Tuesday, October 10, 2006

On the topic of Death

I am doing some reading on death now for my philosophy class. So I guess I shall blog abit to revise and to enlighten the masses out there. Philosophy is really a good course to take when 1)it's non-examinable 2) Your mum has alot of money 3) You have just inherited a fortune to last you your lifetime 4) You intend to live in Greece
The fact that I satisfy none of the 4 above, I don't really like philosphy.

Yet, being in the first semester in university, I decided to give it a go. So back to the main point.

Death is challenged far and wide by many philosophers. This is so because Death is a controversial topic. Death is feared by many but it is also a path regarded by many as the 'easy' way out of a difficult life. Besides, its still anyone's guess where we end up after we die. Death is also closely linked with religious undertones. Christians believe that the dead will join God in heaven. The Buddhist burn 'hell money' because they believe that the dead need money to survive in hell. This was further upgraded to burning houses, cars, handphones etc etc for the dead to enjoy the 'earthly' pleasures. I forgot to mention that my friend believes hell is the place to be because all the cool people will be there. Heaven will be filled with virgins, nerds and priests.

Anyway, Death is being discussed by philosophers as whether it will result in harm for an individual. Basically, they believe or rather Epicurus believe that if there is no suffering how can death be bad? Another relevant reasoning resulted from this statement where it is stated that 'if you are harmed, you suffer. If you suffer, you are alive. If you are dead, you are not alive. So if you are not dead, you are not harmed.'

So is this true? Can we honestly believe that by being dead we are really unharmed? Feldman, another philosopher, argued about the intrinsic and extrinsic value of death and concluded that death would be extinsically bad for him if his life would have contained more intrinsic value if he had not died. In other words, should death deprive him of alot of pleasure he would have enjoyed had he not died, then death might be a huge misfortune for someone.

I shall go one step further and pose a question for you guys. Let's say if you could live forever and never ever die. Will you like it that way? I am sure there will be factors of age, standard of living so on and so forth but I believe that if one doesnt age and has all the fortune in the world, he will be more afraid to die and lose everything.

So death is subjective. And death is still argued intensively. If you love debates, take philosophy. But just a little sidenote. There are never ever any conclusions to these arguments. Just a little caveat though but don't let it stand in the way of your enjoyment of philosophy.

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