philosophy and death

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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jan 05, 2021 6:09 pm

Ecmandu wrote:Iambiguous,

You have zero percent knowledge of the spirit world.

Everything you type is uneducated.

I’m going to take you back trillions of years in the past ....

We all were never born and we all will never die. Very simple.

The problem with this is that we get EXTREMELY bored with forever!

So a bunch of spirits submitted a new plan that they thought could entertain us forever... we all looked at the plan and said, “why the fuck not?”

That’s all this is.... “why the fuck not?”

Your entire lack of being in the spirit world is a result of you deciding to be asleep.

I’m waking you up. We need a new plan dude. This one doesn’t work.


You still have that "condition" I see. Not only that but it appears to be getting worse.

Fortunately, here at ILP, there's a thread for that: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=195805

:wink:
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:16 pm

Death & The Philosopher
Raymond Tallis on philosophical attitudes to non-being.

A world in which none of us cared about death would be one in which none of us cared about each other. That would seem to be a victory for death, not a victory over death. And to fix our gaze on what a small figure we cut in the world as a way of blunting our tragic sense is a kind of betrayal of those to whom we matter. The sense of our own objective insignificance, and that, in the long run, nothing matters very much, even if it conquered horror of death, can bring only a Pyrrhic victory.


There it is. A countless number of reactions that any of us might have in regard to death in general and to our own death in particular. Mine certainly being among the most pessimistic outlooks. Objectively, both my own life and death seem to be embedded in an insignificance that, in the context of all there is, and in a No God world, would seem to be far, far beyond encompassing in words. When one is but one of billions that the overwhelming preponderance of the global population are utterly oblivious to, how can one not but feel the futility of it all.

And yet that doesn't make me any less preoccupied with sustaining whatever life I have left for as long as possible. It is simply part of the existential reality of living "my life" that I don't spend a whole lot of time obsessing over the 'big picture". Not when I can only actually live my life from day to day intertwined in any number of very real contexts that generate any number of mental, emotional, psychological and physical experiences. Call it a paradox, call it an enigma, call it an anomaly, call it a conundrum.

The only thing I know for certain is that these individual reactions are no less the embodiment of dasein. And that it seems highly unlikely that philosophers will ever pin down the optimal or the ideal or the most rational reaction to death among our species.

Lucretius offers another way of minimising death even for one whose life has been favoured by fortune:

“Why groan and weep at death? For if the life that is past and gone has been pleasant to you, and all its blessings have not drained away and not been enjoyed… why don’t you retire like a guest sated with the banquet of life?”


On the other hand, my own reaction to reactions of this sort is empathic: that it seems preposterous to me beyond any attempt to communicate at all. It is precisely the elevated level of fulfillment itself when life is a banquet that sustains the despair one feels knowing that for all of eternity there are no more banquets to be had. Sure, a part of you can attempt to focus in on the fact that you are no longer around to sorely miss those banquets, and if that works, good for you. It just doesn't work for me me given my own psychological predispositions rooted in my own life.

In short, why not accept that all good things must come to an end? Precisely because one is not “sated with the banquet of life”. Life is not a meal, and we who live are not mere vessels to be filled. Yes, there are some who are tired of life, and everyone may feel this sometimes. But which of us, facing the real and present prospect of extinction, will not suddenly become aware of its preciousness?


Exactly. And, again, depending on just how sumptuous the banquet that is your own has become. That's why I have always imagined those "celebrities" who have had the most fulfilling lives being all the more distraught about their own death. They have so much more of the "good stuff" to lose.

The irony then being that if you want the least despair in the face of oblivion then have the most miserable life here and now.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jan 23, 2021 6:42 pm

Death, Faith & Existentialism
Filiz Peach explains what two of the greatest existentialist thinkers thought about death: Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers.

Death has been discussed comprehensively by very few philosophers.


How does one go about discussing comprehensively that which one has not yet experienced? Even in "intellectual contraptions" the discussion is limited to sheer speculation once all of the facts about it from "this side of the grave" are taken into account.

Instead, we only know that we will experience it. And, then, deciding "here and now" if we we will be better off dealing with whatever possible reality there might be on the other side of the grave. And that's all about tabulating the pleasure and the pain and then calculating how realistic the options are for effectuating constructive changes.

I'm still on the plus side here. So, I'm still around.

The rest then revolves by and large around the extent to which you are able to think yourself into believing in one or another God or one or another religion.

Thus...

Those who have dealt with it offer their views mostly on the awareness of death. Indeed, the only knowledge we have regarding death itself is that it is an inevitable universal event. We all know that we will die, and sooner or later most of us confront the reality of our own mortality. Let us look at the changing attitudes towards death over time, and then turn to the significance of death from two existential perspectives: Martin Heidegger’s and Karl Jaspers’.


