Coming to terms with death

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polpol
 
Reply Sun 28 Mar, 2010 12:43 pm
@manored,
Yes, You are right. The idea seemed to make sense when I read it but I don't think I would ever feel ready to take such action unless maybe if I see that I am causing much sadness and anxiety to the people I love. I know the survival instinct is so strong. It's still a fact though that people don't die a natural death anymore, at some point someone has to decide to "pull the plug" or most of the time they die from an overdose of morphine and it is a difficult decision to take for family members, so I thought why not take the decision myself instead of having my daughter decide for example and having her wonder if she did the right thing. It would help if death wasn't such a tabbo, especially in the medical system. Nowadays they are talking a lot about euthanasia but it is already practiced. Do you hear about this were you live?
 
manored
 
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2010 02:39 pm
@polpol,
polpol;145211 wrote:
Yes, You are right. The idea seemed to make sense when I read it but I don't think I would ever feel ready to take such action unless maybe if I see that I am causing much sadness and anxiety to the people I love. I know the survival instinct is so strong. It's still a fact though that people don't die a natural death anymore, at some point someone has to decide to "pull the plug" or most of the time they die from an overdose of morphine and it is a difficult decision to take for family members, so I thought why not take the decision myself instead of having my daughter decide for example and having her wonder if she did the right thing. It would help if death wasn't such a tabbo, especially in the medical system. Nowadays they are talking a lot about euthanasia but it is already practiced. Do you hear about this were you live?
Where I live euthanasia is not allowed and nobody really talks about it, or at least I never hear about it.

Medicine must be far more advanced in your country than mine, because here in most cases people eventually die then with a deadly disease even after ever effort to keep then alive. So, in your country people become vegetarians very oftenly?
 
polpol
 
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2010 06:38 pm
@manored,
Here euthanesia is a big issue. Doctors want some kind of legislation to make things clear because they do it all the time but they just can't speak about it. They also talk about "assisted suicide" for people who are very sick with no hope of improvement. Our medical system is quite advanced I suppose, but it has become inhumane. I pity the doctors, medecine is suppose to be a noble profession but doctors have become vassals, they have so little freedom because of bureaucracy, the pharmaceutical companies, the insurance companies...they have so many rules to abide by that their patients are no longer their priorities. Euthanasia is very tricky, we don't want it to be a way of getting rid of unproductive people like with faschism but on the other hand there is too much unnecessary medical intervention. We see too many old people get operated just to prove the doctor right in his diagnosis that there is nothing he can do for his patient, especially in cases of cancer.
I am lucky till now. I've only seen a doctor and went to the hospital when I got pregnant and even then I could have given birth at home because at that time the nurses were on strike and the doctor came too late and I was assisted only by a young student doctor...anyways I guess there is no ideal way to die. I'm a dreamer but I would really like a happy ending, some "grande finale" instead of having someone wanting to save my life when I barely have any life at all left in me. I don't do drugs and I hate to think I will probably die on morphine. I want to know what is happening when I die, I don't want to be stone out of my mind at such an important moment. This happened to my father and to other people who I knew. The eldrly are being treated as if they were idiots. It's all about respect and about not seeing death as a failure. Some cultures have a better attitude towards death. I once saw a good movie about a Japanese boudhist granny that decided she was ready to die. It was very philosophical but I don't remember the title. Anyways, about vegetarianism we could start a thread on that; this thread is about coming to terms with death and vegetarianism is about life but thanks for asking I could go on and on about that.
 
manored
 
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 07:44 am
@polpol,
polpol;145884 wrote:
Here euthanesia is a big issue. Doctors want some kind of legislation to make things clear because they do it all the time but they just can't speak about it. They also talk about "assisted suicide" for people who are very sick with no hope of improvement. Our medical system is quite advanced I suppose, but it has become inhumane. I pity the doctors, medecine is suppose to be a noble profession but doctors have become vassals, they have so little freedom because of bureaucracy, the pharmaceutical companies, the insurance companies...they have so many rules to abide by that their patients are no longer their priorities. Euthanasia is very tricky, we don't want it to be a way of getting rid of unproductive people like with faschism but on the other hand there is too much unnecessary medical intervention. We see too many old people get operated just to prove the doctor right in his diagnosis that there is nothing he can do for his patient, especially in cases of cancer.
I am lucky till now. I've only seen a doctor and went to the hospital when I got pregnant and even then I could have given birth at home because at that time the nurses were on strike and the doctor came too late and I was assisted only by a young student doctor...anyways I guess there is no ideal way to die. I'm a dreamer but I would really like a happy ending, some "grande finale" instead of having someone wanting to save my life when I barely have any life at all left in me. I don't do drugs and I hate to think I will probably die on morphine. I want to know what is happening when I die, I don't want to be stone out of my mind at such an important moment. This happened to my father and to other people who I knew. The eldrly are being treated as if they were idiots. It's all about respect and about not seeing death as a failure. Some cultures have a better attitude towards death. I once saw a good movie about a Japanese boudhist granny that decided she was ready to die. It was very philosophical but I don't remember the title. Anyways, about vegetarianism we could start a thread on that; this thread is about coming to terms with death and vegetarianism is about life but thanks for asking I could go on and on about that.
Ops, sorry, I meant vegetarians as in "people who cant do anything anymore and cant recover from that situation". Maybe this term doesnt exist in english, or I said it wrong.

