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Questions tagged [death]

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22
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14answers
6k views

Is willful ignorance about one's own mortality escapism?

I don't mean if someone is dying of cancer and they refuse treatment or something -- I'm saying if a healthy person who is unhappy obsessing over his own inevitable death one day chooses to ignore ...
21
votes
17answers
7k views

The “point” to an Atheists existence [closed]

I've recently become Atheist (I am 45). I've slowly transitioned from my childhood's strong Christian upbringing; through Agnostic; to the point where my rational brain has now extrapolated the ...
21
votes
11answers
22k views

What are some criticisms of Epicurus' “death is nothing to us”?

Epicurus famously asserted that death should not be feared, with roughly the following argument: When we die, we no longer exist; Since we no longer exist, we can feel neither pain nor pleasure. ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Which philosophers have posited that our mortality gives meaning to our lives?

Cancer researcher, Doctor John Wynn gave an interesting talk this year. In it he argues, in short, that it is the fact of our mortality that gives our lives meaning. Which philosophers have discussed ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the main message Kierkegaard is trying to deliver in his suicidal quote?

In his journal Kierkegaard wrote: I have just now come from a party where I was its life and soul; witticisms streamed from my lips, everyone laughed and admired me, but I went away — yes, the dash ...
9
votes
6answers
635 views

Which authors have discussed death in philosophy?

Could anyone point me to some authors who have discussed the ideas surrounding death in western Philosophy? (Not whether we know we exist but rather the concept of mortality and immortality).
8
votes
7answers
4k views

How can I know that I am not immortal? [closed]

You think that you will die just because everyone dies. And you would like to know if you are immortal. How can you know if you are immortal or not?
8
votes
5answers
800 views

How is knowing that I am going to die influencing my life?

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 ...
7
votes
3answers
17k views

Do animals know that they are going to die?

This is maybe the wrong website for this type of question, but I'll try it anyway. I've somehow experienced this patterns mostly in cats (not scientifically proven, but pretty common also talking to ...
5
votes
5answers
868 views

Does the concept of existence entail the concept of death?

Does the concept of existence entail the concept of death? I am asking this because many philosophers have tried to prove the existence of god (Descartes through the Meditations) by saying that he ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Is death impossible because it is impossible to be conscious of being unconscious? [closed]

I looked at a site called The Truth Contest which is a compliation of what "The ultimate truth" is. One of the ideas explored is immortality. Here is an excerpt: You are immortal; it is impossible ...
5
votes
3answers
591 views

Can nominalists believe in their own death?

Can nominalists believe in their own death? You often hear people talk about death as nothing-ness, which suggests a universal nothing. And nominalists say that universals do not exist. Just trying ...
5
votes
1answer
80 views

How to think about exploiting the body of a dead slave

In a museum in Cuba, the skeleton of a slave is on display. He is named, and he died near the end of Cuban slavery, about 1880. He died in his twenties. I stood looking into the display case. Of ...
5
votes
6answers
381 views

What happens to consciousness after death?

Is it possible that our innate sense of self, our egocentric outlook on the world, could be wrong? After all, our brains are never REALLY connected; so we cannot know for sure that our consciousness ...
4
votes
11answers
2k views

Death: A finite ending?

From the viewpoint of an atheist, when you die, you cease to exist. Your brain has grown old, and can no longer sustain the trillions of electrical signals that constituted who you once were. ...
4
votes
1answer
336 views

Was Socrates of the belief that knowledge was attainable after death?

I've begun reading The Phaedo, wherein Socrates argues against the case of suicide. He begins by assuming that since we as men are possessions of the gods, they would be angered were one of their ...
4
votes
5answers
318 views

Questions about nothingness, existentialism, death

I have been feeling really oppressed recently and have been thinking constantly about my own death and what misery the death of a loved one would bring to me as I am stranger to that feeling. I don’t ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

Movies on philosophy similar to “Waking Life”? [closed]

The movie "Waking Life" is a philosophical masterpiece: a quasi non-narrative psychedelic dreamscape exploring the very nature of both existence and non-existence in unpredecented depth. In a ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it right to judge if the life of one person is worth more than ten others?

