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Goafer

Death

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I was driving home the other day and I can't quite remember what got me thinking about it, but I started thinking about death and just how fucking terrifying the thought of it is.

 

I was raised Christian (mainly by my school), so part of me always hopes for an afterlife, but I also tend to look at things logically as I'm getting older, so I'm fairly sure there's no afterlife etc and that thought scares the ever-loving shit out of me. It's the thought of everything I've achieved, all the memories I've made, everything I am just ceasing to be and there's no coming back from it.

 

Even if reincarnation is a thing, which kind of makes the most sense to me as your body rots in the ground and feeds the plants around it, so maybe your "soul" or whatever feeds the next person, it still scares me, as I clearly can't remember my last incarnation, so it's just as bad as dying IMO. Who I am now still disappears forever.

 

On the flip side, sometimes I'll find myself excited by the thought of death. Not in a weird, take 18 packs of Anadin sort of way, but in a "I can't wait to find out what happens" sort of way. Maybe there is an afterlife and if there is, it'll certainly be exciting to find out what it is.

 

So what are other people's thoughts on death? Do you see it as final, or is it just a change?

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I am forever haunted by a fear of non-existance. Since I was about 8 years old and realised what death meant i've had regular panic attacks late at night when I'm alone. It stretches more to the fact that not only my life but everything will someday disappear.

 

A few years ago I couldn't take my mind off it at all and had to constantly distract myself by watching TV or playing games which meant I never got to sleep until I was absolutely exhausted. Thankfully things are better now but I still get crippled by fear every now and then when I'm alone at night.

 

I feel jealous of those who have strong religious beliefs because they can find some comfort in what comes after death, but I'm far too invested in science and facts that i'm constantly reminded of the fragility of the universe and existence. Not a very comfortable way to live life but I'm not sure I'd prefer to be completely ignorant.

 

Great topic idea Goafer!

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I've found Final Fantasy 9's explanation of what happens after death to be the most compelling theory I have heard - Which links re-incarnation of souls/life force with the growth of the planet... Its so beautiful.

 

Regardless of religious influence, I believe in a spiritual realm and will always believe there is more going on than what we can see, think etc. I don't believe life is a random occurrence and as such, means death has a role in this cycle.

 

In any case, if I'm proven wrong it wouldn't matter ^^' I wouldn't mind a complete 'rest' after 80-100 years of living either.

 

My girlfriends grandmother is 91 and when I joke to her about reaching 100, her response is more of a 'I'm tired and just want to rest' - "perhaps"... I can't blame her - especially when you're frail and need support everyday. :(

 

Like my man Seymour states in FFX, death is a release... even his the villain, his right... Especially when you consider we were never given the choice to live and most of us are naturally compelled to avoid (self) harm and to just... exist. Most of us are dragged into this world straight into a dire life where we have to work hard and strive just to survive - In many ways (IMO) existence shares a lot of connotations with slavery - forced.

Edited by King_V

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I used to be terrified about death. But now, I'm not. There's nothing we can do about it. It'll happen and whatever happens when you die will happen to all of us. I don't believe in there being a heaven or hell and I'm leaning massively towards the notion of there being some kind of reincarnation.

 

In a strange sort of way, I accept this. Humans have a decent life span, but we are meant to encounter death. I don't know if it's all part of some big plan or journey that we must all go through, but it has to happen to us. So, why worry about it?

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The idea of one's own non-existence is one I think is fundamentally difficult for anyone to grasp - I know it is for me. Of course it's not a nice thought, someday not existing anymore, but at the same time I feel like I'm so far from actually truly understanding it that it's not something I go around thinking about or fearing on a daily basis. I might at some point, but I think I'm still young enough to have that subconscious "My life's gonna go on forever!" feeling where the end is still so far away that you don't even consider it ... though since hitting my twenties I'm becoming more and more aware of my age.

 

Thinking back, I have actually felt the fear of running out of time, but in a very specific area: When I was still a virgin and my self-esteem was a lot lower, I genuinely feared I would never find love, and that brought on feelings of stress and a sense of impending doom - with every passing day I felt like my chances of finding a special someone and spending my life with her were diminishing. I'm so much better now, but it's still a fear that can tug in the back of my mind when I'm at my lowest.

 

On a side note, when I learned about the inevitable heat death of the universe, it made me really uncomfortable - still does a little bit. At least when I die, other people will live on, but at some point ... it just ends. "Everything that has a beginning has an end, Neo." That fucks with me somewhat.

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Even if reincarnation is a thing, which kind of makes the most sense to me as your body rots in the ground and feeds the plants around it, so maybe your "soul" or whatever feeds the next person, it still scares me, as I clearly can't remember my last incarnation, so it's just as bad as dying IMO. Who I am now still disappears forever.

 

I'm a rationalist.

 

People like to see patterns. It's an evolutionary survival response. 'Hey that bush is moving just like last week when John got eaten by a tiger, Everyone run!' Now, people tend to see patterns in everything, confirmation bias adds meaning, but is essentially meaningless.The plural of anecdote is not data.

 

A lot of people on this thread 'believe' in the idea of reincarnation. I ask for the proof. If something exists the burden of proof is on you to show its existence. Spiritual realms break all laws of thermodynamics, especially the first, and Einsteinian rules, which get more and more proof with each passing year.

 

This soul idea. In 1907, Duncan McDougall published a paper stating that the soul weighed 21 grams (I think a movie is coming out soon). Out of 6 patients measured, two of the patients were excluded from the results due to "technical difficulties", a patient lost weight but then put the weight back on and two of the other patients registered a loss of weight at death but a few minutes later lost even more weight. MacDougall did not use the six results, just the one that supported his hypothesis. According to Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki this was a case of selective reporting as MacDougall had ignored five of the results. McDougall also was supported by his christian charities to find a 'result'.

 

The physicist Robert L. Park has written MacDougall's experiments "are not regarded today as having any scientific merit" and the psychologist Bruce Hood wrote that "because the weight loss was not reliable or replicable, his findings were unscientific. Science needs to be replicable. If there is a soul it weighs nothing??? Impossible. Breaking thermodynamic laws again.

 

I am forever haunted by a fear of non-existance. Since I was about 8 years old and realised what death meant i've had regular panic attacks late at night when I'm alone. It stretches more to the fact that not only my life but everything will someday disappear.

 

Doesn't the idea of non-existence just show you to love each day, like it's your last. It makes me more productive. When I wake up in the morning I say to myself I'd better get all the things I want to get done finsihed today. Cherish what is happening at the moment and truly love those around you. Listen to the South Park song 'Dead', for a tongue in cheek laugh at life.

 

Regardless of religious influence, I believe in a spiritual realm and will always believe there is more going on than what we can see, think etc. I don't believe life is a random occurrence and as such, means death has a role in this cycle.

 

The first law of thermodynamics is a version of the law of conservation of energy, adapted for thermodynamic systems. The law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system is constant; energy can be transformed from one form to another, but cannot be created or destroyed. The first law is often formulated by stating that the change in the internal energy of a closed system is equal to the amount of heat supplied to the system, minus the amount of work done by the system on its surroundings. Equivalently, perpetual motion machines of the first kind are impossible. A ghost or soul is a perpetual motion machine, with no input of energy, therfore an impossibility.

 

 

I used to be terrified about death. But now, I'm not. There's nothing we can do about it. It'll happen and whatever happens when you die will happen to all of us. I don't believe in there being a heaven or hell and I'm leaning massively towards the notion of there being some kind of reincarnation.

 

We all have to go through it. No point worrying over what cannot be changed. The manner of ones death is far more worrying than death itself. Better to die in your sleep than be crushed by a truck. On 4 separate occasions I have neared death, and at that moment of accepting it, time does in fact seem to slow down. A high fall I once had seemed to last for hours, etc.

 

Of course it's not a nice thought, someday not existing anymore, but at the same time I feel like I'm so far from actually truly understanding it that it's not something I go around thinking about or fearing on a daily basis.

 

"Everything that has a beginning has an end, Neo." That fucks with me somewhat.

 

Nice quote. But, non-existence is only a big worry for those who love themselves too much. Love others instead.

 

In summary, I feel that we need to share our time wisely with others we truly love because there ain't no second chance.

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@londragon

 

With respect, it wasn't necessary to try and prove or disprove anyone else's beliefs or ideas - you just had to state your own.

 

I wasn't trying to be aggressive, sorry if I came across that way.

 

In summation, my thoughts are, when we die we are worms meat, so make the most of every day you have. Spread happiness everyone, and may your life be long and fruitful.

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Had my existential/mortality crisis in my early twenties, mostly over it now, try not to think about it, probably won't come in this thread again....