Here however it might be more intriguing to explore death and existentialism from the perspective of those who were generally thought to be atheists and those who were generally thought to be theists. The theists being those like Soren Kierkegaard and Martin Buber.

Though in fact unlike you and I, they are all dead. So, unlike you and I, they either still do or do not have a perspective on death that you and I fumble about grappling with and grasping from this side of the grave.

With or without God and religion.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: philosophy and death

Postby Meno_ » Sat Jan 23, 2021 9:36 pm

iambiguous wrote:Death, Faith & Existentialism
Filiz Peach explains what two of the greatest existentialist thinkers thought about death: Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers.

Death has been discussed comprehensively by very few philosophers.


How does one go about discussing comprehensively that which one has not yet experienced? Even in "intellectual contraptions" the discussion is limited to sheer speculation once all of the facts about it from "this side of the grave" are taken into account.

Instead, we only know that we will experience it. And, then, deciding "here and now" if we we will be better off dealing with whatever possible reality there might be on the other side of the grave. And that's all about tabulating the pleasure and the pain and then calculating how realistic the options are for effectuating constructive changes.

I'm still on the plus side here. So, I'm still around.

The rest then revolves by and large around the extent to which you are able to think yourself into believing in one or another God or one or another religion.

Thus...

Those who have dealt with it offer their views mostly on the awareness of death. Indeed, the only knowledge we have regarding death itself is that it is an inevitable universal event. We all know that we will die, and sooner or later most of us confront the reality of our own mortality. Let us look at the changing attitudes towards death over time, and then turn to the significance of death from two existential perspectives: Martin Heidegger’s and Karl Jaspers’.


Here however it might be more intriguing to explore death and existentialism from the perspective of those who were generally thought to be atheists and those who were generally thought to be theists. The theists being those like Soren Kierkegaard and Martin Buber.

Though in fact unlike you and I, they are all dead. So, unlike you and I, they either still do or do not have a perspective on death that you and I fumble about grappling with and grasping from this side of the grave.

With or without God and religion.




Biggy, They may just not be dead, their gimmortality is evident , literally. Now go and figure.
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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Tue Feb 02, 2021 6:33 pm

Death, Faith & Existentialism
Filiz Peach explains what two of the greatest existentialist thinkers thought about death: Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers.

I would like to say a few words, however briefly and simply, about the popularly-held religious view of the significance of death. This will provide a good contrast with Heidegger’s and Jaspers’ views. According to this view, a person’s death is not seen as the end because the soul is regarded as immortal.


On the other hand, what do those existentialists who were either theists or atheists share in common about death? This: that "views" about death are not the same thing as facts about death.

And even views [here] are no less existential contraptions rooted in the subjective/subjunctive "I".

No "souls" have yet to be yanked up out of our "hearts and minds". Or none that I am aware of.

But, not to worry. None of that "reality" stuff need matter:

In the mediaeval period, for example, the soul was regarded as the ‘form’ of the body and the two were seen in natural unity. This unity is broken up at the moment of death when the body perishes, whereas the soul continues to exist in one form or another. Some of the most important, though by no means universal, tenets of this commonly held religious view are:

• Man’s being is non-finite in that existence continues beyond death both bodily and spiritually, however not as a disembodied soul.

• What comes after death is valued higher than ‘being-inthe- world’ here and now.

• Belief in resurrection and judgement by God is closely tied up with the significance of the individual’s actions during his lifetime. After death the individual’s life is judged, the good are rewarded and the bad are punished.

• There are two specific forms of existence after death, namely peaceful existence in heaven or suffering in hell.


See how it works? You come to believe all of this is true and so -- miraculously enough! -- that is what makes it true! Either in being indoctrinated by others or in conjuring up your own spiritual assumptions. It's all just "in your head" anyway.

And because it is true [in there] it tranquillizes you. It soothes you, it calms you. And no less today than back in the "dark ages". And all the Enlightenment from all the Humanists in the world won't make the things that religion [and only religion] can provide you go away: immorality and salvation.

Then it's just a matter of being one the fortunate ones able to take this belief all the way to the grave. I only made until I was about 20 myself.

But then you're not me, right?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:00 pm

Death, Faith & Existentialism
Filiz Peach explains what two of the greatest existentialist thinkers thought about death: Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers.

In the West, with the growth of scientific knowledge, particularly from the 17th century onwards, man’s intellectual interest shifted towards science and technology.


North, South, East, West. Scientifically, philosophically, theologically, technologically. Intellectually or for all practical purposes.

One thing remains the same. We know that everyone dies. We don't know what that means. Science merely employs a methodology that seems considerably more intent on focusing in on what may or may not unfold given actual hard evidence. What can we verify about death? What can we falsify about it?

