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Dying. Will it make you happier?


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#1 RighteousReason

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 07:42 PM


Someone once said "Would dying add meaning to life?"

What do you think?

#2 FunkOdyssey

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 07:53 PM

;)

Clever idea to turn that question around and expose its vulnerable underbelly. Obviously, no, the event of death will not produce happiness since you will have ceased to exist. Additionally, the preceding months or years of decline before death, which more people are likely to experience as we become better at preventing causes of sudden death (cardiovascular events, etc), are almost certain to be miserable and depressing.

#3 JohnDoe1234

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 08:32 PM

Picture being in your mother's womb. Or better yet, picture what your life was like before you were conceived... Were you happy? Were you sad? Were you depressed, anxious, tired, hot, cold?

I don't know why this is even a question to be honest.

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#4 Mixter

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 09:37 PM

I think more people on the bioethicist boards, preferrably those with several diplomas in theology, should give it a try and find out firsthand. ;)

#5 brokenportal

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 12:55 AM

I know a bunch of people that are dead, and I can tell you first hand that they are incredibly boring people. They are all completely 100% indifferent to life. They dont even acknowledge it. Are they happy? No, their indifference seeths forth in a resonatingly silent pall over the land. In fact Im yet to see even one gathering even remotely resembling a party amongst the tenants of any grave yard anywhere ever.

#6 fatboy

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 02:56 AM

Someone once said "Would dying add meaning to life?"

What do you think?


Obviously. Each moment takes on a much greater sense of urgency when it may be the last. Death may very well be the only thing which gives meaning to life.

#7 FunkOdyssey

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 03:02 AM

Someone once said "Would dying add meaning to life?"

What do you think?


Obviously. Each moment takes on a much greater sense of urgency when it may be the last. Death may very well be the only thing which gives meaning to life.


You misunderstand the question. It is not, "does the concept of death add meaning to life?" The question posed is "will DYING (the action, the event) add meaning to [your] life?" Will you be happier as a result?

#8 fatboy

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 03:25 AM

Someone once said "Would dying add meaning to life?"

What do you think?


Obviously. Each moment takes on a much greater sense of urgency when it may be the last. Death may very well be the only thing which gives meaning to life.


You misunderstand the question. It is not, "does the concept of death add meaning to life?" The question posed is "will DYING (the action, the event) add meaning to [your] life?"


I do not misunderstand the question. And yes, I believe that death is perhaps the only event which could possibly add meaning to my, or for that matter anybody else's, life. But it is not at all clear to me that even that is sufficient.

Will you be happier as a result?


I deny the conflation of happiness and meaningfulness. They are orthogonal. I am quite happy, but I'm also pretty sure it doesn't matter.

#9 Shannon Vyff

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 03:33 AM

The concept of death makes me compelled to do more to fight it, or be ready for it. So I don't think that makes me more happy :) I'm strongly effected by other people's deaths, not just my own impending death. I do social action to help with the extreme inequality in the world that haunts me, I contribute to Mprize 300 to try to end aging for all someday I do not think it will come in my own time, and I set up cryonics arrangements for my own family because I feel we'll still have to deal with death and perhaps cryonics will work to give us the opportunity to see what life without death is. I'm not sure if there will ever be life without death though, there is much to learn about the Universe--Bubble Theory? Big Bang? Heat Death? If our ephemeral human lives are extended to millions of years they'd still be a blink in the eye in the timeline of the Universe.

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#10 fatboy

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 03:48 AM

The concept of death makes me compelled to do more to fight it, or be ready for it.


I have been working towards embracing it for more than two decades. I plan to continue down that path to see where it leads.

#11 JLL

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 03:02 PM

Someone once said "Would dying add meaning to life?"

What do you think?


Obviously. Each moment takes on a much greater sense of urgency when it may be the last. Death may very well be the only thing which gives meaning to life.


That's a contradiction.

If the only thing that gives meaning to life at any given moment is death, then it follows logically that you should kill yourself at any given moment, and if you don't, that moment is devoid of any meaning.

#12 RighteousReason

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 05:37 PM

Someone once said "Would dying add meaning to life?"

What do you think?


Obviously. Each moment takes on a much greater sense of urgency when it may be the last. Death may very well be the only thing which gives meaning to life.


You misunderstand the question. It is not, "does the concept of death add meaning to life?" The question posed is "will DYING (the action, the event) add meaning to [your] life?"


I do not misunderstand the question. And yes, I believe that death is perhaps the only event which could possibly add meaning to my, or for that matter anybody else's, life. But it is not at all clear to me that even that is sufficient.