From the sound of it, your society isnt being very honest with himself. I mean, it does euthanasia but seemingly doesnt wants to admit it.

Where do you live, by the way? =)
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 12:26 pm
@manored,
manored;146146 wrote:
Ops, sorry, I meant vegetarians as in "people who cant do anything anymore and cant recover from that situation". Maybe this term doesnt exist in english, or I said it wrong.

From the sound of it, your society isnt being very honest with himself. I mean, it does euthanasia but seemingly doesnt wants to admit it.

Where do you live, by the way? =)


You mean "vegetables" or people in persistent vegetative states, not "vegetarians".
 
sometime sun
 
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 02:06 pm
@Pyrrho,
Blaze of glory or silent night?
 
polpol
 
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 06:18 pm
@Mentally Ill,
Yes manored, my society has been dominated by catholicism for a long time so there is a tradition of institutionalised hypocrisy on the higher levels. But don't get me wrong, I am not promoting suicide; you say you decided you will never suicide and I don't know if that means you have considered it sereously. Life is indeed a precious gift and we must make the most out of it. I was thinking more about the elderly. It seems that many do suicide but this too is not talked about. I live in Quebec, (from Brasil, it's straight up) which is seen as a historic aberration because the people here are French speaking and were supposed to be assimilated but they survived and multiplied. The people are partly American and partly European in spirit, we are seen as "peasants with a credit card" because we developed more materially but let's stick to the subject! Like others said on this thread, we tend to live better once we get over the fear of dying.
 
manored
 
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2010 07:47 am
@polpol,
Pyrrho;146266 wrote:
You mean "vegetables" or people in persistent vegetative states, not "vegetarians".
Yes =)

polpol;146388 wrote:
Yes manored, my society has been dominated by catholicism for a long time so there is a tradition of institutionalised hypocrisy on the higher levels. But don't get me wrong, I am not promoting suicide; you say you decided you will never suicide and I don't know if that means you have considered it sereously. Life is indeed a precious gift and we must make the most out of it. I was thinking more about the elderly. It seems that many do suicide but this too is not talked about. I live in Quebec, (from Brasil, it's straight up) which is seen as a historic aberration because the people here are French speaking and were supposed to be assimilated but they survived and multiplied. The people are partly American and partly European in spirit, we are seen as "peasants with a credit card" because we developed more materially but let's stick to the subject! Like others said on this thread, we tend to live better once we get over the fear of dying.
Ah, religion... this is why I hate religions =)

I havent really considered it seriously, I dont want to leave the show early =)

But, indeed, lets go back to topic.
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2010 12:01 pm
@polpol,
polpol;132968 wrote:
When I was in college I heard a psychology teacher say that to become old is to become free (sounds better in French). Since I wanted freedom more than anything else, I kept that in mind all the time and I see now that I'm getting older that it is true...well not the freedom of doing whatever you want when you want, but the true freedom that comes when you know yourself, when things become less important and more laughable. So I see death as the ultimate freedom, that of the soul from the material body...but I'm in no hurry and I intend to enjoy my stay on earth as long as I can. Gandhi said that it is possible to live up to 125 years
but we must give up sex, alcohol, drugs, eat as little as possible and pray a lot...the poor man got shot to death at age 79, so we'll never know if he would have succeeded...but I wonder, who wants to live that long anyways!