Let us take a hypothetical situation where you are on a train that is approaching a fork. You are the only person who has the power to control the direction the train takes. If you leave the train ...
4
votes
6answers
1k views

Does all matter exist forever?

I was reading about non-duality (spirituality / philosophy) that discusses the idea that everything in reality is one, since any matter can become any other matter, (a tree can become a chair and a ...
4
votes
4answers
204 views

How can an attitude toward death be 'appropriate', but unwelcome?

Source: The Human Predicament: A Candid Guide to Life's Biggest Questions (1 edn, 2017). pp. 137 Bottom - 138 Top.   In addition to asking what attitudes toward death are appropriate, we might ask ...
4
votes
1answer
17k views

“I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care”

From Wikipedia's page on Epicurus: He also believed (contra Aristotle) that death was not to be feared. When a man dies, he does not feel the pain of death because he no longer is and he therefore ...
4
votes
1answer
118 views

Does Valberg's “personal horizon” entail life after death?

The personal horizon is, Valberg contends, the subject matter whose center each of us occupies, and which for each of us ceases with death. This ceasing to be presents itself solipsistically not ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Reasons to fear death

Epicurus said that fearing nonexistence is not only stupid, it even gets in the way of enjoying life. I agree with Epicurus and I am trying to stop fearing death by thinking about it logically. I now ...
4
votes
2answers
156 views

Books/resources on non-existence

I believe that after we die there is nothing. The same that was before being born. So while I won’t care about not existing when it happens, the thought of it does bother me now, as I like being and ...
3
votes
3answers
392 views

What is the philosophical significance of the First Law of Thermodynamics?

The Law states that “no energy can be destroyed or created, for it is constant; it can only be transformed from one form to another”. Do you think this alignes with many of the teachings of Buddhism, ...
3
votes
5answers
867 views

How can death be a release from pain?

Has anyone discussed this particular problem, which may be a subset of Epicurean problems: can death be a good, for putting a stop to pain, even if dead people don't exist? This seems problematic, ...
3
votes
1answer
724 views

Death and Epictetus

In the Enchiridion, Epictetus seems suggest that goodness and badness are not “in” the world. They are “in” our reactions. For example he says that, “Death, for instance, is not terrible, else it ...
3
votes
3answers
959 views

Sleep and Death [closed]

If sleeping without dreaming (as I usually do) is somewhat akin to being dead (at least as far as our experience in a dreamless sleep is concerned), why are we, then, so very feared of death, but do ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the point of Heidegger's authenticity

I understand that the analysis of authenticity is part of his attempt to find the meaning of Being. But I'm not quite getting what it means to be authentic in today's somewhat nihilistic world. Is ...
3
votes
2answers
128 views

When should a human be declared dead?

This has a biological element to it, so I have also asked it on Biology SE, but there is an interesting philosophical element as well. What is it that makes us 'alive'? Our heart beat? Our brain ...
3
votes
1answer
245 views

A question on Bataille's belief

George Bataille, the French philosopher, believed that death is a means of connecting us, the so-called "discontinuous" creatures, to the "continuity" of being. We desire this, at the same time of ...
3
votes
2answers
324 views

Theories of rationality/emotions which make Epicurus' death argument work?

I've read restatements of Epicurus' famous argument which attempt to prove that the fear of death is irrational (I don't know if Epicurus himself ever used a word like this. From what I've read, he ...
3
votes
1answer
384 views

How does the physicalism discuss the line between life and death?

