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Post 20

Wednesday, May 4, 2005 - 5:49pmSanction this postReply
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Very thought provoking, Tibor, and I'm glad you approached the subject. I've been giving this issue some thought for a while now, and would like to offer a few unfinished thoughts that I had been planning on exploring in an article, but abandoned because I don't know if I could do it right, being only 31 this summer. (I feel old sometimes, sure, but I feel pretty young; it's a weird in-between feeling, to say the least. I've got so much to do yet, yet I know that the clock is ticking. And I've never had the luxury as a kid, as it is claimed about kids, to feel omnipotent or indestructable; though I've taken the same risks as other kids, along with the bumps and bruises, I've always been aware of my mortality. My father committed suicide when I was 4, and I've seen my mother nearly beat to death in front of me by my "stepfather," who threatened to kill all of us. I've never been under any delusions, which may have been why I was attracted to religion from a young age. I can understand why Rand would call religion a philosophy of death.)

First, I've been confused about something Ayn Rand said on the Phil Donahue show (I think), when asked about dying, she quoted: " It is not I that will die, it's the world that will end." I interpreted that as rather Platonic, and don't understand why she quoted that. Anyone have any insight into this? I know it was probably meant to be poetic, but it just seems out of place coming from her.

Second, after studying Jung, I thought about his ideas concerning death in relation to Objectivism's celebration of life, and the idea of life as the standard of value. Jung's project is said to concern two stages of development, the first half being ego/self development, which is equated with life and an extroverted sensibility, and the second half concerning death, or more accurately, growing roots, or "growing down", which shows a more introverted sensibility.

I wonder if some of the "older" folks here have any insight here; if they'd be willing to share thoughts on this: Do you find that in the later years, that your thoughts and concerns are more introspective? Has your life been more concerned with maintaining and "harvesting"?

I don't think it's necessarily morbid to "grow down," and I think the analogy of the first half of life as sunrise and second half as sunset is apt and beautiful. And the night personally doesn't scare me, or the idea of death in itself. The idea that Robert M. offered as death being a "conclusion" is nice, makes me think of Dagny's thoughts about life being a straight line in a world of circles. I can certainly see the necessity of taking stock of one's life in later years. It doesn't make Jung a worshipper of death, and I don't think it invalidates Rand's life worship to consider dying, either.

Here's where things get interesting: Jung seems to offer a system of preparing for death, and I don't know if there is a parallel in Objectivism. I see the opposite: an expression of eternal youth and sunshine, with death being a minor inconvenience, which maybe one day will be conquered. If life is the standard of value, what of death?

The Neotech movement seems to be a logical outcome of this kind of thinking, that life is able to be perpetuated as long as it chooses, providing the right technology becomes available, such as AI. But is this desirable?

I remember a science fiction story where mankind did achieve longevity, and as a result, life became meaningless. Without death, there were no challenges, no risks, boredom sets in. The protaganist opts out, and signs up for what he believes to be euthanasia. While waiting, he meets a women there for the same reason, and they fall in love. However, it's too late to change their minds, and they find themselves unconscious. But they do not die, they awake on another planet where they are not invulnerable, and their mortality, paradoxically, gives them a new lease on life.

Rand's example of the indestructable robot comes to mind, also.

I can appreciate Objectivism's "sun worship" and philosophy of life, but I can't help but think it would mean nothing without a conclusion. I am reminded of another science fiction example, from BLADE RUNNER, where the replicant confronts his maker to extend his 4 year life span. Unable, or unwilling, the maker says that "the life that burns twice as fast shines twice as bright."









Post 21

Wednesday, May 4, 2005 - 5:58pmSanction this postReply
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Joe - Rand made that statement [and yes, it was on the Phil Donahue Show] in line with the view as I mentioned, that of death being the conclusion of life.  She oft referred to a favorite poem by Badger Clark, 'The Westerner', in which it states, " the world began when I was born, and the world is mine to win...' - with death being merely the ending of that world, which, from her perspective - as is with anyone  - is the case.  Your world began when you were born - your world will end when you die.



