Death (II) - 68

Here's #1, feel free to read it. They share a theme and some insight but otherwise Death (I) and Death (II) aren't very connected.

Death fascinates me. It plays a major role in defining my personal philosophy, and its unanswered questions lie at the heart of the thoughts on meaninglessness that so permeate this blog. It's the great equalizer, an inevitability only comparable to suffering and (as the saying goes) taxes. It is explored in all major faiths, spiritualities, religions, and nothing, not even the universe, can escape it. It is the end of the metaphorical tunnel, though its status as a light or a great darkness remains to be seen by each one of us when we reach it.

Death is what makes time scarce. Death is what causes natural selection, what brought us to where we are now and what will define our lives moving forward through the ages.

As explored in Small Sacrifices - my first and fittingly probably my most linked-to post on here - death and what comes after it defines morality. To what extent must we go, altruistically, to be morally 'good'? Well, if death is not the true end for us, and time remains linear, what is more important than improving the world? Whereas, if death is the end, how do we balance our own happiness, goals, interests, and the happiness of those around us with the need to improve the world? Talk about any philosophical or religious concept and I'd be surprised if you don't reach it at some point along the way. Since we know so little about it until it actually happens to us, death is a nagging question in the back of any philosopher's mind.

I'd say that it also plays a major role in any religion's spread, influence, and persistence. Without an afterlife component, organized religions don't have any power, and become nothing more than a thought framework, a moral compass, and a set of famous writings and myths. With one, obeying a religious hierarchy suddenly has significantly higher stakes. And not only does it give religion its power; it drives humans to convert and believe. In my own experience, I've found myself pulled heavily toward the concept of faith and spirituality because it has answers for me. Of course, I am relatively quickly repelled by the histories, traditions, and teachings by the groups that I find, but that is beside the point. The desire for religiosity and faith can be seen in plenty of places, such as conspiracy theories, and online communities. Especially in the case of the former, it is the desire for explanations (why does the world fucking suck? why are these senseless acts of violence ocurring?) that causes 'conversion'. What death means and what it holds in store for us is one such question that religions answer soundly.

I also mentioned death being the great equalizer. As the only true constant in our lives - I commit tax evasion all the time,* so the saying about death and taxes is obviously only a half-truth - death is everyone's final destination. No amount of wealth, power, influence, enlightenment, intelligence, or success can prevent it, so much as postpone it; the only thing as inescapable as death, if anything, is suffering. (I think if I explore this line of thinking any more, I will run myself back into the pit of despair as I do often here.)

Also why do people enjoy horror movies? I feel like it could have some interesting psychological explanation but honestly my brain is fried right now. Good night/day/morning/evening/afternoon.

-branches

*I don't


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