Will you be happier as a result?


I deny the conflation of happiness and meaningfulness. They are orthogonal. I am quite happy, but I'm also pretty sure it doesn't matter.

Let me translate: "Nothing builds character like dying!"

That's a weak and absurd position to take... one soul for one poignant story. That's the equivalent of saying "Nothing can convince people of my argument but my own death". What a hopeless way to live. Make your point to people through less self-destructive forms of communication.

If you want to come up with the most meaningful one-off event for yourself, then fine, go blow your brains out. If you want to be the most meaningful person you can for others, then stick around and provide meaning in a more stable, long term, recurring way like all the sane people around you are doing.

Edited by advancdaltruist, 31 December 2008 - 05:49 PM.


#13 medicineman

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 06:27 PM

Someone once said "Would dying add meaning to life?"

What do you think?


Obviously. Each moment takes on a much greater sense of urgency when it may be the last. Death may very well be the only thing which gives meaning to life.


That's a contradiction.

If the only thing that gives meaning to life at any given moment is death, then it follows logically that you should kill yourself at any given moment, and if you don't, that moment is devoid of any meaning.


But than you take away the unpredictability factor of death... Not knowing when death will come, and at the same time knowing that it can come at any moment, gives the sense of urgency to a moment, when it may be the last.. The key statement here is may be the last. Not will be the last..

#14 Luna

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 06:47 PM

I'm with Shannon,
The concept of death makes me want to fight it, it gives an unhappy feeling to have people die or to have to die someday, so I rather live.

I am happy with life, therefore living makes me happier, death takes it from me.

I'd be lost if some specific people I know were to lose their life, death brings only sadness.
Life of others on the other hand, brings happiness, not just my own life.

Having my friends alive and around to talk with makes me happy.
Even having my family alive and well, which most I am working towards dislike on my scale, still makes me happy ^^

It's not a race though,
It is not about having meaning to life, I don't care *how much* I live or the universe lives.
I don't care about the comparing of lifespans either.
I care about being alive, about others being alive.
Lately I hear about death daily, being in Israel and having the war with Gaza.
On one hand, they attacked us first and people on our side die.
On the other hand, we attack back and many more people die on their side.
Innocent? evil? I don't care.

Those are human lives, with families, parents, kids, they could be kids themselves.
Death brings much of sadness to the heart of those who knew them, I feel sad for them, as I hear of the dead people, I remember the people which are dear to me and the joy of being alive myself.

Death doesn't bring any meaning to life, it is living which brings the meanings into our lives.
If you feel you have to be in a race against time to have a meaning, I feel sorry for you for you cannot find the joy in life itself.

If you feel you are in a race against time so you can live, I feel both sorry and sympathy,
I no longer feel the race, now I only feel life.
But I still remember of what may happen to me and wish to prevent it from happening, to me, to my friends and to anyone alive.

Edited by Winterbreeze, 31 December 2008 - 06:48 PM.


#15 fatboy

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 03:49 AM

If you feel you are in a race against time so you can live, I feel both sorry and sympathy,


I do not. Please do not feel sorrow or sympathy for me. I am doing quite well, both materially and existentially.

I no longer feel the race, now I only feel life.


Then we must be neighbors.

#16 Cyberbrain

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 03:05 AM

Someone once said "Would dying add meaning to life?"

Quite the opposite. Dying takes meaning away from life! What meaning do you have at death? Nothing. Because there is nothing at death. Some say death adds meaning in the same way a deadline adds meaning. I say bah! ;)

#17 Cyberbrain

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 03:06 AM

I'm with Shannon,
The concept of death makes me want to fight it, it gives an unhappy feeling to have people die or to have to die someday, so I rather live.

I am happy with life, therefore living makes me happier, death takes it from me.

I'd be lost if some specific people I know were to lose their life, death brings only sadness.
Life of others on the other hand, brings happiness, not just my own life.

Having my friends alive and around to talk with makes me happy.
Even having my family alive and well, which most I am working towards dislike on my scale, still makes me happy ^^

It's not a race though,
It is not about having meaning to life, I don't care *how much* I live or the universe lives.
I don't care about the comparing of lifespans either.
I care about being alive, about others being alive.
Lately I hear about death daily, being in Israel and having the war with Gaza.
On one hand, they attacked us first and people on our side die.
On the other hand, we attack back and many more people die on their side.
Innocent? evil? I don't care.

Those are human lives, with families, parents, kids, they could be kids themselves.
Death brings much of sadness to the heart of those who knew them, I feel sad for them, as I hear of the dead people, I remember the people which are dear to me and the joy of being alive myself.

Death doesn't bring any meaning to life, it is living which brings the meanings into our lives.
If you feel you have to be in a race against time to have a meaning, I feel sorry for you for you cannot find the joy in life itself.

If you feel you are in a race against time so you can live, I feel both sorry and sympathy,
I no longer feel the race, now I only feel life.
But I still remember of what may happen to me and wish to prevent it from happening, to me, to my friends and to anyone alive.

Winterbreeze puts it beautifully!

Edited by Kostas, 05 January 2009 - 03:07 AM.


#18 JLL

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 07:33 AM

Someone once said "Would dying add meaning to life?"

What do you think?


Obviously. Each moment takes on a much greater sense of urgency when it may be the last. Death may very well be the only thing which gives meaning to life.


That's a contradiction.

If the only thing that gives meaning to life at any given moment is death, then it follows logically that you should kill yourself at any given moment, and if you don't, that moment is devoid of any meaning.


But than you take away the unpredictability factor of death... Not knowing when death will come, and at the same time knowing that it can come at any moment, gives the sense of urgency to a moment, when it may be the last.. The key statement here is may be the last. Not will be the last..


If the ONLY thing that gives meaning to life at any given moment is the fact that death MAY occur in the next moment, then it follows that life itself has no inherent value and is not enjoyable in itself. That would be like saying "the only enjoyment in eating is knowing that I might run out of food at any moment". Clearly this is an absurd position to take, because if eating by itself gives you no enjoyment, only the fact that at one point you might not be able to eat anymore, then why eat in the first place?

What random death might do is INCREASE the enjoyment of life (though I disagree with that), but I don't see how it could be the only cause of enjoying life.

#19 Guest_aidanpryde_*

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 09:03 AM

I think more people on the bioethicist boards, preferrably those with several diplomas in theology, should give it a try and find out firsthand. ;)


Same thought. 100% agreement. lol
May the preachers of death experience the object of preaching and enjoy it as first.

#20 brokenportal

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 05:39 PM

If the ONLY thing that gives meaning to life at any given moment is the fact that death MAY occur in the next moment, then it follows that life itself has no inherent value and is not enjoyable in itself. That would be like saying "the only enjoyment in eating is knowing that I might run out of food at any moment". Clearly this is an absurd position to take, because if eating by itself gives you no enjoyment, only the fact that at one point you might not be able to eat anymore, then why eat in the first place?

What random death might do is INCREASE the enjoyment of life (though I disagree with that), but I don't see how it could be the only cause of enjoying life.



Good analogy, thats one of the perspective I was looking for, and it looks like Kostas was elluding to.

or in other words, if you like life then theres no reason to project a cut off date for your life in the future. You should want to make the decision to die when you feel like dying. Like, if my past self had hypothetically put a bomb in me set to go off at my present age then I would be awfully mad right about now.

#21 fatboy

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 03:10 AM

Someone once said "Would dying add meaning to life?"

What do you think?


Obviously. Each moment takes on a much greater sense of urgency when it may be the last. Death may very well be the only thing which gives meaning to life.


That's a contradiction.

If the only thing that gives meaning to life at any given moment is death, then it follows logically that you should kill yourself at any given moment, and if you don't, that moment is devoid of any meaning.


I do not agree that what I said is a contradiction. But I do agree that you have arrived at an interesting conclusion. You must realize, however, that this is a somewhat trodden path. Nothing new yet ... instead of stomping down the path to make it more evident, I feel I should be clearing more brush.

Edited by fatboy, 06 January 2009 - 03:12 AM.


#22 fatboy

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 03:23 AM

Someone once said "Would dying add meaning to life?"

What do you think?


Obviously. Each moment takes on a much greater sense of urgency when it may be the last. Death may very well be the only thing which gives meaning to life.


You misunderstand the question. It is not, "does the concept of death add meaning to life?" The question posed is "will DYING (the action, the event) add meaning to [your] life?"


I do not misunderstand the question. And yes, I believe that death is perhaps the only event which could possibly add meaning to my, or for that matter anybody else's, life. But it is not at all clear to me that even that is sufficient.

Will you be happier as a result?


I deny the conflation of happiness and meaningfulness. They are orthogonal. I am quite happy, but I'm also pretty sure it doesn't matter.

Let me translate: "Nothing builds character like dying!"

