Facing Mortality

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Kaitzilla, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. Kaitzilla

    Kaitzilla Lord Croissant

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    This thread is for reflecting on our extremely short lives.

    On average, men get 75 years and women get 80.
    Population pyramids indicate our frailer comrades start dying in their mid-50s with half gone in their mid-70s followed by the rest around 100 years old.
    https://www.populationpyramid.net/united-states-of-america/2017/

    This feeling is usually addressed by religion, but I personally feel that after I die I'll go to where ever I was before I was born. :dunno:



    Back when Cicadas took over a summer, they were so loud is was like having a new species on Earth.
    Yet they were silent after only a few weeks.
    An extremely mortal feeling.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periodical_cicadas

    People who own hamsters also know how helpless it is when they are born, live, and die of old age after 2.5 years.


    Check out these old history pictures.
    All those people are gone. :(
    http://www.whizzpast.com/amazing-vintage-3d-photos-industrialized-world/

    Same for history books.
    I feel like those people in the pages sometimes, and I realize I'm slowly becoming like them, bound to a page every single day.

    There was that King of Persia once.
    Xerxes stopped on his way to go beat on the Greeks because he felt the same way.

    :cry:

    I know the feeling has hit Conan O’Brien.
    None of his late night stuff will be remembered even if he is currently famous.
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/01/cultural-icons-popular-today-unknown-tomorrow/


    Anyway, if you've never had a near death experience or are younger than 25, this thread isn't really for you.

    How do you folks deal when that mortal feeling hits?
    More religion?
    Brainwash a younger person with your values and turn them into a mini-me?
    Paint something?
    Get more kids / pets?

    I think I'll just stay away from the doom threads for a few months :)
     
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  2. Phrossack

    Phrossack Armored Fish and Armored Men

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    I tend to find life tedious, and the future terrifying. All that I care about is being destroyed, or has been, and there is nothing I can do to prevent my death eventually, so why worry? What good will that do?
     
  3. Synsensa

    Synsensa Deity Retired Moderator

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    The nature of my health likely means that I'll die sooner than most, and I have family history on my father's side of the men dying in their 40s. My dad, granddad, great-granddad, great-great-granddad, etc, all died before 48. This isn't the case with my mother's side but I seem to have inherited most of my father's genetic shortcomings so I suspect I have inherited that one too.

    Which is all to say that it's probable I've lived 60-70% of my lifespan already at the ripe old age of 24. I would be genuinely surprised if I made it to 40.

    I've been aware of existentialism since I was five years old. Since then, it's been a gradually worsening anxiety. With age, knowledge, and wisdom comes a more prevalent fear of what is coming. What waits for me after death terrifies me more than anything else. I care little about the suffering of death, but the question of "What comes next?" is anxiety-inducing. I imagine this is in large part due to being raised in a cult by my parents, but I would hazard a guess that becoming sick so young and just generally being unimpressed with the state of humanity helped all this coalesce into that heart-pounding panic attack extravaganza. Despite all the pain and misery, and subsequent bouts of suicidal ideation, I am awfully attached to consciousness and its continuation, even in the face of the dizzying implications of eternity.

    What does all that mean? I'm not really sure. My personal "What is the point?" perspective (I hesitate to truly consider my beliefs to be nihilism) makes it difficult to assign purpose or meaning to the big picture.

    As it stands, I try to focus on what I know I can experience, which is my life. I'm heavily pleasure-oriented and I tend to view obligation and work dimly. Ideally I would like to leave the world a better place. I want to have contributed more than I've taken away by the time the ride is over. Being remembered is not something I want or care about. If my death brings about an eternity of nothingness, I care little about anything involving my "self" beyond having the experience of reality taken from me.
     
  4. Kaitzilla

    Kaitzilla Lord Croissant

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    That is a good point.
    Worrying doesn't do much good.

    Lao Tzu taught:
    https://www.businessinsider.com/12-...ness--bertrand-russell-lived-in-early-1800s-2
    Hard to live in the present.
    Pain persists and the future hits like a landslide started long ago.



    Based off my age and family health history, I'd say my life is roughly half done.
    Noticed my 1st gray hair 1 year ago. :yeah:
     
  5. Phrossack

    Phrossack Armored Fish and Armored Men

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    It's funny because I'm depressed and anxious!


