Is it valid to think that from a "perspective" of a dead individue,universe has come to an end? I based this argument on my premise that from the start of the universe (~14 billion years ago) until the birth "moment" (well not a moment per se because we had no perception of time) has passed, and therefore when individual dies "one moment in non-existence" and the universe has ended. Or am I wrong since dead people, rationally speaking, have no perspective since they are dead and it's wrong to compare two different kind of states hence alive people experience time dead do not know for time.

Something makes me think that when you cease to exist "an infinite amount of time passes" and everything has ended - a "moment" in void ended all moments. But this also got me wondering if we, let's say,that the universe has it's cycles(like in stoic philosophy);Would that mean that universe would universe would start and stop infinite amount of time in that "moment of non-existence" forever(of course,if my premise is right).

Thanks for the all answers so far.

Firstly I'd like to apologize for bad terminology.Secondly I do believe that you are not consciousness after you die.You don't actually perceive that universe has ended or that x amount of time has passed.All I am trying to argue that since you have died,you have no perception and whole universe or let's say life has ended because it has to end some time and since dead individue is not able to perceive time it must have ended.

Yes I understand that living people continue living their life normally,universe is not ended for them because they have perception.But as like as I was born last century start of the universe almost fourteen billion years ago until my birth seems like a instant.I argue that that instant also happens when you die.

Sorry if I am being ignorant. My argument could currently only support solipsism.

Thank you for your time again.


6 Answers 6


I’ve considered the same question. I don’t think the initial question is posed as though the life around the individual is imaginary or that the individual is vitally important and so the world ends after death. It’s a much simpler idea.

I think the question argues that from the moment a person is born, everything that occurs will either happen during that person’s lifetime or after that person’s lifetime. Considering that a person only lives roughly 80 years, everything else that will ever occur in existence will be after those 80 years, but the person will no longer be in existence. So to the person, the whole of the passage of time of the universe will occur immediately following the moment of death.

  • I made an edit. You may roll this back or continue editing. You can see the versions by clicking on the "edited" link above. Welcome! Commented Aug 29, 2018 at 1:29

You are drilling yourself into a hole without any basis to get back out of it - look at the things you are asking yourself step by step.

First of all, to the extent that what we mean by death is the complete and irreversible cessation of all cognitive functions (perhaps an unnecessarily strong definition but suitable for these purposes), there simply is no perspective of the dead person. Since all cognitive functions have per our definition ended, you cannot speak about the subjective experience of the dead person, only of the subjective perspective of the dying person. Can it seem like the universe is ending to the dying person? Sure but that isn't relevant to anything meaningful. One can, after all, hallucinate that the universe is coming to an end under the influence of drugs or dreams but one wouldn't consider this experience epistemologically meaningful.

In other words, the answer is simply that the perspective of the dying person is individually determined by the person and the circumstances of their death and it's not clear why any rationally thinking person would put much stock in this experience. A dead person is just as much a person as a table or a rock is and as such experiences nothing. "Nothing" here doesn't merely mean they are sitting in a dark room, it means they don't experience space, the passage of time, the existence of themselves and others and definitely not the end or the existence of the universe.

Something makes me think that when you cease to exist "an infinite amount of time passes"

I don't know why you would think that when it's evidently false. You understand how many people die every day? Even as you read this answer here? Not once has an infinite amount of time passed because of that. Maybe what you mean is that when you're dead, you have no experience of the passage of time anymore? Sure, that's true, but lacking an experience of the passage of time in no way means time stopped. Time also doesn't stop when you're unconscious, under anesthesia or when you're functionally dead (though reversibly unlike the above definition) but then brought back by doctors. You experience no time in all those situations and even sometimes when you sleep but that in no way means that no time is passing.

This means, though, that "to the ex-dead person", if you bring them back from death somehow, they will feel as though the time interval between their death and their resurrection was 0, i.e. time passed infinitely from "their perspective". But this is an illusion because like I said they don't have a perspective. The human brain would simply interpret this absence of memories of the passage of time as an instantaneous jump in time.

TL;DR: There is no instant passage of time happening when people die, not even from their own perspective since they have no perspective. If you somehow brought somebody back long after their death, they would feel as though no time had passed between their death and now but this isn't epistemologically meaningful and it's easy to understand why the brain would make this mistake.