Post 22

Wednesday, May 4, 2005 - 6:03pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks, Robert. I've read Rand quote the Badger Clark line, but never thought to connect it to the other statement. In that interpretation, it makes a LOT more sense.

:)



Post 23

Wednesday, May 4, 2005 - 6:39pmSanction this postReply
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DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT
Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.




Post 24

Wednesday, May 4, 2005 - 7:15pmSanction this postReply
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Good plan, Clarence -- it seems to be working out well thus far!

(Or, at least, it was as of 1:04 a.m. this morning . . . ;)  )




Post 25

Wednesday, May 4, 2005 - 8:18pmSanction this postReply
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Yes, Duncan - and I always hear Rodney Dangerfield's voice whenever seeing that poem, he doing such a good job of it in 'Back to School'........



Post 26

Wednesday, May 4, 2005 - 8:58pmSanction this postReply
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Rodney's the first voice I heard when I just read this! LOL



Post 27

Wednesday, May 4, 2005 - 11:49pmSanction this postReply
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robert malcom wrote:

"Yes - he seems to totally miss the point, that death is a part of life, just as birth is a part of life."

What purpose is served by calling the end of a good thing part of a good thing except to obscure the fact that destroying something good is BAD? Such a casual dismissal of death as a problem is classic apologism, which until reading this thread I would have thought anathema to Objectivism.

Let's take "immortality" off the table, and just address the question of indefinite lifespans. Is or is not an indefinite lifespan-- a lifespan that may be continued indefinitely at the pleasure of the individual --the ideal state of a thinking, rational being? A negative answer is an attack upon the very autonomy of an individual, for it implies that life should be taken from those who still want it. There is no greater immorality, and no greater contradiction for an Objectivist.

"Since life requires a specific course of action, any other course will destroy it. A being who does not hold his own life as the motive and goal of his actions, is acting on the motive and standard of death. Such a being is a metaphysical monstrosity, struggling to oppose, negate, and contradict the fact of his own existence, running blindly amuck on a trail of destruction, capable of nothing but pain." --John Galt

---BrianW



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Post 28

Thursday, May 5, 2005 - 1:45amSanction this postReply
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Hi BrianW (or Dr. Wowk),

You asked:
Is or is not an indefinite lifespan-- a lifespan that may be continued indefinitely at the pleasure of the individual --the ideal state of a thinking, rational being?
I would say that yes it is - if good health and a sound mind could also be kept, but no one has even come close to that yet. The issue here is not in wanting death, but in accepting it as part of reality - the one we live in now, not some possible future reality. That to me is the context of Robert M's quote.

Accepting death (and even old age) does not mean you have to like it. A person who accepts this reality makes suitable arrangements in his/her life for such eventuality, as Tibor in his article mentioned he did (and did serenely by the way).

You can ignore reality but it will never ignore you.

Michael



Post 29

Thursday, May 5, 2005 - 6:26amSanction this postReply
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I'd like to call attention to the following in my original piece, just in case one is confused about either Norton's or my stance: "One of the points Norton stressed is that a person with a good outlook on life will gradually come to terms with the fact that he or she will die and, while never abandoning the quest for living and, indeed, for thriving, such a person will not protest or concoct fantasies to manage impending death [my current emphasis]." So, there! :-)



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Post 30

Thursday, May 5, 2005 - 7:55amSanction this postReply
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Michael Stuart Kelly said:

 

“loved your article. I do believe that accepting anything but reality will always be the wrong way to go.”

