death isn’t so much of what we get out of it, but by what it stands for- the end of a worthy cycle.
i agree with "The meaning in death isn’t so much of what we get out of it, but by what it stands for"
because the idea of death can drive us to positively impact others or just waste away life.
Death is a mysterious aspect of human life with an extremely wide interpretation spawned by numerous cultures and religion. The single biggest reason that we do not have a unified interpretation is simply because death is the state after which we no longer cease to exist materially. There is no point after death in which we are able to return and give scientists or anyone any hard data on what exactly the end of life entails. Without this knowledge, people are driven to create different ideas of death from many different perspectives. As a result, it is not surprising to find that many people can't agree with death; different cultures come from a variety of backgrounds, sources, and different cultural interpretations on nearly everything. As long as individuality continues to exist, a unified interpretation will never exist because people will believe what they want, regardless of what people say.
If, however, a unified theory of death all came to one conclusion, people should still be driven to live their life to their fullest potential regardless of how bleak death really is. No matter what happens, life is far too precious to give away carelessly. In near any belief life serves much like a trial: those who believe in an afterlife sees life as the step to salvation, that what we do in this life affects how we live and transition into our next life; on the other hand, for those who do not believe in the afterlife, it's hard to see life as nothing more than an empty space, but rather it is a melting pot of different experiences and choices that are created as we progress and mature over the years.
Life should be cherishes and treasured, regardless of our beliefs. It should still hold value and meaning by what we can do, not what by we cannot do. "You don't know what you have until you lose it" comes to mind whenever I tend to look at life as a whole. There are very few second chances, and sometimes there is only chance to make everything correct. The fact that risk and chance are a natural part of life illustrates just how important life is before it all can come to an unexpected close. Death is an unavoidable natural part of life, and what happens at the end shouldn't affect the beginning. What we do now, how we spend our life, should be what defines the end of our life.
"Life should be cherished and treasured, regardless of our beliefs."
I wholeheartedly agree. Who cares if you believe in God or not? Who cares if you believe in eternal salvation? When push comes to shove, the important thing is living life to the fullest and appreciating it.
No matter what happens, life is definitely too precocious to live carelessly. I agree that people should still live their life to the fullest. However, I do not believe that we will ever come to a unified theory of death unless it is scientifically proven.
Anonymous blog submission...
Fear is a negative force. Even though fear can be used to control people in a certain way, it leaves many harmful effects behind. Fear is the best force to manipulate human beings. When one is threatened by one's fear, he or she will do anything to avoid it. Even animals will do the same. Little kids will listen to their parents when their parents threaten to take their toys away. Employees will become submissive to their bosses when they fear that their bosses are going to fire or punish them. Rewards can work the same as fears; however, they are not as effective as fear. People can give up rewards but not many of them will be courageous enough to face their fears.
Fear is very effective, but it is also very detrimental. When I was a freshmen, I always received good grades on my math tests even if I didn't study. I didn't do as well as I expected on my first math test in sophomore year even though I studied. I was discouraged. After that test, I became scared of taking tests. I would have nightmares about upcoming test days before I have the tests. I would study for 5 to 6 hours a day even if I knew everything. I would not be able to fall asleep the days before tests. Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night just to study. Moments before taking the tests, I wouldn't be able to sit still. Weeks before the first finals that year, I started to panic. It was so severe that I started to think that I was becoming dumber; I even thought that I had a brain tumor. My parents were so scared that they threatened to send me to a mental hospital. That was the point when I realized that I needed to stop. Because of the fear that year, I got As on all the tests except for the first one. Even though I got the grade I wanted due to the fear, I don't think it was worth it. That period of my life was like hell.
Fear is very useful. It can push our abilities to the limit. However, we will suffer bad consequences by using fear. It can leave scars and nightmares that may haunt us for the rest of our lives. We should live our lives happily not waste it fearfully.
We should not fear death since it is something that is eventually going to happen to everyone. Even if we fear it, it will not stop coming. We should just take it as it comes. We should greet life the same way. We should accept it as it comes. We should avoid the things we fear and dislike; nevertheless, we should not fear death since it is unavoidable.
I agree that fear is a very effective motivator, and that it can have a detrimental effect on your psyche. I am glad you have gotten over the part of your life in which you were consumed by fear. Thank you for your post.
Hey Anonymous! Your post was nicely written. I believe that fear is a negative force at times but it can also be positive. Fear can be a motivator. Fear may be the only factor that can push our abilities to limit. Although there are consequences by using fear, there is also encouragement.
I agree because whenever I have fear, fear always seem to haunt me with possible outcomes that would result in disaster. I am not sure if fear is useful, because I can be afraid of anything that gives me the nerves.
+ Is fear a positive or negative force?
Fear can serve as both a positive and negative force. In most cases, fear is thought of as something that holds you back, as made famous by the saying by FDR immortalized in our agendas: "The only thing to fear is fear itself." Fear can restrict people from maximizing their full potential, and limit their choices, which is never really a good thing. It can also be the cause of pain, suffering, and in extreme cases, mentall disorders (agoraphobia, androphobia, phagophobia, etc.).
But on the other hand, fear is not always a bad thing. Fear of failing a test prompts students to study (although the desire to learn should be the real motivation there). Safety is also positively affected by fear; people lock their doors and carry pepper spray because they are afraid their possessions will be stolen, or a stranger will attack them.
+ Does the mystery surrounding death actually help us live better lives?
Generally, I think the mystery surrounding death actually helps us live better lives. I mean, think about it: if you knew when, where, why, and how you were going to die, wouldn't you become paranoid, or start counting down the days you have left? If death was not such an enigma, I know I would not enjoy my life as much as I should. I would most likely become complacent and do nothing but obsess about my looming death and try to think of some way to change the how, when, where, or why aspect of it.
Sooo true! People would live life paranoid about EVERYTHING and would miss out on the good things in life altogether! Even though I am curious to know how I am going to die, I am glad that I don't know or my life would not be the way it is today.
If you know how you were going to die, why would you live life differently? If that specific death is inevitable, why not live life like you always have knowing that you cannot change it. The only reason is see why somebody would change the way they lived is because of when they die, not how they die.
I wrote in my post about how fear fails as a motivator because those it motivates constantly look for ways to avoid the destination, whereas desire prompts individual action. I think this makes fear a negative force because it is inefficient.
Complete agree about fear. Like most everything, it's multifaceted and there are so many takes on how it can be either positive or negative.
Overall, it's impossible to figure out whether fear is more negative or positive. It can be either depending on the occasion.
Fear can be both good and bad.
Sometimes, fear is motivation in disguise.
I agree. The mystery that surrounds death definitely helps me live my life to its potential. The dreading of how, when, where, and why you would die would just become a obstacle, and I personally could use the least amount of obstacles in my life so I wouldn't want to know the specific information regarding my death. Great post!
i also believe that fear could be both negative and positive
Death is mysterious to us. We all fear to think about where we’ll go after it. There were many theories about death because people wished to have a miracle to find out other ways we’ll go after death. We don’t want to accept that death represents the end of existence of everything including body, consciousness and soul. We hope that we can extend our beautiful lives beyond death. It can make our lives easier if we believe in other explanations of death and stop thinking about death. Those are the reasons why we don’t have a “Unified Theory of Death”.
It’s hard to say whether or not the mystery surrounding death would help us live better; it depends on how we think about death. Someone would live happily and meaningfully by doing good things in their lives to save up goodness for better lives beyond death. Someone would force themselves to live in very hard and tough lives so that they don’t have to love staying in these lives. No matter what is the life after death, it must be a better life than this life. To me, nothing is more important than enjoying life and living happily when we are staying in this wonderful world. I know it’s a very rare chance for me to be me to exist in this world; so I should live better and should not waste it. Of course, my enjoyable and meaningful life must be a moral one and filled with goodness.
"No matter what is the life after death, it must be a better life than this life." I do not think that is true because you have not seen what is after death and so cannot judge. It is like Winston in 1984, if there is nothing to compare, how do you know if your life is better or worst than people in other countries?
With so many different cultures and theologies, it is natural for there to be conflicting beliefs because we cannot prove one "right" answer of existence beyond death; we cannot come back from the dead to tell the world of our experiences in the afterlife. Thus, the reason we cannot have a "unified theory of death".
Life should be greeted with open arms, "Carpe Diem", but to live in the moment also means to end one's life early. The best way to receive this gift is to complete the normal everyday errands one is responsible for and to make sure one accomplishes all one wishes by the time of one's death. Likewise how I greet life, I greet death in almost the same way. One should not fear death, but instead embrace it because it is the inevitable and to live in fear of dying prevents one from experiencing some of life's most valued moments. There exists so much meaning in life. A single person could bring an immeasurable amount of goodness to the world. Wealthy people such as Oprah, Warren Buffet, and so on donate millions of dollars a year to the less fortunate, all in attempt of improving poor lives. Similar to life, death holds just as much meaning. In the past, thousands of African Americans' lives were lost before our government would give them their rights. During the Black struggle for equal rights, Martin Luther King was a symbol for the Black people. Fortunately, his assassination was not in vain, for his ideology spread further as fervent supporters for equal rights became even more dedicated. Death is the cause that allows us to appreciate and treasure our lives a little more.
I believe that after death, there is no Heaven or Hell; reincarnation does not exist. One’s body will decay, but their spirit will become eternally unconscious, unable to see, hear, touch, smell or taste anything concerning the physical world. Death is the final peace, allowing one to escape and rest in the land of soothing blackness without nightmares to plague one's mind. My belief is built off of the hope that what lies beyond the unknown will unquestionably be pleasant. After all, if there is no Heaven, there is no Hell; thus, if one leads their life astray, one cannot be punished and sent to the underworld. In addition, peaceful sleep sounds a great deal more appealing than the two afterlife extremes because if I were truly tired of life, I would not wish to continue any journey, regardless of the possibility of entering Heaven. Moreover, one might wonder why I would not prefer to believe in the end of existence beyond death. Truthfully, I fear the end. I am aware death is a natural process of life, yet I cannot bring myself to confront the possibility that after death, there is nothing. It is simply more comforting to believe in eternal sleep.
i agree with you on the idea that we must accomplish everything that life has to offer. Also we had similar ideas that death is inevitable so there is no reason to worry.
so is it safe to assume that you are Atheist? i like your argument about how nothing happens after death but biological decay. but that leads to a good question: do we have a soul??
Not too long ago, I read a book called "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch. The whole premise of the book is to show the reader the way they should lead their lives. The author, Mr. Pausch, is a terminally ill cancer patient that is still "living", even though he is on his way out. From this book, I came to believe that death is something that greeted with a grain of salt. You should not invite death, but you cannot fear it. If you do that I think you should be able to life a wonderful and fulfilling life. Constantly worrying about the death does not allow you to live. Mr. Pausch continued to "live" until the day he died.
Depending on how you feel about the end, you shouldn't tread more or less carefully. Fearing or not fearing the inevitability of death is a pointless objective because it is going to happen regardless of what you do. But often, people tread more carefully if they believe that this life is the only shot they have. They are more likely to make use of their life if they know they only have once chance. When we do not fear death, we tend to be more reckless with our actions in life. We live for today and nothing else. In the end, I believe that we should neither fear or disregard death entirely. I feel that you should able to respect death and be able to live your life regardless of it.
I agree with "We live for today and nothing else" because that just makes sense. People should live like there is no afterlife so the true person can show and not a restrained person.
I totally agree that death will always happen to either one of us whether we fear it or not.
