philosophy and death

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Re: philosophy and death

Postby Meno_ » Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:30 am

Iambigious said:

"Clearly, if God here was predicated on the "intellectual" assumption that "universals or abstract objects exist objectively and outside of human minds", than anything goes. If you can think it up, it exists. It's only a matter then of stumbling out of the cave and naming the objects."




Sure , one can do along with the actual form that simulates the post modern sense of it taken literally.

However, inducing an abstract representation , processes any other deconstruction, it forgets the cumulative structural background of the evolving idea.

It seems almost irrelevant to point to Jesus' existence, for He assumes a role, a script, that became almost a foreseeable event, .

God, the Father did in fact became Man, through the Son, who needed to learn His language, in order to understand his own soul.

The soul became the transcendent object of his own self consciousness, as the reflexive turning point, from the initial narcissistic punishment of the self,

The metamorphosis occured, and that primal event would have become It's own Being, if that did not happen.

So, it couldn't have not happened !


Why?


Why and how did myths attain universal significance in our lives, that have stood their significant ground, as shadowing the biblical account of the advent of consciouness, and now of Superconsciousness, in the new, mechanistic form?
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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:57 pm

Dying At The Right Time
Morgan Rempel wonders whether there is a good time to die.

Nietzsche’s Death

As surely as bad timing compromises the death of Jesus according to Nietzsche Zarathustra, I propose that the matter of timing likewise causes Nietzsche’s own death to fall on the bad side of Zarathustra’s ledger. For dying too early is only one way that poor timing can make for a less-than-successful death, according to Zarathustra. The other, of course, is dying too late.


Zarathustra's ledger. Your ledger. My ledger. The ledger of anyone. How could any ledger pertaining to the "timeliness" of Nietzsche's death amount to anything other than a subjective assessment rooted in dasein? Now, sure, there are actual facts about his death that can or cannot be established as true objectively. Just as there are facts about his life. But in judging either his life or his death as more or less this or more or less that, while perhaps not entirely futile, will certainly come to junctures in which sets of assumptions unable to be pinned down definitively will result in any number of [at times] heated discussions and debates.

While Nietzsche in fact died at the age of 55 in 1900, it is the sad circumstances surrounding his illness and death which bring to mind Thus Spoke Zarathustra’s admonitions to those who “hang on… too long” and as a result, fail to master “the difficult art of going at the right time.” As is well known, Nietzsche was plagued by steadily deteriorating health since his youth. A litany of physical symptoms: acute myopia, ever-worsening bouts of nausea and other gastro-intestinal problems, and agonizing headaches, contributed to him resigning his promising professorship in 1879, at the age of only 34. By the mid-1880s, Nietzsche’s wretched condition, compounded by his ongoing efforts to self-medicate, left the increasingly isolated philosopher bed-ridden for days at a time. In January 1889, at the age of 44, Nietzsche collapsed on the streets of Turin, and lapsed into madness for the rest of his life [see p.38].


The other side of the coin. It's decided that you died too early, or too late or at just the right time. But what about the actual death itself. The "set of circumstances" you have to experience when it is all finally over. To what extent did Nietzsche's mental state allow him even to grasp oblivion?

You tell me: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich ... %80%931900)

He died of pneumonia but he also suffered from dementia. And words like insanity and madness pop up. So perhaps he was all but oblivious to the prospect of oblivion itself. And isn't that the sort of death that many others would want for themselves? I know that I would.

Yet, again, if you were to stop a hundred people at random on the street and ask them which sets of circumstances they would themselves prefer to face at death, you are likely to get lots of different answers. In other words, right to the very end, "I", in many crucial contexts, remains the embodiment of dasein.
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 sacrosanct » Wed Oct 28, 2020 10:39 am

to philosophize is a ritual every human being engage in everyday. to die is an inevitable phenomenon no one can prevent to not happen as per se living a normal life is impossible to some however possible to others for society is defined by heritage and ethnicity. dying for normal reasons is a cause no one can define however dying abnormally is not to engage with disease stricken improbabilities. wanting to die and not wanting to die is subjective for every humanitirian rationalizing the humanities intrinsically.
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Re: philosophy and death

Postby promethean75 » Wed Oct 28, 2020 10:43 am

How could any ledger pertaining to the "timeliness" of Nietzsche's death amount to anything other than a subjective assessment rooted in dasein?