Not much at all in regard to what in fact does happen to "I" on the other side of the grave.

The creator, the creation of the universe and man’s central position as maintained by theology were questioned, and religious faith began to decline. The weakening of religious beliefs changed man’s outlook concerning his idea of death and its significance. Increasingly, the focus switched to life ‘here and now’ as man became more preoccupied with the material side of the world at the expense of the spiritual.


Yes, faith has declined. And no doubt about it: capitalism has created a frame of mind that is increasingly preoccupied with all of the things the mind can concern itself with on the journey from the cradle to the grave: Politics. Relationships. Sports. The arts. Entertainment. All you need here to make death go away for a while is the money that creates the actual options.

On the other hand, that doesn't make the "morality here and now, immortality there and then" part go away. And for that God and religion are still basically the only game in town. At least to the extent that you crave the very, very best of assurances.

With the existential-phenomenological approach to death, man’s being-in-the-world, his alienation from himself and the acceptance of his finitude in the face of death have become primary philosophical concerns.


Mankind perhaps. But when it comes down to individual men and women faced with a set of circumstances in which death seems either miles and miles away or in which death is staring you down eyeball to eyeball, the "existential-phenomenological approach" is just one more intellectual contraption. That some pursue this philosophically doesn't make the fear or the terror that many feel in confronting their very own death less suffocating.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:34 pm

Death, Faith & Existentialism
Filiz Peach explains what two of the greatest existentialist thinkers thought about death: Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers.

Heidegger’s Analysis of Death


Analysis indeed. If you get my drift.

It is interesting to note that Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) was brought up and schooled within the traditional religious framework and yet this framework seems to be discarded in Being and Time. In fact, there is no explicit reference to God in this work.


Why would that be interesting? Well, because the explanation that makes the most sense to me is in reconfiguring Dasein as a philosophical contraption into dasein as an existential contraption.

He was "brought up" to think one way. And he abandoned it. So, clearly, he had either accumulated experiences that changed his mind more or less than he accumulated philosophical arguments that accomplished it. And that is what is always interesting to me.

Although Heidegger’s analysis indicates a radical break with the traditional view, some of his concepts point to some religious ideas, for example ‘fallenness’, ‘thrownness’, ‘guilt’, etc. Heidegger gave new significance to the meaning of death in his ontological inquiry in Being and Time. He asks what it means for any entity to be, and gives an existential analysis of Dasein (his term for human existence). According to Heidegger, the Being of human beings can be established on a purely phenomenological basis without reference to a deity or the concept of immortality.


Right, an ontological inquiry into the meaning of death. Yet isn't this always my point? That we cannot speak coherently about either life or death until we can speak coherently of all that one needs to know about existence itself?

Yeah, but why do some actually imagine that their own conclusions accomplish this?

Thus to speak of "the Being of human beings...established on a purely phenomenological basis without reference to a deity or the concept of immortality" is to imagine that intellectual contraptions of this sort really are capturing something utterly profound about the human condition.

Which is why I prefer the considerably smaller "d" dasein. The existential self becoming from the cradle to the grave. We all die. That really seems to be as close as we an come to an ontological assessment. As for the teleological parameters of it all, that's what the invention of the Gods and religion is for.

Or, rather, so it still seems to me.

Heidegger’s analysis of death is not concerned with how people feel when they are about to die nor with death as a biological event. Its focus is on the existential significance which this certain ‘yet-to-come’ death has to human life, i.e. to Dasein’s being-in-the-world.


Right. What does "the focus...on the existential significance which this certain ‘yet-to-come’ death has to human life, i.e. to Dasein’s being-in-the-world" have to do with with "how people feel when they are about to die nor with death as a biological event".

Okay, a part of me recognizes how and why "technically", "epistemologically" it might be important to go there as a philosopher. And to the extent that those here choose to emulate Heidegger and others and focus on that, fine. But after accumulating their conclusions, how on earth are they relevant to the part that preoccupies me: morality here and now, immortality there and then.

Having pinned down the most sophisticated and rational manner in which to "the focus...on the existential significance which this certain ‘yet-to-come’ death has to human life, i.e. to Dasein’s being-in-the-world", what does it have to do with the things that "I" think about in regard to death. The fact that, for example, it -- the abyss -- seems to be the only possible culmination to an essentially meaningless and purposeless existence on this side of the grave?

Or: how did he connect the dots existentially between his philosophical assessment of Dasein/death and, say, the Nazis.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: philosophy and death

Postby Meno_ » Fri Feb 26, 2021 8:25 pm

The separate but partially binding liability between what is, and what ought to be, is still enigmatic.
Literally, death is solopsistic and singulad, but accounably, death dies not really exist.