In this day and age with modern medicine, the line between life and death are blurred, as the brain dead may act as if it's alive, and the alive, due to being comatose may be reposed as if dead. What ...
3
votes
1answer
307 views

Does it even make sense to say pleasure has an innate value

I know that Nietzsche claims that some moral systems place too much value on pleasure, and that it isn't innately valuable like they claim. I keep being struck by the idea that it having innate value ...
3
votes
0answers
820 views

Why is all fear said to ultimately stem from the fear of death? [closed]

Is there a philosophical explanation behind the following statement: All fear is ultimately the ego's fear of death. I heard this phrase in Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth. I am having difficulty ...
3
votes
1answer
216 views

Does pragmatism view death as optional?

In a paper Pragmatism and Umwelt-theory the author begins by contrasting pragmatism with scientific realism. He writes something very intriguing at a certain point. That from pragmatic perspective "...
2
votes
3answers
110 views

What is the biological logic behind the respect of the dead? [closed]

I was wondering if we should respect dead bodies. The thing is that I feel I cannot show a disrespectful behavior towards a dead relative or a pet, but I cannot find any logical/rational argument for ...
2
votes
2answers
240 views

What are arguments against the option of immortality?

I have discussed on various occasions the possibility of human immortality with people. Most of the time people thought it would be a bad idea without giving specific reasons but relying on their ...
2
votes
3answers
847 views

About the fear of non-existence

Are there any reputable philosophical works that talk about the fear of non-existence as opposed to the fear of death? (Of course no one can imagine what it 'feels like' to not exist but if many ...
2
votes
3answers
340 views

Can death be given meaning through the theory of evolution?

Disclaimer: I haven't seen any other posts about this anywhere and one night, I was just thinking and scribbled this down, so I don't know where this could be found otherwise. What if, there is no ...
2
votes
2answers
8k views

Does the idea that saving someone's life makes you responsible for them have any real philosophical roots, or is it merely a Hollywood trope? [closed]

I have heard this idea before: if you save a person's life, then forever after, you will be responsible for them. The only references I can find to this concept are vague claims that it is an Asian ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Why's it hard to say exactly when a misfortune befalls an injured whiz?

Source: The Human Predicament: A Candid Guide to Life's Biggest Questions (1 edn, 2017). p. 113 Bottom.   “Atemporalism”: Still others have suggested that it may be possible for good or bad to ...
2
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2answers
131 views

Was there a confusion in capital punishment?

While capital punishment seems a lot less common now, I wonder if there was a inherent paradox or, at least, confusion in the morality of what it taught our children? Was it not essentially saying ...
2
votes
1answer
927 views

Source for (Stoic?) quote on death/(im)mortality

In Eckhart Tolle's book The Power of Now, there is the following fragment of a question that the author was asked: I read about a stoic philosopher in ancient Greece who, when he was told that ...
2
votes
2answers
103 views

What are objections to personality-theoretic identity branching? [duplicate]

I am currently watching the Yale open course "Philosophy of Death" with Shelly Kagan. So far he has made the case that there is not good enough reason to believe in the existence of an immaterial soul....
2
votes
1answer
90 views

Who is the charmer in Socrates' dialogue in Phaedo?

In Phaedo, Socrates was speaking to Cebes and Simmias saying that they are afraid of death that when the soul leaves the body, the wind will scatter her away (in their opinion). And later he says "Let ...
2
votes
2answers
208 views

Can we conceive of noumena and do we need to?

The encyclopedia Britannica says: Kant’s immediate successors in German Idealism in fact rejected the noumenal as having no existence for man’s intelligence A few days ago I asked another ...
2
votes
3answers
239 views

Do we have a right to die? [closed]

From the starting assumption that we have certain legal and human rights (as discussed here and here), such as the right to life, then does it follow that we also have a corresponding right to die? ...
2
votes
1answer
563 views

How can death matter to the dead person? - About the argument

I'm a mere beginner to philosophy and here, I'm not asking about philosophy or any abstraction about, but rather just the logic or strength of the argument for this essay topic: 'Does it matter if ...