• thewonder

    In a negative sense, the human confrontation with death results in denial. This has catastrophic consequences. The denial of death can be resultant in gross abuses of power. Everything that has been deigned from Western civilization is colored by an ideology that ostensibly posits that whatever ruling order there is that there was could live and rule eternally. The ruling order have always offered the pretense of being immortal. Death, quite poetically, refutes such things.

    I don't know that I would necessarily, however, agree with a refutation of the "'faith'" in life. Camus wanted to live "without appeal" to the Absurd. I would argue that the conditions of the Absurd are resultant of that people die. Death is what lies behind the philosophical problem. Heidegger only teaches people how to die well. I think that in order to adequately cope with the Absurd, people ought to attempt to discover how to live well in spite of that the human experience could ultimately be negative. Active flight from death should affirm life. To argue in favor of such an axiom is somewhat superflous as I would argue that this is what people already naturally do all of the time.

    I do, honestly, think that a person can not consciously choose to die. They can create the circumstances which death a potentiality, but they can not actually consciously choose to die. I think that the will to live is one of the only essential facets of human nature.

    I don't mean to be so contrary, but, while I do think that we do understand each other, I don't think that we actually agree. "Suicide is a mortal sin." One can not actually commit a "mortal sin" against oneself.
  • thewonder

    Suicides, of course, occur. What I mean is that it is impossible for someone to actually flip the switch. You can create 99.9% of the circumstances that result in your own death, but you can't create 100% of them.

    This is ultimately just a suspicion of mine. I don't have much to back it up with other than a rather strange argument concerning human nature.
  • Terrapin Station
    I'd gladly live forever as long as I could be relatively healthy and agile.

    I think it's unlikely that it would be a possibility anytime soon, though.
  • Grre

    Finally, it’s not clear to me if we can say that there is a universal human nature.

    Very true, I always try to avoid blaming things on 'human nature', but rather, a predisposition to-with regards to the denial of death, I think it is safe to say that the biological reality that we will die means that some kind of attitude regarding death is present in all human societies, but as you pointed out, in no way can we claim that all people want to live forever.

    The future the Victorians planned and expected, and even fought to death for, never happened. That’s irony.
    Very true and interesting point. Do you propose that the "digital age" is a kind of second industrial revolution?
    I too believe the extreme technological enthusiasm is concerning; Nagel described it as the next world religion 'scientism'. It is also discussed in the "spaceship hypothesis" that is, that science is going to 'save' us eventually, thus as long as we innovate hard enough, we will never have to reap the consequences of our actions or take responsibility. Sounds super convenient, and a nice narrative. Exactly why I'm so against all this immortality focus.

    Ketchup is great on anything. No more discussion.
  • Grre
    I think when discussing suicide it is important to note that people, do and will choose to die. Not only is this to protect the right to death (legal euthanasia) but to rid the guilt survivors feel when someone they love kills themselves. Circumstances are everything-and one must understand that while circumstances drive someone to consider suicide, the final choice is theres. As Camus put, "should I kill myself or have a cup of coffee?" That he held, was the choice we make everyday.

    I believe that @thewonder we do have an understanding, just not necessarily the exact same, which is what philosophy is all about!
  • thewonder

    I'm not sure that we do understand one another, though. I am positing that 'true' suicide is impossible. Camus's problem is solved by the very circumstances of the human condition.

    I like that quote, by the way. You don't have to go on about this any longer if you don't feel like doing so.
  • Drazjan
    Do you propose that the "digital age" is a kind of second industrial revolution?Grre

    There are parallels, including a kind of technology conceit. Whether that amounts to a religion like scientism I cannot say, but the assumption that we are "modern" is old as the hills.
  • Grre

    I agree. I've never agreed with linear conceptions of history. I don't believe that life is necessarily 'better' now than at any other point of time. In fact, statistics on mental health + suicide actually reveal the latter. People of every age and era though; are quick to claim supremacy and superiority over all that have gone before them. I mean, can't blame them I guess; the here and now is all we have to work with, so how could we not consider it the 'best'?

    My apologies I misinterpreted. I get defensive quickly when people starting denying the autonomy that suicide; I believe, is deserving of. It is one of my favourite quotes too; but that being said I haven't done much research in the area since last summer/fall. I put the chapter of my life behind me and started focusing my research on 'happier' things like fish.
  • thewonder

    You may be defensive because I am suggesting that a person does not consciously choose to commit suicide. I'm merely positing this, though. It's not a deep conviction of mine or anything. By no means do I mean to imply that people who commit suicide are not autonomous subjects.
  • Alan
    One thing that makes me sad the most about life is thinking about not being able to learn everything I want to learn because at some point I'll have to die. Learning much more than I expected from an usual lifespan would be my only reason to expand my lifespan or even life forever.
  • Grre

    Surprisingly, that's not a common answer LOL only on a philosophy forum it appears to be a general consensus. I too feel the same when I think of all the things I want to learn and read, and all the time I don't have that's taken up by work, personal issues, daily living ect. ect.
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