I think that may figure within the Das ein.
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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Fri Mar 05, 2021 8:32 pm

Death, Faith & Existentialism
Filiz Peach explains what two of the greatest existentialist thinkers thought about death: Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers.

For Heidegger, understanding the phenomenon of death involves grasping the Being of Dasein as a whole.


This despite the fact that, in order to accomplish this, would or would not Heidegger, a mere mortal here on planet Earth, have to acknowledge that the "Being of Dasein as a whole" is no less embedded in the gap between what he thinks he knows about the human condition and all that there is to be known about it?

In other words, not unlike you or I. And not just death, but life itself.

If Dasein is understood existentially as a possibility, then it becomes clear that Dasein’s authentic Being in its totality is ‘Being-towards-death’. Through facing death, Dasein understands what it means to be. This reflective process is the crux of Heidegger’s analysis of death. In order to clarify his views on the existential conception of death, Heidegger distinguishes between two basic forms of Being: authentic and inauthentic Being.


Back again to the "existentialist" understanding of living one's life "authentically". In order to be True to your Self, you must broach, then assess, then come to conclusions of this sort about your own Death. About your own Being.

Only [of course] very few of us [apparently] have either the intellectual honesty or integrity to embody this in the lives that we live. Instead, most either put all of their faith [indoctrinated or not] in one or another God or No God religious path, bestowing one or another rendition of immortality and salvation on the flock, or they accumulate any number earthly pleasures in the form of distractions from death and oblivion.

Or, if one must go up into the clouds of abstraction:

In the everyday mode of being, Dasein interprets the phenomenon of death as an event constantly occurring in the world. It is a ‘case’ that happens to others. The general comment is “One of these days one will die too, in the end; but right now it has nothing to do with us.” Dying remains anonymous and it has no connection with the ‘I’.


Here, however, I always come back to this: whatever works.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Sun Mar 14, 2021 7:59 pm

Death, Faith & Existentialism
Filiz Peach explains what two of the greatest existentialist thinkers thought about death: Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers.

In the everyday mode of being, Dasein interprets the phenomenon of death as an event constantly occurring in the world. It is a ‘case’ that happens to others. The general comment is “One of these days one will die too, in the end; but right now it has nothing to do with us.” Dying remains anonymous and it has no connection with the ‘I’.


That's the beauty of configuring death into an intellectual contraption. It tells us both everything and absolutely nothing about our own actual existential death. On the other hand, it's not like we do much better when we come down out of the clouds. Still, I prefer dasein to Dasein here. How ought one to live knowing that "one of these days..."

How does the existential reality of oblivion [an assumption] factor into the behaviors we choose on this side of the grave. And what when those behaviors come into conflict with others. Between, for example, Nazis and Jews. What then of Dasein interpreting the phenomenon of death?

Facing one’s own death is radically different from being concerned with the death of others.


Unless, of course, given any number of circumstances, your death is profoundly intertwined in theirs. Facing death together. Or, together, one bringing about the death of the other?

You tell me: dasein or Dasein?

My own death means the end of my possibilities, the total disintegration and the end of my world. The fear of my own death comes from the fear of my extinction as a human being. This causes me a great deal of anxiety. I may be able to face other people’s death but may find it virtually impossible to come to terms with my own death. Heidegger says Dasein cannot experience its own death. As long as Dasein exists, it is not complete, that is, there are still some of its possibilities outstanding. If, however, Dasein dies, then it is ‘no-longerthere’.


Well, Dasein can go back up into the clouds here, but dasein has to deal with the day to day experiences that may or may not include death existentially.

Also, there is the God/religion option. Clearly, to the extent that one is able to think oneself into truly believing in their own immortality and salvation "total disintegration" becomes "paradise" itself.

Finally, particular daseins may opt for suicide. They choose oblivion over whatever terrible pain and suffering makes life itself unbearable.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:39 pm

Death, Faith & Existentialism
Filiz Peach explains what two of the greatest existentialist thinkers thought about death: Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers.

How, then, does Dasein break through the mode of fallenness and lift itself up to authenticity? Heidegger’s answer to this question is: through ‘Being-towards-death’. Rising to authenticity can be achieved, says Heidegger, through a particular state-of-mind: dread (Angst). Dread is a mood which enables Dasein first to turn away from itself and then to be thrown back to confront itself.


Tell that to the Jews?

No, seriously, the actual existential deaths that we experience are always out in a particular world given a particular set of circumstances. And considerably less a reflection of all this philosophical mumbo-jumbo about dread as a "state-of-mind" that those in the death camps must learn to "turn away from...and then to be thrown back to confront itself".

Or in regard to your own more or less imminent encounter with oblivion?

