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    Thread: Is Death Bad?

    1. #1
      Xei
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      Is Death Bad?

      I had this weird thought yesterday. Most of us fear death, we avoid it, and we are saddened when others experience it. But is our fear of death a 'rational' thing, or is it simply an evolutionary adaptation (no IDiots in this thread please, by the way)? Obviously giving an organism a mental drive to escape danger is obviously a very advantageous adaptation. We normally see consciousness as being the 'ultimate moral goodness', but are morals objective: do we only think that consciousness is good because we are programmed to think that its destroyal is bad, or do we think this due to an 'understanding' that perceiving qualia as opposed to perceiving nothing is objectively good?

    2. #2
      The Blue dreamer bluefinger's Avatar
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      Objectively good is a bit of a oxymoron. In objective terms, one would be using profit/loss as opposed to good/bad, as profit/loss is easier to evaluate and define.

      As for the OP, I'd say it is an instinctual behaviour that arose extremely strongly in order to preserve our genes. We run from danger (predators, natural disasters, etc), because of that extreme fear. In terms of conscious behaviour, we have a rather robust deterministic instinct affecting one's conscious decision-making process. We fear death because our very nature seeks to survive, to populate and spread our genes. I think this is pretty much the premise of Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene book.

      It is profitable for a species to act in ways that not only preserves the individual, but also the group, hence the evolution of altruistic behaviours. The loss of any individual brings about a decrease in variation within a population, and thus as long as you can maintain a large enough population with enough variation within it, it is advantageous to act altruistically.
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      Emotionally unsatisfied. Sandform's Avatar
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      Is the main theme of the OP something along the lines of is there such a thing as innate importance?

      If it is, then I would say that in my opinion the answer is no, there is an innate drive for something to be important however.

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      Queen of insomnia marlie's Avatar
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      I think most people associate death with actually dying which unless your lucky enough to die in your sleep or something nearly always involves a level of suffering, pain and/or tragedy. If we all died peacfully and are healthy up to that point maybe we would look at it differently, and could maybe begin to belive that it`s a good thing.


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      widdershins modality Taosaur's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by marlie View Post
      I think most people associate death with actually dying which unless your lucky enough to die in your sleep or something nearly always involves a level of suffering, pain and/or tragedy. If we all died peacfully and are healthy up to that point maybe we would look at it differently, and could maybe begin to belive that it`s a good thing.
      And all of that distinguishes death from the rest of life how?
      If you have a sense of caring for others, you will manifest a kind of inner strength in spite of your own difficulties and problems. With this strength, your own problems will seem less significant and bothersome to you. By going beyond your own problems and taking care of others, you gain inner strength, self-confidence, courage, and a greater sense of calm.Dalai Lama



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      Emotionally unsatisfied. Sandform's Avatar
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      Duplicitice edge.

    7. #7
      peaceful warrior tkdyo's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Taosaur View Post
      And all of that distinguishes death from the rest of life how?
      maybe that is her point. If death didnt involve the pain before hand we would view it as just another part of life.
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    8. #8
      Queen of insomnia marlie's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Taosaur View Post
      And all of that distinguishes death from the rest of life how?
      We spend our lives avoiding pain,hurt and devestation, and yes some might say that its just a instinct instilled in us for so long that we have come to fear it rather than embrace it. But quite honestly why would we? If we were meant to be hurt ourselves our bodys wouldnt be created to avoid it,If u burn your hand on the oven, you pull your hand away instantly without even time to think about what your doing, Your nervous system is made that way, And unless there is scientific proof which suggests that at some stage before/during human evolution we didnt have this kind of nervous system, I dont honestly belive anyone could say we have evolved to fear and avoid hurt, rather than just following the lead of our bodys. So it makes no sense at all that we would look forward to death, the one time in our lifes that we accept probably will inflict pain.

      Quote Originally Posted by tkdyo View Post
      maybe that is her point. If death didnt involve the pain before hand we would view it as just another part of life.
      And yes, thats another point of my opinion, ty


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    9. #9
      Xei
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      Reflexes are very different from responses controlled by the CNS and complex emotional states such as fear. Reflexes really involve no consciousness at all.

      Anyway, I think what the OP was getting at (lel) was whether or not any morals have any kind of objective reality. If not, then surely it is not actually wrong to kill people?

    10. #10
      Dreaming up music skysaw's Avatar
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      Is death bad?
      No. It only smells that way.
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    11. #11
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      I answer the question "Is it wrong to kill someone" with another question: "Is it right to take a life that is not yours?"

