Does the fact that I know I am going to die make me superior in a sense to all the other living creatures that have no understanding of this event? Is the fact that I know that one day I am going to die a good thing for me?
One could argue that because I know that one day I am going to die I have an incentive for doing more than just attending to my very short term needs. Therefore, because I can estimate the duration of my life I know it's smart to do some planning for the future and prepare for the comming years of my life. If I had no knowledge of this coming death I would've been a prisoner to the present moment and fallen victim to all sorts of events that can only be avoided through careful planning.
However, one could perhaps also argue that because I know that one day I am going to die and that my time is limited, I can't fully appreciate the present moment. Simply put my ability to experience happiness in the present moment is severly impaired by the pain or fear that I have of the future/coming death.
How does one creature's understanding of death affects the quality of that creature's life? Is my knowledge of the coming death making my life better or is it making it worse?
I am a beginner and I do not pursue philosophy at an academic level. I am merely fascinated by philosophy and like to dabble in such topics ocasionally. I've recently remembered a subject discussed in a philosophy class I took a long time ago. I can't remember which philosopher was quoted back then but I remember he said something like: "Human's knowledge of death makes him superior to all other creatures who have no such understanding". I was just hoping that by posting this question here I would get some references which discuss this matter in more detail.