If the phenomenological world is observed to lack permanent, unchanging entities, and humans finding themselves in such an experience, are also impermanent entities, how can any rational philosophy attribute a permanent property - death - to them?

  • Death state is a property of that corpse for me who is living, so the corpse is "living" in that state in my world. My own death is not a property of me. Maximum, it can be a possibility of me. Some would say it cannot be even my possibility. – ttnphns Feb 21 '18 at 8:51
  • The difference between that corpse in front of me and an alive one there is that the second one has its own free possibilities in addition to my possibilities on account of it; while the first has seized having own free possibilities - those were replaced by the property called fate. – ttnphns Feb 21 '18 at 8:59
  • I doubt many people believe that a human being can survive death. The idea is usually that human beings and all sentient creatures arise from an underlying unchanging phenomenon/noumenon and it is this that never dies. It would be by discovering this to be the case that meditators lose their fear of death. . – user20253 Feb 21 '18 at 11:39
  • @PeterJ, if a defined being survives death, then they are permanent, which goes against the observed experience of impermanence. – Ilya Grushevskiy Feb 21 '18 at 12:31
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    I've removed (lack a ding an sich) as that does not match up with the rest of your question... – virmaior Feb 21 '18 at 12:33

The ship of Theseus can still sink

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This is the method to ''attribute a permanent property - death - to'' ''impermanent entities'':

First there is no ''rational philosophy'' which attributes things. What there is remains a person claiming this and that and some person hearing about those statements qualifies those statements of ''rational'' and of ''philosophy'' and why not of '' rational philosophy''.

Second, a person can ''attribute a permanent property - death - to'' ''impermanent entities'' by fantasizing a ''permanent property'' to those entities and then claiming that those ''impermanent entities'' have this ''permanent property''. Then somebody call this statement a'' rational philosophy''

You can try it for yourself. Go outside and stand before what you call a leaf on the ground, then you fantasize a permanent property to the leaf on the ground, for instance the fantasy of the existence of the leaf on the ground once you stop looking at it. You close your eyes and open them until you no longer see the leaf on the ground, you establish that the leaf on the ground is not that permanent. thus you have attributed a ''permanent property'' to an ''impermanent entity''. Then you express you fantasy aloud and you judge that it is worthy to be called a '' rational philosophy''.


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Surely Death (of an individual human, animal or leaf) is not a permanent unchanging phenomenon of this world. The corpse will change beyond recognition irrespective of any soul. Death can be viewed simply as recycling of matter. I then struggle to fit it in to the science of entropy. Ilya Grushevskiy Are you actually arguing for the immortality of the soul? Whether you intended or not I think you have pointed to one rational argument FOR some form of life after death.

I've found myself saying recently "My Death would be such a waste!"

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  • Nope, no immortality - that is permanence - simply the question of how an impermanent entity can be seen to have a permanent property! – Ilya Grushevskiy Feb 21 '18 at 12:24

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