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markdohle

A fact of life

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A fact of life

People will often say that it is not death they fear, but the actual process of dying. I think that may be true for most people. For after all, you’re alive, and then the next moment your dead, the dying process however can actually takes decades for many. Aging is a death process that speeds up of course after a certain age for the majority that live to be adults; well at least in the first world. I have no doubt that if I lived in a poorer country, I would have died long ago. For instance, I would most likely have died in my early sixties if I was not able to get a pace-maker put in. In the year 2000 while visiting my good friend Dr. Glen Johnson, as he was giving me a pre-op physical, he discovered that I had very high blood pressure. He mentioned to me that if he was not a cardiac specialist he would have had to take me to the ER. Who knows how long my blood pressure was that high. So without my BP medicines, I doubt I would go long without having a stroke of some kind….in any case, may get one anyway, that is how my dad died. “My dad myself”, as the saying goes sort of, I changed it a tad.

It is not hard to accept the fact that aging is a fact of life, since many have to go through it. To think of ones death is another matter all together. As Freud stated: “when we think of our own death, we do so as an observer”,…we don’t observe our deaths of course; so that exercise is for the most part a waste of time. We will each experience it if we are in fact conscious when we die. Most of us won’t be I believe. It is our aging bodies that bring to mind our decease and since we can project into the future, this will for some lead to a great deal of anxious concern, for others, not much, until they get the word from their doctor that they have months or at most a few years to live.

There are believers and atheist who are terrified of death, as well as those in both camps who don’t seem to be. So to fear death or not to fear it has nothing to do with ones faith, I am not sure why some fear death and others don’t, at least on a conscious level. I would assume that the instinct to survive assures that there is fear on some level. I doubt most of us would make it through life if there was no actual fear, even if it is instinctual only. Humans are not bound by instinct, but it still has some control over our lives. In areas where it does not, there is often self destructive chaos.

As a care-giver, I have found that most people who reach a certain age seem to lose their fear of death from a very deep place. I have heard the same goes for children. I have also experienced that very few are actually conscious when they die. The body, when organ failure sets in and ones toxicity increases, tends to fall into a deep slumber, if not an actual coma, which of course also happens. The body sedates itself it seems when death approaches for most. Those dying can be aroused for short periods of time, or they may rally for a time, but they soon fall back into a deep sleep.

When I was in the VA for my pace-maker, it did hit me that death could happen at anytime, as well as how easy it is to get sick, or to have a bodily organ suddenly without warning, to show itself as a danger to one ongoing survival. At that time there was no fear, in fact I got the feeling that I was at the beginning of an ever wider road that was opening up before me. However that does not mean that the next time I get an intimation of my morality that I will be so sanguine. As I said above, the survival instinct will insure some level of the fear of death, which is what keeps us going I believe in this crazy, wonderful world, which is also filled with deep suffering along with the times of intense joy.

Edited by markdohle
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The fact of life, is death.

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The fact of life, is death.

that sure is optimistic

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I'd rather stay alive.

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A person doesn't need to fear death. Death is not the end, but a new beginning with God.

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A person doesn't need to fear death. Death is not the end, but a new beginning with God.

Good comment, however, one point I was trying to make is that people of faith, deep faith do fear death, it has nothing to do with belief about an afterlife, but comes from some other place. Perhaps those who fear death, no matter what they believe are just more in touch with the surivial instinct. Others, atheist as well as believers can be very sanguine about death.

peace

mark

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I sometimes wonder what all these people who expect some wonderful joining with God in a glorious afterlife would do if a pill came along that allowed you to never die. Would they take it?

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I wouldn't but for other reasons.

Mainly who does not truly want to enjoy life which requires aging with grace, we have to give the younger generations a chance to take over where we leave off, and who wants to fall in a crevice and be stuck there forever?

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Posted (edited)

death could happen at anytime, as well as how easy it is to get sick, or to have a bodily organ suddenly without warning, to show itself as a danger to one ongoing survival. At that time there was no fear, in fact I got the feeling that I was at the beginning of an ever wider road that was opening up before me.

