Opinions on death

I’m writing a paper for my Philosophy class that centers around Socrates’ view of death in the Apology. After discussing that I am supposed to write of my own opinions on death, namely if I think it’s bad and should be feared. However, the paper has to be a minimum of 5 pages and to help fill up some space I thought i would generalize a few different views an death, finishing it off w/ what my personal beliefs are. So… my questions are:

Do you think death is good or bad?

Do you fear it?

Thanks in advance for any posted answers. :slight_smile:

Death is definitely a good thing. The body wears out, the mind goes fuzzy, and who wants to live like that? It’s a well-earned sleep at the end of a very long day. I don’t fear it. I do fear being old and sick and alone, with nothing to look forward to except death. That’s just depressing.

I do not fear death. I am sad to thing about the people I will leave behind and sorry for the mourning they will have to do but not scared of death.

Hope that answers your question. :slight_smile:

If death is anything like General Anesthesia, which is “little death” then I would say, no, I’m not afraid of it. The only thing I dislike about GA is waking up.
The process of dying on the other hand, could get ugly. That I fear and only hope it is swift and painless.
One of those "oh shi… * dink* (the lights go out) Or better yet, in my sleep.

Guest and Aries, you mean you wouldn’t be at least a little bit scared if somebody pointed a gun at your head or dangled you out of a 37th-story window by your ankles?

Given that people—and other creatures—have a survival instinct, you could say it’s natural to fear death, in some sense.

Some of the ways there are to die are pretty painful or unpleasant. That’s pretty scary.

Since nobody now living really knows for sure what (if anything) comes after death, a little fear of the unknown makes sense.

Most people’s minds are stuck in a rut by the time they are 20. To make progress we have to be recycled. I think the system works on reincarnation so we get recycled into a new society and have to find a new rut to put our minds in.

see: OLD SOULS by Tom Shroder

Dal Timgar

It is interesting to contemplate a person’s attitude towards death as they get older. As a teenager/young adult, I was invincible. Driving, drinking, casual whatever, nothing was going to affect me permanently. Death was something that happened to other people, usually old farts.

As a young father in my early thirties, aware of my responsibilities, the prospect of dying became terrifying – not so much on my own behalf, but because it would leave my young children without me in a harsh world.

As I approach fifty, and my children are, if not grown, at least grown enough to have at least some prospect of getting along in the world, death is no longer as terrifying. I certainly don’t want to die, but, in a way that I could never have appreciated when I was twenty, I now understand that, not only will I eventually die, but that that isn’t really a bad thing. I certainly hope to have many healthy and active years before it happens, but when it does come, I hope to be able to welcome it much as I welcome going to sleep after a long and full day.

It will be interesting to see if, when I am seventy and the prospect is much more imminent, I remain as sanguine as I (pretend?) am today.
On an unrelated note (looking over my past postings, it is interesting to see how often I use that phrase!), I also find that my perceptions of historical time have changed considerably. A century, contemplated by a teenager, is eternity. Today, with nearly half a century under my belt, I can look back to my grandmother’s day (born in 1898) and think about how relatively near in time that really is.

I do not want to turn this into a religious debate but let’s just say I fully believe what comes after death is not an unknown for me so I’m not scared of actually dying.

Do I prefer it to be in my sleep or a heart attack after super sex when I’m 90? You better believe it. :slight_smile:

Good questions, Thudlow Boink (and may I take this opportunity to say that I’ve always loved your user name). I assumed that the OP was talking about Death (capital “D”, meaning the absence of Life), and not the act of dying. Of course you’re right, being murdered is not a good thing. Neither is dying of a horrible disease when one is still young and otherwise healthy. Same for meeting one’s maker as a result of war, earthquake, flood, a plague of flaming toads falling from the sky, etc. But if there was no such thing as death (and putting aside the obvious overcrowding problem we’d already be experiencing), quality of life would be nothing short of hellish torture after the first 90-100 years. I see death as a welcome end to a life that can no longer be endured, let alone enjoyed. If I thought I’d be here forever, well…I think I’d want to kill myself.

I am afraid of death. I am a Christian and have heard and read many passages about if you CAN or CAN"T lose your salvation and this scares me.

I am not an expert on Bible interpretation so it is a tough subject to read & reflect on. Ask 10 ministers their thoughts and you will get 10 different anwsers. So who is right?

If you CAN"T lose your salvation then I will be happy as a clam and would welcome death after great sex or a hot fudge sundae. If you CAN lose your salvation then I probably need another 50 years to try and clean up the mess.

I’m not exactly what you would call afraid of death but I think about it almost every day.

I’m not all that confident in the afterlife situation, so for me living is as important as it gets. If I could sacrifice a strangers life in order to keep my own, I would. What I mean is: If I was in a bank while it was being robbed and the killer/crook gave me a choice between my life and yours, kiss your ass goodbye.

When I die I want to be awake for it. I want all the notice I can get so I can sum things up for myself. Draw things to a close.

Death is most definitely a good thing. I am not afraid of the actual act of dying. It will not be altogether unwelcome

To develop a thought along similar lines to that of BrotherCadfael’s: I’m 50, and I certainly hope to knock down a few more decades, especially since the travails and accumulated experience of my earlier decades seem to now be paying off, both in the eternal struggle to maintain the material/corporeal facets of life as well as in the spiritual or philosophical realm.

But a thought has occured to me in recent years, that being that if I suddenly found out today, right now(!), is check out time, I think I’d be all right with it, because I’ve already lived a decent measure of a life.

I don’t mean that I wouldn’t take measures to preserve my life, should that be possible. As I said, now that life is better, I’d like to cruise on for a while. But in those few seconds between when the out of control semi knocks my car off the bridge and when I nose into the bay, I think I’ll be OK about the deal.

[vaguely related snapshot] Some time ago, my GF of many years and I were driving home one night. A fellow came barrelling down a side street and ran a stop sign. No brakes at all, he hit us hard in a broadside. Although we both came out OK, it looked bad going in. With only a split second of realization that we were going to crash, I punched the gas and my GF had the presence of mind to say, “Goodbye.”

Well, I believe after death, you’re never the same again.

As someone who shoould rightfully be dead (I was in a car accident that statistically should have been fatal several times over), I have the feeling that we are all living on borrowed time and therefore deserve death when it comes.

Also as a Christian, I should have a glorious view of the afterlife…pearly gates…golden streets, etc.

But for me, I agree with Second Guest that death will be a relief from the everyday concerns of the living. Now saying things like this gets me alot of referrals to counseling, but too many of us go around not considering death due to a fear of it when we should accept death as a part of life and live accordingly.

The only reason to fear death is if we haven’t lived right, so go out and do the things you’ve always wanted to do, treat everyone with respect and tie up all your loose ends as often as possible.

The end IS coming.

That reminds me of back when I was a youngster, living in Atlanta. If you drove out in the country there were three signs you were bound to see:
[ul][li] See Rock City[/li][li] Jesus Saves[/li][li] Prepare to Meet the Lord[/ul][/li]
I’ve seen Rock City and I’m prepared. :wink: [sup]Still haven’t figured out the middle one, though.[/sup]

I’m against it, myself.

I am easily bored, constantly frustrated by the failings of my fellow humans, and greatly disappointed by the fundamental pointlessness of life.
I am also a hard-core skeptic who fully expects utter non-existence as soon as most of my brain functions shut down.
I have no one who depends on me, nor do I expect to.

Thus, death holds no terror for me. I have days when I look forward to it.

Thanks so far for everyone who has posted. It has greatly helped form my paper. Keep them coming though as I am finding everyone’s answers very intriguing.

I always thought death was part of the cycle of life.