Author Topic: Are you afraid of death?  (Read 8685 times)

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Offline Odysseus

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Re: Are you afraid of death?
« Reply #105 on: June 19, 2012, 01:02:39 PM »
Perhaps a better question might be, do you care to live? I could argue that if you answer yes to this, you're logically answering yes to fearing death.

Death is inevitable.  I think it is the manner of the death event itself that people fear, not the state of being dead.  Once I'm dead then I won't feel anything, but I'm not really looking forward to a shitload of pain up to the event itself.

I suppose, in the interests of pedantry, one could argue that the shitload of pain up to the actual moment is actually part of life.  So in that case, I'm afraid of the part of life just before the being dead bit, just like I'm afraid of any situation which involves a lot of pain, even if I recover.  But I'm still not afraid of being dead as I don't see anything about being dead that warrants me being afraid.

Offline BlobVanDam

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Re: Are you afraid of death?
« Reply #106 on: June 19, 2012, 01:12:11 PM »
Death is inevitable.  I think it is the manner of the death event itself that people fear, not the state of being dead.

For me it's the state of not being that I'm afraid of, rather than the method of death. If you're going to cease to exist after that point anyway, what does the pain matter? :P

I'm afraid of pain too, but not as much as the not living bit.
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Offline Scheavo

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Re: Are you afraid of death?
« Reply #108 on: June 19, 2012, 01:40:48 PM »
Perhaps a better question might be, do you care to live? I could argue that if you answer yes to this, you're logically answering yes to fearing death.
I care to live because I don't want to waste my life.  Explain how caring to live means that I logically fear death.  I know a lot of inevitable things are going to happen to me eventually, and I care if they happen, but I certainly don't live in fear of them.

Perhaps we're talking a bout different things, as I don't see how saying yes, you're afraid of death, means you have to live your life fearing death.

I made caring to live opposite of fearing death because of a couple of situations I've been in myself. If you don't care to live, then you won't be afraid of a fatal situation. You won't be afraid of death. But if you do care to live, you will avoid a fatal situation, you will do whatever it is in your power to avoid death. Now, part of my definition of being "afraid" involves running away from, or at least, running away from something is indicative if being afraid of something. So, I cant' really see how, with my understanding of the words afraid and care (and I'm not saying you have to adopt these, I'm just saying this is from my perspective), you can be not afraid of death if you care to live and try to avoid and get away from death.

If nothing I said above makes much sense, I'm sure Heidegger explains it better.

Offline Scorpion

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Re: Are you afraid of death?
« Reply #109 on: June 19, 2012, 02:35:46 PM »
I get where you're coming from, Scheavo, but that's not what I would call fearing death - it's simply self-preservation. What I call fear of death is that death looms over what you do in life, and you think of death every day, hoping that you can avoid it in some way. If we go by your definition, then yes, I agree, but that's not what I define fear as, to simply strive to avoid something. If everything you did was done with the simple purpose of avoiding any possible situation, then yes, that's fear, but if you simply try to avoid such a situation when it presents itself, then that's, as I said, self-preservation in my book.

For the record, since I'm new to this discussion: I try to not worry about death that much, but when I do, I think that my thoughts are somewhat along the lines of what Blob has said: I don't exactly fear the moment of dying, but of not being, because that's something that is - and will always stay - a complete unknown, more than the concept of dying, and that's what I'm afraid of.
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Offline rumborak

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Re: Are you afraid of death?
« Reply #110 on: June 19, 2012, 02:39:07 PM »
And I think that part I'm totally missing. The idea of non-existence doesn't bother me in the least. I came from a state of non-existence, I'm going back to it at some point. Sounds rather symmetric.

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Offline Scorpion

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Re: Are you afraid of death?
« Reply #111 on: June 19, 2012, 02:52:55 PM »
True, but you probably don't remember anything from the state of non-being. Therefore, you can not have even the slightest idea what that entails or if it even entails anything (though I can't imagine anything not entailing anything), and that's what scares me, I think.
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Offline Adami

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Re: Are you afraid of death?
« Reply #112 on: June 19, 2012, 02:55:11 PM »
That's a good point, not being is one of the only things human beings cannot under any circumstance possibly fathom. And in the abstract it's easy to say you're not afraid to die, especially since the people saying it aren't going to die anytime soon (hopefully). I suspect that when actually faced with the prospect of death (even a very quick painless death) the "Death don't scare me none" attitude might change a bit.




That being said, death don't scare me none.
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Offline Scorpion

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Re: Are you afraid of death?
« Reply #113 on: June 19, 2012, 02:58:21 PM »
I've also met people, however, who got very calm in the face of death (my grandfather), and seemed very accepting of the fact that he was about to die. Maybe that was only to give us peace of mind, but I don't think that what you are saying applies to necessarily everyone.
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Offline yeshaberto

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Re: Are you afraid of death?
« Reply #114 on: June 19, 2012, 02:58:41 PM »
I have always thought it was interesting that a death sentence is considered worse than a life sentence (ie for a criminal).
what do you think is the logic behind this reasoning?

