• Filipe
    25
    Before your read I would like to explain that the word "being" is referred to living/life/existing and "not being" is referred to the opposite, Death.

    I spent a great amount of time thinking about what is Being, we as humans give "being" too much credit and most of the times we neglect, deny and run from "not being".

    I dont personally belive in any deity and I firmly belive that once that we die, we simple die there is nothing more besides it, once that we cease our existing life we simple go back to our original form of "not being" if you realy think about it we actually spent most of the existence of enverything as "not being" and going back to that state should not cause any fear.

    I belive that the fear of death comes from two main directions and Im going to tackle each one in respective time but the directions are: a) the things that you did not do/ or regret doing (the past). b) the dark/unkown (the future).

    a) (the past) We as mortal and limited creatures fear the things that we forgot to do and the things that may cause us some regret later on, but you should never feel like this because most of the things that you have done you did choosing the best path at the time and if you start judging yourself with your mind that you have today that liking or not is the direct result of everything that you ever done is not a reasonable thing to do, in the same manner that you cannot judge a kid that have never been to school for not knowing how to calculate the square root of 289. So there is no reasonable way of you regreting the things that you did or didnt do, because the reason that your chose to not do those things is the best reason that you could come up at the time and because of it today you can choose a different path.

    b) (the future) We often think at least on the west part of the world that after your life comes to a inevitable end we will transcend to a heaven/hell and all the others variations of it or in some cases we think that once that we die our consciousness will be stuck in a dark loop of dark and nothing, but what we fail to observe is that nothing is nothing it is not a feeling of some sort, but indeed the absence of everything is the defition of "not being", is a substential part of being, the other side of the coin. We would never understand/feel/experience "Being" if there was not "not being".
  • wax
    301
    b) (the future) We often think at least on the west part of the world that after your life comes to a inevitable end we will transcend to a heaven/hell and all the others variations of it or in some cases we think that once that we die our consciousness will be stuck in a dark loop of dark and nothing, but what we fail to observe is that nothing is nothing it is not a feeling of some sort, but indeed the absence of everything is the defition of "not being", is a substential part of being, the other side of the coin. We would never understand/feel/experience "Being" if there was not "not being".Filipe

    all my life I have ''not been' a donkey(of the literal type)...I have also not been a kangaroo...there are many things I have not been....but I feel like I derive a sense of being from my own experience of being.

    As to not having existed before being brought into this life; how do you know you didn't exist?

    Do you think that because you have no memories of existing millions of years ago?

    If so, do you remember being a baby, or around 1-2years old?

    I do in fact have a memory of being around a few month old, and I'm pretty sure it is a genuine memory, but most of my memories from that era aren't accessible to me, yet I did exist.
  • TheMadFool
    12k
    Will any amount of reasoning close the door to death? All attempts at rationalizing death are, pardon the pun, ''dead ends''. Why? Simply because fear of death is a hardwired condition - even cockroaches run. Reason, I believe, can't reprogram at that level. So, one may analyze our fear of death as much as you want but the nothingness of death remains frightful to face.
  • Filipe
    25
    That is absolute true, the very necessity of trying to understand the end is a symptom of fear of it but because we are above anything curious of nature, death is a undetailable subject to discuss... and the understanding of it may bring some comfort to such delicade creatures as we are.
  • Filipe
    25
    that is a very complex subject that you approached and it brings us back to the argument of the paradox of what is being, (the old complex of understanding of who you are... Are you who you present? or are you who you consider yoursef? Because both questions may have very logical anwsers to it) I classified my personal experience in each moment as proofs of my existence and exactly because memories cannot be trusted I use my preset rationality to define my very existence.
  • wax
    301
    That is absolute true, the very necessity of trying to understand the end is a symptom of fear of it but because we are above anything curious of nature, death is a undetailable subject to discuss... and the understanding of it may bring some comfort to such delicade creatures as we are.Filipe

