On your deathbed...

At the end of your life, reflecting on how you’ve lived, would you rather be able to say that your life was aesthetically, morally, or sensually satisfying?

While each may blend into the others, the spirit of the question is to choose a dominant one.

If it happened right now, I’d just say it was too short.

Of course, I can’t guarantee that I wouldn’t say the same thing in another 60 or so years…

I couldn’t say that, at this point, my life has been morally satisfying.

I was taught that one must never have any questions about right and wrong. What the Great All-Powerful Mom says is right must be so. Everything else is wrong. If I do or say something wrong because I don’t know what GAPM says, I am evil. If I ask what GAPM says, I am evil because I am trying to make up my own mind about something I should already know. Therefore, I am evil.

I know better now (in theory), but it is truly difficult to decide upon my own morals, and weigh all actions against that. All I can figure is that it is wrong to hurt another person in any way, except in self-defense, and to think and behave in an irrational manner.

It is really hard not to do so most of the time, and if I think I may have meant to do so (often subconsciously) I can feel guilty for years.

Maybe if I can acheive Spock-like control over my emotions, and the thoughts and actions that result from them, I will be satisfied with myself morally. For now, I am a human.

possibly the world’s only naive cynic


Why limit yoruself to these choices, none of which are what I’d pick, which is emotionally.

While I desire many things from life, the most important one by far is love, both eros and agape. And in addition to love, I want to experience all the other emotions as well, even the bad ones (grief, anger, fear) though in much smaller doses, of course. Just enough to keep me in touch with the variety possible.

That’s what I believe the “meaning” of life to be, in the end. To experience it. Our emotions are an extraordinary gift that we take for granted, yet they are the primary motivation for eveything that we do.

So that’s my answer.

You call a satisfying life one in which you’ve felt a great many things, including the bad things. I’d call that sensual satisfaction, because what satisfies you is what you’ve felt, regardless of the fact that it’s emotional instead of physical. I would include the appreciation of art to be sensual rather than aesthetic, which I would limit to the creation of something.

I guess I would pick a morally satifying life. I think that the purpose of life is to make the world a little better by your presence. I guess that is what I consider your “duty” in this life; the sensual and aesthetic satifactions are things you do just to make you happy. (I plan on doing lots of those two as well :slight_smile: )

hmm…I would’ve put creating art in the “sensual” bucket, and looking at it in the “aesthetic” bucket. Aesthetic is “perception of beauty” to me. For me (a painter) creation of art is more a sensual thing; using your eyes, hands, mind, and the feeling of them all flowing together, correcting and relating.

“Eppur, si muove!” - Galileo Galilei

I shoulda died ten years ago…

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If I was on my deathbed right now, I’d probably be wishing I would have chosen a more spiritually correct SDMB nickname…

Brian O’Neill
CMC International Records

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Voltaire, on his deathbed, being asked to renounce the devil and all his works:


Having made art myself, I’ve experienced the same thing. However, I consider aesthetic satisfaction to be satisfaction at having created beauty, not at having enjoyed it or its creation.

You’re the first person of whom I’ve asked the question, who chose moral satisfaction.

I imagine we’ll get some posts later from the more religious of us. I’ve always been pretty concerned with morality, since I don’t have one pre-made from any religious belief. When you have to determine your own moral code, you have to spend a lot of time thinking about it (or at least you should); and it’s much harder to reject an internal moral code than an external one.

I suppose it has both; sensual while making, aesthetic when done. For me, the making has always been more important; once it’s done, I am pleased to look at it, but I don’t get the same kick just looking at the art as I do from making it. The aesthetic satifaction is more lasting, though.

“Eppur, si muove!” - Galileo Galilei

I would choose the sensual, as defined by

damn, I hate the new board, I clicked submit instead of review topic.

Anyway, I pick sensual as defined by Stoidela and hansel. I agree that life is meant to be lived and felt.


He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice - Albert Einstein

On my deathbed, with all my life behind me, I’ll wish I’d lived a moral or aesthetic life. But now, with all the fun ahead of me, I know I’ll choose to live a sensual life.

Morally. I believe it is most important to be able to look back and know that you lived a “good” life.

I think hell for me would be to be breathing my last and knowing that I was “evil”. Of course, I believe that people do ultimately get what they deserve. I think that people who are mean, cruel, etc do at their last moments realize what a futile waste their lives has been. I think that in those last moments they suffer immensely.

Definitely, morally.

I think that hell, for me, would mean being locked in a room with my mother, with the soudntrack of my life playing: every time I sang in the car, every time I said “oh, c’mon baby, I’ll die if you don’t let me”, every grunty noise I made during various activities. When that’s done, we listen to the soundtrack of her life.

Oops, sorry. Wrong thread.