 

Indeed, I always repeat that Rand saying that I do not get by through faking reality in any manner whatever, and I work hard to fully integrate this principle into my life.  Yet Tibor in his essay says “who taught that all that fretting about one’s death is pretty useless and is merely going to contribute to making one’s life more unhappy than it has to be” Is that not just a manner of ignoring reality?  The reality is that you are going to die, that everyone you love will die, that you will cease to exist.  How do you not ‘fret’ about that?  To not fret about it is to pretend that it is not going to happen or to convince yourself that it isn’t so bad a thing.  The first obligation of a prisoner is to find a way to escape.  The highest value to all here is their life and their existence.  The biggest threat to your existence, your highest value, is death through aging.  Why are you not looking for your escape? 

 

“Part of getting older is a creeping decadence. You can ignore it and you can rail against it, but it happens to all of us who are lucky enough to get there.”

 

That does not mean one should sit back and welcome it.  Or do nothing to avoid it, which is what is being advocated here.

 

“striving to have a good youth, a good middle age, a good decadence and a good death is the most selfish thing a human being can do”

 

Striving to have a good DEATH is the most selfish thing one can do?  Not striving to avoid death?  How is dying selfish?...when it is the destruction of the self.  Well, we were all raised in a culture of religious deathists, so I cant expect these ideas to be welcomed with open arms. 

 

I am confused by something you wrote:

... don't expect me to sit around while this thread works to convince objectivists that they should be thankful for the time they have and accept death as the end which gives the beginning meaning.

1. I didn't see anyone on this thread, nor Tibor in his article, try to convince anyone that they should be thankful for the time they have, although I do feel that fostering an emotion of general gratitude towards existence is very healthy

 

It is a general attitude and response from religious deathists.  They do whatever they can to convince themselves that dying isn’t so bad, because to convince themselves it is bad requires them to act against it.  This is what I have seen here so far:

 

“Whenever I consider that experience I realize that all this is borrowed time for me”

 

“All things are impermanent: love, the internet, good wines, a child's laughter...but really it is the impermanence of these things that make them special”

 

“The ending of something is not the destruction of something, but the conclusion of it - life by its nature has to have a conclusion, just as it has a beginning.....”

 

“a person with a good outlook on life will gradually come to terms with the fact that he or she will die and, while never abandoning the quest for living and, indeed, for thriving, such a person will not protest or concoct fantasies in order to manage the fact of impending death”

 

who taught that all that fretting about one’s death is pretty useless and is merely going to contribute to making one’s life more unhappy than it has to be.”

 

   --------

 

2. I didn't see anyone on this thread, nor Tibor in his article, try to convince anyone to "accept death as the end which gives the beginning meaning."
Who are you arguing against?”

 

To which Robert Malcom said

 

“Yes - he seems to totally miss the point, that death is a part of life, just as birth is a part of life”

 

Thanks for clarifying Robert.  That in addition to the previously posted comment “really it is the impermanence of these things that make them special”  demonstrates what I am talking about. 

 

*I* am missing the point, that death is *a part of* life?  Hey, so is suffering.  Hey, so is sadness.  Hey, so is sickness.  So let’s all bow down, apologize for our existence, and accept whatever disease, ailment, or injury comes our way because it is *a part of life*.  No thanks.  As I said, all the defenses presented her for accepting death are no different than the usual mantra prattled about defending altruism and self sacrifice and any manner of ridiculous philosophies that have been preached through the ages.

 

Joe M. said:

 

“The idea that Robert M. offered as death being a "conclusion" is nice”

 

Dying is nice?

 

“and I don't think it invalidates Rand's life worship to consider dying, either.”

 

Right, because you should only worship your life for the ‘natural’ number of years, and then no longer worship it.

 

“I remember a science fiction story where mankind did achieve longevity, and as a result, life became meaningless. Without death, there were no challenges, no risks, boredom sets in.”

 

There are plenty of science fiction stories where people actually enjoy living, and do not need to constantly risk death to recognize what a wonderful thing life is.  This attitude is the same one that drives people to be upset with their loving family and children and go climb rocks or mountains, sky dive, bridge jump, partake in extreme life risking events, etc.  I bet you aren’t giving up your wealth so you can truly know what its like to be poor, and thus truly appreciate being not poor.  Why is everyone so adamant on using this justification for death?  Because we were all raised as religious deathists. 