On the other hand, sure, if what some accomplish with God and religion, you can accomplish with the optimal "authentic" philosophical reasoning, well, whatever works. That will always be my own mantra. Whatever you can think yourself into believing is true about either life or death...if it comforts and consoles you considerably more than what "I" am now impaled on then bully for you.

All that's left for those who are compatible with Heidegger's own "general description intellectual contraptions" here is to learn how to accomplish it:

In order to achieve this, one has to transcend one’s everyday inauthentic mode of Being. Heidegger says dread is necessary for Dasein to grasp its existential freedom and his possibilities. Death is existentially significant when one perceives one’s existence in the light of Being, not if it is merely taken as an empirical event that will happen someday. According to Heidegger, this analysis enables us to have an understanding of our finitude, and this awareness makes authentic existence possible. Heidegger does not give an explanation of death itself but offers a phenomenology of our relationship to death. His philosophy is thoughtful but gloomy. His account of death portrays a no-hope mode of Being and he has often been criticised for this.


Is this or is this not a classic example of a "serious philosopher" at work? A "a phenomenology of our relationship to death". Go ahead, the next time you come across someone who is in fact dying down here on the ground, note this for them. See if they react "authentically".

In my view, death is "existentially significant" given a frame of mind that takes into account the things that you love and cherish...the things that your own flesh and blood death take away for all of eternity; and all the pain and suffering it takes away; and that which you have managed to believe is true about an "afterlife" in regard to God and religion.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Sat Apr 03, 2021 7:39 pm

Death, Faith & Existentialism
Filiz Peach explains what two of the greatest existentialist thinkers thought about death: Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers.

Jaspers’ Notion of Death

Turning to Jaspers’ approach to death, we will find that it is quite different from Heidegger’s view. First of all, unlike Heidegger, Karl Jaspers does not impose an ontological structure upon human beings.


All I can do here, given the context of "all there is", is to note once again just how preposterous it would seem for any infinitesimally tiny speck of existence -- a mere mortal here on planet Earth -- to speak of an "ontological structure" for human beings.

Not that one can legitimately criticize those who try. Heidegger and Jaspers gave it their best shot. And, in fact, we have any number of members right here at ILP who have given it their best shot in turn.

But, come on: the ontological assessment of the human condition? And that's before we get to what would seem to be the even greater prize: the teleological assessment of the human condition.

The role death plays in that.

Secondly, his break with the traditional view of death is not so radical. Jaspers offers a possibility for Existenz to merge into Transcendence, ultimate reality. This does not necessarily suggest personal immortality nor does it imply total annihilation. Although Jaspers’ views on death are not considered to be religious, certain existential concepts such as Existenz, Transcendence and Being remind us of religious concepts but under different terminology.


Capitalizing words like these in an argument is not nearly the same as demonstrating why "for all practical purposes" they deserve to be.

Existenz. Transcendence. Being.

You tell me: How is the actual and the factual "death and beyond" for those who capitalize them in philosophical assessments any different from the deaths of those who don't?

Ultimate reality here would seem to be just another more or less sophisticated Theory Of Everything.

Right, Jacob?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Wed Apr 14, 2021 7:00 pm

Death, Faith & Existentialism
Filiz Peach explains what two of the greatest existentialist thinkers thought about death: Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers.

It might be useful here to give a brief description of Jaspers’ key philosophical terms, namely Dasein and Existenz. According to Jaspers, Dasein is a mode of Being which manifests itself as the empirical self with a temporal dimension. It is a part of the world but cannot be understood as an object in isolation.


In other words, a flesh and blood subject that, for most of us, from the cradle to the grave, come to embody birth, school, work and death. But what on earth does all of this have to do with Being? And who on earth would ever conclude that any particular human being could be thought of as an object in isolation?

Aside, perhaps, from those here who, even in regard to moral and political value judgments, basically do just that. In fact, I have a word for them. It's just that, in regard to death itself, it would seem that the becoming dasein reconfigures into Dasein the Being only through, well, what else is there but God and religion?

Existenz, however, is the true, non-objective and free self that transcends time.


Got that? Okay, then move beyond intellectual contraptions like this and note how you would go about demonstrating your own Extistenz in regard to, say, your own...existence>

I can't even begin to grasp my own life in these terms. Can you?

Then from my frame of mind it just becomes all the more unintelligible:

As it is not an objective entity it is not accessible to empirical inquiry. Since authentic existence is very difficult to achieve, and man often falls back into his empirical existence, Existenz remains mostly as a possibility. Jaspers’ Dasein is quite different from Heidegger’s Dasein in that the latter cannot transcend its finitude.