It's actually a subjective assessment rooted in Heineken. N said himself that german metaphysics was owed to beer, and it's not for nothing that Ns been elevated to an almost metaphysical, mythical status.
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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Wed Nov 04, 2020 5:13 pm

Dying At The Right Time
Morgan Rempel wonders whether there is a good time to die.

What brings to mind Zarathustra’s warnings about the ‘too late’ deaths of those who “hang on… too long” is the fact that the insane Nietzsche went on to live for another eleven years, with each year bringing greater mental and physical incapacity. By 1900, the year of his death, the 55-year-old Nietzsche was barely able to move, and had essentially no knowledge of where he was, who he was, or who he had been.


How on earth to grasp let alone grapple with this as something that was a "good" thing for him or a "bad" thing. He's barely in his mid forties when everything starts to fall apart for him [both physically and mentally] but at the end how much in touch was he with all the things that death would take away...or the fact that he was tumbling over into the abyss that was oblivion. He never had to stare into the abyss as most of us will.

Me, I'm all for dementia before I go. But just not yet.

While no-one wishes death upon a 44-year-old, it seems clear that according to Zarathustra’s criteria, Nietzsche would have died a better death had he expired in the streets of Turin in 1889 rather than only end his sane life there.


Our problem here though is we have no idea what it was like to be inside his head over those 11 years. Was there considerable more pain than pleasure, considerable more suffering that satisfaction? You tell me. Based on everything you have garnered in regard to his condition. Even afflicted physically and mentally, one can still have access to things that make life worth living. It's just that there are so many different variables to consider in so many different sets of circumstances isn't it really all rather futile for philosophers to tackle it? Other than in intellectual contraptions like the authors?

Recognizing this, Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, comparing men to apples, prophetically proclaims:

“Many too many live and they hang on their branches much too long. I wish a storm would come and shake all this rottenness and worm-eatenness from the tree! I wish preachers of speedy death would come! They would be the fitting storm and shakers of the trees of life!”


Of course this too is just the reflection of but one man who, based on the life that he lived, had come to think this. Others may be quite content to weather the storm given lives that to them are still worth living. In fact, an aphoristic assessment of this sort reminds one that Nietzsche basically divided the world up between "one of us" [the ubermen] and "one of them" [the flocks of sheep].

So, what are other men and women obligated to "recognize"? Not being apples, for example.

Unfortunately, even if Nietzsche had died in Turin in 1889, his noteworthy lack of immediate intellectual heirs would seemingly still have prevented him attainting the consummating death Zarathustra lauds and Socrates embodies. But at least he would have been spared the ‘double death’ that was his fate. At least, to use Zarathustra’s imagery, the long-suffering philosopher would not himself be counted among those who hang on to the branches of life so long as to become ‘rotten’ and ‘worm-eaten’.


And here one can well recognize why the Nazis might be drawn to this sort of thinking. And then taking it as far as the Final Solution for the "apples" that they insist are hanging on the branches far longer than they deserve to.

"The consummating death"? Is this something philosophers have any business at all addressing.
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 Nov 16, 2020 6:04 pm

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

I have recently been rereading Thomas Nagel’s The View from Nowhere (1986). In the more than thirty years since its publication, the standing of this relatively slim volume has grown steadily. To borrow a metaphor that George Santayana applied to Spinoza, “like a mountain obscured at first by its foothills, he rises as he recedes.” Yet it is dispiriting how many contemporary intellectual trends – materialist theories of the mind and evolutionary epistemology to name only the most fatuous – have continued to flourish despite Nagel’s demonstration of their inadequacy.


