Death.

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Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 09:26 am
Fear: be afraid or scared of; be frightened of;

"A true philosopher does not fear death."
- (Paraphrase from Socrates?)


Do you believe in the above statement? Why or why not?
 
Caroline
 
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 10:49 am
@Dylan phil,
Who actually said that?
 
The Jester phil
 
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 10:58 am
@Dylan phil,
I see it everyday, it could befall to me everyday I woke, and even when I dream dreams I want not to end, but actually I personally haven't met it yet. When we befriend, then I will know, perhaps, something more: if it is as dreadful as some declare or a freedom maker as some other claims. Then I will be able to tell you more.
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 03:16 pm
@The Jester phil,
This depends what you mean by death and fear. Personally I do not fear death in the abstract- I believe that I will live on after my death, and have good philosophical and personal reasons to believe so. However I do fear death in the sense that I fear an early death, or a painful death- I want to live a full life, and I don't want to suffer too greatly. When people get old they fear death less- because at that point it is evident that death is a natural part of life and that they are reaching that natural point. All of this is obvious and fairly ubiquitous. So my question is this- do you mean that philosophers should believe in an afterlife, or be content in some stoic way with their fate? Be more specific.
 
Dylan phil
 
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 04:05 pm
@avatar6v7,
Caroline wrote:
Who actually said that?


I think it is somewhat of a paraphrase from Socrates. If he is not the one who said/believed that, then feel free to correct me.

avatar6v7 wrote:
So my question is this- do you mean that philosophers should believe in an afterlife, or be content in some stoic way with their fate? Be more specific.


It isn't my statement - I've just read it somewhere and wanted more opinions other than my own. Though, in my opinion, (hardcore?) philosophers should not "fear" death as why would we fear something we are so curious about? I would not say that we should welcome it per se, but be prepared. I suppose with your latter, "be content [..] with their fate."

I mean.. would you be willing to jump into a black hole just out of the sake of curiosity of what could be on the other side? (Disregarding that many theories say that death awaits you.)
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 04:18 pm
@Dylan phil,
Since all Metaphysical traditions are primarily concerned with creation and death, it seems to me that if one has truely come to terms with a metaphycal ideology one has come to terms with death.
 
Victor Eremita
 
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 04:34 pm
@Dylan phil,
A true philosopher fears death, but overcomes that fear.
 
rhinogrey
 
Reply Wed 6 May, 2009 06:55 pm
@Dylan phil,
Philosophers are generally big-picture people. We understand life is not "a story about me." This takes away the fear of your ego's own nonexistence and makes you pretty damn curious instead.
 
hue-man
 
Reply Wed 6 May, 2009 07:42 pm
@Victor Eremita,
Victor Eremita wrote:
A true philosopher fears death, but overcomes that fear.


Very good choice of words, Victor.

---------- Post added at 09:50 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:42 PM ----------

I agree with what Victor said. It's not that a philosopher shouldn't fear death, but a philosopher should have the courage or fortitude to overcome the fear of death. Some philosophers use wishful thinking or faith in an afterlife to overcome the fear of death, while other philosophers, such as myself, use rationality, wisdom, and plain fortitude to overcome such fear. There is no rational reason to be afraid of a non-existent circumstance such as death. There is, however, reason to fear the pain that may accompany the dying process, and there is reason to view non-existence as a misfortune.
 
Icon
 
Reply Thu 7 May, 2009 12:10 pm
@Dylan phil,
Death is something that will happen. Not something that might happen. You WILL die. For this reason alone, I do not fear death. I am curious about it.

As Socrates said, he cannot fear what he does not know.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Thu 7 May, 2009 12:15 pm
@Icon,
That covers my feeling towards death, I am very curious. The fear comes in mkaing sure those that depend on me are taken care of before I go. But as far as death itself is concerned it might be a pleasant experience.
 
Icon
 
Reply Thu 7 May, 2009 12:20 pm
@Dylan phil,
It's funny, I have a unique perspective on this I suppose considering my past. Having died three times previously, I have prepared for this inevitability. I do not worry about those I leave behind because I do not plan on letting them know I am dead.
 
Catchabula
 
Reply Thu 7 May, 2009 01:06 pm
@Dylan phil,
In a correspondence with a friend some time ago we talked about all this. I wrote the following words then. Perhaps they are relevant here too.

"... "Death" can be defined as that moment in time during which a living organism, e.g. a human being, passes from the condition of "being alive" to the condition of "being dead". So we have the following and consecutive series of loosely defined notions: (being) alive - dying - death - (being) dead. Now why is this important and where exactly is the problem? It seems to me that the problem is situated in notion number two: "dying", being a process characterised by time as well as by the inevitable approach of death. Death itself is just a short and passing moment, but it is very effective in determining and influencing the human mind during the process of dying. Indeed many people are less afraid for death than for dying, while they fear that period in life in which death is most intensively present in their lives and colours each passing moment. Now this reminds one of Churchill's motto: "There is nothing to fear but fear itself". Fear is indeed not an inevitable ingredient in the process of dying, and there may be many people who are dying or have died without knowing fear. But in many cases fear is present, being the product of a mind that is able to imagine and anticipate, filling in the unknown with suppositions and hypotheses, such as hell and damnation or black nothingness. Fear is always caused by anticipation; animals do not fear death and they even have no idea of it at all, because they live in the moment and do not have a human's time horizon. Now in a second approach we can distinguish several ways of dying, death being always the same as a relatively short moment of transition. First according to time: dying can take a (very) long or a (very) short time. Even life as a whole can be seen as one long period of dying, during which death -or at least its notion- regularly comes and goes in our minds and "hearts". But one can also state that dying means being still alive and living, and indeed people do many life-oriented things when dying, such as making their will or actively saying farewell to the world...."

I had an operation once, and I was pretty nervous the moments before I was sedated. Then all of a sudden I was "gone" and awoke hours later. Being "gone" was no problem at all, but I had some worries before. And the worries were the problem. I am less scared since then.
 
xris
 
Reply Thu 7 May, 2009 01:19 pm
@Catchabula,
Long term illnes i dread, i am angry that i wont see tomorrow because i love tomorrow,I miss my children before Ive even gone,I hate getting old,i dont want to die i love life.Am i frightened of dying? no, slightly optimistic and i know i wont be disappointed.
 
Matthew phil
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 04:50 am
@Dylan phil,
I would agree. Not only because the term resurrection it in religious text but also it seems to me the the cosmos's nature might support those conditions needed for it. Galaxies have been found to be surprisingly magnetic and because of the existence of radio pulsar stars. Magnetism and a radio waves are generated by a machine used to help save peoples lives by taking images of a person's insides in order to give doctors knowledge of any would be problems. Before being born I suppose I was nonexistent which might be like being dead. In act of dying I believe the brain releases compounds that might suppress pain. In a car crash I once had in 02 I cut my forearm open and did not feel it not even after some time, it seemed very surreal. The pain it caused others was more distressing than the thought of dieing.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 06:03 am
@Matthew phil,
In the Phaedo Plato through Socrates (or Socrates through Plato) called philosophy "a preparation for death". If Fear of Death is the topic then Phaedo is the dialog to read.

Quote:
Then, Simmias, as the true philosophers are ever studying death, to them, of all men, death is the least terrible. Look at the matter in this way: how inconsistent of them to have been always enemies of the body, and wanting to have the soul alone, and when this is granted to them, to be trembling and repining; instead of rejoicing at their departing to that place where, when they arrive, they hope to gain that which in life they loved (and this was wisdom), and at the same time to be rid of the company of their enemy. Many a man has been willing to go to the world below in the hope of seeing there an earthly love, or wife, or son, and conversing with them. And will he who is a true lover of wisdom, and is persuaded in like manner that only in the world below he can worthily enjoy her, still repine at death? Will he not depart with joy? Surely he will, my friend, if he be a true philosopher. For he will have a firm conviction that there only, and nowhere else, he can find wisdom in her purity. And if this be true, he would be very absurd, as I was saying, if he were to fear death.


It by no means ends there. It goes on and on addressing many other questions about death and the fear of death but I don't want to quote the whole dialog here.

This is also the dialog that ends with Socrates last words. "Crito, we owe Asclepius a rooster." Asclepius is the god of medicine so the implication is that life is a disease and death is the cure.

These last words are a bit disappointing as Nietzsche pointed out. Nietzsche thought it was out of character for Socrates to say such a thing.

Is it necessary to despise life, to call it a disease, in order to face death? It's kind of like saying those grapes were sour anyway. These are very disappointing last words for someone so wise. On this point I happen to agree with Nietzsche.

Jesus probably beat Socrates as far as (attributed) last words go. "It is finished!" I think Nietzsche would agree that these last words are more life affirming and indicative of a life well lived. "Mission complete" or "I have done what I was here to do". Socrates could have said something similar to this but according to the dialog he said the little quip about the rooster.

Of course, it would ridiculous to judge Socrates, or for that matter Jesus, by last words alone.

I cannot mention last words without mentioning Japanese Death Poems. These Zen monks made an art of giving last words in Haiku form.

Japanese Death Poetry
 
William
 
Reply Wed 16 Dec, 2009 05:59 pm
@Dylan phil,
How many of you have witnessed death? Not anything you might have seen on the internet or on television. But you were actually present when another human being did in fact die. Not just after or just before or anything that might be known as a "near death" experience?

William
 
xris
 
Reply Thu 17 Dec, 2009 04:57 am
@William,
William;111900 wrote:
How many of you have witnessed death? Not anything you might have seen on the internet or on television. But you were actually present when another human being did in fact die. Not just after or just before or anything that might be known as a "near death" experience?

William
My mother, who saved her dying till all her children and husband where present. We felt she stayed for about an hour after her death, the room then appeared to go cold. We all felt she had said her goodbyes. It was a relief for us all after a very long painful dying.

Other deaths i have witnessed were not as personal. I Think death like life is personal event, an event we will all experience. Oh my, what a subject with Christmas coming.
 
Matthew phil
 
Reply Thu 17 Dec, 2009 11:44 pm
@xris,
Heat and magnetic fields seem to be related, with heat disrupting the dipole. The room going cold seems logical with a possible field increase, but that's only an opinion. People must remember the profound sadness that this event causes.
 
William
 
Reply Fri 18 Dec, 2009 08:07 am
@Matthew phil,
Matthew;112304 wrote:
Heat and magnetic fields seem to be related, with heat disrupting the dipole. The room going cold seems logical with a possible field increase, but that's only an opinion. People must remember the profound sadness that this event causes.


Hello Matt and welcome. I realize this may appear a little odd but as to that "sadness" why, beyond the usual that most will agree with, do you think that sadness is? Please consider what I am asking before you reply. Many do not witness death and dread having to do so. You will be amazed at what occurs when it does happen at what does take place. Please, if you don't mind offer an answer in your opinon. :bigsmile:

Thanks,
William
 
 

 
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