Is a long life without sigarettes desirable ?
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2010 05:19 pm
@Pepijn Sweep,
Pepijn Sweep;146754 wrote:
polpol;132968 wrote:
When I was in college I heard a psychology teacher say that to become old is to become free (sounds better in French). Since I wanted freedom more than anything else, I kept that in mind all the time and I see now that I'm getting older that it is true...well not the freedom of doing whatever you want when you want, but the true freedom that comes when you know yourself, when things become less important and more laughable. So I see death as the ultimate freedom, that of the soul from the material body...but I'm in no hurry and I intend to enjoy my stay on earth as long as I can. Gandhi said that it is possible to live up to 125 years
but we must give up sex, alcohol, drugs, eat as little as possible and pray a lot...the poor man got shot to death at age 79, so we'll never know if he would have succeeded...but I wonder, who wants to live that long anyways!

Is a long life without sigarettes desirable ?


Yes, but not a long life without sex and alcohol.

Besides, sex and alcohol, in the proper amounts and done properly, are actually healthful. But even if they were not, life would not be worth living without them.
 
Mentally Ill
 
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2010 06:59 pm
@awareness,
awareness;138439 wrote:
Basically what you have done is what yogis and Buddhist monks have done for thousands of years. You have turned off this universe and discovered that there is more that what you see, hear, touch and so on. You as consciousness are not going to cease to exist. Only the body dies. You will live on in many future lives (body's). The past one's you cannot remember because those are stored in your Higher Mind. Which you will merge with at the death of your body. The universalness you experienced is the touching of your higher mind which is connected to all other higher minds, thus the universal feeling or experience.



That's a huge assumption you're making ("You as consciousness are not going to cease to exist. Only the body dies."). I don't think it's true either.
I'm pretty sure that consciousness is a product of biology.
A computer engineer recently built a replica of a rat's brain (I think I read it in Scientific American) and he says he is working on a human replica now. He believes that the computer will awaken with a consciousness identical to our own thus proving that we do not have eternal souls or anything of the like.
I guess we just have to wait and find out.

---------- Post added 03-31-2010 at 06:07 PM ----------

Transcend;144028 wrote:
I've heard a lot about LSD recently and admit I am curious; as I am with marijuana. But it seems to me that these drugs are used in order to intensify a talent (such as writing or making music), or to, as the OP said make them see things differently; or open one's mind. I'm quite unconmfortable with this. Though I see the benefits that such drugs have created (such as the music of Jimi Hendrix and similar artists), I have to question whether it is the person making the music, or the drugs that creates this phenomina.

Or, am I missing something? Does LSD and pot just bring out what is already there? Smile


Uh...well, first of all, you really shouldn't think of LSD and Marijuana as similar in any way. Being high from smoking weed is less of an experience than being drunk in my opinion, people who haven't done it really just don't understand how insignificant it is and kind of blow it out of proportion. Weed is nothing...

As far as LSD and artistic talent goes, I don't know. But I do recommend trying LSD at least once. Yesterday my friends and I took some LSD at sunrise and sat at the beach for hours, watching the tide come in. It's really an indescribable phenomenon, but it's not scary or anything like that. It was really calm and peaceful; colors became more vivid, sounds richer, textures more defined, and my mind just had a different perspective when I thought about life, death, nature, Earth in space, the universe, black holes, photosynthesis, etc...
It truly is enlightening in a way.

---------- Post added 03-31-2010 at 06:10 PM ----------

"Control of consciousness constitutes life. Loss of control equates loss of life"

What about trees? In my opinion, life is constituted by any organism that consumes energy in a controlled manner.
Algae is alive despite having absolutely no consciousness.
Life is a series of chemical reactions - photosynthesis to the production of carbon dioxide and so on.
We are just very smart organisms, perhaps too smart...
 
polpol
 
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2010 11:52 am
@Pyrrho,
Reminds me that man who celebrated his 105th birthday. The guests wanted to know what was his secret, how he managed to live that long. He said "I have no idea how come I'm still alive but if I knew I was going to live that long, I would have taken care of myself".

And then there is that other man who got intervewed for his 110th birthday. "I have never smoked, never drank". then they heard some noise from the entrance. "Don't worry", he said,
"It's only my father, he went out to buy a pack of cigarettes and as usual he got himself drunk along the way".
 
Khethil
 
Reply Sat 3 Apr, 2010 03:28 pm
@Mentally Ill,
Mentally Ill;105496 wrote:
Does anyone else here share my thoughts and does anyone here have any philosophical analysis of this story?
I would greatly appreciate a plurality of viewpoints on this topic, as I am still currently fascinated by the notion of my own death.


Sure. Accepting the eventuality is somewhat liberating, as if somehow acknowledging the reality of 'non-existence' can put into perspective the otherwise burdensome, overly-dramatic pressures of the commonly narcissistic mind (which I think many, if not most, have).