I agree that it is pointless to fear death because it is inevitable and I think you did a good job in clarifying the difference between not fearing and completely disregarding death.
However, I think that we cant help but fear death because it simply a human instinct. Even when we are focused solely on one goal, the possibility of death is always lingering in the back of our minds. Otherwise we all probably would have died a long, long time ago.
Your post reminded me of something my dad said to me several weeks ago..
"What would you do if you knew you had one day to live?
What would you do if you knew you had a month to live?
What would you do if you knew you had one year to live?
Now expand that.
What would you do in one lifetime?"
I like how you mentioned that we only have "one shot" and that we should respect death. That is an interesting way to put it.
Although a lot of people greet death fearfully, I think people should greet death optimistically. As everyone knows, we will all die one day. When I die in the future, I would want to die with a smile on my face. I am a person who likes to think positively; I want people to be content. I believe my family, friends, and relatives will be heartbroken at the moment or for a couple of weeks but later, the emotions will slowly fade away and they will be jolly again. Especially If I die before my parents, I want them to be happy and live the rest of their lives well. When I die, I want to be an organ donor. I like to help people and I will give permission to my family to donate my organs to others who needs them. After that, I want to be buried in a cemetery next to my family. I will feel right at home.
We should definitely greet life happily. Do you know how many abortions there are in a year in America? There are approximately 1.37 million abortions a year. All parents have the right to choose whether or not they will let their baby see this world. Within five minutes, a parent can fill out a form at a doctor’s office and abort the child the next moment. Everyone who is alive should be thankful that their parents did not choose to abort them. We should enjoy every moment of our lives until the day we die. On the day we die, we will start the process all over again at a different place. :]
I think fear is a negative force but it can be a positive force as well. Everyone in this world fears something, from something small like an ant to something big like cars. When we come to our fears, we stop and try to avoid it. Sometimes fear can have a positive force. The power of fear can sometimes push someone to overcome their fear. For example, Mickey wants to be a doctor all his life. When he goes to medical school, he realizes that he is afraid to see blood. At times, the fear of blood can encourage him to overcome it and continue to pursue his dream career. Thus, fear is not always a negative force.
Greeting death optimistically would probably difficult for most people, so I guess it depends on what you believe happens after death. You have a very interesting perspective.
Hi Connie! I agree with you that people should greet death optimistically. Yes! We should smile when we die too. Since we can choose whether we can be sad or happy, why not be happy? Nice work!~~
Although I agree that we should greet death optimistically, I still fear death greatly. When I die, I hope that I will be able to go with a smile. But I cannot say that with absolute certainty since the mystery around death does scare me a bit.
Connie, I have the same thoughts as you. When I die in the future, I would want to die with a smile on my face instead of sadness and horrible memories. The one/only thing that we need to do now is to enjoy our lives.
People constantly want to know if there is an afterlife or something beyond death and only speculation exist. Maybe there is a heaven, maybe eternal darkness but no one truly knows. If someone found out what is beyond life and their assumption was, incorrect that does not mean they were wrong about life. The person can still live life to their correct standards even if their perception of an afterlife was wrong. Life has bearing on what someone believes but I see life and death as two separate lives. Life has chosen a path in death and the person gets to live another life, in death, based on actions from the life before. Living life wrong does not affect whether a person decides to live their death years wrong because people change. This is relevant to the “being wrong about death” because people can live life as perfect as they can and still be wrong because beliefs change and not universal.
The mystery of death has some influence on certain people but others simply do not care. For the most part people are going to do what they want to do. People do not live life a certain way to live afterlife in a setting of their choosing. If they do, they are already wrong about this life because an afterlife is uncertain. People should bet on their hands right now and not hold bets for a hand that may never come. That is probably why fear is a positive factor. The unknown circumstances that may lie ahead could be better but the fear of not seizing the moment could be dangerous for the future. It is like when a T.V. goes on sale and people snatch it up. People fear that the T.V. will rise in price but it could possibly decrease. They are oblivious about the future and the fear on the uncertainty of the future drives humans to actually accomplish task.
I partially agree with you about how no one is certain about afterlife, but I do not agree that these people who live their life in a certain way for their afterlife's benefit is wrong. For some religions, their afterlife is based on what they do now. Therefore they must do their best in this life in order to get a rewarding afterlife.
Greeting death isn't the funniest thing, but sooner or later everyone has to stare death in the face and wave goodbye to life. Death is part of the cycle and everyone greets it in a different way, for example me, I know I will have to face death I just don't know when, but I still continue living life to the fullest without thinking about dying. Other people live everyday thinking about death and are very paranoid about life and I really do not think people should enjoy the time they have here on earth and the time they have with the people around them. Now greeting life is a different story, all of us see the meaning of life differently and so we all live life in many different ways. I live each and everyday like it were my last, I try to make a new memory everyday that I can look back on and say I changed someone’s life today. I try and cherish the special moment’s even if there from the past because those moments changed my life some way some how. So greeting life is plain and simple; just keep living and try to make life worth while.
I think fear can be a negative force because with fear it stops you from doing certain tasks. Some people have little fears; others have major fears that affect them in life, such as Necrophobia which is the fear of death or dead things. I am Acrophobia, which is a fear of heights and that stops me from doing a few things such as going to six flags on senior ditch day just because I don't want to go on the rides, or sometimes even flying, I always have to have the aisle seat because I hate seeing on how high off the ground the airplane is. Fear stops us from doing basic tasks in our lives and it sends negative forces to us; there are even some people who have fear of light or the sun and they stay indoors all day! How can anyone live that way?
Interesting point of view you have. I agree, we all have to die, it's just the way we look at it that makes the difference.
Note that the question says whether fear is positive or negative. When you say that fear (*can*) be negative, are you saying that fear could also be positive? I'm sensing that's the case so I'll leave it be. ;D
There are some things that we cannot just avoid, no matter how much we would want to. Death is a part of life because all good things must come to an end. We all have to face death and I'm glad that you're still living with a purpose without thinking about your death.
Death is inevitable, yet everybody fears it to some extent. Whether or not we believe there to be existence beyond death, the human instinct prevents us from accepting death easily. Even though death is the only true certainty in life (besides taxes and LeBron choking in the playoffs), a unified theory of death does not and will never exist. There can be no unified theory because nobody has successfully come back from the dead (unless you count Jesus, which means your theory of what happens after death is probably already set). Death is intrinsically a mystery to us, but in a sense that makes the life we live much more meaningful. It can be argued that our innate aversion to death is the result of thousands of years of evolution; after all, how could a creature that did not instinctively try to avoid death survive for generations and generations?
In any case, wherever that instinct comes from it has a great effect on our lives. From little daily things to a greater outlook on life, the mystery surrounding death is often a positive force. For one, we consciously and subconsciously make decisions to prolong our lives every day; we look both ways before crossing the street for no other reason than we don't want to die. In addition, people with religion will generally follow a more rigid moral code, while people who believe death is the end will want to make the most of their all too short existence, two different ways of living "better" lives.
Ultimately, I don't believe there is anything beyond death. Sometimes if I think about it too much, it scares me. To imagine that, once I die, the universe will still go on for infinity bajillion years without me, is a cold, dark thought. Nevertheless, once I stop thinking about it, life goes on, I can enjoy the things I enjoy and fear the things I happen to fear. I say, make the most your life, because even if there is an existence beyond death, it won't be the same as what you have right now.
I find death very difficult to accept but also just the unavoidable ending to one's life. The best way to greet death would be to accept it and let it make you stronger. Death is inevitable and the more we constantly fear it, the more difficult it becomes for us to handle. Life is about growing and learning and death a part of that process. While death should be accepted, life should be fully embraced and experienced. I find that without enjoying the life we were given is to have no purpose being alive at all. Death and life needs to both be embraced fully in order to live and healthy life because one is to live and the other is to learn.
No one knows for sure what lies beyond the final stage of life. I believe that there is a afterlife where we are rewarded or punished for what we have done while living. Fearing entering the pits of hell, I try to live a good life without sinning too much agaisnt God. With this fear of the consequence, I live a better and much more productive life. While morality in life can help a person live virtuously, an influence from the fear of consequence can strengthen the need to live a better life. In a way it's like karma; when doing good things, good things will happen to you. By believing in something after death we believe in rewards that will be handed to us in the end which only comes from living a good and virtuous life.
What you say reminds me of the song title “What Goes Around Comes Around” by Justin Timberlake. I believe that saying during life that if one is nice and respectful to people, respect and kindness will be given back. However, I never thought about applying that to life and death. It is an interesting way of thinking.
Currently being semi-religious (if there is such a thing) with Jehovah’s Witnesses, I have learned that death is nothing to be afraid of. “When a person dies, he ceases to exist… The dead do not see or hear or think. Not even one part of us survives the death of the body. We do not possess an immortal soul or spirit,” states What Does the Bible REALLY Teach? a book published by Jehovah’s Witnesses. (Soul refers to people, animals or a person’s life, and spirit is referred to as what gives life to a body.) The book goes on to explain death, stating that death is like being “in a deep [peaceful] sleep without dreams.” I have been taught by my Bible study teacher that “the dead do not suffer pain or heartache” and that “there is no reason to be afraid of [the dead], for they cannot harm [the living].”
Personally, I do somewhat fear death because of the unknown mystery that surrounds it. Death is certainly a mysterious thing and many people have come up with their own thoughts and imaginations of what happens after one dies, such as Dante’s Inferno. Some believe that death is like a peaceful sleep, while others believe that one will go to heaven or hell depending on how they have lived their life or how righteous they were when they were living. Others may believe that there is an afterlife.
However, despite one’s beliefs on death, I believe that death does not help the majority live better lives. Some take precautions to fit their set of standards of what a “good” life would be or try to live along with their religious beliefs or codes. For myself, I somewhat fear death but do not quite try as hard as I should to see to it that I try to live a “good” life. Knowing that it is much healthier to be outside jumping rope than being coped inside a house with a laptop, I would most likely choose to be coped up than to go outside. For many seniors currently, they know that it is in their best interest to get passing grades or higher. With senioritis, laziness, or depression from college rejection letters going about, some students do not quite care anymore as long as they get a passing grade in order to graduate. Even after reading Dante’s Inferno, a majority of students do not change their ways. The mystery surrounding death does not help the majority to live better lives.
To read more, go to http://www.watchtower.org/e/publications/index.htm, What Does the Bible Really Teach?, and go to Chapter 6.
Oops. The second and third paragraphs aren't suppose to be bold.. There was suppose to be an asterisk after my first paragraph and an asterisk at my link.. suppose to be something like a footnote.
Two people are attempting to get from point A to point B. One person is afraid of point A, and the other passionately desires point B. I believe the desire of person B is stronger than the fear of person A. While the person who fears will look for ways to avoid their fear, and take all precautions to change the outcome of their path. The person desiring point B will make every possible effort to get to point B regardless of outside factors. The only capacity in which fear in and of itself can be construed as a positive force is in it's power to motivate. For all that, fear is a negative force because it only produces action as long as an external force applies perfect and constant pressure, which is impossible. Therefore, fear as a motivator is extremely inefficient and unreliable.
However, fear is necessary because it can be an important catalyst for eventual desire. If a man is afraid of a certain disease, and then invents a cure for that disease after many years of study, he may no longer have a fear but will have continued interest in medicine. Fear combines with other human emotions for form a complete package that helps us to succeed. Too little fear and we might not be forced to progress, and too much fear and we might be hindered from progress. As a child, I was afraid of not having my lifestyle of childish leisure later on in life, so I got good grades. However, now I succeed because I like to learn new things and am interested in many topics. Ultimately, fear by itself is negative, but in the right doses can be healthy.