 

“I can appreciate Objectivism's "sun worship" and philosophy of life, but I can't help but think it would mean nothing without a conclusion”

 

Again, it has no meaning without an end.  Hey, why don’t you try it out for a few thousand years, if you don’t like it, kill yourself.  Why is 100 years and then an end good, but not 1,000 years?  Or 10,000 years? 

 

We live on a planet where everyone has convinced themselves that it is ok to die, and thus have purged the desire to actually do anything about their ‘inevitable’ demise.  Its ok, they say, it’s natural, it gives our lives meaning, every beginning must have an end, change is good, immortality would be boring.  All conveniently excusing yourselves from doing anything about dying.  You are all saying “I want to die” and nothing more.  Try saying “I want to live”

 

What can you do about aging?  Most importantly, dispense with the philosophical acceptance of death as something that is OK, it is the very fact that it is widely accepted which perpetuates its existence.  Sign up for cryogenic suspension, it’s no sure bet, but it is a hell of a lot better than being pumped with embalming fluid and turning into worm food.  You can pay for it with your life insurance policy.  Donate time, money, and energy to organizations that work toward extending life.  Read every book you can find on the topic of senescence and cancer.  There are millions of books out there screaming to be read, the answers are in them, waiting for someone to find the connections and make that discovery.  Do something!

 

Michael F Dickey

 

“…You must want to live, you must love it, you must burn with passion for this earth and for all the splendor it can give you—you must feel the twist of every knife as it slashes you desires away from your reach and drains your life out of your body.” - Ayn Rand




Post 31

Thursday, May 5, 2005 - 8:28amSanction this postReply
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No - we DON'T live on a planet where everyone says it's ok to die - that is the point - dying is feared, not taken as a natural.. You yourself call it a 'shackle'  - well, so is  flapping your arms and not being able to fly....



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Post 32

Thursday, May 5, 2005 - 10:03amSanction this postReply
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Michael D,

I was going to get into a rational discussion on this, but you post is WAY TOO LONG and WAY TOO EMOTIONAL. You spout off completely misinterpreted conclusions as if they were facts, call people on this thread "religious deathists" and whatnot.

There is not need to answer all this ranting. Well maybe one point.

What is a good death? From a selfish perspective? I would say it is facing death with dignity and without guilt or cowardice when the time comes. Not embracing it, mind you. Not even not going down fighting. It is being aware of it.

Pretending that death does not exist at the time to die is the coward's way. It is not the way I would ever choose to check out. I will not die with a lie on my lips.

From the tone and length of your writing on this thread, and from the complete misunderstanding of what everybody has been saying, I gather that dying scares the living shit out of you.

Michael




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Post 33

Thursday, May 5, 2005 - 10:39amSanction this postReply
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Mr. Dickey, your considerations on life and death are interesting enough. Your implication that mortality and immortality should be easy for me to understand is arrogant and inconsiderate. Hubris has no place here. 


Is freedom to be revoked so we can appreciate it?  Does my wealth need to be revoked so I might know of what value it is?  Must we stop thinking in order to value thought?  Rubbish! Intelligent rational men can understand what it is to be without something regardless of having that something taken way, they can empathize, emulate, and create emotional simulations of situations and get approximates of which to gauge their values on.  While we can not imagine ceasing to exist, do we really need to imagine such a thing to prefer existence over non-existence? 




The answer to each of your questions is yes. Until we experience a degree of enslavement or poverty or faith we know nothing of freedom, wealth, and reason. Isn't it interesting that our hero Ayn Rand watched from her window as the socialist thugs came to take her father's business away leaving them poor as dirt? Is it possible that her experiences provided her with the motivation to think a bit harder?