That's a weak and absurd position to take... one soul for one poignant story. That's the equivalent of saying "Nothing can convince people of my argument but my own death". What a hopeless way to live. Make your point to people through less self-destructive forms of communication.

If you want to come up with the most meaningful one-off event for yourself, then fine, go blow your brains out. If you want to be the most meaningful person you can for others, then stick around and provide meaning in a more stable, long term, recurring way like all the sane people around you are doing.


Allow me to translate for myself, "Nothing builds character like the realization of one's own impermanence." The rest of your post sounds like on over-reaction to someone building his own character.

Edited by fatboy, 06 January 2009 - 03:24 AM.


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#23 niner

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 03:40 AM

I've known a lot of people who liked to do drugs. For many of them, the ideal high was essentially unconsciousness. They would go to great lengths to achieve this state, which for them was mainly an escape from a life that sucked. I can understand how people whose lives are incredibly crappy with no chance of improvement might decide to check out. IMHO, that ought to be their choice. However, it's really annoying when deathists tell those of us who like life that our lives would lack adequate meaning if we aren't under an imminent death sentence.

#24 fatboy

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 03:53 AM

I can understand how people whose lives are incredibly happy with no chance of improvement might decide to check out. IMHO, that ought to be their choice.


You gonna deny them their choice? Just askin' ...

#25 fatboy

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 04:37 AM

However, it's really annoying when deathists tell those of us who like life that our lives would lack adequate meaning if we aren't under an imminent death sentence.


I think this converation may yet prove productive if we refrain from further perjoratives. On this forum I would think that "deathist" should be at least as unacceptable as other degrading societal terms. "Nihilist" would capture it more accurately. I'm trying to live as long as possible. To be blunt about it, I'm trying to live longer than you.

So what exactly is a "deathist"? I would find that information useful.

#26 Wandering Jew

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 04:48 AM

Picture being in your mother's womb. Or better yet, picture what your life was like before you were conceived... Were you happy? Were you sad? Were you depressed, anxious, tired, hot, cold?

I don't know why this is even a question to be honest.



I heard that explanation before, from grandpa a teacher. It goes like "Grandpa, Will I be scared and hurt when I die"

Grandpa: " picture what your life was like before you were born. Were you scared? Did it hurt during birth? Were you scared?? "

#27 Guest_aidanpryde_*

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 08:04 AM

I heard that explanation before, from grandpa a teacher. It goes like "Grandpa, Will I be scared and hurt when I die"
Grandpa: " picture what your life was like before you were born. Were you scared? Did it hurt during birth? Were you scared?? "


I do not like this comparison of death and birth. It may be, that at the very end or beginning it may be the same, because non existence is non existence. But there is for sure a significant difference. Before our birth we had not to go through a period of suffering, decay, pain and disease. Many people have probably still the "romantic" illusion of dying on heart stroke while sleeping. (and probably flattering the same day around with angels)

The reality is more cruel.

Edited by aidanpryde, 06 January 2009 - 08:04 AM.


#28 fatboy

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 03:07 AM

I do not like this comparison of death and birth. It may be, that at the very end or beginning it may be the same, because non existence is non existence. But there is for sure a significant difference. Before our birth we had not to go through a period of suffering, decay, pain and disease.


Who's to say? Not me.

The reality is more cruel.


I'm not sure reality even "is", but I am sure it's neither cruel nor kind.

However, it's really annoying when deathists tell those of us who like life that our lives would lack adequate meaning if we aren't under an imminent death sentence.


The only difference I can see between "immortalists" and nihilists (aka "deathists", apparently) is that nihilists know exactly why it is that they want to prolong life for as long as possible (i.e. they want to preserve meaning, albeit local and artificial, for as long as possible). I'm not sure why "immortalists" want to prolong life. To be happy forever?

Edited by fatboy, 08 January 2009 - 04:03 AM.


#29 Skötkonung

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 01:33 AM

Emily Dickinson said it best:

That it will never come again
Is what makes life so sweet.
Believing what we don't believe
Does not exhilarate.

That if it be, it be at best
An ablative estate
This instigates an appetite
Precisely opposite.


For me, having meaning and purpose adds value and happiness to my life. The frailty of life and the unrepeatability of time is what makes it meaningful. When a moment has passed, it is gone forever and you can still die even if you don't age.

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#30 Guest_aidanpryde_*

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 10:21 AM

I'm not sure reality even "is", but I am sure it's neither cruel nor kind.


If you are not sure if something even "is" how can you be on the other side so sure what it is not?

Edited by aidanpryde, 09 January 2009 - 10:33 AM.





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