    I try not to worry about things I can't control. It's the things I suspect I can control that bug me.

    But it's hard to live in the present when the past is all you have experienced and the future is frightening.
     
  6. Kaitzilla

    Kaitzilla Lord Croissant

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    AH!

    Your life sounds much harder than mine Synsensa, thanks for sharing.
    My father had a minor heart attack in his late 40's which is on my mind occasionally.

    Ya, anxiety is hard to deal with.
    Especially if the body dumps a liter of adrenaline into the heart for no reason and causes a panic attack / 150 heartbeat sitting down.

    Music helps a bit.
    Spoiler :
    RIP Origa, 44


    I tried reading the obituaries online of people with my name.
    .... A weird feeling that.
    It didn't help and just made me feel like a weirdo instead. :hammer2:



    Could always be worse.
    Those poor folks who get cancer young and fight for 10 years. :salute:
    http://cancerisnotfunny.blogspot.com/
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
  7. Thorgalaeg

    Thorgalaeg Deity

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    I don't worry that much. In 60 or 70 years maximum no one of us is going to exist anymore no matter how rich, healthy, handsome or lucky. Some may last a bit more than others in this miserable world, true, but in any case an eyeblink in the grand scheme of things.
     
  8. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Deity

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    I'm well past halfway. Having seen both my parents pass eighty I have no interest in doing so, meaning that I am hopefully past the three quarter pole. I've survived car crashes, hitting a tree on an off road vehicle, a couple of moments on a submarine where the outcome was uncertain, more than a handful of confrontations with people who may have been tough enough to end me, and a serious drug overdose. All in all I think I'm a qualified participant in a discussion of morality.

    That said, it doesn't bother me "when it hits," because it doesn't really hit. It's just there. Life is death, one to one ratio, and always has been. I don't think I've ever not known it, or set it so far aside as to pretend it wasn't the case. But I also have never thought that the zero sum of life and death was all there was to me, or anyone else. One moment the meatsack is a bunch of cells, and the next moment it is a living person (for the record I think that moment not only doesn't happen at conception, but I'm not even sure it happens at birth...a newborn may very well be just as much a personless meatsack as a dead body is, near as I can tell) One moment the meatsack is a "living person." The next moment the meatsack is a "dead body." The meatsack has a greater temporal extent than the person, but are the physical boundaries of the meatsack the actual extent of the person in the three dimensions we call "physical reality"? It certainly doesn't seem so. I'm no Dr Strange, but I know I don't conform perfectly to those boundaries. In some ways I'm beyond them, and in some areas they aren't so much me as just meat I am peripherally involved with. It is a fact that more of the cells in "my body" are independent organisms that just happen to be along for the ride than are actually attached to "me."

    So, then, there's the absurdity of two. It is easy to perceive myself in two, three, even four dimensions, as something loosely associated with a bag of meat that has some extent in each of those four dimensions. But why four? Singularity is rational. We may be the "only life in the universe" by some spectacularly odd circumstance. But as soon as we find a second the "spectacularly odd unique circumstance" goes out the window. All arguments for unique fall apart, as they cannot be applied to two. Unique is possible, two is completely implausible. Similarly four. The four dimensions that are obvious to me, in which this meatbag has measurable extent, being the only four there are, is implausible. So I have no reason to assume that detaching from the meatbag is a ceasing to exist rather than a displacement in an as yet unknown direction. A direction in which my extent is potentially unbounded, or perhaps similarly measured by an attachment to something equivalent to the meatbag that measures in that direction.

    I know that direction is there, because just like A Square being bumped 'inside' by the sphere I have limited perception in it, and so does everyone else. Some people get so caught up in their meat that they stick the equivalent of fingers in their ears and shout lalalala rather than pay attention. Other people try to communicate the perceptions they have in a language built on features of our "objective reality" even though they clearly don't apply and cause confusions about heaven "above" or an "after" life...assigning the additional direction as just a displacement in a known direction because...well, it's all they have to work with. But despite the confusions of language, their efforts hold attention because they are describing as best they can a common experience and even the lalalala crowd on some level where they are uncomfortable recognizes their own experience in even the poorest descriptions.