    say when you die, you enter a dark room, a room with no light, and you sit on a chair in that room for a million years, and then get to be brought back into the world, as a new creature, maybe another human; you grow up and say you have no memories of being in that dark room, but does that mean you weren't in that dark room, along for a million years...maybe humming to yourself to keep yourself sane..?
  • Filipe
    25
    When we think that experience is only dictaded by what our Brains decide... If you have no memory of walking from point A - B did you really walked? in the logical way yes, in a metaphyscal way It does not matter... our concept of what it is, is based on what it was. If you were on a dark room for Billions of years you are existing and that runs from the ideia of not existing and that is way is impossible, everything in this universe comes in pairs because that is the fabric in what our universe expand on it, so if you are trully in a blackout box and you can feel it you are being (in a unconventional way) but you are, Death is the opposite of Life not a variation of it. There is no way to describe nothingness because is the absence of everything, even a thought is a disturbence of nothingness and by defition stop being "not being"
  • wax
    301


    in your idea of death, how do you see the process of going from 'being' to 'not being'?
    The brain/mind is a complex thing/process...so maybe parts of it shut down before others...maybe you have thought processes going on right until the last moment....what might those thoughts be? Might it be like HAL in the movie 2001 gradually feeling himself going? At some point the brain has ceased functioning along with the rest of the body, but it isn't usually an on off process, unless one dies in a plane crash or something.
  • Filipe
    25
    But I am not talking about dying, but about death in itself.
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.7k


    You're quite right about regret, when we did what seemed the best at the time, Or at least, even if we knew better, there was some reason why we couldn't do better.

    But I disagree with your claim that, at death, there will come a time when we aren't. That's impossible. It's a logical impossibility and a contradiction in terms.

    How could someone ever experience a time when there's no experience?

    Obviously what arrives at death is ever-deepening sleep. Approaching nothing, sure, but it's impossible to arrive there.

    Sleep is the natural, normal, usual and rightful state-of-affairs.

    Michael Ossipoff

    12 Sa
    1411 UTC
  • Michael Ossipoff
    1.7k
    But I am not talking about dying, but about death in itself.Filipe

    You're talking about the time after you're dead. Your survivors will experience that time. You won't.

    From the point-of-view of your survivors, there will come a time when you're completely shut-down. But that's only from their point-of-view. You never reach that time.

    MIchael Ossipoff

    12 Sa
    1414 UTC
  • wax
    301
    here's an idea, and not a very pleasant one....what if as the brain/mind gradually shuts down, one's experience of time slowed down, so eg if half the brain/mind had shut down, then a minute feels like 2minutes; as the next half of what is left shuts down then a minute feels like 4minutes etc etc, until you are left with the feeling that 1minute feels like a million years....
    not a nice idea, but this would mean in that case that you would never really be nothing, only that time just stretched out with less and less cognitive ability........this is not what I believe happens though...well it might be similar, but eventually one leaves the material world behind, and goes to a non-'material' system...
  • Jake
    1.4k
    I would agree that reason can likely take us only so far in managing our fear of death. That said, here's a try...

    You're sitting on the beach watching a wave out on the horizon. You see the wave moving closer to shore, and rising up as it travels over the sandbars. Finally the wave hits the beach and is destroyed.

    To you, an observer on the beach, the wave appears to have a beginning, a middle and an end. It appears to live, and then die.

    This conception is dependent upon the notion that the wave is a separate unique thing, divided from all else. We feel the thing exists, and then it doesn't exist. Is this true?

    All the water that appeared to make up the body of the wave is still there. It hasn't gone anywhere. The energy that pushed on the water and created the wave is still there too, for Einstein tells us that energy is neither created nor destroyed.

    So what is a wave exactly? It's a pattern. A pattern created by the action of energy on matter, a denser form of energy.

    What is a pattern?? A phenomena which has none of the properties we use to define existence. Patterns are real, but they don't exist.

    Whether we die depends on how we define ourselves. If we define ourselves as the wave, then we die, but then never actually existed as a separate thing. If we define ourselves not as the wave, but as the ocean, we live a very long time. If we go to the fundamental bottom line like good philosophers should, and define ourselves as energy, then we are eternal.
  • Janus
    10.7k
    Patterns are real, but they don't exist.Jake

    It's not clear to me why you would say that. I think a good definition of existence is Peirce's, which states that something exists if it can affect other things. I see patterns as fitting that bill.

    But I do agree with you insofar as you seem to be saying that individual patterns cannot be forever static or eternal.
  • Jake
    1.4k
    t's not clear to me why you would say that. I think a good definition of existence is Peirce's, which states that something exists if it can affect other things. I see patterns as fitting that bill.Janus

    A pattern no weight, no mass, which we typically define as a state of non-existence. A phenomena with no weight or mass would seem to be incapable of affecting other things. This is getting rather esoteric, and thus probably not all that useful I suppose.

    As I see, the divisions we perceive (ie. things) arise from the nature of the observer, and are not a property of what is being observed. As example, we could define "me" in many different ways, which suggests such definitions are useful conceptual conventions, but also arbitrary inventions of the human mind.

    Things clearly exist conceptually. But do they exist in the real world?

    When does the glass of water you're drinking become you? We can reasonably draw the boundary line many different places, which may mean the boundaries are conceptual inventions.
  • Janus
    10.7k
    A pattern no weight, no mass, which we typically define as a state of non-existence.Jake

    You said that a wave is a pattern, and a wave certainly has weight and mass and can affect things.

    When does the glass of water you're drinking become you?Jake

    I'm not sure what you mean by "becomes you". When you drink a glass of water it is now inside, rather than outside your body. Some of the water is absorbed into your tissues, and some of it is eliminated as urine. But the water that is eliminated; is that the water you just drank or water you previously drank or absorbed from food? How could you tell?
  • Jake
    1.4k
    You said that a wave is a pattern, and a wave certainly has weight and mass and can affect things.Janus

    Yes, water exists, agreed. But if we define a wave as being water, the wave doesn't die. If we define a wave as being energy, the wave is eternal.

    So if we wish to define a wave as being a "thing" which can die, we are left only with the pattern, which has no existence as existence is typically defined.
  • Jake
    1.4k
    I'm not sure what you mean by "becomes you".Janus

    Yes, that's it! What exactly is "you"?

    My argument is that we can draw the boundary between "me" and "not me" in any number of places, which suggests the boundaries are not real, but rather convenient human inventions.
  • czahar
    59
    once that we cease our existing life we simple go back to our original form of "not being"Filipe

    This line doesn't make sense. How could "not being" be our original form? The very fact that there is a form to talk about implies something exists and therefore implies being.
  • Janus
    10.7k
    Yes, water exists, agreed.Jake

    Yes, but things only exist in forms. So water exists in the form of puddles, lakes, waterfalls, oceans, waves, and so on. The form of water we call a wave has a capacity to affect things in different ways than its other forms do.
  • CaZaNOx
    68
    I think you are quite 'wrong' in your conclusion.

    You state yourself that:
    we neglect, deny and run from "not being".Filipe

    This statement is not the sensation/feeling that we usally refer to as fear.
    Fear usually implies that an action should be executed. Strongly simplified we could reduce it to fight or flight.
    In case of death as a concept fight doesn't seem to be to much of an option. (One could argue that the fight response could be translated into forming metaphysical, religious concepts. However I'll ignore this here)
    So we are left with the flight response. One could argue that the flight response leeds to trying to escape via neglect/deny/run-from-it. (As I understand this seems to be the direction your taking). However this nearly completley ignores the difference in expierence there is between facing a predator animal to being "fearfull of death". I would agree that there are cases of sick or old people that respond in a truely fearfull way by overcompensating their constant confrontation with death by fleeing in to simple pleasure activities. But this pathological behavior is not typical for the vast sum of humans. (Due to lacking constant confrontation with death in regard to ones own surviability.)

    If we don't try to explain the neglect of death as fearfull behavior there is in my opinion a more productive way of conceptualising the neglect.
    What I have in mind is intelligibility/predictability. This is a more productive approach in my view since it can be stated for biological entities in general.
    Intelligibility and predictability are necessary presuppositons for a biological entity since it legitimizes it's actions and therefore allows their execution.
    They f.e. execute the action of gaing energy (via food) to have power to take further actions. This is unnecessary if you "assume" you die anyway and wont be able to execute the future "planed" actions.
    Since being can be defined as something that does a sequence of "planed" actions it is somehow implied that the basic modus operandi is to be in a state of "neglect" of death. Just to be able to keep on living ergo keeping the definition of what you are (a living being).
    As example take yourself and an ant. If either one of you is walking from somwhere to a food sorce neither of you is assuming that you are going to be killed on that path f.e. by lightning. Since this presupposition would be unproductive in the sense that it would hinder/negate your approach of reaching your goal(getting food). The "fear" only kicks in if theres a good enough/immidiate reason.

    The key difference I see between this to views is that your view needs rather much brainpower in order to reflect upon the past and the future. This is not trivially given for any living entity f.e. it seems strange to suggest that ants or other animals negate/neglect death because of reflections of their past and future.
    On the other hand it doesn't seem to odd that the basic modus opperandi of living organisms contains this neglect due to it being not productive and the basic presuppositions demanding this neglect implicitly if something "wants to be a living organism". Therefore already conceptualizing it as neglect seems problematic since it's more appropriate to view it as attempt to be a productive living being. This more basic view therefore not only is simpler in demands and therefore more broadly applicable to biological systems in general. But it also alows to integrate moments of fear of death by taking in to consideration the brainpower. We can therefore explain situational moments where your a) and b) arise aswell as pathological situations in "higher order" beings given the right circumstances. Your view would opposed to that come up with a strange explanation why animals operate in simular fashion to humans despite of missing the ability to reflect the past or estimate the future while still being able to situationaly evaluate risks and dangers.
    It therefore seems to be a better conceptualization that biological entities want to live than that they "concioussly" fear death and therefore "flee" in to trying to stay alive based on their thoughts.
  • Filipe
    25
    It therefore seems to be a better conceptualization that biological entities want to live than that they "concioussly" fear death and therefore "flee" in to trying to stay alive based on their thoughts.
    -- @CaZaNOx

    I would never attempt to judge the fear of dying, it is a evolutionary necessity of survival and it will never leave humans and it should not, we based our entire society and technology on the ideia of not dying, what I would like to present with this disscusion is the ideia that we Spent 99% of time itself "not being" and the ideia of death should not be treated as taboo or the evil end of a life, but simple the other side of being alive.
  • Filipe
    25
    This line doesn't make sense. How could "not being" be our original form? The very fact that there is a form to talk about implies something exists and therefore implies being.
    -@czahar

    I understand your confusion and I do apologize, what I ment by original form is that we spent most of the time of the universe not being here, we were technically "not being", in the same way that it is impossible for a being to remember the moments before they were born we will not 'remeber' the time as dead, because it is simply not a experience
  • Jake
    1.4k
    Yes, but things only exist in forms.Janus

    Do things and forms actually exist in the real world beyond our minds?

    THINGS: The concept of "thing" assumes and requires a division between one thing and another thing. Does such a division exist in the real world? The word "tree" (or any noun) assumes such a division, but is a tree really separate and divided from the air, sun, water, soil, insects etc? Or is the concept of "tree" really just an arbitrary conceptual division of a single unified system? That is, are "things" really just a human invention?

    FORMS: A form or pattern has no weight or mass, and thus does not comply with our definition of existence. Well, except that human concepts in our minds would seem to have some level of physical substance, however illusive that might be.