I especially enjoyed this part and it reminded me of those paintings or logos of roads, especially ones that curve or wind but straight ones exhibit the same effect. Life is like this, we see the end, from a distance we can think the road gets smaller and smaller, but as we approach the road does open up and it is not the end at all.

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Edited by Leave Britney alone!
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As they say, the devil is in the details; if the pill also made you young, then I'd take it in a heartbeat. It would have serious social consequences as risk takers had their accidents and died off at a rate greater than the general population, but probably such serious pressure to make the environment safe with improving technology would steadily reduce accident rates to almost nothing.

What about overpopulation? I really don't think that would happen. People would tend to stop having babies or the right to have them would be randomized at a low level. Of course mankind might also go to the stars and those doing so would be able to procreate.

What about ossification in positions of power? Now that is an interesting one; nowadays more often than not dictators are removed by natural death. I suspect it being known that this is not going to happen would of itself generate more turmoil. I think technology may remove the need for productive enterprises and labor, so a Marxist formula would win out in the end in spite of itself, and for reasons Marx never imagined.

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Death is the natural result of life.

Having had a NDE, I am certain that whatever the next phase is, it's good.

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As they say, the devil is in the details; if the pill also made you young, then I'd take it in a heartbeat. It would have serious social consequences as risk takers had their accidents and died off at a rate greater than the general population, but probably such serious pressure to make the environment safe with improving technology would steadily reduce accident rates to almost nothing.

So, are you saying that one could take the "pill of youth" (it would just stop aging, right?) but still die? No invincibility?

Well, that would change my orignal answer, at least as others would consider it...I might still want a "natural process" as we consider it now.

Still, rather interesting ideas to think about. I like the concept of social pressure mounting to better steward the environment. That is not something I would have considered on my own...

What comes to mind for me is social inequality. Would the pill only be available to the wealthy or limited to certain societies? In time those with it would become vastly more wise with their rates of knowledge absorption?

Conversely what if all are forced to take the pill? Sneak it in the water supply and distribution chain. What would that do to us as a species? Would we force it on other species for any reasons? What would that do to them? Would we get our pets on it? Our food chain?

What about overpopulation? I really don't think that would happen. People would tend to stop having babies or the right to have them would be randomized at a low level. Of course mankind might also go to the stars and those doing so would be able to procreate.

To the stars? That is highly appealing to my imagination (mind) and sense of wonderment (soul/heart?).

What about ossification in positions of power? Now that is an interesting one; nowadays more often than not dictators are removed by natural death. I suspect it being known that this is not going to happen would of itself generate more turmoil. I think technology may remove the need for productive enterprises and labor, so a Marxist formula would win out in the end in spite of itself, and for reasons Marx never imagined.

Mechanized Marxism? While this sounds sort of great what would the lack of work truly do to a person? Some could study all day or devote themselves to hobbies but for those who simply do not have the inclination or initiative, would they become captive audiences of the marketeers? Would obesity rates increase? Would they suffer depression? Would suicide rates increase?

Given all these questions I have ultimate faith in humanity and beleive we would find a way to rise above any problem given enough time. As a species we have wonderfully started that process although we have done so through passing on collective knowledge, passing on the torch. To be able to live forever is an interesting proposition.

After asking myself all these questions I might still choose the natural process of aging focusing on doing so gracefully.

This all leaves me with one depressing thought: I might trust humanity to solve all our problems but I don't trust myself in finding the solutions to my own issues of existentialism crisis, ennui, and angst. So do I really trust humanity if I don't trust myself?

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Good comment, however, one point I was trying to make is that people of faith, deep faith do fear death, it has nothing to do with belief about an afterlife, but comes from some other place. Perhaps those who fear death, no matter what they believe are just more in touch with the surivial instinct. Others, atheist as well as believers can be very sanguine about death.

peace

mark

Good comment, however, one point I was trying to make is that people of faith, deep faith do fear death, it has nothing to do with belief about an afterlife, but comes from some other place. Perhaps those who fear death, no matter what they believe are just more in touch with the surivial instinct. Others, atheist as well as believers can be very sanguine about death.

peace

mark

I agree, the natural survival instinct is strong. Although it is merely a bodily instinct.

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