I'm optimistic that great minds will one day slow the aging process and I welcome it. But you can still get hit by a bus. Contemplating the end of your existence will always have a value because it is a part of reality. Also, after 1,000 years or 37,000 years I might well find living to have become a bore. It's impossible to say because I haven't experienced anything remotely like being 37,000 years old. Neither have you. You are making claims about an existence that you have no experience with.

(Edited by Lance Moore on 5/05, 10:49am)




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Post 34

Thursday, May 5, 2005 - 11:35amSanction this postReply
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I'm curious as to what the disagreement is here. It looks to me that most objectivists see dying as something to be accepted, not necessarily welcomed or even feared--and then there is Mr. Dickey who seems to misinterpret us all as saying something completely different and uses some unintelligible science fiction fandom site to demonstrate to us all that we are merely a bunch of crazed lunatics for accepting our own mortality as part of a natural cycle of existence, thereby being not much different than religionists who live to die.  I'm sorry, I don't buy that.

If you are trying to make a point here that none of us are getting, please cut to the chase. Please explain your points as it relates to the here and now and keep it as short and simple as possible. Thank you.




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Post 35

Thursday, May 5, 2005 - 12:00pmSanction this postReply
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Tibor, I very much appreciate -- and understand -- your article.

For most of my life, death was not something I thought about. I suspect I maintained, perhaps for too long, the young person's attitude that death was something that happened to other people, not to me. This, despite the deaths of several people I dearly loved. One of the things I learned from their deaths was that it is wrong to say of someone that we loved them, with the love in the past tense; we do not cease to love someone because he has died; the love remains always in our hearts. My birthdays went by in mounting numbers, and each one seemed to arrive more quickly than the last one, and I wondered why so many people were upset with each new birthday or decade.

For the last several years, however, as I grow older, it has had more reality to me that I shall die. Not much reality, because one cannot imagine one's own non-existence. It is true that I shall not die but rather than the world will end. I do not want the world to end, I do not welcome I, I probably shall rage against the dying of the light. There is so much that I want to do, so much I want to learn and see and experience. I want to see what happens to the people and the world I cherish. But I am learning -- slowly -- to accept the fact that I shall die. I think that my hold on life, as death grows nearer, is stronger than it ever was, yet at the same time I can believe than one day that hold will loosen. I think -- I hope -- that at the end, my final thought will be how much I have loved this beautiful green jewel of a planet, how passionately I have loved the days of my life, good and bad, happy and painful, and I will not tell myself that I want to leave this world and the people who have helped to make it, and my life, so infinitely precious.

Barbara



Post 36

Thursday, May 5, 2005 - 12:21pmSanction this postReply
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Robert Malcolm said. 

 

“No - we DON'T live on a planet where everyone says it's ok to die - that is the point - dying is feared, not taken as a natural.. “

That’s funny, because almost every comment in this whole entire thread is comprised of people saying it is OK to die. 

 

“You yourself call it a 'shackle'  - well, so is  flapping your arms and not being able to fly....”

 

Yet men have built great machines and now routinely take to the air.  I am sure many naysayers said to the Howard Roark’s of the day that it is not natural for men to fly and to just be content with their two legs. 

 

Build yourself a jetpack http://www.technologie-entwicklung.de/Gasturbines/Monocopter/body_monocopter.html - http://www.technologie-entwicklung.de/17-suit1.jpg

 

Michael Stuart Kelley said:

 

“I was going to get into a rational discussion on this, but you post is WAY TOO LONG and WAY TOO EMOTIONAL. You spout off completely misinterpreted conclusions as if they were facts, call people on this thread "religious deathists" and whatnot”

If it quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, and looks like a duck…  It is amazing the negative reaction I get from simply encouraging people to love their lives and live it and fight for the continuation of their own existence.  Death and dying is a very emotional subject, I am sorry you do not feel it deserves the emotional significance I attach to it.  Our emotions are the logical projections of our deepest convictions, if you are OK with dying, then you do not value your own existence. 