    So before we assume that "things only exist in forms" we might first attempt to prove that things and forms actually exist in the real world beyond our minds.
  • CaZaNOx
    68

    I somwhat fail to see how this addresses my post.
    However just to clarify:
    1) I don't think I am judging the fear of dying
    2) I was specifically trying to elaborate that viewing the fear as biological necessity and seeing it as the basis of our society seems to be the wrong perspective in my view.
    3) I aknowledge that a) you where not primarily focusing on that and b) that you have a different view then I do. However just stating it as a fact seems a bit of a rushing over this issue but is justifed by a).
    4) Regarding your main point (we spend 99% not being) I think this is somehow a bit wrongheaded aswell since the object to witch you are ascribing the property of not being does not exist. I therefore see it as logical negation that is only true in an abstract state and not as real factual property that can be ascribed legitmatly.
    In other words it seems strange to me to say todays dinosaurs have the property of not existing. It rather seems to be the case that the universe has the property that dinosaurs are not existing currently/haven't been existing for 99% of time itself. However since you or dinosaurs are not the universe and rather parts of it it doesn't seem fitting for something living to understand itself as if one was the universe. I agree that for the universe the not existing is just the other side of the coin. However for the being this isn't the case. Not existing ia not the other side of the coin and rather the destruction and as consequence there being no coin around. Thats why your statement in my eyes is not wrong. It is obviously true for the universe. However equating oneself with the universe is some abstract mental gymnastics that doesn't negate the fact that your not the universe. Therfore in your framework of fear it seems justified for living beings to be fearfull of death.
  • Janus
    10.7k
    So before we assume that "things only exist in forms" we might first attempt to prove that things and forms actually exist in the real world beyond our minds.Jake

    It seems obvious that this can never be proven, and that it is an ill-formed question; but it also seems self-evident that the things (patterns or energy vectors or whatever) which appear to us as concrete things are not dependent upon us for their existence and do not cease to exist when we are not perceiving them. So, where does this leave us?

    Look at it another way: what is the point of asking a question which cannot be answered or even coherently asked? And also what relevance could such a question have to what we have been discussing, which is "what could count as the logical or semantic difference between 'being real' and 'existing'"?
  • Valentinus
    1.5k
    Unomuno is interesting to read because he is not interested in any kind of immortality that does not include living his already started life forever.

    His emphasis puts all the life outside of death. In this view, death doesn't belong to you any more than a soul that could live another life after yours does.

    Finitude unhappy with its fundamental conditions.
  • Jake
    1.4k
    It seems obvious that this can never be proven, and that it is an ill-formed question; but it also seems self-evident that the things (patterns or energy vectors or whatever) which appear to us as concrete things are not dependent upon us for their existence and do not cease to exist when we are not perceiving them. So, where does this leave us?Janus

    It leaves us doing more philosophy.

    The "existence" of "things" is dependent upon boundaries between one thing and another. We identify a wave as a "thing" and thus assign it a noun because we perceive a boundary between the wave and the ocean. We perceive a beginning and end to this "thing" we call a wave, but what the wave is physically made of has no beginning or end. The water and energy the wave is made of were there before the wave and don't vanish after the wave.

    The only thing that defines the wave as being a separate "thing" is a unique pattern, which in itself has no weight or mass and thus can be fairly said to not exist, according to our definition of existence.

    Where do we go from here? Perhaps to the realization that we too are a wave, a pattern. Perhaps we come to understand that just as we falsely identify a wave as a "thing" which is perceived to be separate from the ocean, and thus capable of dying, we make the same mistake in our perception of ourselves.

    Imho, this fundamental error of the human condition is not a result of bad philosophy, because this misperception is universal in the human experience in all cultural circumstances.

    Where do we go from here? Perhaps from a focus on philosophy, ie. the content of thought, to that which all philosophies are made of, the medium of thought. From my perspective, all philosophies are just a veneer of symptoms reflecting the inherently divisive nature of that which all philosophies are made of.

    So for example, 1) all ideologies subdivide within themselves, because 2) all ideologies are made of thought, and 3) the medium of thought operates by a process of conceptual division. On the surface all the various ideologies seem quite different from each other, but just underneath the surface they all operate the same way. First the ideology divides itself from other ideologies, and then the ideology divides within itself, with the subdivisions typically further dividing etc.

    Look at it another way: what is the point of asking a question which cannot be answered or even coherently asked?Janus

    Well, to me the question is being both coherently asked and answered. Opinions will differ here of course.

    And also what relevance could such a question have to what we have been discussing, which is "what could count as the logical or semantic difference between 'being real' and 'existing'"?Janus

    Well, semantically we can do anything we want.

    In the world beyond our minds everything is real, and nothing exists, in the sense of being a separate "thing". What happens instead is that thought, the lens through which we observe reality, divides the single unified reality in to conceptual parts.

    All human beings are made of thought, and thus all experience a compelling illusion of division, and thus that universally shared illusion is taken to be an obvious given by the group consensus, which gives it a great deal of authority, the main thing people listen to when coming to their perspectives.
  • Janus
    10.7k
    The concept of "thing" assumes and requires a division between one thing and another thing. Does such a division exist in the real world?Jake

    I would not use 'division' but 'distinction' or 'difference'. It seems obvious that there must be differences, for example differences in local energy intensity, between things.

    So I wouldn't agree with this:

    The "existence" of "things" is dependent upon boundaries between one thing and another.Jake

    because I think it represents a reification of atomistic thinking. How could there be real boundaries (in the sense of 'rigid divisions') in nature? Boundaries are reified rigidities.

    In the world beyond our minds everything is real, and nothing exists, in the sense of being a separate "thing".Jake

    Again here you are reifying the coherent idea of distinction into the incoherent idea of separation.

    I think your view of philosophy and philosophies, thought and thinking, is overly simplistic. Not all thinking is based in atomistic and mechanistic paradigms, as yours is.
  • Jake
    1.4k
    I think your view of philosophy and philosophies, thought and thinking, is overly simplistic.Janus

    Thank you! :smile: Seriously, I seek the bottom line, not complexity for the sake of complexity, the passion of so many philosophers.

    Fact: All philosophies are made of thought.

    Fact: Psychologically, all human beings are made of thought.

    Premise: Given that all philosophers and all philosophies are made of thought, the nature of thought should be the focus of our investigations.

    This is too "simplistic" for most "philosophers". Not complex and sophisticated and fancy enough. Not enough ego and career inflation opportunities.

    Ok, that's fine, to each their own of course...

    But, I don't care. I do what I do, readers find it useful or they don't, their business.
  • Janus
    10.7k
    Fact: All philosophies are made of thought.

    Fact: Psychologically, all human beings are made of thought.

    Premise: Given that all philosophers and all philosophies are made of thought, the nature of thought should be the focus of our investigations.
    Jake

    All philosophies are examples of thinking, just as all physical activities are examples of acting. From that it doesn't follow that all thinking and all acting are the same.

    All human beings think (I hope) but from that it does not follow that all human beings are "made of thought"; I don't even know what that could mean beyond a claim that the nature of human beings is mediated by the nature of their thinking. Alternatively I could say human beings are made of energy, or of flesh and blood, but all of these are merely different perspectives.

    How can we (presuppositionlessly) investigate the nature of thought when we must necessarily use thought (which must start from some presupposition or other) to attempt to do so?

    This is too "simplistic" for most "philosophers". Not complex and sophisticated and fancy enough. Not enough ego and career inflation opportunities.Jake

    Here is where you oversimplify again by assuming that the complexity of philosophies is only on account of ego or financial motivations. Life, particularly human life, is complex, so why should philosophy not be equally complex? I know many people would prefer that it were all simple and presented once and for all in a tidy little box, but do you really think that is a reasonable hope and/or expectation, or do you not agree that it is motivated by insecurity? (And I'm not having a go at you specifically, not at all, because I think we are all more or less insecure; but I also think we can, and should if we want to live better lives, strive not to be motivated by that insecurity).
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