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I don't think I'm scared of death as such. I think I'm scared of dying without feeling like I've achieved what I wanted. Or dying young.

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I'm with @londragon on this one. I don't believe in an afterlife or reincarnation or anything of the sort. It would be nice of course, but no, I don't think it's there.

 

Your particles will go on to become part of the earth, be food for creatures, plants etc. Circle of life and all that! :P

 

Death itself doesn't really scare me. When I'm dead, I won't know. It will be a big nothingness, but then I won't be able to notice it, so why should that scare me? I kind of imagine it being like how when you fall asleep, or are going under for an operation, you just lose awareness of everything, slip into the darkness. Just like that, but you simply won't wake up from it.

 

Dying scares me a lot more than death, because there are so many horrible ways to die... I think that is what terrifies me, the way I could die, worried it will be painful and horrible. I'd love to just die in my sleep, but it kind of feels like that is only for a select few sometimes. :(

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I find the firm belief in an afterlife to be so narcissistic. You literally can't imagine a universe without yourself in it.

 

If you're struggling to grasp the idea of not existing, what happened before you were alive?

 

Personally I'd only really reconcile an afterlife based on some sort of solipsism.

 

On the flip side, sometimes I'll find myself excited by the thought of death. Not in a weird, take 18 packs of Anadin sort of way, but in a "I can't wait to find out what happens" sort of way. Maybe there is an afterlife and if there is, it'll certainly be exciting to find out what it is.

 

to-die-would-be-an-awfully-big-adventure.jpg

 

I am forever haunted by a fear of non-existance. Since I was about 8 years old and realised what death meant i've had regular panic attacks late at night when I'm alone. It stretches more to the fact that not only my life but everything will someday disappear.

 

I've never understood the fear of non-existence. What exactly is there to fear? You're literally fearing nothing. It's not like you're aware of your non-existence in order to fear it.

 

I was non-existent for 13+ billion years before I was born, and that was perfectly fine.

 

probably won't come in this thread again....

 

What about if you get a quote notification?

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I was non-existent for 13+ billion years before I was born

 

The good old days.

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I was non-existent for 13+ billion years before I was born, and that was perfectly fine.

 

And before that?

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I created the heavens and the universe.

 

Well now, someone thinks highly of themselves!

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Had my existential/mortality crisis in my early twenties, mostly over it now, try not to think about it, probably won't come in this thread again....
I don't think I'm scared of death as such. I think I'm scared of dying without feeling like I've achieved what I wanted. Or dying young.

 

Basically my two homies here. See job topic for basic underachieving me.

 

I was toying with the idea of a similar topic for some time. But it was called "time-travelling-ghost", well, was a working title. The plan was what: when you die you become a ghost that travel through time and see anything, you could possess people but only to experience their emotions, not to control them. I had so many points in time swimming in my mind it overwhelmed me.

 

Like you @Goafer, I have them feels about being interested in seeing what happens next. But apart from that I see it more as an end than a beginning.

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I'm a rationalist.

 

People like to see patterns. It's an evolutionary survival response. 'Hey that bush is moving just like last week when John got eaten by a tiger, Everyone run!' Now, people tend to see patterns in everything, confirmation bias adds meaning, but is essentially meaningless.The plural of anecdote is not data.

 

A lot of people on this thread 'believe' in the idea of reincarnation. I ask for the proof. If something exists the burden of proof is on you to show its existence. Spiritual realms break all laws of thermodynamics, especially the first, and Einsteinian rules, which get more and more proof with each passing year.

 

This soul idea. In 1907, Duncan McDougall published a paper stating that the soul weighed 21 grams (I think a movie is coming out soon). Out of 6 patients measured, two of the patients were excluded from the results due to "technical difficulties", a patient lost weight but then put the weight back on and two of the other patients registered a loss of weight at death but a few minutes later lost even more weight. MacDougall did not use the six results, just the one that supported his hypothesis. According to Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki this was a case of selective reporting as MacDougall had ignored five of the results. McDougall also was supported by his christian charities to find a 'result'.

 

The physicist Robert L. Park has written MacDougall's experiments "are not regarded today as having any scientific merit" and the psychologist Bruce Hood wrote that "because the weight loss was not reliable or replicable, his findings were unscientific. Science needs to be replicable. If there is a soul it weighs nothing??? Impossible. Breaking thermodynamic laws again.

