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The Stigma of Death

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posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 07:34 PM
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This is my first thread on here so I'm not really sure where to begin.

I read a thread on here a few minutes ago in which a three year old mentally handicapped girl with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome was denied a kidney transplant because it was deemed that her quality of life would not justify the procedure. In reading some of the responses there were two clear sides. Of course you have the people stating something along the lines of "someone otherwise healthy could benefit from this more than her," but of course you also have the people who say "that's disgusting, who are we to pick who lives and who dies? improving any life is worth it." This got me thinking; why is there such a negative stigma attached to death? Why is death viewed as something taboo, and somehow we decide that life is automatically better? Why is it that people decide life is an experience everyone should have? Why is life considered a privilege when there are countless things wrong with this world? Why has personal fear of the unknown been able to dictate ethical standards within society? Why fear such a natural process? People don't fear birth, so why should you fear death? A lot of questions are running through my head on this subject, so it would be cool if someone could help me gain some insight on this. I figured this was the best forum to post this in, but I wasn't sure.

I don't want this to turn into a discussion about ethics or morals (what you personally deem right/wrong), I want to discuss the deeper philosophical/psychological aspect behind why these ethics and morals even exist to begin with.

Any thoughts?
edit on 17-1-2012 by blackmirage0311 because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 07:56 PM
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reply to post by blackmirage0311
 

Death has been stigmatized to cause fear in order to more easily control and manipulate people.

Nothing more. Anything else is created after the fact by an already controlled culture. People unafraid to die simply can't be controlled without physically restraining them, and at that point they are useless to whoever wishes to retain power.

That is how it appears to me.

edit on 2012/1/17 by ErgoTheConfusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 07:59 PM
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reply to post by blackmirage0311
 


more detailed elaboration of what the poster above me[ErgoTheConfusion] has pointed out

edit on 17-1-2012 by DerepentLEstranger because: ErgoTheConfusion



posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 08:59 PM
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reply to post by ErgoTheConfusion
 


That makes sense. It appears that's why religion has been an extremely effective method of manipulation and control. But, are you inferring that fear of death is not something natural to our being?

I don't subscribe to a religion. I have never believed in heaven or hell, but yet when I think of death, although I'm able to logically reason myself out of it, the "unknown" seems to have a particularly negative draw to it. I've been wondering why something unknown has to be viewed negatively, rather than positively. Is this just a result of an instinctive defense mechanism?

Another thing. I know Christians who basically live by the book. They do everything they can to assure they'll "go to heaven" when they die. However when I ask them if they're afraid of death, they still are because of what they'll be leaving behind, and not because of where they're so sure they'll end up. Which, in a sense, means they view life as something more meaningful than the heaven they live to attain. It seems like circular logic to me.

In other words, there's more than one reason that people fear death, so it seems as if it's a natural part of being human and not a result of being conditioned. Just typing this, I confused the # out of myself.



reply to post by DerepentLEstranger
 


Insightful video. Thanks.
edit on 17-1-2012 by blackmirage0311 because: typo



posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 09:03 PM
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reply to post by blackmirage0311
 


I don't think people are afraid of death per se, it's more that they are afraid of the unknown........death is an unknown quantity.



posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 09:05 PM
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reply to post by Argyll
 


I understand. I'm trying to dig deeper than that, though. Why is the unknown something we are afraid of?



posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 09:59 PM
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Originally posted by blackmirage0311
reply to post by Argyll
 


I understand. I'm trying to dig deeper than that, though. Why is the unknown something we are afraid of?


Basically people fear fear.
Fear is frightening.
Fear is terrifying.
Fear is the primal emotion.
The contemplation of death brings one into
direct experience of ones primal nature as fear.
The Ego Self is FEAR!
Life is FEAR!
It is written in the Upanishads that as soon as an
other is noticed there is fear. The action of separating
yourself as God from yourself creates this fear.
Everyone lives as this fear and builds the Hedge of Narcissus
around them to protect themselves from this fear.
Beyond this fear is God or Reality.
Adi Da explained this in The Knee of LIstening.
beezone.com...



posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 10:21 PM
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There are two very distinct issues at play with this child's case. One, as has been pointed out, is a quality of life issue. The second, is that of a family's love for this child. It has little to do with the fear of death or the stigma attached to death and everything to do with empathy and compassion for a dear loved one.

When it comes down to it, death is something we will all have to face at some point. That is a given. What matters is the quality of the life we live.



posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 11:10 PM
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reply to post by RRokkyy
 


Thank you for the link, I'm gonna check that out.



posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 11:14 PM
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reply to post by maria_stardust
 


I was more intrigued with the responses by people regarding the story, and less with how the family feels, because I know it's natural to care for loved ones. The reasons behind why people responded the way they did, on both sides.

What I was saying is basically why do people find life so valuable? It all leads back to the fear of death, so I was trying to find the root cause of that fear. Since death is natural, I was wondering why humans inherently view the death of anyone as a negative/sad thing.