    12. #12
      widdershins modality Taosaur's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by marlie View Post
      So it makes no sense at all that we would look forward to death, the one time in our lifes that we accept probably will inflict pain.
      I don't mean to be confrontational, just pointing out that there are many times in life that we accept will inflict pain, both physical and emotional: other peoples' deaths, for instance. No, we don't look forward to them, but death is not so unique as life experiences go. There's very little that an ordinary person with emotional ties and habits to support will do in their life that they don't accept the risk of great pain and the certainty of some.
      If you have a sense of caring for others, you will manifest a kind of inner strength in spite of your own difficulties and problems. With this strength, your own problems will seem less significant and bothersome to you. By going beyond your own problems and taking care of others, you gain inner strength, self-confidence, courage, and a greater sense of calm.Dalai Lama



    13. #13
      Xei
      UnitedKingdom Xei is offline
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      I'm pretty sure we don't fear dying because it hurts. We fear dying because it destroys our consciousness.

      Anyway, ya, referring back to my last post if I could.

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      Have you ever heard of that species of african elepant that would throw themselves off of cliffs randomly?

    15. #15
      Xei
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      Am I wrong to be sensing a punchline here?

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      Answer the question it will reveal to you the answer to your question here

    17. #17
      Xei
      UnitedKingdom Xei is offline
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      No dear Seismosaur, I haven't ever heard of that species of african elepant that would throw themselves off of cliffs randomly. Please do say something more about them for the sake of my curiosity.

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      Well because they're all dead.

      Not fearing death is a very, very acute problem that will either be weeded out very quickly through simple natural selection or will kill of a whole population, elimination the trait altogether.

      Now one and a half billion years since animals appeared, it's not surprising that most don't like pain, danger, and getting killed.

      Mourning, however, would be related to social orientation.

      Nothing really to do with consciousness. Insects aren't self-aware but react to pain and danger, and avoid getting killed.

      Questioned answer?

    19. #19
      Xei
      UnitedKingdom Xei is offline
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      O.

      Well, problem; most animals have no concept of death. They have reflexes hard wired which tell them how to survive and escape dangerous situations, but they don't actually know what death is... save a select few possibly. Like elephants actually.

    20. #20
      Gentlemen. Ladies. slayer's Avatar
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      When I first thought of death...I thought of not having any of the 5 senses, and not having the sense of life.

      I mean, some people are born without sight, hearing, taste, touch, and/or smell. If someone were to get in an accident causing them to lose all of these senses, then they still must have that sense of life. That they know their still alive.

      I thought about what it might feel like to lose that sense...and I got a chill up my spine.

      I can't really say if death is good or not...I don't know what happens when you die...

    21. #21
      Xei
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      Not really, those people deprived of their senses still have thoughts, which you don't have when you're dead.

    22. #22
      Gentlemen. Ladies. slayer's Avatar
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      Yeah, you still know your alive because you can think.

      Try thinking about not being able to do that and having lost all your senses.

    23. #23
      widdershins modality Taosaur's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      I'm pretty sure we don't fear dying because it hurts. We fear dying because it destroys our consciousness.
      Actually, "destroys our consciousness" is awfully abstract. I suspect what people fear as death draws near are the specific losses of experiences to which they're attached: cherished ideas, the senses, time with loved ones, personal rituals and favored tasks.

      It's worth noting, too, that a great many people do not fear death, generally because they either have something to hold onto, or they've already let go of everything.

      Regarding the thread's question, you can have a good death or a bad death, depending on how well you're prepared for it.
      If you have a sense of caring for others, you will manifest a kind of inner strength in spite of your own difficulties and problems. With this strength, your own problems will seem less significant and bothersome to you. By going beyond your own problems and taking care of others, you gain inner strength, self-confidence, courage, and a greater sense of calm.Dalai Lama



    24. #24
      Xei
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      Actually, "destroys our consciousness" is awfully abstract.
      I'd say the opposite... you can't get much more specific. People fear death because they are no longer aware. That's what I thought, anyway.

      That's not what the question was getting at, by the way. Ignoring emotional prepatation and all that jazz; is death objectively an undesirable thing? Is there objective moral truth, and if not, does that not make it okay to kill? Are we deluded by instinct into thinking that consciousness is good?

    25. #25
      Member ChaybaChayba's Avatar
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      For me personally death is a bad thing. I see no point in dying.

      But, if you look at the big picture, death is a necessary thing for evolution. Without death, there would be no evolution, and no increase in intelligence, meaning, we would not have reached the point where we are now. If we discovered a way to stop dying, we would probably stop our own evolution.
      "Reject common sense to make the impossible possible." -Kamina

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