  • There is no perspective => there is no personal world. So, I don't see where the argument can't be made.
    – rus9384
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 7:09
  • This was not about any personal world since that is just fancy and unnecessarily confusing language for perspectives. Yes a person's perspective ends with their death. However, we already have a word for that: perspective. Nothing about the world ends, where world as OP intended refers to the actual real external world. I would argue you are engaging in language confusion for no reason. If you wish to say that a person's perception, perspective and sensation of the external world completely ends with their death then you're saying quite a trivial thing that everybody already knows and accepts.
    – MM8
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 2:26
  • World does not end when someone else dies. Am I that special so that if I die anything vanishes? That's solipsism
    – rus9384
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 7:16

Interesting. From the perspective of the posed question: Given that behind us there is infinite past, and ahead of us an infinite future, our instance of life is an instance of our totality. If this instance is a complete totality for us, then by traversing this instance we traverse the infinite past and present because we exclude ourselves from linear time. If we are traversing time, which is superior to space and gives birth to it, we also become infinite, or we become complete as infinity, therefore indeed both our universe and physical objective universe ends, because it becomes a-temporal, therefore non-phenomenological. If it is a-phenomenenological and this universe we understand as phenomena it indeed ends, because we are removed from it.

In metaphysical schools completion of the microcosm was the completion of the macrocosm. In essence when you completed your personal microcosm, your rounded the macrocosm and thus ended your personal universe. It does not necessarily mean that the universe ends, objectively or for others, because that would be a solipsist view, it means the universe as you knew it ends for you completely. It is a very elegant paradox if you think about it deeply.

From another point, introducing concepts of continuation of consciousness, the universe as you know it, from a human perspective might end, and the only moment of reality from a human perception - that is your life hereby ends. Whether it continues in whatsoever form is another question. IF that is so, how is it attainable to exclude oneself from the universe, if one is within it. Is it through reverse-engineering ones becoming into it through atavistic operations, or is it merely a task of quitting the universe at the point of death? Nothing lost in nature. And - what if cognitive functions have a beta decay to and may be preserved in non-bodily form? As a speculation.

  • Is it time that gives birth to space or the reverse? (Time as a function of distance, as a function of thermodynamics.) Mythologically speaking, I always thought the Ancient Greeks nailed it in that Gaia (matter) and Ouranos (space) give birth to Kronos (time)...
    – DukeZhou
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 17:16

One can think of the universe as a busy highway and individual life as a car.

When you're born, you're like a car entering the highway. That car becomes part of a long stream of cars all going in the same direction, seemingly without end.

That is until the car arrives at its exit. Then, the car leaves the highway, separating itself from the stream of cars it was a part of before. That would be your death.

The stream of cars always was there before the car entered the highway and it continues to exist after the car leaves it. Overall, the car probably had little impact on the stream it was a part of, although it may have caused a few other cars to slow down, to speed up or to change lanes.

Life is pretty much the same. You enter this universe on a plant filled with billions of creatures who were there before you and you'll leave the universe with billions of creatures staying behind. Nothing new in the universe was created when you're born. Even your body and the mind it carried didn't just come out of thin air, but were constructed piece by peace with billions of atoms in your mothers womb.

Nothing around you starts existing the moment you are born. Nothing around you stop existing the moment you die. It is merely your body and your mind that stop functioning, closing a window that connects your mind with the vast universe surrounding it.


We usually think that the universe is physical, and does not depend on our own mind for its existence, so it seems very unlikely.

Any supposed paradox (and I have thought on this a lot) about self annihilation can be quite easily abandoned in a dualistic framework. Think object, think subject relating to it disappearing, think object again. It's not comet science!

Whether we all have eternal life, and surely it wouldn't be life or agency anyway just a quality of them, would depend much more on what we think mind is, than ideas about "universes". Personally, not sure I can imagine my mind as anything but my mind, inclusive of a (dead) body. But this is not philosophy, it is pseudo mysticism, so I won't be mad when you downvote.


All the answers here are really long and complex, so I'll put it this way: I guess yeah. When you die, (assuming there's no heaven) you won't know you're dead. Its a complete cessation of everything you've ever done. You won't even know your dead. You'd just be gone. So really, you stop having life. You cease to exist because your consciousness is ceased. In technicalities, nothing around you is ever proven to exist. All of it is in the minds eye; emotions, objects, interpretations. So when you die, and you cease to exist, the world around you is gone because you stop living it. The world could be imaginary, all in your mind, your identity in your mind, and so when you die, it ceases to exist.

  • 1
    Hello and welcome to philosophy.se! Do you think you could expand this answer to include any sort of citations or references to support your view? Right now it seems as though you are talking about idealism, or some other view that the external world doesn't exist or is mind dependent. That is a very open problem in philosophy, with a large amount good arguments on both sides, so stating one view declaratively without contextualizing it in the larger debate or even citing any arguments to support the idea lacks a sense of objectiveness that we try to aim for on this site.
    – Not_Here
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 1:53

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