If this does not exemplify "serious philosophy" at its most irrelevant, it's hard [for me] to imagine an even more obscure and impenetrable assessment. Of either human life or death.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Fri Apr 23, 2021 5:45 pm

Death, Faith & Existentialism
Filiz Peach explains what two of the greatest existentialist thinkers thought about death: Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers.

In order to understand Jaspers’ views on death we must first bear in mind that according to Jaspers we are always in situations. This is an inevitable condition of man’s existence.


Sound familiar? In regard to either life or death, we all come to embody vantage points that are rooted in particular sets of circumstances derived from particular historical, cultural and individual contexts. So, in communicating our own views on either life or death what else is there but the capacity to discovery those things that appear true for all of us as objective facts and those things that are understood more subjectively as merely personal opinions?

Secondly, there are four major ‘boundary situations’ (those situations which threaten our sense of security and the foundation of our existence) of which the most important is death because it signifies the end of man’s ‘being-in-the-world’.


Not counting those who, for any number of personal reasons, actually choose to select death as the best of all possible worlds. As securing them the better option.

Jaspers distinguishes between two different meanings of death. Death is perceived as either the ceasing of existence as an objective fact or as a specific boundary situation. Put simply, the fact of death is very different from death as a boundary situation. Facing one’s own death is a specific boundary situation and it is personal because Existenz convinces itself that Dasein – the basis of its empirical existence, ie the bodily existence – is temporal and transient and has to come to an end.


So, how would you reconfigure this intellectual contraption into a description of death in attempting to convey it to particular individuals who may well be existing in very, very, very different situations? Facing not the technical fact of death given the inherent parameters of human biology, but in being eyeball to eyeball with the Grim Reaper himself. What are we confronted with here if not the profound limitations of philosophy itself?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Mon May 03, 2021 4:31 pm

Death, Faith & Existentialism
Filiz Peach explains what two of the greatest existentialist thinkers thought about death: Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers.

As Existenz, one grasps Dasein’s finitude through the constant presence of potential death and the concrete reality and necessity of it. One knows that one has to face death with dignity, accept it and come to terms with it. Jaspers says that the boundary situation of death suggests that anything we do as possible Existenz in existence has to be ‘in view of death’. In a sense, life becomes a continuous process of learning to die.


This is what some existentialists might call "authenticity". You only really grasp death when you think about it as they do. Whatever that means.

Death with dignity? Learning how to die? Tell me this isn't rooted in all manner of conflicting historical and cultural and experiential contexts?

Nope, for me there is only this: the terror of dying when you live a life still bursting at the seams with things that fulfill you and that bring you pleasure. The wanting to die when the pain becomes so much more unendurable than the pleasure.

No need to delve into it philosophically at all. Just "I don't want to die!" and "I don't want to live!"

Though, sure, given the sheer complexity embedded in the human condition there are always going to be plenty of narratives in between. Yours and mine for example.

Jaspers says that when the death of the person one loved occurs life may become a lonely worldly existence for the one who stays behind. The grief and pain we feel lead us to hopelessness and may take us into the boundary situation of death. Although death destroys the loved one phenomenally, existential communication is preserved, it is eternal.


Right, as though there are not plenty of "inauthentic" mental and emotional accounts still available to choose from. You merely have to have that as an option.

But this still all comes down to any particular one of us losing a loved one. There are so many different frames of mind here. On the other hand, some [like me] are less impressed with communication that is said to be preserved for eternity by calling it existential.

Also, what might this sort of communication consist of? I suspect that when I am dead any communication that I have created as well as any communication that continues on about me after I'm gone won't do me a lot of good.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Wed May 12, 2021 3:51 pm

Death, Faith & Existentialism
Filiz Peach explains what two of the greatest existentialist thinkers thought about death: Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers.

Jaspers goes on to say that human beings understand the inevitability of their future deaths and the concept of nonbeing.


Well, not counting those living "inauthentic lives" of course. They understand -- believe -- that the "the inevitability of their future deaths" and "concept of nonbeing" are easily enough subsumed in one or another leap of faith.

In fact, we've got a handful of them here.

Man thinks that as long as he is alive he cannot experience his own death, and once he ceases to be alive he cannot experience it either – a typical Epicurean argument! So, the experience of one’s own death seems an impossibility. As a result, he does not perceive death as cause for concern.


A route noted by, among others, Woody Allen as well. Not "man" generically but any particular man or woman who thinks of stuff like this "philosophically".

Remember this exchange?

Mickey: Aren't you afraid of dying?
Father: Why be afraid?
Mickey: You won't exist.
Father: So?
Mickey: That doesn't terrify you?
Father: I'm alive. When I'm dead, I'm dead.
Mickey: Aren't you frightened?
Father: I'll be unconscious.
Mickey: But never to exist again?
Father: How do you know?
Mickey: It doesn't look promising.
Father: Who knows what'll be? I'll either be unconscious or I won't. If not, I'll deal with it then. I won't worry now.

