Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Mortality

Rate this topic


TheCerebro
 Share

Recommended Posts

By not dying.

I take my universes one at a time.

I meant when considering it in the long run, how it affects you. Don't you ever plan ahead? Ever think about how you're going to wind up?

Oh well. I think you got what I meant the first time, but I'm not sure if you are joking with me, serious, or just haven't thought it through.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How do you, as an objectivist, deal with mortality and death?

1. By accepting the truth--namely that, when it's over, it's over.

2. By trying to make the most of my life; by living well and living long.

This is the only rational approach. You can practice wishful thinking and delude yourself into believing some unsubstantiated assertions about how you'll be rewarded with an afterlife in Heaven if you do this / don't do that--but that's not the way to go for a man who is interested in real life.

Letting a religion shape your actions will make your life on Earth incomplete--and what do you get in exchange? An unsubstantiated assurance of an afterlife.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Capitalism Forever" summed up what i was initially going to say.

I reckon that an adult who has believed in afterlife all his life, it is emotionally difficult to deal with the reality of a finite existence for many reasons, but not the least of which is he can no longer be comforted when someone dies by the phrase "well, at least she's in a better place". And not only for future deaths, but retroactively for all the people who may have died and was comforted by the tired bromide. Knowing that they are truely gone and you'll never see them again (and vice versa) has got to be hard to accept, if you've believed the opposite all your life.

I started having my doubts about religion in general very early and the first time a close relative died when i was 12, i was already pretty sure there was no god/heaven/etc. I was upset, of course, but i accepted the fact that she was gone forever, and i didn't decieve myself in thinking that we would meet again in the hereafter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

> Ever think about how you're going to wind up?

As I won't be around then, I've never really thought about it.

Now that you bring it up:

1) I signed my organ donor card when I got my driver's license.

2) I need to set things up so that the remainder will go to medical research.

3) I need to set things up so that whatever science doesn't want can be cremated and used as fertilizer.

Who says you can't serve your values when you're dead?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i don't really worry about my death too much, because i won't know when it happens. it just will and i will fall asleep and not dream, not wake up. just like those nights where you wake up and had known nothing of the hours passed. except for the whole waking up thing.

now as for other's deaths....i just think that they got to the finish line first. that's all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Death is an absolute certainty for all of us. Devoting valuable time and energy to worrying about, fearing, or completely evading death is irrational. Devoting time and energy to delaying death as much as possible, however, is not only rational, but morally right.

When others die, I grieve and move on. Grief is an important part of letting go of those we value, but you cannot change the fact that they are dead. You will never spend time with them again. This is why it is important to make the most of our time with those we value while they (and we) still live.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How do you, as an objectivist, deal with mortality and death?

By being aware that I will die, but not obsessing on it or blowing it out of proportion.

Being aware. For example, if one is a business owner, one must think about an exit. If one does nothing else, one's exit will eventually be to die. If one has a wife and kids, this is a rotten exit. You will leave them a leaderless business with no clear succession, and quite possibly they have neither the skills, knowledge, or inclination to run it. Trying to desperately sell such a business will inevitably yield a very low price, if the business doesn't fail before it can be sold.

Life has a distinct set of phases. One's approach to work and to investing (to name only two aspects) are very different at each decade. For example, a 20 yr old investor is quite tolerant of risk to principal and seeks the highest return. A 70 yr old investor is not tolerant of risk to principal, and as a result generally gets lower returns (a whole separate essay, which I may write one day, debunks the risk/return dichotomy that 99% of financial "experts" today espouse).

When I was 20, I lived in a dorm room in a suite with other college kids. I had maye 120 sq ft for my whole life including computer, stereo, skis, clothing, bed, desk, etc etc. I was lucky to have an old diesel chevette to drive. Today, I wont buy a house less than 2500 sq ft on less than an acre of land, and even when I rent a car I don't rent less than a midsize. The point of this is that one is aware that one transitions from viewing one's life as almost entirely future potential to viewing it mostly as enjoying the present. This is a gradual process.

One also is aware that one's physical ability to tolerate sleep deprivation, long work hours, poor diet and excersize, etc., decreases. At the same time, one's knowledge, savvy, expertise, and network of contacts increase. So one expends less time and less energy, but produces more, as one gets older.

One's notion of what constitutes everything from "fun" to "challenging" changes as one gets older.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How do you, as an objectivist, deal with mortality and death?

My attitide is summed up by the lyrics of a song called "Meantime"

Before I was born a lotta things happened

A lotta things happened and there's no doubt

That after I'm gone a lotta things will happen

That I'll know nothing about.

It's the meantime, meantime

All I'm given is the in between time

All my lovin', all my livin'

Gotta do it in the time I'm given...

===

As comedian Alan King said, "You only live once but, if you do it right, once is enough."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How do you, as an objectivist, deal with mortality and death?

I drink a lot of beer.

Oh wait! That's how I deal with Christians and Skeptics.

Uh, actually, I deal with death by spending a lot of time with my girlfriend. I hear sex prolongs your life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

Here's a phrase I thought up to stop me worrying about death: "I was dead before I was born, and I will be dead again."

In other words, at a point in the past you didn't exist, and no one worries about their non-existence in the past, so why should it apply to the future?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...