If you could know with 100% certainty the exact time, location and manner of your death, would you want to know?
I was wondering about this one for a little while, but I think I’d have to say yes, reason being that if I knew exactly how much time I had left, I could make much better use of the rest of my life. Seriously, if I knew I had only five years instead of fifty, or fifty instead of five, it would make a big difference to the way I lived my life.
So how about you? Would you want to know, or is ignorance bliss?
I know what you mean, sunstone. In theory, it shouldn’t really matter how much time we have left, we should all be making the most of our lives each and every day. But I find that in reality, people act as if their deaths are a long way off in some nebulous future. They act as if they have all the time in world, and I know I’m certainly gulity of this.
In some way’s it’s a little like a homework assignment or a project. If you’re told that you have to hand it in at some undefined point in the future, you’re likely to goof off and relax, figuring you have ages to do it. If, however, you have a strict and unyielding deadline, you’re gonna make damn sure you get that work done on time.
So I see it as a personal “deadline” (pun most definitely intended). If I knew that I was destined to die suddenly in an accident a few months from now, you can bet your ass I won’t be spending much time in front of the TV.
On a lighter note, if I knew when I was “going”, I could let all my friends and family know before-hand and make sure that they threw me one hell of a “going-away party!” I don’t think there would be much point in presents, though…
If you knew the exact details of your demise (place, time, reason of death) and assuming that your death would come to pass by any means other than natural causes, you could take precautions to prevent or delay it, thereby creating a rip in the fabric of space-time, and causing the entire universe to spontaneously implode.
I’ll have a large serve of IGNORANCE please (lots of chillies but hold off on the num-pla…that stuff is deadly ya know!! :D) Knowing the time of my death would be a huge bummer.
If it was ‘sooner’, I’d probably spend the time mourning for all the things I hadn’t gotten around to doing…and my circumstances, like most people’s personal/financial hurdles, would prevent them fulfilling all but the most trivial of them. One of the benefits of not knowing, is the HOPE that one day, I might escape my current lifestyle. If I knew my Date of Death, all hope would be lost, and I might as well be dead already.
If it was ‘later’, I would take time for granted, and put off those options that I felt there was still plenty of years and opportunities to explore. In the process, I would blithely waste so much of my time and resources, that I would probably get to the EndTime[sup]TM[/sup] and, with the constraints of old age and decrepitude, STILL regret not having done more in my available youth.
If you did know, would you be unkillable before the predestined time?
If this knowledge was available to everyone, then chaos would ensue. But if only a very few could know, then they would be walking around as immortals until their appointed time.
There was this movie I saw a long time ago. There was a tribe of cyclops, they asked the gods for the power to see the future. The gods found that a little bit annoying so they gave them the power to see only their own deaths. And there was nothing they could do about it, or else they would have an utterly painful death. They were depressed all the time.
There is a lesson there, if only I could know what that is.
Oh yes, that’s true too. If your date-of-death were predestined and unchangeable, than you could go on the greatest thrill / crime spree ever, and nothing could possibly happen to you. You could jump out of planes, rob banks, beat people up etc. without so much as a bleeding nose.
Of course this proposition is beginning to defy the laws of space-time any which way you try to constrain it, so maybe the best idea is to just admit that it’s stupid.
I don’t think I’d like to find out when I would die.
I would dwell on the fact that I was going to die at a certain time and that would sap any enjoyment that I would get out of anything that I was doing. There would a perpetual cloud looming over me and everything would seem to be on a time limit.
Who wants to know that? Anyways, if you find out you have some life-threatening illness, you’ll know soon enough. If it’s an accident, you’ll most likely go so quickly you won’t even have to think about it. Plus, if I found out I was going to ne murdered, do you really think I’d leave the f**king house that particular day?