I would have to disagree with you because I don't think that fear is the reason why people are succeeding. In you case, it's about a disease, but if someone were to fear that disease, wouldn't you think they'd avoid it rather than removing it? What I believe is the key factor is about triumph and someone may fear a disease and create a medicine to get rid of it, but they must need the mindset to conquer and stand up and be courageous. Having to invent a medicine for a disease would mean extra analysis on it, meaning spending time closer to the disease.
I believe it people knew what happens after death, they would live their lives differently. If after death people knew that they were going to live another life then many would not take their present life seriously. People would be given not only two but many chances at life. However, if people knew that nothing came after death, then they would live their lives with more care because of the fact that they have only one chance at life. Since what happens after death is at present an unsovable mystery, I don’t believe that pepole live better. The mysterious afterlife seems to have no affect on our lives because death is so far away that thinking about it would be pointless. Not until the moment when one feels death creeping up one’s arm that one begins to consider living a better life. For example, if a man of 30 was close to dying (let’s say he had cancer) and he miraculously survived, he would definitely makes efforts to live a better life. During his time in the hospital bed and recovering after every surgery, he was probably thinking about death. He has no idea of what will happen once his heart gives out, and that fear drills into him. But when he suddenly escapes death that fear of the unknown gives him the desire to live a better life.
So fear can make you live a better life... I never thought of it like that. Fancy someone so close to death living so much more brightly.
Birth. Life. Death. These are the three main processes in life. We should greet death as part of the life cycle. I do not mean that we cannot grief for our lost, but we cannot just sit and mourn forever. Life and death are two elements that we cannot control. We do not choose whether we want to live or die. That is why through our time here on Earth, we must live our lives morally and just. We should make it meaningful so that we will not regret when our time comes to leave this world. For some people, this is not the end. It could be just a passage to go through. Some religious people believe in afterlife and belief that there is a reason to live well. If they do not do well, then karma may happen. This generates somewhat fear inside of them.
Fear is both a positive and negative force. We improve our lives through fear. Take war for instance. Why do we not have a nuclear war? Well, it is because everyone on this planet fear s their extinction. These wars would conclude in no victory. Everyone would be completely wiped off of the earth’s surface. Through fear, we invented security systems to help us. But looking at fear on the other side, it confines us. If we give all our freedom to our superiors, we will soon give power to those officials and there would be no way out. Fear is just like a double-edged sword.
I really like your opening because it catches my attention a lot. I agree with you that we improve our lives through fear. I also really like your last sentence too, “fear is just like a double-edged sword”.
That is exactly how I feel about how to greet death: to see it as a part of the life cycle. I also agree on making our lives meaningful because we only have one life and one chance, and we must live it carefully and meaningfully.
I agree with you that life and death are inevitable. We should accept our sorrows and move on. Our time is limited, therefore, we need to make the best of it. We should greet death like how we should greet life--respectfully and positively. Nice work
It is impossible to have a unified theory because a theory is simply an educational guess. There is no way anyone can prove death because for some, death is simply the opposite of life while for others, it might have a much deeper meaning. Some cultures believe that there is life after death. In this case, karma takes control and one will enjoy or suffer in his after life depending on the good things he did while living. I personally do not believe in karma or life after death. I chose not to think or stress about death. It is a final stage in life and thus, although I am not looking towards it, I will not spend too much time thinking about the end when I can use that time to enjoy the present.
I don’t think we need any special way to great death. Rather, I think we should just take it as it comes since it is a necessary stage for us to actually live. There are no set rules to greet life because each person looks at life through a different perspective. Some works hard for a long time only to completely enjoy their lives after retirement. However, I rather work hard yet live life at the same time. There are so many things we are not able to do when we are older, therefore we must take the chance when we have it. No matter what, I believe that however we decide to greet life, we should think about our decisions and have no regrets in our decisions.
I didn't know that you don't believe in karma and afterlife. That's very interesting, I always thought you did. But anyways, I think what you said about having a unified theory is true. We can't prove that God or the afterlife exist and we can't make everyone believe in the same thing. Also, if everyone believes in an unified theory, it loses meaning. Good job, Edwin!
i agree with the no regrets part of greeting life!
I think everyone has his or her own views on death and those views affect our perspective in life. Death is a part of life and we just need to accept it for what it is.
Fear can be either positive or negative depending on the perspective and personality of that person. For me, fear is a motivation for me to work harder in order to achieve the desirable results. Fear is that innate driving force that allows me to study through the night without a hint of fatigue so I can get a good grade on the test. The anxiety that it entails produces an inexplicable feeling that forces me to be on top of things for the fear of detrimental consequences that will come after. For example, after many experiences of failing a test due to lack of preparation, the fear of failing the class and have my acceptance rescinded from college has become my primary motivation to work harder. Because fear produces multiple feelings such as concern, distress, and anxiety, people would try harder in order for these feelings to dissipate and to feel relieved. There are many times when an important project is due, I feel like it is necessary to start earlier to avoid the stressful and unnerved feeling if I started the day before it is due. In some cases, fear creates such an impact on people that they are capable of accomplishing the impossible.
As strange as it sounds, I believe that after we die, we become ghosts, who are not perceived by the human eye. Just like the movies, ghosts are intangible and not perceivable. What is frightening is that I feel that everyday, there are ghosts in my room, at school, and in the classrooms and we just cannot see them. They glide on the same halls and witness the same things. The purpose of their continued existence in the real world is to accomplish their unfinished business they have left behind. Even though ghosts are unable to affect the real world no matter how hard they try, they still watch over their loved ones to make sure they are safe. After being ghosts for a few years, when the time comes, they become reincarnated and return to the real world with a different identity and all their past has disappeared along with their old identity.
Fear + Homework = Great Motivation
It is not strange that you think we become ghosts after we dies. Now I am kind of creeped out by your post. Ghosts all around. Watching you and you don't even know about it! Thanks for giving me something to stay up at night fretting about. At least you believe there are good ghosts watching over us. Sleep well then.
I gotta agree with Stacey this post kidna creeped me out with all the ghost staring, but it's certainly an interesting hypothesis!
Fear sure is a high motivator especially since we're in our senior year and senioritis is kicking in full force. We want to graduate and for most cases that fear is our reason to keep coming to school and not screw things up.
Every individual is different and grows up being influenced by different factors. As a result, no two people will have the same exact thought process, and that I think, is why the theory behind death has evolved in so many different ways among the various cultures that inhabit this planet. I just turned 18; dying is one of the last things on my mind right now. Sure, it's always lurking at the back of my head, but I wouldn't call it one of the top priorities on my list. At this point, I care more about graduation, college, classes come September, getting a job, ect...
I don't really think there is anything after death, no life or liberty or anything. I think death is death. Once we're gone, our conscious blinks out and our existence will slowly fade away over time. It's a morbid thought but it is true. Yes, there are arguments that you may live on in history, but that's only a select few among the billions and billions of humans that have ever walked this planet. The fact is, the average person will not be remembered after a few generation, even within his or her own family. I myself only have vague memories of my great-grandmother (she passed away a couple years ago); as for my great-grandfather, there is not a trace of him to be found in my mind.
It's a frightening notion, but there is really nothing I can do to avert that event. The so-called 'fear of death' is one that I have come to term with; everyone will die, at one point or another. To be scared of dying is not cowardly. It's a natural reaction to the unknown. Yet I don't allow the fear to rule me. In a strange sense, the fear of death acts as a positive force for me. Typically, people who die don't come back to life and give the general public a full account of their life after death, so there's mystery about what happens after we kick the bucket. The unknown spurs fear. At the same time, it spurs a curiosity in me. I want to know what happens after I die (without dying myself). My current belief is there is nothing after death, simply because there is no evidence to prove there is an afterlife. Similarly, there is also no proof there is nothing after death and the possibility exists for me to live a second life after I die. But then I think that scenario is a bit too optimistic for my liking, so I decided to stick with the idea that I will pretty much cease existence when my heart stops beating. That way, I'll be pleasantly surprised if I discover a life after death waiting for me.
I would have to disagree with you on an average person not being remembered.. I believe that there will be traces of a person after they die. I have never met my grandparents on my dad's side, but my parents talk about them once in a while. My great-grandmother on my mom's side is still alive, and my grandparents on that side is still alive also. It's just a matter of if the relative or whoever will speak about them..
I also think that the unknown doesn't spur fear. It spurs curiosity, which is why Neo in The Matrix chooses the blue pill over the red..
I want to know what happens after I die (without dying myself) - DANTE'S INFERNO.. ish xD
But what about your great grandparents? Great great grandparents? Great great great grandparents? Wouldn't they eventually be forgotten?
As difficult as it is to say, I feel this way too. I don't mind being forgotten by later generations though. I prefer to be remembered by the people who matter to me over being remembered by people who I don't know.
Death seems to be a very grave topic that many feel afraid to talk about. Regardless, I think that people should not greet death with anxiety or any sort of fear because this may potentially hinder you from reaching a goal or mark set on yourself. For example, in my sport, pole-vault, if I feared heights because of the chance of facing death at every jump, I would be too horrified to even attempt to go jump. This could have been a far-fetched goal that I’ve always wanted to overcome, but never attempted for fear of death. People should greet death with open arms because inevitably, everyone passes away. The limited amount of time each person has should be used carefully to meet the full potential of their life. The awareness of death can bring motivation to many who desire to meet a certain goal before they pass away.
The daily routines and actions we take seem to be dependent on how we feel about death. I think if ones personal beliefs regard life after death meaningful and important, they tend to tread more carefully to ensure some prize beyond the physical realm. Without having a clear understanding of what’s going to happen at end of life, people are susceptible to act on impulse rather than assessing their choices. For example, if I truly believed that there was nothing beyond death, why would any selfish, harmful action matter to anyone? A temporary life would not be based on choosing decisions that affect the future, but the present. On the other hand, people who do believe that the end does have a value and should not be taken for granted are more likely to tread more carefully because their actions in the present may affect an outcome later on in the “end”. When we feel that the end may hold an afterlife beyond the physical realm, we begin to value the actions or choices that may affect our wellbeing after death.
I totally agree with you when you say that, "The awareness of death can bring motivation to many who desire to meet a certain goal before they pass away." You only have one life to live so mind as well live it to the fullest!
I also agree about the part you mentioned about awareness and motivation.
Yes! Do it to it. Live it up with open arms homeslice!
Fear is a positive thing , but it’s as long as you don’t let it take control of your life. Actually anything taking control of you life is bad, always have more then one or more option is my thing. Fear keeps people from doing something that there is a good reason to actually fear, but it also can prevent us from taking risks that we should take. The thing is sometimes people don’t know where the line is, So maybe there’s a fine line in being careful and being paranoid. Then there’s being nervous before a test or a oral speech which you would just wish to go away forever. The fear helps you give a better performance in a way because you want to do well, you wouldn’t want to be too full of yourself and not work that hard.
The biggest things people are scared of are things that are unknown like things that’ll lead you to death or the future, since there’s no way of knowing either. I think when you die, you die. Nothing like your soul going anywhere, or if it did it didn‘t matter Even if you do live in some sort of heaven, you still can‘t have influence on the real world except by will of other people. It’s a good as not existing anyways. If people could do that then death wouldn’t be such a big scary deal, since we‘d know what would happen it‘s scary. I think it’s better to life as living and never wait for death to simply come.
