§7.1

a blog by josef johann

Thursday, December 30, 2010

If you want to uncover absolute insanity, ask a group of people whether they would want to live forever in perfect health. At least one of them will say they do not want to do it. The rationalizations will be inexplicable, completely out of left field, and always confidently given as if the forces of the universe conspired to make their ridiculous explanation inevitable. It will have to be a project of this little blog of mine to aggregate all the different responses I have heard.

Another angle, taken by many internet atheists, is to say "how can I be afraid of death? Death isn't anything so it doesn't make sense that I should be afraid of it." It has the seductive elegance of shifting to a newer, high minded premise that happily dissolves the problem by trading in the whole framing for a different one.

If your best friend could be vanished from existence Marty Mcfly style, and your memory wiped of any recollection of the friend so would never experience any emotional suffering at the loss, would you say you lost nothing?

No one ever wants to admit that it is them, personally, then and there, that is succumbing to an emotional need to rationalize away grief. Society at large, a person in the abstract, or me so long as I'm merely equally guilty with others. For most of us death really is tragic. It's a problem to be solved.

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