So, the experience of one’s own death seems an impossibility. As a result, he does not perceive death as cause for concern. He ignores his possible Existenz and clings on to his worldly activities.


Come on, the actual experience of death itself is something that might seem impossible because we have never actually experienced our death...yet. On the other hand, our concern about what seems to be the indisputable fact that someday we will die more than makes up for it with most of us. And we can cling to our worldly activities only until, one by one, we can't.

Alternatively, Dasein may ignore its everyday existence entirely and hide within its nihilistic or mystical realm. This would be another way of avoiding boundary situations. Thus, if man cannot face up to death existentially, he either preoccupies himself with worldly things or escapes into a mystical realm.


Yeah, Dasein, maybe. On the other hand, dasein is more inclined to "avoid boundary situations" given the arguments I make in my signature threads here.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Sat May 22, 2021 6:53 pm

Death, Faith & Existentialism
Filiz Peach explains what two of the greatest existentialist thinkers thought about death: Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers.

The Problems of Immortality

There is a widely held belief that existence continues in some other form after death. This belief is generally connected with religious faith or personal ‘psychic’ experiences. The individual is able to get rid of the terror of facing death through his belief.


It is also often noted that in our increasingly more "postmodern" age, where, through the internet alone, people have access to countless "points of view" about both life and death, there has been a drop in the number of those able or willing to take that leap of faith to God. Even here in America, the numbers are falling.

What then are the consequences of that? If you come to believe that there is no life after death, that there is no God around to reduce human interactions down to Judgment Day...then what?

How many more will take a leap instead to, "in the absence of God all things are permitted"? How many more sociopaths in other words? How many more ubermen intent only on mastering the slaves? How many more moral nihilists putting all their eggs in the "show me the money" mentality that sustains the global economy?

Or, sure, stay up in the stratosphere reflected in the intellectual contraptions of some right here.

Jaspers thinks that the temporal continuity of Dasein in any form is absurd. He says that in this situation ‘the horror of not being’ is lost and ‘true dying’ ceases. This, in turn, stops man from seeking his true self.


Got that? Okay reconfigure it into an assessment of your own behaviors in regard to your own spiritual, philosophical and existential take on death.

Right here, for example.

I think there are some problems to be addressed here. Firstly, Jaspers assumes that any belief in immortality of human beings is unfounded and false. There is indeed no conclusive evidence – scientific or otherwise – to indicate that there is any kind of existence beyond death. This belief is based on faith.


True. On the other hand...

By the same token, some of the Jaspersian notions such as Existenz, Transcendence and Being are also based on faith, philosophical faith but faith nonetheless. Some of Jaspers’ concepts are not describable, demonstrable or, some would claim, not comprehensible. Yet Jaspers himself based his whole philosophy on these concepts and believed in them wholeheartedly. In theory, his basis for his belief is not much different from the basis of the belief of those individuals who believe in immortality. The only difference is that Jaspers argues his case a lot better and more systematically.


Here all I can do is to seek out those who think that they do comprehend what Jaspers means by all of this and to ask them to take his conclusions out into the world and explore them given the components of my own philosophy in the face of both life and death: dasein, conflicting goods, political economy.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Mon May 31, 2021 6:21 pm

Death, Faith & Existentialism
Filiz Peach explains what two of the greatest existentialist thinkers thought about death: Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers.

....according to Jaspers, the individual’s ‘unfounded belief’ in immortality stops man from seeking his true self. I would argue that human beings understand the horror of the experience of death whatever their belief is. However much they may believe in immortality, when they come face to face with death sooner or later they may still feel despair. In the face of death no belief can guarantee the individual a sense of relief or a sense of ‘exemption’ so to speak.


Clearly, the manner in which we are able to think ourselves into believing one thing rather than another about death can have a profound impact on the behaviors we choose. Believe in one or another God commanding one or another Scripture and, with Heaven or Hell on the line, you will act accordingly.

But a "true self" is to me no less an existential contraption than God Himself. You can reject religion but then anchor yourself to one or another secular facsimile and still be in the same boat: an either/or morality in which Right and Wrong, Good and Evil become a fundamental part of what motivates your deportment with and around others.

As for speculating that no one is immune to despair when eyeball to eyeball with the Grim Reaper...who can really say, right? It's not for nothing that most religions insist that suicide is a sin. After all, if it was not deemed to be, how many of the true believers might opt "here and now" to end their life in order that their soul be catapulted into Paradise?

Furthermore, it is not impossible for a human being to seek her true self and actually transcend her physical being within the framework of her own belief system, whether it is theological or philosophical.