I definitely have to agree with the fact that fear can actually be a good thing. Because of fear, we are less likely to advance, and usually its for the better. However we must realize that certain fears can actually lead to a negative result.
We should greet death with acceptance and without fear. Death is will happen no matter what we do. Since death is an absolute, we must not fear it because we have no decision to avoid death. If we accept death, it brings in peace, because we don’t worry or have anxiety over it. In essence greeting death with a positive attitude means we conquer death, since it has no control over us when we are alive. With this understanding that death is imminent, we should greet life with the attitude of living life to its fullest. Taking chances, making mistakes and trying to become the best we can become. Just like the song by Kris Allen “Live like We’re Dying,” “we only have 86,400 seconds in a day to turn it all around or throw it all away.” Since we only have a limited amount of time, we should take advantage of what life has to offer.
I think that if we are wrong about death, then it does not mean we were wrong about life. We choose to believe how death will be determined and the decision of the existence or non-m existence of an afterlife. Life is about decisions and how we live them. A belief is a decision to follow a thought or idea of something. If we live it based on our own decision or belief then it means we pursued something that we actually valued making our lives meaningful. Instead of living a life without any cares or belief we chose to stick by our decisions. When you stick to your decision no matter what it wouldn’t make life wrong.
The mystery surrounding death makes our lives better because we try not to think about it since we don’t know the absolute truth. Instead it becomes a belief that must not falter and entitles us with a strong foundation. With this belief it gives us reassurance of death. If we were given the knowledge of death on a silver platter then we would always be thinking about it. It would distract us, in every decision we make and what we accomplish in life. Like if we knew that there wasn’t an afterlife, then the thought of trying to accomplish everything we possibly can, would be upon us. It would rush our decisions and rob us of our inner peace. Life wouldn’t be simple because there would be so many priorities that it would engulf our daily lives
"In essence greeting death with a positive attitude means we conquer death, since it has no control over us when we are alive."
You make death sound like some scary older sibling or something, like it's goal is to scare us. I suppose it is your ideas regarding the afterlife that matter.
Many people have their perspectives and opinions about death as to which is a more reasonable and acceptable answer. Some say death is just a gateway to another world, and others may say death is just the end of your life, period. What we all want is the first answer because it guides us to sanity and gives us a reason not to fret over death or the unexpected. Some people cannot accept the first choice however, due to no evidence and how we see people rotten up in their graves. It could be linked as to how each of us view if soul exists among us and the body we have are merely vessels. Whether the different explanations are true or wrong, no one can be wrong about life because existence is much better than nothing. Choosing to live a life full of different principles like joy, or depression helps create something special among us. Even if there were no other world where our spirits will go to, it is good to know that we did not give up among ourselves and waste something as precious as life.
Looking in a perspective where there is no “beyond” as a fact, the only point that I would say for the “here and now” is to improve the world for future generations and live like there is no tomorrow. Our lives would drastically change if people were to only believe in nothing lies beyond due to how some people might deal with such depressing news. Everybody has already questioned themselves whether the life they live is even worth living, including myself, but I guess the unexpected helps thrive us to cope with our society and live as if nothing is happening. Schools and the job market helps lead us away from such thought however, and what fills its gap are stress and worries about work.
Fears are both a positive and a negative force. It is positive because it helps on conforming people and limits their actions to society’s expectations and rules, where stability and peace forms after. Why else were we educated about disciplinary actions before we even committed anything? It can be a negative force too however. When we limit our actions such as cheating on tests and stealing money due to our fear of being caught and disciplined, we still would want to commit those actions if fear were to be nonexistent. If grades were still of an equal value as right now, but no fear was insisted, everybody would aim for that A without having to study or do homework. Same theory applies to stealing money because everybody would want to have those extra bucks so we won’t have to work. Overall, fear can only go so far.
I personally believe that there isn’t an existence beyond death, because if there was wouldn’t the dead already be able to communicate with us? I guess there are stories of ghosts and shows about people putting the restless to sleep (ghost-wise), but I am unconvinced that those events actually occurred. If I did believe in an afterlife I think that I would think everyone became a ghost and just hung out in the real world. There wouldn’t be a Heaven or Hell, just spirits hanging out around us in a world of their own, basically an alternate reality. It just seems unrealistic to believe in being able to repent and poof! You’re in heaven, but I personally shouldn’t be talking about other religions beliefs because I don’t exactly know the details. I want to believe in there being an existence after death, but my mind only allows such weird afterlife ideas.
The fact that I don’t believe in a “beyond” just means I need to life in the “here and now” to its full potential. I like to believe that there is no such thing as a beyond, so I can believe I don’t have a second chance and give this life 110%. Time is valuable, the only thing we can’t really get back and believing that I have Time times two (or more) would just mean I don’t need to be performing at 110%. I think there are many pros and cons of believing that an afterlife exists or doesn’t exist. If people all accepted that an afterlife didn’t exist there could be much more crime and terrible acts because people don’t believe that there is a God that will punish them. Also there is the other end of that spectrum and if we all believe that we don’t have an afterlife then we can live for the here and now, take risks that we normally wouldn’t and the world could be better because of it. I personally think that the world could be much better if we stopped fearing death and just accept that it will happen, and try to live out this life to it’s full capacity.
I disagree with your thoughts. I believe there is an existence after death. Or at least I would like to. Thinking positively I suppose. I just find it hard to believe that after all that we have been through living our lives, I find it hard to just end it all at death's call.
People should accept death because it would eventually happen to everybody. Life is not eternal and the things we have in this life is not expected to last forever. However, this does not mean one should embrace death with open arms. I believe everybody has a path their specific path to follow and I believe everybody will pass away when the time is right. Not all of us will be able to die of old age and some of us even do not want to. Life is a gift and we should treasure what we are given. Obviously, not everybody is born equally on the same playing field but I believe everybody also has the opportunity to be happy and live a joyful life.
We definitely tread more carefully based on what we believe comes after death. I believe in afterlife and try to live a life that glorifies the God of my religion. I also believe that this improves us as people because we try to stray from sin and live a better life in general. For me personally, I have given up profanity for about four years now because of what I believe. I feel that this has made me a more respectable person than somebody who spits curse words constantly. This not only benefits what I believe but also benefits me as a person. People should try to live a better life even if they do not believe it will benefit them in the end because it makes them more respectable.
I agree with your thoughts. If you read my passage (which is right after yours :]) then you would see.
I agree with you when you say that one should not embrace death with open arms because I think that that would increase their chances of death earlier.
Death is a mysterious force. You can never truly understand death until it happens to you. Because we can never know death, it should be natural that we fear death. Yet, we do not. We do not go around every minute of every hour of every day thinking “Oh my God, I’m gonna die. Oh my God, I’m gonna die.” It would be stupid if you did that. This is not to say that we should embrace death; who embraces death? No, we should not learn to love and accept it. If anyone ever learns to accept death, then they cannot call themselves human. Death will remain forever an abstract thought. As such, we will never learn to fully embrace death. We put off death until the last second and –
I – as many other people probably do – would like to believe there is an existence beyond death. We live our whole lives out, going through the good and the bad times, embracing each and every bit of experience it gives us. As such, we – or perhaps I – find it hard to just believe death is the end of it all. We work hard throughout life, gaining as much as we lose – or perhaps more than that. An end put to all this seems rather sad. I like to think that there is an “afterlife”, let’s call this. At least then, there can be a culmination, if not continuation, of our life.
Oh no! The indentation between the paragraphs disappeared! Mr. Feraco, if you are reading this, there are actually 2 paragraphs. The first one ends at "last second and -" and the second paragraph starts at "I - as many other..." Sorry 'bout it!
I believe that fear can be treated both positive and negative. Having fear can cause one to hold back on certain things in life which can be positive or negative aspect. A negative example of having fear would be if one has a fear of heights. Because of this fear, they will never get to experience what it is like to go on a roller coaster because of this setback. The fear of failure can help a person out by becoming motivated to not be a failure which is very positive. I have many fears in life, but it does not stop me from doing the things that I want to do because I never know what is going to happen next. I am all about living in the present because for all I know, my future can be cut short in an instant.
Everyone has different perspectives on what they think about death. Some people say that they prepare for death, but ultimately I believe that there really is no preparation for death. How does one even know what death is if they have never experienced it? I think that death can play a factor for living a better life, but you really never know exactly when your death date is. Also, some believe in after life. For example, if we were good while we were still alive, then we are good to go and will live a great life once we are dead. I honestly believe that it is solely based on your own opinion on death because everyone has different opinions.
Hey Econ buddy.
I really like your concluding sentence to the opening paragraph. It is so true that we have no idea when we will leave this earth, and I also try to live life in the moment as much as I can.
Death is the transitional period of a soul between one phase and the next. Death is just as significant as life itself is. Birth is the creation phase, where a new soul is set to embark on its quest to reach the second step… Heaven. People should live their lives with the knowledge that the only thing that matters in life is their soul, and that their soul will be with them for eternity. In fact, their soul is what defines them. Death signifies our physical departure from earth but not our spiritual departure. The best way to describe this is through an analogy. Once somebody turns eighteen, they become an adult. Death is like the transition between childhood and adulthood.
If there is no existence beyond our current lives, why are we even alive? How did we reach this stage we are at now? I find it hard to believe that we are living a life that has no future. As a Christian, I firmly believe that my soul will continue on in Heaven among all other Christian’s who have been saved. If I didn’t believe this, I would really have a tough time living because I would have no purpose in doing so. So, I would have to say that there is definitely something more to this life, something that I don’t have yet. I will be saved.
I think that your analogy about death as being like the transitional period between childhood and adulthood is very interesting. I have never thought about it that way before.
Death is something that there is no way to discover. A lot of scientists have tried to feel about dying, but they don’t know what is going to happen after death. What exactly is going to happened when people are dead anyway? No one can tell. Mystery surrounds death forever. I believe this mystery helps people to live in a better life. Because of no one knows what’s going to happen, people will forget about death and live the way they like. This is exactly how human do. Despite the unknown part, and live in their own way. I’m afraid of death, but I wouldn’t see it as an embarrassing part of life. I lived in my way and I believe it is better for me to do this.
Fear is actually a positive force and also a negative force. It has different effects towards different kind of people. Sometimes fear drive people back. They scared of doing something, not even trying. They fear that something bad may happens to them. With this thought, nothing can be done. Life is going to be meaningless. However, for some people fear becomes a positive force. Fear becomes a motivation for these people to try things they afraid of. This may ends up with a good result. This is how those explorers find out those unknown places. They don't know what is going to happen but they still risk their life to find out. I really thank these people.
We can and will never have a set theory about death because we have to many contradicting religions, each of which have their own beliefs of the events of death and the afterlife. Quite simply, as long as there is freedom of religion there will always be different theories about death. There is still no way of knowing exactly what happens, and there will probably never be any accurate way of answering that question. Whether or not an individual is wrong about death, there is no possible way they could be wrong about life. Life what ever person makes it out to be, death follows the same guidelines.
There can be meaning in either death or life. There is no way a person could look at a man who has dedicated his life to his country and said that life was meaningless. Just as his death had meaning when he jumped on top of that grenade that saved his fellow soldiers. To be honest, does it really matter if we are wrong about death? Personally I believe there is an afterlife in hell or heaven. Even if I am wrong and there is nothing after death, consider this; before our existence there was nothing, if after our existence there was also nothing, would you not still want the chance to have lived? For me that answer is quite simple, yes.
The answer is indeed quite simple. The meaning is there, but it's there because of us, the ones who live to understand meaning and live to tell our own meanings.
Death is a very interesting concept. Unlike the concept of a soul, there is not a universal definition or concept for death that transcends many religions or beliefs. Many different religions have different ideas. For example, Christianity believes in a path to either Heaven or Hell. Old Norse Mythology talked about a Valhalla, which is completely different from the concept of heaven or hell. Death is also treated differently depending on how you were raised to deal with it. For example, in Brave New World the children’s reaction as they wonder about Linda’s death (whether or not she was actually dead), rather than mourning like John shows how different societies can cause new ideas of death to develop. To the children, death was normal; to John, death was a hardship. John has not had the conditioning the children have had. The death of his mother was absolutely devastating.
Along with many other posters above, I believe fear is both a positive and negative. Sometimes, fear is actually motivation in disguise. With the education budget cut in California, many teachers are faced with the fear of getting laid off. The fear of losing their jobs motivates them to work harder, and keep their jobs. Sometimes, where teacher seniority matters, working harder to keep the teaching job is futile; however, the teacher can still be motivated to put his best into his teaching (which they should anyway!). On the other hand, the teacher could lose hope and just give up (something you should never do!). Depending on how one deals with fear, it could have either a positive or negative effect. I think how a person deals with fear says a lot about them.
“There is nothing to fear but fear itself.”
In my opinion one should greet life in a good way. When you are born, there are a couple of months where you do not acknowledge your presence. When the time comes, you basically drink milk from a baby bottle and sleep. Most people realize that they are alive after a year or so after they are born. They live the life their parents arranged for them for the first few years and they are on their own for the rest of their lives. You should just do what you need to do and live your life to the fullest. In real life, people cannot be given hypnopaedia. People cannot learn to not fear death they do not know how it will be like. There is no way of avoiding death so people should just try to be as calm as possible and try to do as many things as they can before that time comes. There is no set time for death and anyone could die any minute. You might be thinking about plans for the next day and something tragic might happen.
Fear is both a negative and a positive force. It may lead to good results but it may also be a life changing experience. For example, a person may be scared that he or she might make many mistakes performing a certain task therefore they practice to make sure that there will not be a chance of doing so. Even though this is explained in the opposing viewpoint in the paragraph above, I will just use it as an example for this question. If a person saw a fatal car crash, they might not drive again for the rest of their lives because they are afraid of death.
I think there is a meaning in both life and death. Everyone was born to contribute to this world. There are some people who get recognition for the things they did when they die.
If life continued without an end, people wouldn’t be living at all. Every moment of our lives is precious because we know that one day; everything will come to an end. Knowing that we have a limited amount of time, makes us determined to live life with more meaning in it. It’s the same as the simple things in life, homework. If we didn’t have a due date for it, we would rather not do it at all. There would be no point if we had eternity to complete it. Nothing would have meaning.
Ever since I read Tuck Everlasting, my perspective on death changed completely. I used to think that living forever would solve all problems of fear. However, after realizing the torment that people go through, and the harsh reality I live in, death becomes more natural and less scary. Rather than being afraid of it, we have to appreciate it more. Because of it, life is precious and we must live every day knowing that we cannot ever get it back. I think people overreact with the idea of death, but we need opposites in order to compare things with. Life is to death as positive is to negative. We need them to balance out.
As for life after death, I truly hope there is one, but deep down, I have a feeling that there’s nothing beyond it. The mind is the only thing that creates our reality and without it, we cannot dream, live, or think. I’m more of a scientific type person rather than a religious one. I always hope for it, but it always conflicts with the reality I live in.
I think there is a life after death after listening to a story my parents told me
That's true, we should definitely treasure our life more, and at the same time balance it out with death, even if it is a scary idea.
You know what they say, "You never appreciate anything until you've lost it". I think people should think of death a little bit more often, it would encourage people to really fulfill themselves a little bit more.
I agree we have come to appreciate more in life due to the inescapable fate of us all. We are all aware we will one day pass away from this earth and we may not always be the most thankful for being healthy and breathing but when we do things in our life that mean something to us we always look back at it and remember we did something with our lives that matter. Even if it does not matter to anyone else it is a own personal memory that in our minds will not be forgotten.
For me personally, I am terribly afraid of death. Thoughts of death are usually suppressed to the back of my mind, but when it surfaces I would think about it for hours on end. I always wonder what happens after die; do we go to heaven, is their an afterlife, or is their just nothing? I am fearful of death, so I would not greet death period. I think someone should never greet death, because it is the end of all we have worked and lived for. I interpret death as an element of our lives that we need to fear and prolong. Life on the other hand should be greeted with confidence and determination. Life is a privilege, and we should treasure it because any day could be our last. We need to greet life with confidence and determination or else it would be wasted. To me, it doesn’t matter what someone does with their life as long as they were confident or determined to do so. If someone does something meaningful to themselves during his or her lifetime, than that life wouldn’t be wasted.
I believe fear is a positive force, after all psychology states that it is the most effective motivator. Let’s face it, the majority of people obviously don’t like fear, but we can’t deny that it doesn’t get the job done. Without fear, I wouldn’t be the same person that I am today. Fear of not fitting in makes me conform and live morally, fear of upsetting my parents makes me be a good child, and fear of living a poor future is the reason why I try. However, I do see some negatives with fear, because it’s also the factor that limits some people. People that might fear rejection might never ask out a guy or girl and then never be married. I think the key to fear is knowing our limit so that we can be in charge. There is obviously a tipping point where too much fear is bad because it dictates our life. I think for an individual to be successful, he needs just the right amounts of fear in his life.
“You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body” CS Lewis
Although this thread is no longer about the soul, this quote by CS Lewis reinforces what I believe about life and death. I think that our souls continue to live even after our bodies die. My belief about what happens is really not based on anything. I believe that life works like a circle, there is no beginning and there is no end. Having a body and living right now is just a segment of the circle. After our bodies die, we move on to another segment and eventually, we will have a body again and the cycle will repeat. I came up with this theory because I observed that many things in the universe are circular or spherical. Planets and stars are spherical and move in a circular orbit. Though I might be wrong because I am not an astronomer, this is where my theory on existence beyond death stems from.
Even if I am wrong, that life is really just a line that starts and end, I would still live my life to its fullest. When the idea that there might not be anything after death came up, I first thought that life would be so meaningless and that there was no reason to live. But after thinking more about it, I think that knowing that there is nothing after life would actually make my life more meaningful. I would try to go do more things and try to make a bigger difference in the world. For example, if we could only go to Disneyland once in our life, I would still go even if it doesn’t make a difference in anything else.
To me, it doesn’t matter if life is like a circle or a line; I am still going to live to its fullest and try to get as much out of live as I can. My uncertainty about what happens after death makes me appreciate life more.
Yes we should all live life to the fullest. Uncertainty does make a big difference in life, it make us do many things that we wouldn't do if we were certain about everything.
Great quote and opinions. I was wrong worrying that your bold first sentence, which certainly stands out, would fall short at its expectations.
I agree that whether fear is considered positive or negative largely depends on how people as individual deal with the emotion themselves. By the way, love the Dumbledore quote. Harry Potter series will never die.
My bad, this was supposed to be a response to John F.'s reply.
There are many reasons to fear death. One reason as to why people fear death is because they do not believe in an afterlife. All they have is the life they currently live in and with only one life to live, why not make the most of it? However for me, I do believe in a life after death in this world so I have no reason to fear death. In fact, I should greet death with happiness and joy because once I die in this world, I finally get to be with God in heaven. However, if there is one thing I fear about death is that the pain death can come with. With the millions of ways to die, most of them have a certain amount of pain the person must experience before death.
No matter what the reason or outcome of the experience, fear will always be a negative force. Many people use fear as a motivation to commit towards an action. However, this use of fear is a negative force due to the fact that the person is only committing the action because that person fears the consequences if the action is not done. The other side of the spectrum also uses fear as a negative force. People do not go through with actions due to the fact that there will always be a chance of failure. This fear is basically the reason I have been living a conservative and passive life. The overall fear of failure and rejection from other people had caused me to keep my thoughts and feelings to myself.
Don't let your fear control you. Being conservative is one thing, but failure is an obstacle that everyone can overcome. I agree that fear drives people to do things, but sometimes those things turns that fear into something conquerable.
i agree with stacey. you should not let fear control you
If Death comes knocking at your door, you should greet him with some biscuits with a cup of tea and possibly some soma. The separation between the realm of the living and the dead is not something that is tangible. No doubt, it requires a lot of powerful spells to traverse between the two worlds. Mr. Death has to go through a lot to claim your soul, so he is probably all grumpy and even possibly soaked with ectoplasm by the time his skeletal knuckles are pounding against your wooden door (or bronze if you are from one of those affluent families!). And if anything, your courteous offer will land you massive brownie points. Remember boys and girls, one cubic centimetre cures ten gloomy sentiments!
We all have souls. Imagine yourself as a computer. Your lungs, heart(s), appendix, the body parts that allow you to survive, are the hardware. Where as, your mind, the soul, the force within you that makes you human, is the software. The soul is the individual. Without it, we will be the same as the innumerous mindless fishes swimming in the ocean.
Unlike your soul, your physical self is unalterable unless you pursue unnatural cosmetic surgeries. The soul is similar to clay. When it is fresh, it is easily molded and shaped. As time passes, it is still possible to make changes to it, but it will be a lot harder. Eventually, your soul solidifies into a hard ugly ash tray that looks like it was made in a third grade arts and crafts class. Mine won't though. My soul will look as if it was Michelangelo's final sculpture. Whether it becomes an ashtray or a well endowed Statue of David, the souls outcome is determined by the influences and experiences from its journey through life.
Hahaha. I like how you incorporated aspects of Brave New World into your blog. But if you soul is like clay, then who is sculpting your soul? I really like your analogies and descriptions =]
I like to think that Donatello or any of the artists that the Ninja Turtles are named after.
I totally agree. When you actually face death, you shouldn't look at it in terror, but rather acceptance. It makes the whole process easier. We all die, and I like to think that we all get to go where we truly want. No reason to look poorly on an inevitability.
I greet death knowing that sooner or later, like billions of other people in this world, I will be forgotten. I only exist as long as people remember me. I prefer to be remembered by the people in my generation who knew me as a person rather than being remembered by complete strangers of future generations. Of course, it would be nice if my children (if I have any) and my grandchildren pass my legacy down their generations, but I don’t think I will be remembered the way I want to be remembered. I will be just another person in a vast family tree, only identified by a single photograph and a name. Perhaps my epitaph will mention my artistic talents. But that is not enough to define me. Honestly, after a few generations, who will visit my grave and remember me to be something more than “Tiffany the artist”? Who will remember that I am Tiffany “Chiemi” Hayashi, the beloved daughter of Steve Hayashi and Pei Ching Shen, and loving sister of Vincent Hayashi? Even if the effort was made, the people of the future probably will only find enough information in the archives to piece together small fragments of my identity.
While I am still living, however, I won’t be hampered by my eventual erasure. Death happens to everyone. Consequently, unless I miraculously become as famous as Shakespeare, death also means the rest of the world will not stop to remember me forever. I accept this wholeheartedly. I can still be ambitious accomplish great things during my lifetime. At the same time, I also know my limits. These achievements will not necessarily be recognized worldwide, and I prefer it to be that way. I rather get support from people who know me as a person rather than thousands of faceless fans. And most importantly, I want to have a life that will make me happy and satisfied. Instead of striving to live up to people’s expectations, I strive to live up to my own expectations. Even though it will be forgotten the moment I pass away, I want to remember during the last moments before death that I had a fulfilling existence. That is how I greet life.
