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Goafer

Death

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I'm not saying that you will have any memory or you will still be you. I am saying that parts of what you are presently made of have every chance of constituting a life form again. The fact you are viewing the world now through your eyes is testament to this coming together of material.

 

 

 

That is true. Every part of your constituent atoms have been, and will be again, used by another organism, inert of not. Some of your Carbon could well have been from a diamond millions of years ago. Or may make a part of a diamond in the future. The possibility of types of reuses is endless. That's not reincarnation though. It's merely redistribution of materials. Good debate!

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But my point isn't that you fear the "feeling" or "state" of not existing when it happens, but that the idea of not existing itself can be scary while you exist, since existing is the only thing you know, and you're hardwired to maintain it. I'm not at all saying you should fear non-existence, but it baffles me a bit that you say you don't even understand that fear.

 

I can't understand it at all. If I don't wake up tomorrow, I'll never know that I haven't woken up, so what's to fear?

 

I fear heights, because I'm afraid of falling. I fear growing old and feeling like I've not accomplished anything in life. I fear being alone all my life. These are fears because these things can happen, and I'll know they've happened. But I'll never know non-existence. Even if it happens, I'll never know it, so how can it be something I'm afraid of?

 

I don't see people who believe in an afterlife as narcissistic at all. I think generally people who believe or are taught it are often told to value life and themselves - I'm pretty sure life and existence are important things and whilst there may be bigger things out there in the universe than our measly lives, we're still the cream of the crop in terms of what the universe (or God(s)) have produced. (Intelligent life).

 

In any case, I'd rather be a narcissist and value myself and my life highly than to believe my life is worthless (even if it's true). In my humble opinion, the latter usually live a life of underachievement and possibly envy those who have aspired for more, transforming into a negative mess later in life. The former are usually our bosses or the 'celebrities' we drool over. ;)

 

I was being (somewhat) flippant. I do think it of the people who so adamantly believe it. Who can't imagine a possibility of there not being an afterlife.

 

However I don't think it of people who would like to believe, or are open to the possibility. Taking @Sheikah's or @Goafer's points, that your atoms once made up a "soul" so they could again has sense to me. Obviously I don't find that narcissistic.

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I can't understand it at all. If I don't wake up tomorrow, I'll never know that I haven't woken up, so what's to fear?

 

I fear heights, because I'm afraid of falling. I fear growing old and feeling like I've not accomplished anything in life. I fear being alone all my life. These are fears because these things can happen, and I'll know they've happened. But I'll never know non-existence. Even if it happens, I'll never know it, so how can it be something I'm afraid of?

 

You keep rationalising why you shouldn't fear non-existence, but that's not my point; my point is that it can be scary on an instinctual level for us creatures who only know and are hardwired to maintain existence.

 

Based on our interaction, I'm starting to think we look at the concept of fear in different ways; your view seems to be a more practical one - is there reason to fear something? - whereas I come from a more emotional perspective - why does something cause fear in people?

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As an atheist I don't believe in any kind of reincarnation of the soul or afterlife so for me death is final. When I die I stop existing.

 

Am I scared of dying? I don't know...I do know, however, that right now I don't want to die. It always sounds silly when I say it or think about it :D

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I don't think I believe in the possibility of my own death. And I don't see any tangible benefit in learning to believe it. I acknowledge it will happen some day.. but I just don't care. As has been mentioned, there is nothing to fear.. it's no more scary a concept to me than going to sleep.... in a way every night I lay down and practice dying, every morning (so far) I continue living as normal. If one day I skip the getting up bit I'll hardly notice the difference.

 

What gets me is when people I care about pass away. after life or not, we have lost them at the very least for a looooooong time and that really hurts. I'm down to one grandparent now and an unpleasant thought has appeared in the back of my mind about my parents own mortality... and then that of my siblings too.

Actually, if there has to be one fear I have surrounding death, it's that I have always thought that I would rather not be the last one standing out of all my friends and family. So it's more a fear of NOT dying.

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On the subject, I've had crazy inspiration from WW2 Kamikaze pilots who would commit suicide by crashing their planes into enemy targets. Sure they were fanatics, but imagine what was going through their minds knowing what they were about to do... Apparently, the most frequent last words from the pilots were "mother"...

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Just to add a bit of culture A roman guy called Seneca apparently had this to say:

"we do not suddenly fall on death, but advance towards it by slight degrees; we die every day"
It is not the last drop that empties the water-clock, but all that which previously has flowed out; similarly, the final hour when we cease to exist does not of itself bring death; it merely of itself completes the death-process. We reach death at that moment, but we have been a long time on the way.

I've not been researching this.. stumbled on it in wikipedia (straw that broke a camels back if you are wondering) so thought I'd share it here since it seemed well suited to this thread.

Edited by Pestneb

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Have you guys heard of the species of jellyfish that is virtually immortal? When it matures and develops, it reverts back into its pre-sexual immature stage and the process can go on essentially forever.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turritopsis_dohrnii

 

Makes me think the potential for immortality is there since nature has provided an answer. Though immortality won't mean a thing before getting rid of diseases like cancer. (although the cellular process the jellyfish uses to revert sounds like a cure in itself...)

Edited by King_V

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Have you guys heard of the species of jellyfish that is virtually immortal? When it matures and develops, it reverts back into its pre-sexual immature stage and the process can go on essentially forever.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turritopsis_dohrnii

 

Makes me think the potential for immortality is there since nature has provided an answer. Though immortality won't mean a thing before getting rid of diseases like cancer. (although the cellular process the jellyfish uses to revert sounds like a cure in itself...)

 

And that's not the only (potentially) immortal animal.

 

http://www.rd.com/culture/animals-that-live-forever/

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Immortality isn't that far off I don't think. All you have to do is work out what makes the body stop replacing old cells with new ones, and you're golden.

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Immortality isn't that far off I don't think. All you have to do is work out what makes the body stop replacing old cells with new ones, and you're golden.

 

Unfortunately, it's too far off for us lot. Imagine being the last generation to die, good luck to the rest, those born at the right time.

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Unfortunately, it's too far off for us lot. Imagine being the last generation to die, good luck to the rest, those born at the right time.

Yeah probably. But when you think about it, it's probably just a hormone or chemical that tells the body not to replace these dying cells. Once we discover this, it won't be long! One vial of immortality please!

 

The probably will come afterwards. Who gets to be immortal?

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Unfortunately, it's too far off for us lot. Imagine being the last generation to die, good luck to the rest, those born at the right time.

That's why I'm not fussed about not recycling.

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Who gets to be immortal?

 

The illuminati and its underlings of corporate Directors and politicians.

 

Wouldn't really be surprised if such an achievement has already been made but is top secret from us common folk.

 

But for immortality to be economically feasible, a few billion people will have to be destroyed departed and there will have to be sanctions on births, if not outright outlawed.

 

Immortal people would probably evolve into non-sexual people... Not something I would want to trade off TBF...

Edited by King_V

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No need to kill people off intentionally, accidental deaths, war, crime etc are all more than capable of dealing with the population.

As for longer term, I guess we'd need to find a bigger place to live.... but if the specialists etc get to live longer, they wouldn't need extra time to learn the basics and they could push on their ideas fully.

 

An interesting point though - if we are immortal would that take away a lot of the urgency that rewards us developing faster? So could immortality actually damage social, scientific, technological and political development?

Edited by Pestneb

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