Not impossible? Hell, it happens all the time. All one need do is to believe that they are in sync with their true self and that, on the other side of the grave, this true self carries on as a soul for all of eternity in one or another paradise or Nirvana.

For example, the Sufis do not need boundary situations in order to transcend their worldly being and become one with the totality, ie God. They are able to find the true self within themselves by achieving higher levels of consciousness and dissolving themselves into that Being. The meaning of death for the Sufi is returning of the consciousness to the universal totality and being One with the Deity. The physical body decays and disintegrates at death but the individual consciousness is absorbed in this ultimate reality and returns to its original source which is infinite and eternal. This concept is not much different from Jaspers’ Existenz merging into Transcendence, ultimate reality.


Sure, if you really want to put months and years into the mental disciplines practiced by these folks, go ahead. Or, again, go to a place of worship every other Friday, Saturday or Sunday, read from the Scriptures occasionally, try to practice what you preach and merely believe that immortality and salvation awaits you.

That is really all that is necessary for the faithful: believing it.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jun 10, 2021 5:16 pm

Death, Faith & Existentialism
Filiz Peach explains what two of the greatest existentialist thinkers thought about death: Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers.

We have seen that the 20th century existential view of death is significantly different from the traditional view.


On the other hand, given my own interest in death from both sides of the grave, what they both share in common is still this:

1] having no real substantive clues as to what actually awaits us on the other side of it

and thus...

2] having nothing definitive to provide us in the way of how one ought to live on this side of it...given that there may actually be a connection between them

Either in a God or a No God world.

However, in the analyses of both Heidegger and Jaspers there is a hint of religious notions. Certain existential concepts such as fallenness, call of conscience, guilt, Transcendence, Being and Existenz all point to theological conceptions in secular guise.


In other words, if an attempt is made to connect the dots here for "I", what other option is left us? All that Humanism is [from my point of view] is an attempt to shunt death itself off to the side for now so that secular objectivists can concoct any number of ideological and deontological assessments that might allow some who can concoct one or another moral and political consensus in one of another community to sustain something along the lines of a "right makes might" approach to human interactions.

Then, as well, those No God objectivists who anchor their own "true self" to things like nature, biological imperatives, genes and/or the Ubermensch.

With the traditional view, death signifies the end of our being on which judgement will be passed and on which the possibility of a higher form of being depends. This very point has been taken up by both Heidegger and Jaspers. Heidegger is silent on any possibility of transcending the finitude of Dasein; human beings are inherent in the world and authentic existence within the world is emphasised. Jaspers, however, develops a concept of transcending death, not as a person or Dasein but as Existenz. I think this is a transworldly correspondence to the traditional view of death.


Two things that seem to be reasonably certain:

1] both of them are now dead
2] those who are still among the living have no idea as to what that actually means

Well, not counting those here who insist that they do.

So, if you're one of them, you're up: tell us.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jun 20, 2021 6:33 pm

Death, Faith & Existentialism
Filiz Peach explains what two of the greatest existentialist thinkers thought about death: Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers.

Having looked at the significance of death from different perspectives, it is reasonable to assume that it will continue to take different forms in accordance with people’s world views.


And it is reasonable because we all eventually experience death. We all die. But we do not all live the same life culminating in the same "world view" about the meaning of either life or death. I simply examine the practical implications of this given my own subjective understanding of dasein.

At the present time there is a general scepticism about the possibility of life after death. The traditional concepts of reward and punishment by God do not seem to be relevant today to many people. We know we must all die but we are not certain that contemporary scientists are correct in maintaining that consciousness must discontinue with the bodily death.


On the other hand, until and unless science itself can establish the fate of "I" on "the other side", the only seeming wager in town is still one or another religious path. But: even here "leaps of faith" will be profoundly embedded in dasein. Some leap, some don't. Why? Well, it is certainly not because philosophers have managed to pin down the most rational option. Instead, for me, it is intertwined in our own personal experiences out in what can be very different worlds that push us in different directions. The part those here who embrace one or another "general description spiritual contraption" steer clear of.

Leaps such as this:

We know that the concepts of physics have changed. On the one hand, we may believe but cannot prove that scientists have sufficient knowledge about the nature of things to assert that survival in some form is impossible. On the other hand, we may be convinced, but similarly cannot prove, that certain phenomena indicate that survival is possible. A belief in survival provides a universal comfort and reassurance but since knowledge of ultimate things cannot be attained by mere reasoning, such belief, as Jaspers would be the first to agree, has to be based on an act of faith.


But then the part that revolves around all those who opted for death. They committed suicide for any number of personal reasons no less profoundly rooted in dasein.

Then the sheer mystery that is human life and death itself.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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