 

“What is a good death? From a selfish perspective? I would say it is facing death with dignity and without guilt or cowardice when the time comes. Not embracing it, mind you. Not even not going down fighting. It is being aware of it.”

 

On that I agree with you.  One can accept that one WILL die, and not cry and wail and moan about it.  But you should never be deeply fundamentally at ease with the cessation of your existence.  There is a huge difference between saying that since things die we shouldn’t try to do anything to fight death and acknowledging that you are about to die.

 

“Pretending that death does not exist at the time to die is the coward's way. It is not the way I would ever choose to check out. I will not die with a lie on my lips.”

 

Who ever advocated pretending death does not exist?  Would you live with a lie on your lips?  If you assert your own life to be your highest value, why are you not fighting with your very soul to defeat your greatest enemy?  Are you sitting back, hoping someone else might defeat that enemy?  Content in the thought that if that enemy was not defeated, oh well, you had a good run?  I am sure you put effort into furthering other values, how much effort are you putting into defeating your murderer?  Saying no one man can make a difference is a cop out for justifying inaction, and a completely egregious thing to be coming from the lips of an objectivist.

 

“From the tone and length of your writing on this thread, and from the complete misunderstanding of what everybody has been saying, I gather that dying scares the living shit out of you”

 

What have I misunderstood?  It’s pretty clear that the vast majority of people in this thread are a’ ok with ceasing to exist, and some in strange twisted ways feel it actually gives value to the very values it destroys.  If dying scares the living shit out of me, then living clearly scares them to death.  However, dying does not ‘scare’ me, I recognize completely what it is and as such want to do whatever I can to stave it off as long as possible.  I do not want to die, it is as simple as that.  I value my own existence and want to prolong it as much as possible.  If you see something threatening you, you identify it and work to negate it’s effects.  This has many other implications too, most directly in contemplating risk management and identifying the things that are actually likely to kill you and work to avoid those.  My dearest friend is a Hospice nurse (as I have said in other threads)  so I am intimately familiar with death (and have seen friends and loved ones die), as we routinely discuss her patients and she loses around 2 per week.  When she comes over and says “God I have this patient, I wish she would just die!” pretty deep conversations are bound to arise.  I told her early on to not expect comfort from death from me, there is no comfort in it, it is the greatest transgression of existence.  She sees every variety, people who are completely at ease with their deaths, people who fight it with every ounce of their strength to their very last breath, people who are newly religious and people who feel even more justified in their atheism. 

 

Lance said:

 

“Your implications that the understanding of mortality/immortality should be easy is arrogant and inconsiderate.”

 

I never said defeating death and aging would be easy.  But just because it is hard, in fact probably the hardest thing man will accomplish, doesn’t mean one shouldn’t try.  ‘That is too difficult’ is not an objection I expect to be coming from objectivists. 

 

“The answer to each of your questions is yes. Until we experience a degree of enslavement or poverty or faith we know nothing of freedom, wealth, and reason.”

 

Interesting, I wonder what other objectivists participating in this thread think of this comment?   Must we be poor to truly appreciate wealth?  Must I be bound in chains to truly appreciate (or want, to make the analogy more appropriate) freedom?  Must we burn our hands to truly appreciate the absence of burning flesh?   Your analogy is also flawed in the sense that in all these instances that faculty of perception still exists.  We can not perceive a state of non-existence, and thus could never compare it to a state of existence, and as such it could never give one a greater appreciation of existence. 

 

“I'm optimistic that great minds will one day slow the aging process and I welcome it. But you can still get hit by a bus. Contemplating the end of your existence will always have a value because it is a part of reality.”

 

Of course, anyone involved in this area of thought is well aware of the risks of death not associated with aging.  Some people envision themselves being uploaded into computers, others becoming integrated with computers, still others generally retaining their human form but increasing their strength and endurance through enchantments, either biological or technological.  Wearing a powered exoskeleton, for instance, that is comfortable and durable can do wonders against being hit by buses.  See for example http://www.improb.com/news/2002/may/troy-new-suit.html Troy inside his bear suit has sustained numerous collisions with vehicles going up to 30 mph. 