I, for my part, don't fear the condition of being dead. I do wonder with some measure of trepidation the manner in which such might come about. But I think that's natural. I take comfort in knowing that I am but a part of a very large cycle that's shared with all living things. I dutifully take my place in line and sing the best harmony to which I'm assigned. No one treasures their life as much as the one inside that particular box, but to liberated from consuming egotism and comprehend ones' place in life's procession, is - I think - both a great comfort and wise measure.

Good luck in your efforts
 
manored
 
Reply Sun 4 Apr, 2010 10:51 am
@Mentally Ill,
Mentally Ill;146934 wrote:
That's a huge assumption you're making ("You as consciousness are not going to cease to exist. Only the body dies."). I don't think it's true either.
I'm pretty sure that consciousness is a product of biology.
A computer engineer recently built a replica of a rat's brain (I think I read it in Scientific American) and he says he is working on a human replica now. He believes that the computer will awaken with a consciousness identical to our own thus proving that we do not have eternal souls or anything of the like.
I guess we just have to wait and find out.
I disagree, the fact that the human brain can be reproduced by a computer does nothing to disprove the existence of a soul or afterlife. Its like saying that because something is not necessary, it does not exist. This is not true.

The fact that we do not need souls in order to have human minds doesnt means souls dont exist. Things dont exist because they are needed, they exist because they do.

I read in several places that people do all sorts of things with rats and their brains. They put machines in their heads to remotely control then, they put their brains on robotic bodies to create robots to think like animals, etc... poor rats =)

Video on you tube:

YouTube - Rat Brain Robot
 
Mentally Ill
 
Reply Sun 4 Apr, 2010 09:52 pm
@manored,
"I disagree, the fact that the human brain can be reproduced by a computer does nothing to disprove the existence of a soul or afterlife. Its like saying that because something is not necessary, it does not exist. This is not true.

The fact that we do not need souls in order to have human minds doesnt means souls dont exist. Things dont exist because they are needed, they exist because they do."

I didn't say that the reason I don't think souls exist is BECAUSE I think consciousness is a product of biology. I never made the argument that things must be necessary to exist either.

And your assumption about being conscious after death remains unprovable.
 
manored
 
Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2010 07:33 am
@Mentally Ill,
Mentally Ill;148415 wrote:

I didn't say that the reason I don't think souls exist is BECAUSE I think consciousness is a product of biology. I never made the argument that things must be necessary to exist either.

And your assumption about being conscious after death remains unprovable.
Well then, why would an eletronic brain exactly like an human's do anything to disprove afterlife, then?

Here is my logical attempt of proving it:

First Argument:
There is no way to prove that this life is real, and thus it certainly is not, although it is certain that I exist. There is, also, no proof of that the end of the conscience is possible, for it has never happened, nor can it ever happen as I would not be able to perceive it.
In other words, only because I perceive myself as an human, and humans die, it does not follow that I die, because my humanity is an ilusion.
Second Argument:
The mind is the sole perceiver of the universe. The mind, thus, cannot end, for there would be no mind to perceive this end. It would be like trying to have events in a realm without time.
Third Argument:
The universe is infinite in both size and in the variety of its contents. It is so because it can exist without explanation. If it is infinite in both size and content, then certainly everything happens on it, including minds being "recycled".
Im not sure if these arguments are purely free of flaws and totally clear, so I will elaborate on then if needed =)

But, off course, this proves nothing about souls. I dont think souls are necessary, but we cant prove they dont exist either.
 
Mentally Ill
 
Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2010 08:04 pm
@manored,
"why would an eletronic brain exactly like an human's do anything to disprove afterlife, then?"

Miscommunication. I wasn't saying that^, the computer engineer I was referring to said that. I can see the possibility for confusion, I should have been more precise with my words.

---------- Post added 04-05-2010 at 07:08 PM ----------

And...I'm not buyin any of those arguments.
I think they all operate around the false premise that somehow the human consciousness is crucial to the existence of everything else.

Why would a person believe that animals are just animals, but that humans are somehow different? Ego confuses us, in my opinion.

You can't imagine a world in the future in which you do not exist, but there was most definitely a past in which you did not exist, so...
 
manored
 
Reply Tue 6 Apr, 2010 10:19 pm
@Mentally Ill,
Mentally Ill;148709 wrote:
"why would an eletronic brain exactly like an human's do anything to disprove afterlife, then?"

Miscommunication. I wasn't saying that^, the computer engineer I was referring to said that. I can see the possibility for confusion, I should have been more precise with my words.
Ah, well, that explains it. That computer enginner is being falacious =)

Mentally Ill;148709 wrote:

And...I'm not buyin any of those arguments.
I think they all operate around the false premise that somehow the human consciousness is crucial to the existence of everything else.

