• intrapersona
    555
    Is death a misfortune?
    Nagel (and commonsense) says yes. Death deprives
    us of the praemia vitae, the ‘prizes of life.’

    Epicurus/ Lucretius say no, because there is no
    subject in existence to experience this deprivation or
    harm. But is this a category mistake in that in order to experience death you need an experiencer to experience it when in reality death, in its own category, is something which doesn't need experience. It's almost like an appropriation of life experiences on to the concept of death.
  • gloaming
    75
    Fortune is admitted by caprice, stochastic processes, or chance if you prefer. A fate that 'occurs' to all living things can hardly pass as fortune, good or bad.
  • intrapersona
    555
    It wasn't so much about chance or fortune but whether it is appropriate to say dead men are men at all.
  • gloaming
    75
    Only those who were can be called that. What is a wrecked 'car'? Was it a horse, or is it still a car? Does it cease to be a car simply because it is inoperable and beyond economical repair?

    If I sent you looking for a wrecked train, would you look for a wrecked car on your drive? If I sent you to look for a lost boy, would you look for a lost girl instead? Or maybe the wrecked car?

    Again, if death befalls all of us, how can it be countenanced as a misfortune.
  • intrapersona
    555
    Only those who were can be called that. What is a wrecked 'car'? Was it a horse, or is it still a car? Does it cease to be a car simply because it is inoperable and beyond economical repair?

    If I sent you looking for a wrecked train, would you look for a wrecked car on your drive? If I sent you to look for a lost boy, would you look for a lost girl instead? Or maybe the wrecked car?

    Again, if death befalls all of us, how can it be countenanced as a misfortune.
    gloaming

    A wrecked car is simply a wrecked car, it is not a car. It is in a new category of its own. "wrecked" is not a variant of a type of form the car is "assuming" much in the same way a dead person is not a form in which the person is "assuming" in form and time.

    It can be countenanced as a misfortune because death deprives
    us of the praemia vitae.
  • gloaming
    75
    You seem to attribute to death, by your construction, that it has anthropic properties, or sentience and maleficence of some kind. Death is not a person, but a state, one which befalls each of us. How do we say X 'is' dead if they are not X? By your argument, we ought not to attend funerals for the deceased we know...oops, we can't know them if they no longer are whom they were prior to (their) deaths. Funerals are out because they are about death, and not the dead.

    Once again, death does no depriving. It simply is, it becomes, just as those who live become...dead.

    You say, "A wrecked car is simply a wrecked car. It is not a car." Wrong, it is only a wreck...just like all other wrecks that are not what they were prior to the wrecking. At least, as I understand you, that is what you are using for logic. There are no dead people, just dead, or The Dead. So, we can group rotting corpses of all kinds and species, The Dead, into one broad category, indistinguishable. We can't talk of The Dead because they have no identity and therefor no names are useful. We might talk of the memories of The Departed, but we can't call them human, men or women, and not even distinguish between those advanced in age and those who died during childbirth.

    To me, a misfortune is something you endure, consciously, for which you must suffer to some extent. We don't suffer death. We experience it while it is happening, however fleetingly or prolonged the experience may be, but when we actually die, when we 'get' death, we don't know it (stories of bright lights and voices notwithstanding). We lose consciousness and die, and the rest is really irrelevant, be it bodily damage, autopsy, dragging by heels through the streets, hanged, quartered, drawn, head displayed on a spike...it's nothing like a misfortune to the dead 'person'. To that person's loved ones, well that's another matter.
  • intrapersona
    555
    You seem to attribute to death, by your construction, that it has anthropic properties, or sentience and maleficence of some kind. Death is not a person, but a state, one which befalls each of us. How do we say X 'is' dead if they are not X? By your argument, we ought not to attend funerals for the deceased we know...oops, we can't know them if they no longer are whom they were prior to (their) deaths. Funerals are out because they are about death, and not the dead.gloaming

    That's right, they no longer exist. the funeral is for the memory of who they were.

    I see now I misinterpreted "the loss of death" for the "process of death". I thought epicurus was saying death can not occur to anyone, but it is purely about the aftermath of death. Thanks
  • Victoria Nova
    16
    I think natural death is not misfortune, it is a law, it marks the end of one's condition of being alive. At the same time death due to accidents or other than forse of nature is misfortune, for the reason the length of natural life being shortened. Person, who died, is not a single person on a planet, if he was, he'd not know what death of a human is. Death is given it's name by observers who stay alive longer.
    To the Universe death is just a change, all the elements that used to be a given person, remain inside Universe, even in death person can not fall out of the face of Universe, he's inside our planet, Solar system, galaxy, Universe. We can plant a tree by his grave, and his genetic material will travel into the fruit that someone will eat, may be a human, may be bird, may be a critter. In older times people used to give such fruit to pregnant women, for reincarnation of the deceased, for thousands of years death remains to be mysterious act. Death still holds plenty of mysteries, at times showing us that dead body is just a broken mechanism, and under certain procedures can become alive again. I imagine that even when people learn to prolong life to last thousands of years, or longer, they are still volnurable to the accidents and catastrophs. in relation to overcoming effects of aging and death humans are lesser than in a stone age, we are really beasts in this regard. Humans do not have capacity to store the deceased bodies of all the humans or their genetic material for future scientific progress, to reverse death of every single individual, to at least double the length of life. Death appears as misfortune, as a symbol of our miniscule capabilities to change it from fatal event to simply interruption or temporary delay of life.
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