We'll need a context of course.

At the heart of The View from Nowhere is one of the key issues in philosophy, and, indeed, in our lives. It is that of reconciling our necessarily local, even parochial, subjective viewpoints with the objective standpoint whose most developed expression is science. How do we square – or even connect – the view from within, according to which we are of overwhelming importance, with the view from without, which sees us as insignificant in a vast universe? Nagel pursues his response to this existential challenge, that “reality is not just objective reality” (p.87), with consummate skill, imagination, and much self-questioning.


Here of course any context at all merely confronts us with the enormous -- staggering -- gap in reconciling what we think we understand about any context and how that context would be understood by someone with an ontological grasp of existence itself.

Here, however, the gap is narrowed down to reconciling what any of us think we know about death [our own death in particular] and what one would need to know about the metaphysical parameters of Existence.

Even if we admit the irreducible reality of our subjective experiences of ourselves and of what is beyond ourselves, the tension between those experiences and the objective view remains. It becomes a source of anguish when we look at our lives from the Archimedean point of our own death. It is this to which Nagel devotes the final section of his masterpiece. He writes:

“The ultimate subject-object gap is death. The objective standpoint simply cannot accommodate at its full subjective value the fact that everyone, oneself included, inevitably dies”


Of course one way in which to reduce the existential anguish is through God and religion. Our subjective experiences become just another manifestation of God. And in regard to both life and death. It's all covered. Thus, Archimedes, Nagel, the author and anyone of us can make points as mere mortals. But those points about death often do bring anguish.

Philosophically, there is some comfort to be had in the gap. It is so enormous, we just don't know the fate of "I" on "the other side". So nothing then can really be ruled out.

So, until a God, the God chooses to reveal Himself, or until science and/or philosophy discovers the whole truth about what awaits us "there and then", I'll stick to what "for all practical purposes" works for me: distractions.
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 Nov 25, 2020 5:34 pm

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

Nothing could matter to us more than our death, which brings all possibilities to an end; and yet nothing, so far as the universe is concerned, could be less important.


Doesn't this encompass the ultimate paradox/antinomy embedded in the existence of any particular human being. If you were in a position of having to cause pain and suffering to others [perhaps many others] in order that you would continue to exist, how far would you go?

All sorts of hypothetical thought experiments can pop up here. Imagine that you must choose between this or that terrible set of consequences or you will die yourself. Imagine it's your own oblivion or the death of innocent children.

What is the right thing to do when the obliteration of "I" for all time to come is at stake. And here of course a faith in God or one or another religious outcome can make all the difference in the world.

And yet no matter how much you cherish the importance of your own continued existence, your death would be utterly lacking in significance if the universe -- all there is -- really is an essential "thing" that merely exists as a brute facticity.

As Nagel puts it, “the vanishing of this individual [for example, your columnist] from this world is no more remarkable or important than his highly accidental appearance in it”. Indeed, according to Anaximander, in the first preserved written fragment of Western philosophy, “Where things have their origin, they must also pass away according to necessity; for they must pay the penalty and be judged for their injustice, according to the ordinance of time.” It is our lingering not our transience that is a scandal. This scandal is expressed in the modern acknowledgement that life, particularly the complex life of human beings, exists in defiance of the second law of thermodynamics.


So, you are a serious philosopher. What then to make of this. It's like ILP itself. Some here put all of their philosophical eggs into and it appears on the verge of collapsing. Either [re the Kids] into irrelevancy in regard to philosophy or literally for any number of reasons those who own and operate it happen to have. And if it goes the way of the ponderers's guild or e-philosophy or the old yahoo-philosophy groups, of what relevance is that to the rest of the universe?

"I" being the center of the universe from the perspective of the individual. And the individual being of utter, utter insignificance in the context of "all there is".

It's like the feeling that some get when a calamity befalls them and they want the whole world to take note of it. But the world just keeps spinning around and around in utter, utter indifference.