 

 

 

Doesn't the idea of non-existence just show you to love each day, like it's your last. It makes me more productive. When I wake up in the morning I say to myself I'd better get all the things I want to get done finsihed today. Cherish what is happening at the moment and truly love those around you. Listen to the South Park song 'Dead', for a tongue in cheek laugh at life.

 

 

 

The first law of thermodynamics is a version of the law of conservation of energy, adapted for thermodynamic systems. The law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system is constant; energy can be transformed from one form to another, but cannot be created or destroyed. The first law is often formulated by stating that the change in the internal energy of a closed system is equal to the amount of heat supplied to the system, minus the amount of work done by the system on its surroundings. Equivalently, perpetual motion machines of the first kind are impossible. A ghost or soul is a perpetual motion machine, with no input of energy, therfore an impossibility.

 

 

 

 

We all have to go through it. No point worrying over what cannot be changed. The manner of ones death is far more worrying than death itself. Better to die in your sleep than be crushed by a truck. On 4 separate occasions I have neared death, and at that moment of accepting it, time does in fact seem to slow down. A high fall I once had seemed to last for hours, etc.

 

 

 

Nice quote. But, non-existence is only a big worry for those who love themselves too much. Love others instead.

 

In summary, I feel that we need to share our time wisely with others we truly love because there ain't no second chance.

 

I don't understand why some people don't consider there can be life in some form or another after death. You are made of stuff, and somehow this translates to a consciousness. When you die, some of that stuff will no doubt constitute other life forms again at some point. Of course any transferral of memory is out of the question, and the specifics of what constitutes a consciousness are difficult to identify, but I wouldn't rule out the idea so easily that we (purely in the atomic sense of what you're made of now) can't be incorporated into a living thing ever again (thus be 'always dead'). Most certainly at least the idea that you'll rot in the ground forever cannot be true.

 

Forgive me if I sound like a retard in that oversimplification but consider my points a little if you will - it's something I've spent many an hour thinking about and have discussed it on quite a few occasions.

Edited by Sheikah

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Nice quote. But, non-existence is only a big worry for those who love themselves too much. Love others instead.

 

Now, I don't think that's fair to say; it's a basic human instinct to survive, to maintain existence, so how is it not perfectly understandable that the idea of no longer existing can be scary? Why the need to paint people as narcissistic? The love for others can also be a reason for wanting to stay alive, to spend more time with them.

 

If you're struggling to grasp the idea of not existing, what happened before you were alive?

 

[...]

 

I've never understood the fear of non-existence. What exactly is there to fear? You're literally fearing nothing. It's not like you're aware of your non-existence in order to fear it.

 

I was non-existent for 13+ billion years before I was born, and that was perfectly fine.

 

It's not that it's hard to grasp from a purely logical standpoint, but are you really telling me that the idea that your mind will eventually simply cease to exist hasn't poked at some existential part of you at some point? Of course it's irrelevant once we're actually gone; the point is that the idea that we'll eventually be gone can be pretty difficult to ever truly comprehend - not to mention scary - when all we've ever known and ever will know (for obvious reasons) is existence.

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It's not that it's hard to grasp from a purely logical standpoint, but are you really telling me that the idea that your mind will eventually simply cease to exist hasn't poked at some existential part of you at some point? Of course it's irrelevant once we're actually gone; the point is that the idea that we'll eventually be gone can be pretty difficult to ever truly comprehend - not to mention scary - when all we've ever known and ever will know (for obvious reasons) is existence.

 

Of course I've pondered it, been confused by it. But I don't understand fearing it, because you literally won't know that it's happened.

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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. ;)

Edited by King_V

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Of course I've pondered it, been confused by it. But I don't understand fearing it, because you literally won't know that it's happened.

 

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.

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You are made of stuff, and somehow this translates to a consciousness. When you die, some of that stuff will no doubt constitute other life forms again at some point. Of course any transferral of memory is out of the question, and the specifics of what constitutes a consciousness are difficult to identify, but I wouldn't rule out the idea so easily that we (purely in the atomic sense of what you're made of now) can't be incorporated into a living thing ever again (thus be 'always dead'). Most certainly at least the idea that you'll rot in the ground forever cannot be true.

 

Forgive me if I sound like a retard in that oversimplification but consider my points a little if you will - it's something I've spent many an hour thinking about and have discussed it on quite a few occasions.

 

I will consider, more after writing this as well.