How calm, how mature~ haha. I live up to my own expectations, too - not only because none of my family members expects anything from me, but because I believe everyone's life totally belongs to person him/herself and they are the only one in charge of it.
+ If you’re wrong about death, were you wrong about life?
Life and death are two different things. Being wrong about death has nothing to do with life. The only thing is that they come one after another. No one knows what death is like, therefore it is impossible to base a judgment on whether life as it is now , is right or wrong. Even if someone did figure out how and what came after death, it still would not matter, or relate to life. For example, if people believe in ideas such as life after death, it is impossible to say we were ever wrong about life, because once you die you are reborn again, one has no chance to be wrong about death, because they have a new life to live. In addition, they have no memory of the past, therefore, it wouldn't matter either, because they have no memory of their previous life or death.
+ Can there be a meaning in death, or is there only meaning in life?
Like I said before, both life and death should be considered as different entities. Life has meaning in its own way, and so does death. To those that are living, death may be a tragic a meaningless action, because it is just taking away their loved ones. On the other hand, if after death their is something else, then how can it not have meaning. Even if it is living eternally in the pits of hell, or inside the gates of heaven, or even the next life, it is still meaningful, because in a sense we are living another "life". If life has meaning, then shouldn't other "life's" and life's after that also have meaning too? After all, death for all we know might just be another life, maybe with our memories intact, or a whole different life completely.
I wake up in the middle of the night, eyes choked with darkness and with my face hot with tears. Slowly I edge my way through the dark of the room towards the small slit of light located at the bottom of the door. Reaching with my unsteady hands towards the doorknob, I brace myself for the cruel merciful light that would simultaneously blind me and save me. She is there, sitting as always, watching the television. In one fluid movement, she unglues herself from the couch, glides over to my side, and looks at me carefully in my eyes.
“What’s wrong?” she says.
Forcing my self to swallow the knot in my throat and stop the hot rivers from raging uncontrollably out of my eyes, I look at her worried face and say one thing.
“I don’t want to die.”
As a child, I would constantly wake up at night crying. Crying because I was afraid of death, and crying because I was afraid of what I did not know. What was this beyond that everyone was talking about? How could I be so sure that there really was a heaven? Would my whole life be terminated in an instant, and would I forever cease to exist?
No. No. NO!
I couldn’t let something like that happen. What was the point in living if all I had to wait for was nothing? Not an eternity in darkness, or in hell, but nothing. What if there is nothing at all to look forward to?
I was afraid of nothing.
Each night I would try to picture it. What is nothing? It is something that can’t even be comprehended by the human mind. Close your eyes and there is darkness. Darkness is still something. Darkness means something is still there. But nothing was what really strangled my heart at night.
I thought about it.
Every night I thought about it.
If there was no beyond, and nothing other than this life, on this plane, then I would continue living as always.
Each day I would wake up, go to school, learn, talk to friends, play, go home, eat, and sleep. I would live according to the lives of the people around me. They were happy, and their happiness could rub off on me.
In the mornings and afternoons I could roam without a care, and in the suffocating shadow of the night I would collapse the exterior shield of my heart and cry until it felt like my eyes were bleeding.
The thought of absolutely nothing after death is indeed terrifying. But thankfully we both now know that there IS something after death. Right Stacey?
Oh wow! this one gave me chills, Stacey!
I used to be utter fearful to die in sleep when I was little as well. Every night, I was so traumatized with darkness and had to hypnotize myself to sleep by repeating "OMG morning comes already please, just come already". that feeling was horrible.
I remember when I was in elementary school, death seemed like such a faraway and vague concept to me. I couldn't even imagine the impacts of death on my parents or grandparents at the time. I was truly at my height of fearlessness when I was in middle school, doing many wild things about which I would think again before doing them the same way. Death back then only fascinated me. But during my years of high school, I gradually turned more civilized and mature (and yes, I would call myself "savage" as a kid). But I suddenly realize that as I gain knowledge and identity, I have become terrified at death. The more I gain, the more I have to lose.
On one hand, death is the most effective tool I have ever used against myself. Whenever I feel like stop trying, I would remind myself the silently fast approaching deadline. There are also the inevitable possibility of misfortune. I find much strength in putting myself in the shoes of a dying man. However, being afraid of death has become one of my biggest weaknesses. And it's not just death: I have also grown more and more cautious and cowardly on making choices and taking actions in general. I am only supposed to pity death instead of fearing it, but unfortunately over the past 3 years I have shifted towards the later.
While death is a powerful motivator, one cannot fear death. Fearing death is identical to fearing any other unknown or adversary, like a virus that feeds on itself. I have let myself slipped a bit too far all this time being blinded by staying in my comfort zone. I'm exploring my options to make sure I'm ready when death points at me in the face, punches me in the guts and bites into my veins next time, that I would fear no more.
Death is scary because it is a mystery to people. There are various versions of explanation for death and afterlife. But none of them is proved scientifically. Every culture has developed its own belief, and each belief has its own explanation about the death. We do not have the same theories or views about the death because we are individuals. To me, if I am wrong about death, I am wrong about life because life and death are two different independent things to me. Life will end, afterlife may exist, but we are not working just for the afterlife. We also work for the life, in order to have better living quality in our lifetime. Afterlife is unknown, and has not been proved that it does exist. So why not just focus on out life instead of working for both?
Fear can be a positive force and a negative force. It can inspire a person to work very hard. And also prevent a person from achieving his or her goal. A person can do anything to keep himself away from his greatest fear. For instance, Winston in 1984 betrays Julia when O’Brien takes out the rats. Because of the fear of failing the class, a student can work really hard to pass the class. Because of the fear of changing, a person may limit himself or herself from being creative and breaking the tradition and make something good. Depends on different people, different situation, fear can be both a positive force and a negative force.
Instead of writing two, seven-sentence paragraphs, I will respond to four of the topics in a semi-organized blob-blog.
+ Numerous cultures and theologies provide different explanations for what death actually is. Why don’t we have a “Unified Theory of Death”?
+ Does the mystery surrounding death actually help us live better lives?
+ Is fear a positive or negative force?
+ Is there existence beyond death? What’s the basis of your belief?
The generic answer to this, of course, is because we honestly do not know what happens to our soul after we die (if you are someone who believes we have souls). However, to believe that we have something after death may seem logical to some or, for others, can help keep people in line. The discrepancy regarding the afterlife is why there is such a mystery surrounding death. This can help us live more moral lives if we believe that our actions in this life affect our existence in the afterlife.
Take a Catholic, for example. He will believe that his sins make him undeserving to go to heaven, but God will forgive them. A nihilist, on the other hand, would say that nothing matters, and his actions are pointless no matter what he does. If these two different people stole a car, the nihilist wouldn’t care. The Catholic, on the other hand, probably wouldn’t steal the car in the first place for fear of being punished in the afterlife. So, does the mystery surround death actually help us live better lives? In the end, it depends on your belief system.
My personal belief is that sinning in life damns us to hell after we die. However, if we accept the Lord (not Ford) God into our hearts and thank Jesus for dying for our sins, our sins can be forgiven and we can then enter heaven. Those who do not accept Jesus as our savior are doomed to be lonely in eternal pain in hell. No, I cannot prove God’s existence, but I do know that it makes a lot more sense than life coming from non-life, no explanation for what caused the Big Bang (or whatever), and other simple problems that science has failed to solve.
If you live life trying your best not to sin, wouldn't it be distrusting Jesus? It's like saying "yo Jesus, I know you died on the cross for me and all, but I want play it safe and try to be on God's good side on my own."
+ If you’re wrong about death, were you wrong about life?
Although death and life are somewhat related, death and life are still totally different from each other. In fact, because one was wrong about the death that does not simply mean that one was wrong about life. In my perspective, death is just one of a stage that everyone has to go through in his or her life time. Just as all people have different view on life, they have different view on death. They believe in their basis and live up to accomplish their goals. As long as they live up to their beliefs whether they have wrong view of death or right, believing in what that they have accomplish in life is what matters. What one accomplished in life is what one should proudly bring into death. It is one’s own accomplishment, one own goal, which was fairly worked for from the heart with passion.
For instance, if I die knowing that I spend my whole life chasing the dream of a fashion designer, but death says I’m wrong and wasted my life. That is what death thinks, but to me, I was chasing my dream, my value. I chased for what I desire and wanted. Nothing can take my spirit away from what I accomplished in; even death can’t take my spirit away. What really matters the most is the present and not what happens after life.
I think there is no real meaning in life or death; as humans, we strive to find a meaning to give ourselves a motive and self fulfillment. Humans can symbolically find meaning in both, and carries along a slight tendency to over analyze our meaning and beliefs. The creatures that we are, we demand a meaning in our existence, something to implicate that there is more to life than just breathing. In the social and hierarchal world we created and live in, positions such as power, standing, and money are formed to make us have a pure motive towards something tangible other than just “living”, and if those positions ceased to exist, humans would be truly confused in their active role of this thing called “life”. Simply to me, we live to live, and we will eventually live to die, although the crude nature of human beings will eventually obsess more symbolic meanings in our place of life and death.
I think one should “greet” death the same way one “greets” life; purely accepting it. Since our lives on this surface is limited by age and natural causes, I see no harm in trying the best there is to “greet” life and take it into our stride. Death shouldn’t be feared, although it is of common nature to fear it since the unknown, the indefinite, the unfamiliar, is none other than the basis of fear. If life is “greeted” with such enthusiasm, there are no reasons why the same cannot be done with death; after all, if life was taken into approach with the best effort driven into play, then one can full heartedly accept death with little regrets. Death is an unavoidable fate that all living things must face; to face it head on with the chest thrown out, or to cower from it dreading it are the two choices between which all of us are predestined to accept and select within.
I am religious and think that life after death is a possibility, but I think a large part of me will always be drawn to the idea of what you wrote in your post, how life and death don't actually have any bigger meanings. I'm also glad to see that someone else has a no-fear-type of attitude towards death, since I've been reading several blogs about feeling scared of death.
There is a meaning of death sort of like there is a meaning of life. Death is the end of something which is meaningful in terms of its presents. If a person has an endless life, it basically means that he can never feel the limiting time he has. Thus he will never feel the feeling of accomplishment or a sense of closure. Death in some way is a mile stone of a person’s accomplishment of the course of life. In some way it can also resemble the capability of a person. Although I do not know whether there is another life after death, I can obviously tell that this is an important stage for everyone which is the same thing as getting the first tooth off; first time learns how to walk.
Unlike most milestones in life, death is always tragic in a way that it separates those people from the people they care about. People in response to death will be said and trying to be nice to those people who have died. Death itself is not as important, it is just a process of being away from living, so we should treated death as something that will happen and be ready for it. Since nobody (at least the people I knew) knows what it is like to be dead, we should do whatever we need to do to fulfill our life. Don’t make ourselves regret living; that is exactly what we should do to greet life.
Fear is a positive force because it gives us a motivation to strive for the best. Not everything in life is a fairytale and we need to accept that fear is a part of life. There are times when we have absolutely no drive to do anything at all, and fear allows us to accomplish our tasks. We are able to improve our well-beings by fearing for the worst since we do not want the worst to happen to us. On the contrary, too much of anything is not a good thing for anyone. Sometimes too much fear can kill us to the point that there is no turning back and that we lose ourselves in the end. They have so much fear that they do not take the necessary risks in life, which makes them miss out on that certain aspect of life.