As for the "science of it all", that only takes us back to the extent to which science is able to grapple with an explanation for Existence Itself.

And how profoundly, ineffably insignificant can "I" be in regard to that?
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 Dec 03, 2020 5:25 pm

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

Philosophers have often been preoccupied with death. Acknowledging our finitude is the mark of Heidegger’s authentic consciousness, as being-towards-death.


Being preoccupied with death seems reasonable enough. Especially for those who really have a lot to live for, are not able to think themselves into believing in one or another religion, and who recognize just how many different ways there are to die. Especially in this day and age.

But it doesn't surprise me that certain philosophers become preoccupied in turn with approaching death in terms of an "authentic consciousness". After all, they are first able to think themselves into believing that this is actually possible. For some, even obligatory.

Whereas for others [like me] the far more preferred "consciousness" is "being-towards-distracting-oneself-from-death".

Which I am not doing now only because of all the existential variables in my life that predisposed me subjectively to come back to death "philosophically". Though now down to only a few hours a day.

To look at ourselves from the ultimate outside of our non-existence may sometimes be curiously exhilarating. The darkness of death’s dateless (and dataless) night, the undifferentiated Nothing that awaits us – or rather, doesn’t even bother to await us – highlights, by contrast, the multi-layered richness of our ‘ordinary’ days.


Nope, never felt that before. The only thing I can imagine my own death bringing to me in the way of exhilaration is embedded in the worst of all possible worlds: being in excruciating agony with no end in sight in going on living, or ending the agony once and for all with the only possible end available.

A glimpse of our objective insignificance enhances our awareness of the spaces, times, places, lights, and shades, the joys and sorrows, the n-dimensional complexity, of the life and world we are living. And the very knowledge that reveals itself as minute and short-lived is itself deeply mysterious, being sustained by unfathomable networks of concepts. How did we wake out of ourselves sufficiently to see what (objectively) we are?


Well, for one thing, all one need do to accomplish this is to think oneself into believing any number religious or "spiritual" explanations for why anything at all is what it is. And death becomes just another manifestation of that. And, sure, if it includes immortality and salvation...?

All the better, 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 » Fri Dec 11, 2020 5:40 pm

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

Of course, some philosophers have had exemplary deaths. Socrates’ courage as the hemlock worked its way through his body has left a 2,500 year contrail of inspiration. His final words “Crito, I owe a cock to Asclepius; will you remember to pay the debt?” expressed his wish that Asclepius, the god of medicine, should be thanked for curing him of the disease of life.


If Socrates is thanking someone for curing him of the disease of life, than how much courage does it take to end it? On the contrary, if one sees life as a disease in search of a cure, then at the very moment one comes to that conclusion why not end it all then and there.

Really, in one respect, Socrates is no different from the rest of us. There are either enough fulfillments and satisfactions in ones life to warrant continuing on with it or the pain and the suffering becomes so great that it is preferable to end it...even at the cost of having to abandon all the pleasures.

On the other hand, Socrates death also becomes entangled in politics. Those in power put him in a position where his death eventually becomes a philosophical issue for many. Was his a wise choice or not?

And then the part that revolves around God or "the gods" and religion.

From History.Com

"Although he never outright rejected the standard Athenian view of religion, Socrates' beliefs were nonconformist. He often referred to God rather than the gods, and reported being guided by an inner divine voice."

So, okay, what were his views on immortality and salvation? To the extent that anyone believes that both are in fact a part of their own future, death can only be that much more bearable. Perhaps even something to look forward to. It's not for nothing that suicide is frowned upon by most denominations. After all, if they advertise paradise for all of eternity, why not get there as quickly as possible.

