Rethinking death

death

 

 

Death remains one of the universe’s most enigmatic mysteries ever happening to us. Death itself can penetrate an individual in a sluggish pattern, either from a disease or a debilitating physical and/or psychological abnormality, but at times it can also inconspicuously take place in an abrupt, either in an accident or a murder coming out of the blue.

Is death itself a disease? The most sophisticated medical advances today can barely answer that question. Is death absolutely inevitable? There have been numberless attempts to leapfrog the fate, and the solution itself is seemingly buried in mare’s nest. Is immortality the key to avert death? Thinking at it on a deeper level, we can infer that instead immortality brings us more liabilities than rewards.

Whether death itself should be explained or not is, in ethical context, out of the question; we ascertain the fact that only through the manifestation of death, we become aware of how we should accomplish our lives in proper manners. We fathom the intended purpose the death is presented to us: we should, despite all the hindrances and adversities, struggle for what life is meant for. We do not even know whether the life we are living is a mere stupefaction, until death wakes us up. We do not even know if there is going to be afterlife. We are only ‘reminded’ to live to our fullest extents.

In brief, the definition of death itself lies beyond our own Plato’s Caves.

 

A philosopher writes about how he struggled to come to terms to his father’s death, and how the death taught him about living a meaningful life. Read it on Aeon Magazine.

 

I have seen the full stop of death, closing the final chapter of a life, making it possible to stand back, look at the whole, and say that it was good. Of course, any life story is littered with mistakes, bad times and failures, as well as successes. But in the case of my father, and of some others I have known who have died in recent years, there has been some comfort in the knowledge that the overall story was a good one. Maybe there were some decent chapters that still might have been written, but there could equally have been a cruel twist or two in the tale that would have led to a less happy ending. For the protagonist, better a good short novel than a tragic epic.

There is nothing automatically soothing about this, of course. The reaper can, and often does, choose to type ‘The End’ after pages of misery, without bothering to bring any resolution. The last full stop that allows the ‘life well lived’ to be appreciated can also expose the life gone badly for all the horror that it was. That is just one reason why secular humanists should not overstate the extent to which a good, happy, moral life is possible without God. Of course it is. But bad and unhappy lives are also possible, and all too common. Philosophy provides little consolation for these, other than the knowledge that the pain is over.

One step closer to living forever (?)

 

Aubrey de Grey is one of few experts on ‘immortality’, besides eccentric-minded yet simple-looking out-of-the-box thinker, Ray Kurzweil, who believes that as time goes by, humankind will not cease evolving, and he has projected – in an optimistic, straight-line manner  – that the current human beings born may be able to celebrate their 150th birthday, and one day, if there have been invented any medications which are able to de-activate, and furthermore, eliminate the aging genes responsible for the weakening of our organs and the wrinkles on the skin, forever. Despite intense opposition from majority of the scientists, he remains insistent on his radical idea, which may one day, just like any other modern-day inventions, alter the way the whole world lives. One day later, we might expect a daughter, a mother, and a grandma of the entirely similar, unchanged body shapes, like the ones shown in a sci-fi thriller film starring Justin Timberlake, In Time.

 

Read it at the Daily Mail.