Why would a person believe that animals are just animals, but that humans are somehow different? Ego confuses us, in my opinion.

You can't imagine a world in the future in which you do not exist, but there was most definitely a past in which you did not exist, so...

As an initial clarification, I am not reffering to humans, but to the self, the mind. I would say me, but everyone sees thenselves as this most special only person that really exists, so thats not really possible =) I, thus, usually use the word "we" instead. Isnt it funny how "we" is just "me" with the 'm' turned upside down? =)

The universe had a beggining. This must be because it would be impossible for it to have existed for an infinite amount of time before reaching the present moment. If it had a beggining, my mind can simply have started with it.

But that, off course, still leaves the paradox of why the universe came to be in the first place. Well, nobody knows that =)

Its really absurd that something as great and fundamental as the universe had a beggining, but the other option is also a paradox.

The only flaw I cant think of in my reasoning is that if the universe can cope with having a paradoxial beggining, then there is no reason to believe it simply began rather than having always existed.

But now that the universe exists, it simply cannot end. I suppose that if that works for the universe, it works for the mind. Why something that works for the universe would work for the mind? Well, the mind is part of the universe, and I cant imagine any part of an infinite universe just being lost forever.

There is also the issue of consciousness. If our brain is splatted into a thousand pieces then reconstructed by super ubber high tech technology down to the minimum details, does our consciousness stays on it? If the answer is yes, then afterlife is certain. After all in an infinite universe there is no way our brain wouldnt ever be reconstructed down to the last details.

If the answer is no, well, that wouldnt really make sense because our brain changes all the time, neurons die, etc, and the consciousness stays here.

Off course there is the "what would happen if people clonned our brains a lot" possibility, but I think the above is enough for the matter of afterlife =)
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 07:40 am
@manored,
manored;148526 wrote:
Well then, why would an eletronic brain exactly like an human's do anything to disprove afterlife, then?

Here is my logical attempt of proving it:

First Argument:
There is no way to prove that this life is real, and thus it certainly is not,



That is the fallacy known as argumentum ad ignorantiam. Not being able to prove something true does not make it false. And, of course, you have not even established that it cannot be proven true.


manored;148526 wrote:
although it is certain that I exist. There is, also, no proof of that the end of the conscience is possible, for it has never happened,



Have you never fallen asleep? The end of consciousness is quite common. (Presumably, you mean "conscious" rather than "conscience".)


manored;148526 wrote:
nor can it ever happen as I would not be able to perceive it.



So, you believe that no one else and nothing else exists when you personally don't perceive it?


manored;148526 wrote:
In other words, only because I perceive myself as an human, and humans die, it does not follow that I die, because my humanity is an ilusion.



Why do you believe that your humanity is an illusion? Perhaps it is that that is the real illusion.


manored;148526 wrote:
Second Argument:
The mind is the sole perceiver of the universe. The mind, thus, cannot end, for there would be no mind to perceive this end. It would be like trying to have events in a realm without time.



So you believe that nothing happens that is not percieved? That esse est percipi ("to be is to be perceived")? Why do you believe that?


manored;148526 wrote:
Third Argument:
The universe is infinite in both size and in the variety of its contents.



What is your evidence for such claims?


manored;148526 wrote:
It is so because it can exist without explanation. If it is infinite in both size and content, then certainly everything happens on it, including minds being "recycled".



It does not follow from there being infinite space and infinite types of things, that therefore everything that one can think of happens. To give an example of infinity that lacks something, imagine the set of natural numbers but without the number 2. That set is infinite, but excludes something, namely 2. Indeed, an infinite set can leave out infinite things, such as the set of even numbers, which is infinite, but leaves out the set of odd numbers, which is also infinite. So, an infinite number of things happening does not entail that everything happens. So your argument is simply fallacious.


manored;148526 wrote:
Im not sure if these arguments are purely free of flaws and totally clear, so I will elaborate on then if needed =)

But, off course, this proves nothing about souls. I dont think souls are necessary, but we cant prove they dont exist either.



Prove that we can't prove that souls don't exist. (You might want to start with a definition of what you mean by "soul", as that term is used with somewhat different meanings in different contexts.)
 
sometime sun
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 01:29 pm
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;146913 wrote:
Yes, but not a long life without sex and alcohol.

Besides, sex and alcohol, in the proper amounts and done properly, are actually healthful. But even if they were not, life would not be worth living without them.

But is sex and alcohol worth dying for?
 
 

 
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