David Hume’s serene passing, beautifully recorded in a long letter from his friend Adam Smith, is even more impressive, given that his last days were troubled by “an habitual diarrhoea of a year’s standing.” While his life drained away in this most unbecoming fashion, and the very special ‘I am’ of David Hume was squeezed to extinction by the dysfunctioning ‘it is’ of his body, he received his friends, discussed philosophy, worried over the welfare of his family, and impressed all who met him with his dignity and courage.


This of course is presented as a "noble death". Or a "death with dignity". One's integrity remains intact. Even in the midst of a dysfunctional body, the spirit prevails. But, according to Timothy S Yoder from Marquette University, "Hume challenges some of the arguments for the existence of God, but repeatedly in his writings, he affirms God's existence and speculates about God's nature."

No chronic diarrhea in Heaven one imagines.

Still, the bottom line I suspect is that the individual reactions to death of philosophers known and unknown will be all over the board. Just as with the rest of us. There are simply too many different "situations" that we can find ourselves in to ever suppose that a "philosophy of death" won't be especially embedded in dasein.
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 Pedro I Rengel » Fri Dec 11, 2020 6:00 pm

Do you ever do philosophy that is not a comment on something someone wrote?
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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Mon Dec 14, 2020 6:41 pm

Pedro I Rengel wrote:Do you ever do philosophy that is not a comment on something someone wrote?


Well, let's just say that I'll stack up my contribution to philosophical discussion here to yours any day of the week. And twice on Sunday.

And what on earth could possibly be suspect about subscribing to philosophy magazines or reading the philosophy of others online and then reacting to the arguments of those examining issues that are philosophically important to you? For me, that's identity, morality, language, religion, death, nihilism and determinism.

And then bringing those arguments to a site called I Love Philosophy?

That puzzles you?
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 Pedro I Rengel » Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:28 am

iambiguous wrote:Well, let's just say that I'll stack up my contribution to philosophical discussion here to yours any day of the week.


No but you didn't answer the question.
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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:50 am

Pedro I Rengel wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Well, let's just say that I'll stack up my contribution to philosophical discussion here to yours any day of the week.


No but you didn't answer the question.


And twice on Sunday.
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 Pedro I Rengel » Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:54 am

Pedro I Rengel wrote:Do you ever do philosophy that is not a comment on something someone wrote?
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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:02 am

Pedro I Rengel wrote:
Pedro I Rengel wrote:Do you ever do philosophy that is not a comment on something someone wrote?


Note to others:

And what on earth could possibly be suspect about subscribing to philosophy magazines or reading the philosophy of others online and then reacting to the arguments of those examining issues that are philosophically important to you? For me, that's identity, morality, language, religion, death, nihilism and determinism.

And then bringing those arguments to a site called I Love Philosophy?


Not that it will stop him from following me around like a goddamn child and taking dumps on my threads.

On the philosophy board.

On the other hand, it does bring my threads to the top again.

Gee, maybe that was his plan all along!
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 Pedro I Rengel » Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:08 am

Pedro I Rengel wrote:Do you ever do philosophy that is not a comment on something someone wrote?

?
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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:25 am

Pedro I Rengel wrote:
Pedro I Rengel wrote:Do you ever do philosophy that is not a comment on something someone wrote?

?


Pedro...

Here is my very first thread at ILP: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 5&t=173346

It has nothing to do with death but that won't stop you from making some inane comment about it. And it brings it back to the top today, right?

Then going back to to all of my earliest threads -- https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/search. ... start=1450 -- one by one make more inane comments about them. And bring them all back to the top again here and now.

You'll have literally hundreds of opportunities to make completely inane comments!!

And all of my threads will be reborn!!!

Thanks in advance buddy.
Last edited by iambiguous on Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Pedro I Rengel » Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:29 am

Pedro I Rengel wrote:
Pedro I Rengel wrote:Do you ever do philosophy that is not a comment on something someone wrote?

?

It's a simple question really.
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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Thu Dec 17, 2020 2:10 am

Pedro I Rengel wrote:
Pedro I Rengel wrote:
Pedro I Rengel wrote:Do you ever do philosophy that is not a comment on something someone wrote?

