Reasons to fear death

6

Epicurus said that fearing nonexistence is not only stupid, it even gets in the way of enjoying life. I agree with Epicurus and I am trying to stop fearing death by thinking about it logically. I now have peace with as far as I know every aspect of death except for one thing. That is called 'FOMO' or the 'fear of missing out'.

If I would die today I would never see humans land on Mars for example. Some argue that if there is no feeling of deep loss at what you missed before your birth, why would there be such a thing after your death? I do quite disagree with this, because I can read about the past or think about what might have happened. Events in the future are unpredictable and by dying some questions can never be answered. They will remain to be a mystery forever.

So to conclude I think my only fear of death is the fear of missing out. What do you think?

Raymond Timmermans

Posted 2017-03-26T07:18:43.463

Reputation: 161

6https://youtu.be/waoEVI9FN5Q Shelly Kagan lecture "Why Is Death Bad?" – Dave – 2017-03-26T17:10:21.300

1Fear of death is a good thing because it leads people to come to terms with their accruing moral debt. The worse thing we can do is try to alleviate that fear (by denial or with wishful-thinking "philosophy") without truly dealing with the underlying problem. – None – 2017-03-27T10:08:33.940

1I think you have no reason to fear death; it's just regret that you'll miss the ballgame, or something. Death doesn't seem to you an evil, but an inconvenience. – jarnosz – 2017-03-28T20:15:59.413

“Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they Do not go gentle into that good night.” – CriglCragl – 2020-10-30T23:03:32.617

Answers

2

Philosophers like Tomas Aquinas and Agustin Hipona wrote that we have fear of death because we were not born for it. Agustin Hipona, De Civitate Dei/City of God, Book XI, Ch. 11, 27

What! do not even all irrational animals, to whom such calculations are unknown, from the huge dragons down to the least worms, all testify that they wish to exist, and therefore shun death by every movement in their power? Nay, the very plants and shrubs, which have no such life as enables them to shun destruction by movements we can see, do not they all seek, in their own fashion, to conserve their existence, by rooting themselves more and more deeply in the earth, that so they may draw nourishment, and throw out healthy branches towards the sky? In fine, even the lifeless bodies, which want not only sensation but seminal life, yet either seek the upper air or sink deep, or are balanced in an intermediate position, so that they may protect their existence in that situation where they can exist in most accordance with their nature.


Quid? animalia omnia etiam irrationalia, quibus datum non est ista cogitare, ab immensis draconibus usque ad exiguos vermiculos nonne se esse velle atque ob hoc interitum fugere omnibus quibus possunt motibus indicant? Quid? arbusta omnesque frutices, quibus nullus est sensus ad vitandam manifesta motione perniciem, nonne ut in auras tutum cacuminis germen emittant, aliud terrae radicis affigunt, quo alimentum trahant atque ita suum quodam modo esse conservent? Ipsa postremo corpora, quibus non solum sensus, sed nec ulla saltem seminalis est vita, ita tamen vel exiliunt in superna vel in ima descendunt vel librantur in mediis, ut essentiam suam, ubi secundum naturam possunt esse, custodiant.

(I prefer that one in Latin because To translate is to betray)

So those who share Life are afraid to lose it, and living things share Life, because if death was ours then we couldn't lose it.

For theist philosophers like Plato, Plotinus, Aristotle, Socrates, and more, you should be afraid of death because at the end (when humankind dies) we will be judged by God if we have loved one another.

Another, more poetic, point of view come from

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion, Ch. 1, Of the beginning of days

[Iluvatar] But to the Atani I will give a new gift.

On the beginning of world that host the adventures of Middle-Earth Iluvator, that is the name of the Creator on Tolkien, gives the death is a gift to the Atani/humankind. Elfs instead remain alive still the World is life. Basically there are strong linked with the World but that doesn't make them happy indeed the prefer go back to Valinor where the Valar lives

Salvatore Di Fazio

Posted 2017-03-26T07:18:43.463

Reputation: 219

1What does the latin mean? I am not fluent I am sorry. – Raymond Timmermans – 2017-03-27T07:04:09.600

1

@RaymondTimmermans have a look on: https://archive.org/details/cityofgodtransla02auguuoft C. 11, 27

– Salvatore Di Fazio – 2017-03-27T07:20:34.067

i fear you are not answering the question. Fearless John wants to be afraid, and finds no reasons to do so. – jarnosz – 2017-03-27T19:21:56.647

@erreka you are right I can be more specific – Salvatore Di Fazio – 2017-03-28T03:54:06.990

i fear now you are missing the point: you claim that atheists should fear death because they shall be judged by God; but atheists, not believing in God, have nothing to fear. On the other hand, Augustine's quotation only say that things avoid their own destruction (with some underlying hylozoism), but you don't state a reason why they should. – jarnosz – 2017-03-28T20:14:53.023

1You bring up some interesting points, but your answer needs work. The Latin quote should be translated. Also, Plato, et. al. are not atheists but theists. Finally, the Silmarillion quote is a fine quote, but it needs an explanation for those who are not Tolkien scholars. – Greg Graham – 2017-03-30T18:30:17.290

1@GregGraham I will do it – Salvatore Di Fazio – 2017-03-31T03:52:23.067

1

Nowadays, and for the first time ever, molecular biology and genetic engineering hold out the possibility of actually controlling the aging process, and preventing death-by-aging (accidents, bullets, etc, notwithstanding). So fearing death is a very good thing because fear encourages people to do something about what they fear. There used to be no possibility of doing anything about death, so people just rationalized away fear of death, by afterlife, religion, etc. But now that we're on the verge of actually being able to do something about it, we're better off fearing the heck out of death, to encourage funding research and hurrying up its "cure".

user19423

Posted 2017-03-26T07:18:43.463

Reputation: