So my journey with philosophy has been a perilous one with exestential crisis after exestential crisis, but my latest one is a particularly gnarly one.

Naturally I have an epicurean view of death ( since it makes the most logical sense to me ) so I thought that the most important thing for the person are the momments leading upto death and them being peacful fulfilling and maybe even euphoric, now this worked well for me but recently I learned that drowning is described as very peacful and even euphoric and that nothing mattered anymore. Now this has shattered my world view for now it would make more sense for me to drown as it is a good end and fulfillment dosent matter for it, so I ask, is the most important part of like the end?


  • Don't believe everything you read. People who have survived near drowning describe it as terrifying and painful (when you breath in the water). You or the person you read may have been confused by the descriptions of witnesses who often describe it as looking peaceful but that's because by the time someone drowns they are too exhausted to move, not because they aren't terrified. Feb 7 at 14:14
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    Philosophy :-))) Feb 7 at 14:22
  • important people. haha
    – user66697
    Feb 7 at 19:44
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    I'm confused. You wonder what the most important thing in life is, and then you speak mostly about the manners it could end. My first recommendation would be to indeed focus on life. Feb 7 at 21:53
  • I was about to Post what Peter already Posted, so I needn't bother. If you either drop, or explain the usefulness of, all before 'I have an epicurean view…' what will you lose? When for you '… this worked well…' was that in theory, or how close have yoiu come to death? It reads as though a 'fulfilling' end might be the most important thing to you but who could guess what that really meant? If the most important part of life is the end, why worry? Feb 7 at 23:50

6 Answers 6


To crush your enemies. To see them driven before you. To hear the lamentation of the women.


It is subjective. First of all, drowning is not peaceful and euphoric. It can be quite a painful experience. However, after this, yes, people can feel a sense of peace and tranquility.

But this is irrelevant to what is important in life. What is important in life depends on you. Importance is a human made concept that is not out there in the universe for you to find. You make your own purpose. So make your own purpose and ideally, stay away from a pool any time soon.


The most dangerous part of your question is "XYZ philosophy seems most logical"

Gödel was certainly the greatest logician of the twentieth century and at least arguably the greatest of all time.
Gödel also killed himself by starvation because he could not rigorously prove that he was not being poisoned by a malefic but imaginary agent.

In short: Beware of using logic to determine your life trajectory.

A more sober approach would be to complement epicurean ideas with stoic ideas — Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus etc.

Since I've had similar thoughts at points in my life here's a more personal suggestion:

If you can negotiate the culture bridging I'd recommend the great eastern wisdom traditions — Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu (as profound as riotously funny), Buddhism (you can if you prefer take the "low theistic" variants like Zen, Theravada), advaita vedanta, bhagavad gita...

Alan Watts is a solid, western-accessible route for many of these

  • wow., i did not know that. inncidentally, i think dehydration is meant to be quite euphoric, though there are always complications and risks in any s****** attempt
    – user66697
    Feb 7 at 14:42
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    @user66697 if it interests you there are extant traditions like Sallekhana
    – Rushi
    Feb 7 at 14:58
  • madness. idk what to make of it. on the one hand, it feels something has gone wrong there, insofar as life is not that complicated. on the other, well it is interesting
    – user66697
    Feb 7 at 20:11
  • I wouldn't describe Godel as motivated by logic, but instead paranoia.
    – CriglCragl
    Feb 8 at 22:32
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    @CriglCragl Dunno that this argument re Gödel is pertinent. After all my main point was not Gödel or even logic per se but to warn OP against excessive attachment to any ideology. But putting aside Gödels death, here's the story about him in the US visa office showing (AFAIC) the same craziness, except it did not turn out badly as the food poisoning fear did
    – Rushi
    Feb 11 at 2:53

Do you want truisms? It is unreasonable to take the happy life of someone moral and destroy it, but you could subject it to all sorts of analysis, if you so choose, Freudian, philosophical.

Death is either forever or the start of a new life, so it's natural to emphasise it, but equally the present moment is how things matter to us for so long as they can.

Somewhere in that there is a plea, but I don't know what for.