People can learn different lessons from life and death. Both life and death give us a different perspective in life as they teach us to treasure life because one day it is going to be gone forever. We should live life to its full potential and make the most out of it. When someone in your life dies, you have to find your own way to cope with the death and accept it for what it is. Death is a part of life; no one can live forever in this world. There is no way of avoiding death as much as we would like since we do not want to say goodbye to our loved ones. Overcoming death is such a huge process that over a period of time, people either become stronger or weaker in life.
Yeah.. Fear makes us strive for the best to prevent the worst.
The mystery surrounding death might help us live better lives if the truth is that there is a Heaven and Hell. If people know for a fact that good people go to Heaven and bad people go to Hell, then it would motivate them to live a moral life. People will know that there is a God, and He will punish those who sinned. As a result, people will fear God’s punishment, and therefore, do their best to live a better life.
However, if the truth is that there is no life after death and people cease to exist, then it would actually influence people to live immorally. Since there is no consequences (and karma) after death and everything you done in the past will be forgotten, then society will be corrupted because there is no supreme force that judges your morality. And if nothing last forever, then there is no reason to fear eternal punishment because it does not exist. But, not all people will be sinners. Some will still keep their morals with them although they will not be rewarded for being good. So why would people try so hard to be good if in the end, they are the same as the bad people?
Therefore, I think that by not knowing the mystery surrounding death will have a greater influence on people to live better lives. Not knowing what happens after we die gives people hope for a better life than what they have. Since people are hardly ever satisfied with their life, the mystery behind death allows them to seek happiness in their afterlife. People will behave morally to trade their goodness for happiness in the after life. The nonbelievers will cherish the limited life they have on Earth, and accept death as it comes. Not knowing the mystery of death will not affect them.
I don't agree with you: People who will do immoral things because they realize that there is no afterlife are already immoral people. The fact that there is no afterlife only encourages them to do more, not changing them from good to bad.
The reason there is no uniform belief pertaining to death is that it is impossible to know what lies beyond life. You cannot ask a dead person what its like. The only way to find out is to experience it and in turn you will not live to tell about it. I am not too word about death, because I’ve accepted that it has to happen. I’m not thrilled about it, but there is nothing I can do to change it. All I can hope for is that I will not be painful. As far as what lies beyond this world; I have no idea. I can theorize, but in the end I know my hypothesis means nothing. The only part about death that I dread is the idea that there may be nothing after life. That sounds like the worst possible punishment anyone could be given. Honestly, I would rather go to hell.
The only shred of hope that I have is that according to Stephen Hawking, energy can never be created nor destroyed. I believe that the soul is the energy that drives the human body; therefore our souls will always be here and have always been here. This in turn leads me to believe in reincarnation over any sort of after life. It is known that energy can only be harnessed not created, which means that our bodies simply harness our souls until they wear out, and then its on to the next one. Unfortunately I will only find out if I am right when I did, until then I hope for the best.
I would rather have no afterlife than go to hell. I personally choose to believe that our souls do live on after death, but reading your blog made me think about this idea more, and I would actually be ok with no life after death. It's honestly kind of comforting to know that life is simple like that and there isn't all this stuff that humans have made up about heaven/hell/reincarnation, etc. But I totally get why you'd rather go to hell because I can see why it's difficult to face the idea that everything might just be chemistry and our souls are just parts of our brains that die with the rest of our body. I also really liked your theory on connecting energy with the soul and how energy can never be created nor destroyed. I love to see science connected with spirituality!
Fear is definitely a negative force to me. I remember my first time taking a math test in elementary school. The night before I took the test, I started getting nervous, and all hell broke loose. The first sign of hell came from my stomach: it could not stand all the fear and pressure I was undergoing and started to protest. That night, I had a severe stomach ache, unable to fall asleep. The next morning, my stomach ache had only gotten worse. My mom, who was very hard on me back then, told me to “be a man” and forced to go to school anyways. Tired and exhausted, I took the test and failed it. Since then, I’ve always tried to vanquish the fear inside me before any test or competition. Fear makes me nervous, and when I am nervous, my body does funny things. I often do better on tests if I am not afraid of them.
We humans are just like any other organisms on earth: we live, and then we die. Period. There will be nothing after death that will be waiting for us. I just cannot understand why people can believe in such an absurd idea that there is a thing called “afterlife” after death and we will live on forever in that realm. The idea of the existence of heaven or hell amuses me: how can they manage to have such a huge space to store souls? If all the dead souls since the creation of afterlife are preserved and stored, how big does heaven and hell need to be to fit that many souls? It just doesn’t make any sense. I’ve noticed that there is an idea of an “afterlife” in many different cultures around the globe. People because in afterlife because they are afraid of the fact that there is no afterlife but nothing after death. The idea of the end of one’s life scares most people, including me. But a fact is a fact and you can’t change it: no matter what you believe in, you will die, and that will be the end of you. There is no afterlife or anything that awaits you after your death, so live your life well.
Death is a mystery that everyone fears and attempts to define. Personally, I do not think there is a definite meaning of death because everyone holds a different perspective about it. Literally, death means a physical end of one’s life; however, how does death feel like, how should we handle death, and such questions are never accurately answered since it is impossible for a dead person to unfold the mystery. Thus, more or less, people continue to fear death and seek for ways that make them less afraid of it. For instance, many people pursue religion, in which they believe in hell and heaven. Since the Bible states that people with morals belong to heaven while others with evils are doomed to hell, people that believe in this definition of death makes them more alert in their behavior and less afraid of death because they pursue to return to God’s embracing arms. In contrast, others that do not believe in religion may disagree with its definition of death. Simultaneously, neither side is wrong about death nor has the right to claim each other for being wrong about life.
Though, there can be a meaning in death as well as life. When someone dies in exchange of his achievement, his death is worth remembering. For example, Martin Luther King’s death defines the sacrifice of liberty. Even when someone dies for notorious reason, his death serves as a demonstration of immorality. For example, although Hitler, who appears in the definition of evilness in Webster dictionary, commits suicide as he reaches the downfall of Nazism, his death forever reminds people the danger of totalitarian. Certainly, those are only the distinguished ones while everyone else dies too. Even though some people are neither heroes nor villains to be widely remembered when they die, they have once lived and made contribution to this world. They will be remembered by their family or friends because their deaths are prove of their existence in this world. In the end, everyone’s death has a meaning whether they die as a hero, a villain, or a mere nobody.
One should greet death with open arms and not to live in fear of it. If one lives life based on the fear of death and constantly asking yourself when you are going to die, life would be pointless. Even though fear is scary to face I look at fear as a positive. Not just beause fear is good to have but the feeling you get when you over come that fear. I belive there will be something to go to after I die like heaven. I believe that after I die I will go to heaven, yet I will have no idea what it would look like I still believe there is something out there in the end of my life. There can be a meaning in people's death look at JFK he died and he was one of the first presidents to he killed.
His death showed the people of America that anything could happen to anyone at any given time and that no one is an immortal. Even though there is meaning in one's death there is also meaning in one's life. Take Michael Jackson for an example before he died he made the break through in his music career. Even though he is dead people still admire his work and listen to his music. If I was wrong about death then I don't think I can be wrong about life. Because I think differently about life and is still experiencing it right now. I don't think I can't be wrong about the thing I'm experiencing oppose to the future that is going to happen.
I try to look at death in a way that it doesn’t scare me. Death is a natural part of the life cycle, and nobody can avoid it. Since I know I must face my death one day, I do not want to fear death. In general, fear is a positive force. Why? Because I live my life based on my ambition to conquer fear. My fears excite me. They challenge me. They make me feel the adrenaline of blood rushing through my body and a sense of empowerment when I accomplish that which I thought I could not accomplish. Fear keeps my life interesting. I’ll ride the craziest roller-coaster, climb a mountain, karaoke in public, and keep doing the things that scare me; I find a beautiful vision in the idea of steadily eliminating fear after fear in my life. It’s liberating.
I don’t want to live my life conquering fears only to end up dying in fear. In my dying moments, if I’m conscious, I aim to have a peaceful mindset. We can teach ourselves to have the right attitude when we die, and in that way die peacefully. I hope that a lifetime spent practicing mentally defeating all types of fears will make the final task easier when I must overcome the fear of death as it happens. We can die peacefully only if we accept our time of death. Even if I die in a tragic accident at an age far younger that what I had hoped for, I will accept it because I don’t want to die angry. Also, I prefer not to know when or how I’m going to die. If I knew I would die at the age of ninety in my sleep, I would no longer fear any “dangerous” activity before that age, knowing with certainty that I’d survive through them. I want my activities to involve some risk, because life can only be interesting to me through taking risks.
I do believe there be a meaning in death and meaning in life. For example, the solider, they fighting for protect their own country and families. To them death is honor, you know, because they are die for their own country and their families so it is not like mean less death, also I think it is a meaning in life that protect someone even you are going to die, you know.
I think fear can be both a positive and negative force, because it is useful, but for other reason it is bad. Fear can control over your whole body. For example, if I scared someone that person will going to feel fear and can’t do anything except my order. Just like a doll. For this reason it is very easy to control someone use by fear as that it is useful. And about bad is if anyone used fear for bad thing then it might be bad, also fear is easy to get in our body and make us act like psychopath or else. Because we are so scare and don’t know what to do or try to solve it, but to scare later result.
I think a lot of people believe that there is an afterlife in which they face consequences or are rewarded, so they try to live their lives according to that idea. And it is usually effective. Many religions encourage it, and enforce is through the concepts of heaven and hell, reincarnation, etcetera. This motivates people to lead moral and wholesome lives. However, I see this as almost a selfish motivation. Instead of living the most constructive and moving life possible for your own personal fulfillment and growth, as well as for the benefit of others, you’re only doing so in an attempt to avoid eternal punishment.
Is that the only reason we live good lives? I hope that’s not our sole incentive. Afterlife or not, we’re still remembered. We still influence people. We leave a mark. We should lead moral lives and tread carefully just for the sake of being good people.
Personally, I don’t believe that there is any kind of afterlife. I look at life very scientifically and believe that when we die, we die. It seems morbid, but I have trouble believing in the idea of a soul. Still, that doesn’t mean I just throw morals and good behavior out the window. I try to live my life to the fullest, but without offending or harming anyone, or breaking my own moral code. I live for myself, doing what makes me happy, but in the least selfish sense possible. Even though I don’t believe I’ll be definitely punished if I don’t watch my step, I try to anyway. For my own reasons.
I definately can see your reasoning in having no soul but still having morals. Though I believe we have a soul, there isn't much reason why people should not have morals just because they don't believe in souls.
Fear can be both a positive and negative force. Fear can be a positive force which drives human beings to strive and succeed. For example, people do well in school through fear for their success in the future. Fear can be negative because it can limit a person’s maximum potential. For example, some people will never take risks due to fear of failing. It just depends on how a person applies fear to his or her life. As long as people don’t let fear rule them and use it to positively influence their life, fear should not be a threat.
I believe people should greet death with acceptance and understanding. Losing a loved one is difficult, but it is part of life and everyone will lose someone they love at some point of their life. Some people are bad at coping with death, and they just start to break down. Everyone will feel sadness and grief, but people should not allow it to overtake their life. People should greet life as a positive and productive learning experience. Everyone should contribute to this world, whether it is a small or big contribution. Everyone has the freedom to pursue happiness and have control of their own life. Life is beautiful and it is what you make it.