 

Yes, we are made of, atomically speaking, at least originally, the remnants of early star materials that supernova'd, spreading the material that coalesced to form everything in our Solar System including you and I.

 

When we die, and are eaten by other organisms, part of those constituent atomic/material breakdowns will be ingested and used for energy. Part of the closed system of The First Law of Thermodynamics. But, those little parts do not hold memory, do not hold personality, they are merely a collection of arranged proteins, namely meat, that other organisms ingest to digest into energy. So, you won't rot in the ground forever, you'll be decomposed slowly with every atom of you being spread throughout the world. But, that's not reincarnation. Reincarnation 'experts' say that they can regress you through hypnosis to see who you were in a past life. It's amazing to go to a reincarnation fancy dress party and see that everyone is dressed as someone famous, Cleopatra, Trotsky, Nero, no one is a normal Joe blogs. That should tell you everything about reincarnation being a baloney philosophy.

 

The consciousness is you, that is all you are. Electrical impulses between synapses in the brain. The rest of your body is just meat that serves to keep you alive and pass on your DNA/chromosomes to the next generation. When you die, all the electrical activity in your brain ceases. Therefore, your consciousness ceases, and so do you. If some 'soul' disappears at death, what is its mass, its energy signature should be measurable. Its not there to be measured, and common sense tells me that science will never find it because it doesn't exist.

 

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. ;)

 

Why would someone who thinks there is an end to all things after life, believe their life is worthless? I feel the complete opposite is true. I've been lucky enough to have this opportunity, and after it there's nothing, so let's make the best of it while we can.

 

Don't drool over your boss, especially if they drive an expensive car. The more money someone has the less likely they are to give to charity, delude themselves that they are better than everybody else because they got there, and 50% less likely to stop for pedestrians crossing the road. They tend to be the absolute bane of civility, and so they pray to keep their life after its gone to maintain control.

 

People driving luxury cars are more likely to fail to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk and to engage in other unethical, antisocial behavior, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Drivers of more expensive cars are more likely to cut off other drivers and violate pedestrians' right of way.

A research team including Berkeley psychologists Paul Piff and Dacher Keltner have been examining the way social status and wealth affects morality. Their findings broadly show that wealthier, higher-status individuals are, essentially, more likely to cheat.

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2013/07/16/study-wealthier-motorists-more-likely-to-drive-like-reckless-jerks/

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I will consider, more after writing this as well.

 

Yes, we are made of, atomically speaking, at least originally, the remnants of early star materials that supernova'd, spreading the material that coalesced to form everything in our Solar System including you and I.

 

When we die, and are eaten by other organisms, part of those constituent atomic/material breakdowns will be ingested and used for energy. Part of the closed system of The First Law of Thermodynamics. But, those little parts do not hold memory, do not hold personality, they are merely a collection of arranged proteins, namely meat, that other organisms ingest to digest into energy. So, you won't rot in the ground forever, you'll be decomposed slowly with every atom of you being spread throughout the world. But, that's not reincarnation. Reincarnation 'experts' say that they can regress you through hypnosis to see who you were in a past life. It's amazing to go to a reincarnation fancy dress party and see that everyone is dressed as someone famous, Cleopatra, Trotsky, Nero, no one is a normal Joe blogs. That should tell you everything about reincarnation being a baloney philosophy.

 

The consciousness is you, that is all you are. Electrical impulses between synapses in the brain. The rest of your body is just meat that serves to keep you alive and pass on your DNA/chromosomes to the next generation. When you die, all the electrical activity in your brain ceases. Therefore, your consciousness ceases, and so do you. If some 'soul' disappears at death, what is its mass, its energy signature should be measurable. Its not there to be measured, and common sense tells me that science will never find it because it doesn't exist.

 

 

 

Why would someone who thinks there is an end to all things after life, believe their life is worthless? I feel the complete opposite is true. I've been lucky enough to have this opportunity, and after it there's nothing, so let's make the best of it while we can.

 

Don't drool over your boss, especially if they drive an expensive car. The more money someone has the less likely they are to give to charity, delude themselves that they are better than everybody else because they got there, and 50% less likely to stop for pedestrians crossing the road. They tend to be the absolute bane of civility, and so they pray to keep their life after its gone to maintain control.

 

 

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2013/07/16/study-wealthier-motorists-more-likely-to-drive-like-reckless-jerks/

 

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.

 

It's why I personally do not believe we should readily assume that death is nothingness.

Edited by Sheikah

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