 

“Also, after 1,000 years or 37,000 years I might well find living to have become a bore. It's impossible to say because I haven't experienced anything remotely like being 37,000 years old. Neither have you. You are making claims about an existence that you have no experience with”

 

What claims have I made about an existence I have no experience with?  If you get bored after 37,000 years feel free to kill yourself.  But to accept death on the presumption that you WILL be bored if you lived anything beyond the ‘natural’ life expectancy is an absurd thing to do. 

 

Michael F Dickey




Post 37

Thursday, May 5, 2005 - 12:51pmSanction this postReply
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Katdaddy, the people in this thread see death as either A) some variant that makes life worth living (e.g. all things with beginnings have ends, the impermanence of things is what gives them value, a reference point to truly value life from.  Or B) something they would prefer to avoid, but are content in doing absolutely nothing to avoid it.  Those of category A are religious deathists of some variants and intensities.  Those of category B are content to sit back and place the question of the continuation of their existence on other people, and some of those of category B are suspicious that they would even enjoy life if they lived it too long (again, mighty strange words coming from objectivists)  You place yourself in category A when you say “our own mortality as part of a natural cycle of existence,”

 

“unintelligible science fiction fandom site”

 

An extraordinary offensive comment Katdaddy, what site are you referring to, ALCOR?  Extropy.org?  I am sure they are quite insulted that you consider them an ‘unintelligible science fiction fandom site’.  Perhaps you should give them a chance.  There are many intelligent people in that community and at least they love their lives and are willing to admit it and accept the consequences of that love.  Have you considered that perhaps it is merely a mode of thought that many here are just unfamiliar with, just as we were all unfamiliar with the individualism and reason espoused by Rand at one time?  One can probably find many posters all over the web that reference this site as nothing more than a bunch of heartless greedy pigs. 

 

The content of this conversation varies little from me trying to convince a bunch of 2nd handers and altruists to live their own lives. 

 

You have children, wouldn’t you want to see them grow and develop?  To see their children, and their children’s children, and so on?  See the moon?  Mars has a canyon as deep as the grand canyon is long.  The tallest mountain in the solar system.  Neptune rains diamonds.  Who knows what beautiful and amazing things go on in other parts of the galaxy.  Who knows what kind of alien mozarts and Ayn Rands are out there.  What life do people on this board live that is so boring?  All I am saying is if you love your life then fight for it.  Abandon the philosophical premise that death is OK.  It is not.  Your life is your highest value, treat it as such. 

 

“If you are trying to make a point here that none of us are getting, please cut to the chase. Please explain your points as it relates to the here and now and keep it as short and simple as possible. Thank you.”

 

Carpe Aternitas  Is that short enough?

Regards,

Michael F Dickey




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Post 38

Thursday, May 5, 2005 - 1:12pmSanction this postReply
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Michael Dickey, for crying out loud, what the hell do you expect people to do? What do you mean by "fight for it"? Worry yourself mad? Imagine a chance abduction by immortalizing aliens, which will land you in an eternally blissful Start Trek convention beyond the stars?

It's obvious here that YOU are the one who's obsessed with death and who can't get over it -- not those who are trying to find a way to best deal with a reality. Constantly "fighting" against death (when done by anyone other than scientists) does not amount to fighting *for* something, and is usually a distraction. If your obsessive worries buy you an extra year, you'll just spend that year obsessively worrying.

And anytime you find yourself concocting a word like "deathists" -- it's a good indication that you probably shouldn't continue writing.  

Alec




Post 39

Thursday, May 5, 2005 - 1:15pmSanction this postReply
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when done by anyone other than scientists
Thanks for making that point, Alec.

Jason




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