?

It's a simple question really.


https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 1&t=196480

But don't forget this:

Pedro...

Here is my very first thread at ILP: https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtop ... 5&t=173346

It has nothing to do with death but that won't stop you from making some inane comment about it. And it brings it back to the top today, right?

Then going back to to all of my earliest threads -- https://www.ilovephilosophy.com/search. ... start=1450 -- one by one make more inane comments about them. And bring them all back to the top again here and now.

You'll have literally hundreds of opportunities to make completely inane comments!!

And all of my threads will be reborn!!!

Thanks in advance buddy.
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 Pedro I Rengel » Thu Dec 17, 2020 2:22 am

That was neither a yes nor a no....
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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Sat Dec 19, 2020 9:18 pm

Pedro I Rengel wrote:That was neither a yes nor a no....


What can I say:

https://youtu.be/waf46eBajkw
https://youtu.be/5hfYJsQAhl0
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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Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Sun Dec 20, 2020 8:23 pm

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

...cultivating awareness of mortality and the habit of ‘living each day as if it were thy last’, as the hymn exhorts us, tries to overlook the actual process of dying – that time when, more than any other, “our flesh/ Surrounds us with its own decisions,” as Philip Larkin put it in his wonderful poem ‘Ignorance’. To retain the metaphysical purity of the idea of death, we naturally prefer to think of the process of our extinction as a simple, if total, cancellation; a painless, even featureless, passage from RT to not-RT.


In a nutshell: options.

Ones that you have access to. And, in exercising them, the reactions of others to them.

And, when it comes to those options, the older and older you get, the clearer it becomes that "our flesh/ Surrounds us with its own decisions". Which [perhaps ever and always] explains why God and religion will be the option of choice for the overwhelming preponderance of us. Indeed, I'd go there myself if I could figure out a way to think myself back into believing it is all actually true. That's precisely -- probably? -- why I tend to thump on those here who refuse to actually make the attempt to demonstrate that it's true themselves. Not that this actually seems possible.

Envy as much as anything. They are still able to accept that what they believe is true need be as far as they go in order to make it true. And I no longer can. So, in the face of the obliterated "I", how do they not win?

Some secular philosophers claim to find reassurance rather than a validation of our sense of tragedy in the thought that there will be no afterlife. Images of eternity may more often bring terror than consolation. Why fear being dead, the Stoic philosopher Lucretius famously argued, since there is no-one to experience the state?:

“Since death forestalls [grief and pain] and prevents any existence into which such misfortunes might otherwise crowd, we may be sure that we have nothing to fear in death, and that he who is no more cannot be wretched, and that there is not a scrap of difference to him if had never at any time been born, when once immortal death has stolen away mortal life.”
(On the Nature of Things, translated by Cyril Bailey, 1910)


Sure, that's another frame of mind I would love to be able to think myself into accepting as an antidote to death. But, here and now, it is no less preposterous. In particular when I am doing something that brings me enormous satisfaction. I can only acknowledge that in death [at least as I understand it here and now myself] I will never ever get to experience it again. And there are lots and lots of experiences like that.

Yeah, if what you are experiencing now is "wretched", death is easily construed in a whole other way. When I'm dead I never have to feel wretched again. Like that somehow makes the part where, for all of eternity, the joys you have in life are also gone forevermore go away.

So, it's always going to be an actual existential balance: pleasure and pain.

More so than...philosophy?
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

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Mon Dec 28, 2020 6:27 pm

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

Our non-existence after death, Lucretius further asserts in an argument discussed by Nagel, is a mirror image of our non-existence before we were born, and the latter is hardly something we regret. I am not concerned, even less upset, by the fact that I was not around when Shakespeare was writing his plays or dinosaurs were walking the earth.


Come on, it is easier not to regret being nothing at all before you were born because then you hadn't accumulated all of the things in your life you love that precipitates the feeling of dread at the prospect of losing them forever.

It's not even close to being the same. Or not for me. But, sure, if you can think yourself into looking at it that way, more power to you. Anything that diminishes the dread works, right? It's not as comforting as religion, but it's not nothing either.

On the other hand, one thing to note about being nothing at all before you were born: no pain and suffering either. And that's definitely not nothing.

As for this part...

Unfortunately, this mirror image analogy does not hold up. In my pre-natal existence, I am not in a state of privation, because there is not yet anything or anyone to house my lack of being. Before I am born, I am only a general possibility, not an individual to whom any subtraction – never mind the comprehensive subtraction of death – can be applied. My pre-natal, unlike like my post mortem, non-existence, is not the result of loss.


...it's entirely too abstract for me. Except as it relates to gaining or losing particular pleasures and particular pains. Which is entirely moot for all of the eternity that existed before I was able even to think through something like this.

Besides, if death does not matter, then nor do our lives. And among those things that do not matter must be included our relationships with each other, most importantly, love and friendship.


Yes, but here again that crucial distinction between something mattering existentially and nothing mattering essentially. That's what life and death are teetering between. Only we have no idea how to grasp what this means either existentially or essentially.

Or, rather, not counting those of the James S. Saint sort here who have created these [at times] fantastically complex theories of everything "in their heads" in order to fully explain, well, everything. And that will certainly include all of their "pre-natal" years.

Lucretius, it seems, forgets that death breaks off all our connections with those who mean most to us, and also that the world does not come to an end as our participation in it does. While each of us may adopt a non-tragic attitude to our own death, and to the general fact of mortality, tragedy is still alive in those we have left behind. While I will not miss myself after I have died, there will (I hope) be others who will miss me.


This part will obviously be more relevant to some than to others. But unless you believe in a religion that will reunite you with your loved ones in Heaven -- or Hell? -- once you are gone that's their tragedy. And how can this possibly compare with your own. And even if I had many others who would miss me once I'm gone it doesn't make me any less obliterated.

But, again, if you are able to believe and feel comforted by this, all the better.
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

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: philosophy and death

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jan 05, 2021 4:58 pm

After Death

If philosophers have sometimes guided us in the art of living, and have occasionally provided us with exemplars to inspire us in the art of dying, they have little to offer us on the art of outliving – on how to cope with the loss of others.


Or, sure, revel in their death instead. But why should the "art of outliving" be any different from the "art of living" or the "art of dying": rooted profoundly, unpredictably and problematically in dasein.

In fact, choosing the word "art" itself is telling. Unlike with philosophy with its logical and epistemological tools and science with its laws of nature, art is considerably more subjective. And definitely more subjunctive. Yet when some speak of the art of anything the implication is that it is somehow superior or preferable to other things.

Yet coping with the loss of others is always going to be embodied in how our lives predispose us to react. Think of how Meursault reacted to the death of his mother. And think of philosophers arguing over how far removed that might be from the "art of outliving".

Or another reaction:

Dr Johnson reflects on this in Rasselas (1759), the allegorical novel he wrote at high speed in a state of overwhelming grief after the death of his mother, to pay for her funeral. Rasselas is impressed by a philosopher preaching Stoic values. Imlac his mentor warns him that “they discourse like angels but they live like men.” Rasselas soon discovers how true this is when he finds the Stoic philosopher weeping in a darkened room, poleaxed by the death of his daughter.


So much for the "art" of it. There is only believing that death is somehow subsumed in one or another God and religion, or that ultimately it is subsumed in the brute facticity of an essentially meaningless existence, and those we outlive and those who outlive us will have to come up with our own and their own "least ambiguous" reaction. Call it an art, call it something else. But there it is: the abyss that is oblivion.

A good thing if the alternative is ceaseless agony on this side of the grave, a bad thing if for each of us as individuals the pleasures still far and away outweigh the pain.
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

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: philosophy and death

Postby Ecmandu » Tue Jan 05, 2021 5:42 pm

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.
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