    So I have no fear of moving in this unknown direction, because I've been told more than clearly enough for my own satisfaction that I won't be going alone, and that it is nothing more than what I am built to do. When I reach the limits of my extent in time into my father's hands I commend my spirit, to expand or displace in whatever direction outside my perception is intended.
     
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  9. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    My thesis is that death is something that should be fought, and can be defeated. All human deaths have a cause, and each of those causes is fundamentally solvable. It requires a deliberate effort, but that effort is a worthy one.

    Conquering the blight of involuntary death. It is a worthy endeavor.
     
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  10. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Deity

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    Indeed.

    Birth.
     
  11. Phrossack

    Phrossack Armored Fish and Armored Men

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    Do you really want a world in which the rich and powerful get to stay in power literally forever? Can you imagine if we were still ruled by 16th-century monarchs? No doubt today's people will seem equally antiquated and out of touch in the future.
     
  12. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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    Things don't have to play out like that.

    I'm scared to death of death. The thought of not existing terrifies me as do the scattered thoughts and feelings that I am sure people experience as they take their dying breathes. I hope that when my end comes it is very fast. I hope to last long enough to be able to prolong my life further still to beat death through technology. I don't like my odds and that bothers me. When I'm better off financially I plan on setting up life insurance to pay for cryogenic freezing of my body. I won't do it if it will hurt my family but if I can afford additional insurance above their needs then I'll go for it. I have got no other use for the money at that point and the worst that could happen is I stay dead.
     
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  13. Berzerker

    Berzerker Deity

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    Death is the great equalizer
     
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  14. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Deity

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    The thought of the rich and powerful living forever is bad. The thought of everyone living forever is worse.
     
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  15. Phrossack

    Phrossack Armored Fish and Armored Men

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    I suppose you must like life more or less. That would make a difference, and if so, it's good you do.

    But dreading death when you enjoy life is like spending an otherwise happy once-in-a-lifetime vacation dreading the return to work. It has to happen, there is nothing you can do, and all that worrying gets in the way of enjoying the rare opportunity you have.

    The point of worrying, I think, is to kick you into doing something to solve the problem. If the problem can't be solved, why worry?

    I just hope to die in a respectable, quick, and memorable way after my parents have passed, like by evacuating a sinking ship, or fighting someone who needs fighting.

    Eternal rule by out-of-touch trillionaire megalomaniacs is bad enough. Can you imagine people born hundreds of years ago, with alien morality and whose minds are set in stone with age, being a voting bloc?

    That's why I want it around. Sitting on the playground swings can be fun, but eventually it's someone else's turn.
     
  16. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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    Don't take this the wrong way but I hope you have someone to talk to about these feelings @Phrossack. You don't have to go through life feeling like that. If you just want an ear to listen to or someone to bounce ideas off of, shoot me a PM.

    I don't want to sound dismissive by saying your feelings are not natural because they are. They reflect who you are as a person and your moral convictions. But at the same time they should not dictate your entire outlook on life such that you want it to be over.
     
  17. tetley

    tetley Head tea leaf

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    It's already been said in the OP: this is where religion usually comes into it. Shouldn't it, though? It's like playing football, but you "prefer not to think about" tackling. You're never going to win if you don't tackle. Religion's what it's all about. And I mean literally, that's what it's ALL about.
     
  18. Berzerker

    Berzerker Deity

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    evolution gave us a fear of death to keep us alive and religion was the result
     
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  19. AmazonQueen

    AmazonQueen Virago

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    I'm not worried about death, dying or even worse living as an invalid dependent on others now that'd be scary
    A world where we all had greatly extended lifespans or lived for ever would probably be a dystopia and I think as a species we should have other priorities
     
  20. Phrossack

    Phrossack Armored Fish and Armored Men

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    I think this thinking is a natural result of looking at an increasingly nasty world and a dissatisfying life without any intentions of telling myself comforting things that aren't so. The fact is that everything I care about is being destroyed by others, so why look forward to the future? There can't be anything in it that can undo that.

    But I still really do think that death in general shouldn't be a source of anxiety. It's fine for people to not want to die at a given time or in a given way, since death doesn't have to be painful and can come at an inconvenient time, but spending your whole life in fear of losing it is no way to live.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019

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