Offline Adami

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Re: Are you afraid of death?
« Reply #115 on: June 19, 2012, 03:00:42 PM »
I've also met people, however, who got very calm in the face of death (my grandfather), and seemed very accepting of the fact that he was about to die. Maybe that was only to give us peace of mind, but I don't think that what you are saying applies to necessarily everyone.

Oh of course it's not applicable to everyone. I was just pointing out that saying you're not afraid of death while you're young, healthy and not likely going to die any time soon doesn't have a whole lot of meaning, you know? Cause you're so far removed from the situation that you're talking about and only dealing with it in the most abstract sense. Once again this doesn't apply to everyone and people are just as likely to actually be cool in the face of death as they are not to be.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Are you afraid of death?
« Reply #116 on: June 19, 2012, 05:10:54 PM »
I have always thought it was interesting that a death sentence is considered worse than a life sentence (ie for a criminal).
what do you think is the logic behind this reasoning?
In a civilized society it wouldn't be.   I suspect the current idea is a holdover from when people thought prisoners could/would be treated humanely.  Your problem is that you know what a prison is like, so you know better.
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Offline skydivingninja

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Re: Are you afraid of death?
« Reply #117 on: June 19, 2012, 06:04:21 PM »
I am not frightened of dying.  Any time will do, I don't mind.  Why should I be afraid of dying?  There's no reason for it, you gotta go sometime.

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Offline theseoafs

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Re: Are you afraid of death?
« Reply #118 on: June 19, 2012, 06:18:46 PM »
I have always thought it was interesting that a death sentence is considered worse than a life sentence (ie for a criminal).
what do you think is the logic behind this reasoning?

Life sentences, generally speaking:

1) offer a chance to get out; that is, even if you're sentenced to prison "for life", it is not impossible in all cases to get out of jail one day.
2) allow you to be alive and to do many of the things that living people like to do, like drawing and thinking and watching movies and eating.

The assumption is that people generally prefer to be alive than to be dead, which I think is accurate (even, perhaps surprisingly, with regard to the religious).

Offline yeshaberto

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Re: Are you afraid of death?
« Reply #119 on: June 19, 2012, 06:24:54 PM »
that is kind of the conclusion that I reached.  the idea that a life sentence holds out hope, whereas death ends hope

Offline theseoafs

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Re: Are you afraid of death?
« Reply #120 on: June 19, 2012, 06:31:12 PM »
24 people have stated that they do not fear death.
6 people have stated that they do.

Biologically, we would expect a given species that has fear potential (e.g. humans )to fear death. Historically, the fear of death is everywhere, including our last two millennia of logic  - it's in countless religions and mythologies that have come and gone.

So either 1) DTF is a very special community, or 2) someone is lying.

"Fearing death" is not the same as "fearing a deadly situation". Of course I'd be afraid if someone were about to end my life, especially violently. That's obvious and instinctive; obviously I like to be living and would like to continue living as long as possible.

However, when you're asked if you "fear death", people generally assume the ideal case, probably death by old age.

Offline RuRoRul

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Re: Are you afraid of death?
« Reply #121 on: June 19, 2012, 06:51:12 PM »
A different question... is anyone afraid of anything?

I like not being in extreme pain. I don't want to be in extreme pain. If I was in a situation where I was threatened by extreme pain I would probably feel afraid. But currently I don't feel like I am at much risk of extreme pain, I don't spend my life constantly thinking or worrying about being in extreme pain, or go to desperate lengths to try to avoid ever being in extreme pain. So going by that definition, if someone asked me "Are you afraid of extreme pain?" I would have to answer no.

Replace extreme pain with just about anything else, you get the same answer. Extreme pain, losing a limb, death of a loved one... I could literally put any of them into the same paragraph and if that's the criteria for being afraid of them, then I would have to say I am not afraid of them. So if someone asks me "Are you afraid of anything?", I should answer no.

Offline Scheavo

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Re: Are you afraid of death?
« Reply #122 on: June 19, 2012, 07:57:50 PM »
I've also met people, however, who got very calm in the face of death (my grandfather), and seemed very accepting of the fact that he was about to die. Maybe that was only to give us peace of mind, but I don't think that what you are saying applies to necessarily everyone.


Well honestly, by the time I'm in my 80's, I don't know how much I'll be afraid of death, even under my description. Maybe if life were something wonderful, or suddenly turns into something wonderful, I might change my opinion.

But to go back, I guess when I hear the question, are you afraid of death, I don't think it entails you having to be afraid of it every day. If I were to ask you, are you afraid of spiders? Or heights? Or snakes? I'm not asking you if you think about those things every day, and fear them, I'm asking you, when you think about those things, do you fear it? To take the question, are you afraid of death, as meaning, do you think about it every day and have panic attacks, is I think a very odd way of interpreting the question.