Hope that makes more sense.
edit on 17-1-2012 by blackmirage0311 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 11:17 PM
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reply to post by blackmirage0311
 


Because death is a finality and you've only one shot at life.

It really is as simple as that.



posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 11:20 PM
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I'd say that when resources are very scarce, as with organs, then "life" goes to where it's strongest.

In war they have a system called Triage, where quick choices call for help to those most likely to survive, rather than the weakest.
In many poorer countries (and even apparently some parts of the richer ones) Triage is practiced in public health.

Of course it is all very complex.

www.stevepavlina.com...
edit on 17-1-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 11:23 PM
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If I were you,
when talking about such heavy topics and asking such philosophical questions,
I would first define fear.

What is "fear" to you?



posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 11:25 PM
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reply to post by maria_stardust
 


” The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” – Oscar Wilde




posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 11:27 PM
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reply to post by blackmirage0311
 


It is hard to look at this situation from the towering height of a comfortable human being who has devised a system and plan for all things to assembly linely keep him alive and prospering, i am in know way taking a shot at you or anyone, but think of the universe and how it really is, the reality most people are involved in is a fairy tale, in minds one may believe anything, and that may have a rippling effect on many things especially an effect of comfort, but the truth is, life is hard! natural life in the natural world is a chaotic mess, the valley of the shadow of death, all life holds fast too its self as long as it can ride on this giant gravitron, you are asking why... because life had to be fought for, and coerced out of the elements, and nutrients sought, and life killed for life, and evolution, think of the animal world where an animal is born and 4 weeks later is ready for anything it may ever need to be ready for, it is just a baby, a scared, alone, fearful individual consciousness who has to fend in this terrifying realm, now the ability of human intelligence is kind of cheating this system, there are rules but cheating is not frowned upon by the system (god), but the rules will teach you lessons if you break those that should not be broken... ok so human intelligence of a man now is like that of 500 lifetimes of earlier man, like species evolved, our systems of language and tools and technology helped us evolve in many capacities to the level we are at now... so Life is an absolute good. Life is what is good, death is what is bad. this is how morals, the idea of good and evil came about. All things that combat the steady flow of human life are bad. the idea of sinning, to chip away at this linear life, to intellectually become bored with it and seek petty forms of pleasure that will lead to premature discomfort and death.. death is gurenteed to all forms of life who have been fortunate enough to live. you wouldn't know anything if you have never lived this life, every moment of feeling, insight, every kiss, every campfire, your parents, your friends, viewing the sunset, all those good meals, games, fun, sports, the mysteries, your questions, your answers, the views, the scenes, the settings, the people, the animals, the infinite, the cities, the cultures, the vibes, the music, the craft, the hobby, the talent, the passion,



posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 11:28 PM
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reply to post by Screwed
 


That's a good question and actually makes me think.

I guess the simplest way I can put it, is an unpleasant emotion felt when we expect something bad to happen.
But then again, it's hard to put something intangible into words, because words are only thought patterns that can be interpreted differently by anyone.



posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 11:33 PM
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reply to post by ImaFungi
 


Great post. Thanks for weighing in.

But it does make me ask the question: do we know nothing when we die, or do we know everything?



posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 11:37 PM
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Originally posted by blackmirage0311
reply to post by Screwed
 


That's a good question and actually makes me think.

I guess the simplest way I can put it, is an unpleasant emotion felt when we expect something bad to happen.
But then again, it's hard to put something intangible into words, because words are only thought patterns that can be interpreted differently by anyone.


"unpleasant" and "bad" are subjective words which have only the definition that YOU give to them.
What may be a "bad" emotion may be a great emotion to others.

What about

Fear: "resistance to a given stimuli"?

when we "fear" something, aren't we just really Really REALLY resisting it?

So we could also say that we "resist" the unknown. and it wouls be a little clearer as to what is going on.

So, why do we resist death?
Because death is unknown?
and we resist the unknown.
So then, the real question is....."why do we resist the unknown"??


What is the opposite of "fear"

edit on 17-1-2012 by Screwed because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 11:37 PM
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to more accurately answer your question,, people fear death because they want to live as long as they can, if you look at communities of the world that is the standard, it is the reason for all of mans progression, to really make this earth feel more cozy and at home, so we can live longer, more comfortably, and with more luxuries and time of cultivated leisure, also the goal is to give the prize of creation to your offspring, so you must be strong and live long enough to accomplish that.. man are so in love with the possibilities of themselves as themselves in this nature that they wish to never leave..



posted on Jan, 17 2012 @ 11:38 PM
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reply to post by blackmirage0311
 


Ah, but sometimes it is.


Why do people fear death? It's a natural fear of the unknown. There is a tendancy for people to cling to what they know and that happens to be a fondness for living.

Although, one could make an overly complex explanation expounding upon one's personal beliefs, religious upbringing and socioeconomic environment. But, hey, Ockham made a brillant observation with his theory that the simplest explanation for any given situation is also the most plausible one. There is a certain amount of elegance to that notion.
edit on 1/17/2012 by maria_stardust because: (no reason given)



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