+ Does the mystery surrounding death actually help us live better lives?
+ Is fear a positive or negative force?
The mystery surrounding death helps us live better. First off, this mystery includes all the unknown aspects of death – when do we die, why and how do we die, and what will happen after death. People tend to expand their lifespan and endeavor to achieve their goals by reaching certain age, because they know that life won’t last forever and everyone is granted only one chance. In this limited amount of time between birth and death, we try to better our lives as much as possible just because life is so short and fragile. We look both ways before crossing the street; we take medicine when we get sick; obese people try to lose weight; we do all these just because we all instinctively desire to live – we all tend to prevent death from coming early. For those who believe in afterlife, what will happen after death still remains unveiled and what can be seen and controlled is only today’s life.
Fear is a positive force that plays a big role in our lives. It restricts and also motivates. If a person wants to kill someone, he or she would think first what will happen to them if they get caught, and this fear, I believe, prevents a lot of people from committing murder. In normal cases, fear pushes us to do “good” things which are the opposite of the things we fear – I keep the dining table and trash can clean at home because I fear ants coming in like last time; students study for tests because they fear to get bad grades; I brush my teeth carefully twice a day because I fear to get dental caries like other kids. Thus, fear generates positive actions from people by making negative results available for them.
This is in response to your view on fear. Some people feel terrible before they murder someone. And that fear is not only physically, but mentally as well. They may fear about being send to prison, but they will also have internal fears because they still have conscience.
SORRY MR. FERACO FOR TURNING THIS IN LATE
Everyone who lives will eventually die, and the mere differences are defined by how and when each person dies. People coming from different cultural backgrounds also have different views on death and the afterlife. I have noticed a sort of pattern regarding our view on death. The way we formulate our own theories of death is dependent on our culture, and our culture is influenced by the environment we live in, which then proves that different thoughts of death comes from differences in the living environment. For example, the Vikings thought the heavenly afterlife is eternal war because their living environment is harsh. However, the same situation applied to Dante, he would have thought that eternal war meant hell, since in his world, war meant chaos.
We cannot determine if any one of us is wrong or correct about death. We may all be correct, or we may be all wrong conceptually. Yet, just because one may be wrong about death, doesn’t mean that the person is absolutely wrong about life. True, death is determined by the environment one lives in, but because afterlife is not seen by the people while life is tangible, it is more reassuring to assume that we would not be wrong about life.
Then again, because we don’t know about death as much as we know about life, we use death to intimidate. In that sense, we fear death, and although fearing it is a negative force, it may actually help us live better lives. Such a case is seen in religion. For example, the Holy Bible encourages people to be good because that is the only way to Heaven, and if people are evil, their afterlife will be painfully spent in the burning hell as punishment. In almost all religions they advocate goodness by using the fear and mystery of death. Although what we perceive of the afterlife may vary in form, the general acceptance of fearing of condemnation causes us to do good, all over the world.
In Christianity, we believe that after one dies, he goes to Heaven, where all the greatness that you can think of can appear at mere whim of thought. Should one sin, depending on level, he would be sent to float boringly for years in Purgatory, or be sent straight to Hell for eternal torture. In Greek Mythology, similar to Christianity, people get judged whether to be sent to the Fields of Elysium (paradise) or the Fields of Asphodel (plain meadows for those who were equally good and bad), or the Fields of Punishment. The correlation is that interpretations of what happens to one after he passes away are identical to the reason of why we have religion in the first place: to explain the unexplainable. Since it is impossible to have hard evidence of what happens after death, for no one can die, return, then tell us all what goes on after death, the closest thing that we all have is theory. Furthermore, the reason why that there is no uniform theory is because every person thinks differently, and there is no changing the fact that people would always disagree with one another and form different sects. How can we have a “Uniform Theory of Death” if there is no uniform religion? With religion, or lack thereof, comes the view of death.
I myself believe that there is a heaven, where after I die, I get to meet all those who died before me (father and grandfather for example) and be able to wait for others that are still living to die. Furthermore, I also believe that whatever one can think of can happens in this paradise that we call heaven. I really wouldn’t doubt the possibility of the description of Heaven in the movie, What Dreams May Become. But when it comes to the idea of hell, I believe that those who are in hell are those who take the sins to the max. Meaning that those who have lied, cheated, or were hypocrites, but did no harm to others in the process (like cheating in a friendly card game) are exempt from hell. Those who knowingly involved with the death of others for no beneficial cause (soldiers are exempt) definitely reside in hell.
forgot to divide the paragraphs. second one starts on the 6th line from the bottom upwards
There is no "Unified Theory of Death" because there is no technology to question the dead. Life is complicated and should be greeted as a challenge. One should greet death as an inevitable thing. Personally I would tread about the same whether or not there is anything after death. But I think that if there was no "beyond" most people would act differently depending on their beliefs. For example, if one believes they are going to hell and then finds out there is nothing after death, He would be happier.
When it comes to questions regarding life and death, I have no strong beliefs. I am often seen contradicting myself. This confusion gets me nowhere so I just try to ignore it. Fear of the unknown is a positive force because it give people reason. A reason to live better or worse, but still a meaning to life.
I agree with your point on fear giving us reason. Everyone has different fears and that is what helps define who we are.
Is fear a positive or negative force?
Fear can be both positive and negative. It is a natural human instinct to fear things that either are unknown or that are dangerous to us. Like everything else in life it is all about balance. Without fear we would do things that would put us into very dangerous positions and in both short term and long term hurt us. With too much fear however we become little hermit turtles forever locked away in our little “shell” forever to be kept away from rest of the world and what it has to offer. Fear is a driving force that lets us push our outer limits and can let us accomplish a lot by conquering it. For instance I am dreadfully afraid of heights however over the years I have started getting accustomed to higher and higher heights and slowly am getting over this fear.
By doing so I am becoming a stronger person by not letting personal doubt of my safety control my life. By slowly overcoming my fear I am finding new sources of motivation to conquer other areas in my life and have a source that I can look back upon in times of nervousness such as giving a speech or presentation. Fear becomes a negative force only if we allow it to become one. If we live life with the notion something bad is going to happen at every twist and turn then you truly will never start living life. Life is about uncertainty and about risk. If it was not then no one would age, no one would suffer pain and no one would have to deal with death in their lifetime. Fear is both sometimes a drawback and other times the extra push we need or little voice that will keep us from doing something we know is a bad idea.
Josh I agree with you on how fear can be positive and negative force. Fear is a natural thing that every human being experiences from time to time.
I believe that death, like life, has a meaning. Every time someone dies, an opportunity opens up for someone else. Most people see death as something bad, it is. But death also opens up the gates for another person's life. If there are no death, then there will never be new lives being born into the world. I think people should not be afraid of death. death should be greeted just the same way as life is greeted. I think that death is just another part of life.
If a person does not fear death, he or she will live life to the fullest. By fearing death, one will restrict themselves from all the activities that can pose a danger and threaten their lives. Which will make that person miss out on life altogether. I do not think people should go in either extremes, but just live life the way it always has been. Like if I suddenly found out I have an incurable disease, I would not really go out and seek adventure, nor would I just spend time in bed till I die. I think I will just live my life as normal as I would if I am perfectly healthy.
I think death is neutral. It is neither positive or negative. This is because there are so many causes of death that it is impossible to determine whether death is a good or bad force. If a person dies, the people that were close to that person and loves that person will have a negative impact. But if a bad person dies, it will have a more positive impact on the society.I do not think there are anything after a person dies. Death is the end. There should not be anything else because it will be pretty pointless because there has never been known that anything exists after death.
+ How should one greet death? How should we greet life?
Death is inevitable. There is no positive or negative way to greet death, it just happens. It should not be looked at negatively though since everyone will go through it eventually. It is just the cycle of life running it's course, person by person. Life should be greeted positively. Life is a gift and a blessing. You are given one chance at living; live it to the fullest. Like the cliche, "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade." we should take advantage of every opportunity that is given to us. You may not be given the same opportunities more than once. Life should be carefree as long as you do everything that you are supposed to.
Fear is both a positive and a negative force. Fear can either one, drive one to succeed or two, cause a person to feel discouraged. It can be taken to a person's advantage or disadvantage. If a person fears that they will be unsuccessful in the future, they can try their hardest to change that fear. It could drive them to succeed so that they would not have to live their fear.
Lisa I agree with you on your perspective of death - inevitable. How you should not fear it but just accept that it is going to happen. I also like your philosophy to appreciate the life we have. It is a very important philosophy to have.
Being wrong about death does not mean I am instantly wrong about life. The reason anyone can be wrong about death is that we do not have proof of what happens afterward, other then our corpses being disposed of. Life we have a full grasp of. We know everything about life because we and all the other generations before us have been experiencing it. We have wrote about it, sung about it, danced because of it. Humans have been celebrating life since we began and we will not stop. Always live life to the fullest, no matter what.
I think we should accept death as inevitable and should not fear it. What is the point? If it is your time then it is your time and you cannot do anything about it. The lesson behind death is, "you do not know when you are going to go so enjoy to the fullest every second you have here". Look at the news, all kinds of people die for all kinds of reasons every day and do you think they saw it coming? Of course not - car accidents, murders, to accidents. No one can predict the future so my philosophy is to enjoy my life.
Death: the end of life; the total and permanent cessation of all the vital functions of an organism. Some might believe that when a person passes away, the spirit leaves to a more perfect place or a more horrible place. Though some else might believe that the spirit is revived into a different body. Though when described in reality, the body just dies. We do the a common theory of death as well as different theories of spirits. Death on planet earth means body passes away, heart is not able to pump blood into the body’s parts anymore. Death in religions though, give many different aspects of death. We are still unclear to what really happens to the “spirit”, but it is a belief to keep many intact during life. The mystery of death gives humans reasons to hang onto living through difficulties, pain, and joy. Also, there is also the very belief of eternal of emptiness after death, death just means bodies into the soil.
Should we treat life and death in the same lines? I feel as the means of death is no different than life. If there weren’t stories about what happens afterlife then what would be the reason of living 80 years of suffering on this blue planet full of violence, pollution, and wrong. If thought about in a way of benefiting the planet, dying in the soil when one is full growth would benefit the most. But that takes at least 18 years of life, so might as well just not live at all. In my point of view, why would atheists even try to live? What would be the meaning of that if life does not mean anything? I remember I had a time during my life that I had worried about not being able to see my parents anymore after they pass away. That had made me realize that every minute I spend with them is important. But when I started believing in religion, I was more comfortable with death, because I would be able to see them in the future anyway in a better world. Life began to actually have meaning, although I prefer spending it alone.
If people can’t agree on what to do with health care, there’s no way they’ll be able to agree on what the deal is with life and death. As with all other things that don’t have a definite, irrefutable answer (which, if you actually think about it, could be everything, depending on your point of view) people will never come to a universal conclusion.
I believe that if you’re wrong about death, you’re not necessarily wrong about life. First we must tackle the question, how can you be wrong about life? I believe that one’s life philosophy can only be decided by oneself. No one else can tell you what gives your life meaning, or what your calling is. The only way we can wrong about life is if we fail ourselves and don’t live up to what we expected, or live the way we wanted. Despite this, I believe we can definitely be wrong about death. When we die, we will find out what’s what. What religion is true, if any, and who’s beliefs were worth believing.
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