Better change your approach:

When you born, you're given time. Those who don't have much of it are poorer than those that have more. It is not money the real richness: it is time.

Because you can do whatever with time: become a millionaire, a lover, travel the world, do mathematics, help people, write books, go to war, fight injustice... Being rich is just one possible outcome of such choice.

So, choose one thing and do it. Do it good. Follow only one path. But more important than anything: choose a path you will enjoy, something you love. Life will be worth.

Don't feel bad if you don't find what you love. It is difficult. But keep trying, that is the real Holy Grail. I've found mine in guitar playing and software development. What is yours?

Now, what is most important in life? Being on the road. Reaching the end is not. It is walking through the path you've chosen.

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    The journey is the destination.
    – David S
    Feb 7 at 23:59

This question is exactly what brought out of a suicidal depression, to theism, and eventually Christ. I don't claim to have hard answers, but I hope I can offer some things to consider, about hedonism, nihilism, and objective vs subjective reality.

What is the purpose? Is there a purpose? Is there a purpose for you and not for me? Death is almost certain, so why are we alive? What is the purpose for life if we all die?

Maybe there is no purpose. Well, if so, then why ask questions, why seek understanding? Why ask why? It's futile. If there is no purpose, why do we hold ourselves subject to any standard of living? Do as you please, or not, it doesn't matter.

But I bet my life on the fact that one day I will die. And when you contemplate your own mortality, your own limitations, it makes you think differently. By the way, why is it that we creatures can imagine the wildest of things but cannot effectively make our imaginations reality? It is with great effort that we do so. Therefore, I am a constrained, dying man. The clock is ticking.

Is truth a virtue? Is morality a virtue? Are there any virtues? The world I live in seems to indicate this to be the case. I cannot go living out my life however I please, because the forces of the world will demand that I be virtuous, or else I will suffer undesirable consequence. Retaliated against or locked up. There is also the logical absurdity of trying to live an unvirtuous life. If I succeed at being unvirtuous, then I am at least a man of consistency and integrity (which seems virtuous to me). And if I'm only haphazardly virtuous, then why do I sometimes do things that are virtuous? Therefore, trying to live an absolutely immoral life, is not possible. Can hedonism then be the answer?

I appeal to my intuition and senses. I appeal to the evidence before me. I appeal to that which requires the least assumptions. Put another way, I take the "Evidence to the Best Conclusion". My knowledge is incomplete, I can always ask more questions, but my life is a gamble. I know I will die most certainly, but what if anything is next? So, I bet on truth by weighing the evidence, appealing to my senses, appealing to a notion of "common-sense". I wrestle often to be sure I really know, but 100% is not necessary to live. Therefore, I generally accept that things that comfort, rest, peace, wealth, love, and truth are all generally good things to seek for me, and for you as well.

Suppose you believe that live has a purpose, I sure do! Then for what purpose? What is the ultimate purpose you can live for? Your own pleasure? You will die. The pleasure of your children? They will die too one day. The pleasure of the multitudes of generations that will come? They will also die (for that is the safest assumption, it has been for millions of years). This line of thinking brings me to think in the other direction. Instead of asking "what will be my purpose?", I began to ask, "for what purpose was I made?" If death is guaranteed, and if there is a purpose, I conclude my legacy and purpose are defined by the afterlife, if there is such as thing.

I'll leave with two more thoughts to ponder:

  1. If I accept the narrative of the Big Bang, I am left to ponder what caused it. To me, the evidence points to a timeless, immaterial creative force. I lack the details of knowledge, but this begins to look like what I would call a "God".

  2. The second is a quote:

    “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

    I know this from the biblical literature. The authors of the new testament letters, Paul specifically, believed that if Christ was dead, then there was no afterlife.

  • Is this supposed to be a call towards religon or God? ( you hinted towards the kalam cosmological argument). Well I am an athiest. I don't believe in any ultimate or objective purpose for life and hence value personal fulfillment as most important, although it has lead me to this dark hypothetical so maybe I need to think more about it. Thanks anyway Feb 9 at 9:47

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