Page 5 of 9 FirstFirst 123456789 LastLast
Results 121 to 150 of 252
  1. - Top - End - #121
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Scarlet Knight's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    When I turned 50, I began to look at death differently, knowing it will come sooner rather than later. I hope God is merciful to me rather than just when my time comes. I fear both eternal punishment and oblivion, but I also fear I will miss life.

    I now try to enjoy life while I can. I am healthy (for my age) so I can enjoy the colors of a sunset, the sound of Mozart or Buffett, the taste of a White Castle slider, the smell of sauce on a Sunday morning, and the touch of a woman's skin.

    I know life can turn quickly and through an act of man or nature I can be among those that suffer daily. I hope I live long enough to do all I wish or to gain enough wisdom that I can greet death as a friend when it does come.
    Last edited by Scarlet Knight; 2018-03-03 at 12:35 PM.
    "We are the people our parents warned us about!" - J.Buffett

    Avatar by Tannhaeuser

  2. - Top - End - #122

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by veti View Post
    I don't see any sign of such a wish. Is it possible you are reading your own preconceptions into the post?

    Specifically, I think you are making the unfounded assumption that any creature that achieves a human-like level of, let's call it "awareness", must axiomatically be human-like. That there are no other possible paths that its intelligence and culture could follow: anything that thinks, must think like us. I don't think that's defensible, particularly given the wide range of deeply contradictory philosophies that our one species has come up with.
    That wide range is the result of one type of mind: the thinking human mind. If any beast were to develop human level intelligence and self-awareness, it would start manifesting in similar ways to ourselves. But, they don't.

    But something over 99.99999% of humans have done none of those things. Should you really judge a species by the performance of a miniscule number of freaks? Perhaps more fundamentally, what does "judging" them mean anyway? If we grant, even absent any coherent reason, that humankind is "the crowning organism in nature", what follows from that exactly?
    All the more reason to cultivate the freaks. Any bee larva can become a queen if fed royal jelly.

    In the last analysis we do what we do because to do otherwise is suicidal, and if we love ourselves we will expand and develop rather than shrink and rot. Are you a freak or are you a lemming?

    If that is the true measure of species-wide achievement, then the "crowning organism" has to be some kind of fungus. Those things grow everywhere.
    Fungus does not wilfully increase its potential population density. They're not good conversationalists, either.

  3. - Top - End - #123

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    The ability to understand death may be a function of the ability to reason.

    Ability to create technology and culture and to communicate like humans would is not. Those also require particular arrangement of limbs and digits, particular vocal chords, particular sensory organs etc.

    The achievements of humanity are not constructs of pure reason, they are pragmatic adaptions of particular limits and traits of humanity. To that all other animals should or even could take the same path can trivially be deemed nonsense.
    I don't look at what man is as a mix 'n' match of randomly evolved traits, I look at what he is intended to do. Brain, hands, voice box, erect carriage, binocular vision, these are the marks of a thinking, communicating, loving, predatory race, and one that on those counts together knows death and morality. No beast displays this combination, and no beast acts and talks like us, despite every reason to do so.

    Irrelevant argument. The dumbest humans who can be demonstrated to fear death cannot communicate plans of Golden Gate bridge either. Once again, you are merely assuming that awareness of mortality requires or entails a level of ability that it has not been shown to require nor entail.
    Are your “dumbest humans” born that way or made that way by a retarded education system? You might underestimate “dumb” people. And, born idiots probably don't understand death anyway which undercuts your argument.

    Again: animals who do have relationship with humans do communicate with them and are arguably better at understanding humans than humans are at understanding them.
    Smart smart smart, animals are smart. So smart they can't figure out how to communicate “please don't send me to be put to sleep!” They just moo and purr and squawk.

    Where your argument fails, is again the assumption of arbitrarily high ability. The dumbest of humans provenly have trouble getting through to other humans, despite fearing death. Heck, a human does not need to be particularly stupid, growing up in different linguistic area may create a sufficient barrier to prevent communication of complex ideas. So the idea that awareness of mortality requires or entails the ability for, say, birds to read and form letters in the sky, is nothing short of utter nonsense. (Nevermind all species of birds which can communicate information via pattern flying, or those species of birds with known ability to mimic and understand human speech to some degree.)
    Where are their fig-leaf aprons? If they understood death they would understand sex, too. They would be like gods on Terra, knowing both good and evil. Animals are nothing like this. You can't separate knowledge of mortality from reason; reason is a mind looking down at itself, considering itself like an actor in a play, able to see what it is doing incorrectly, including morally incorrectly. Coyotes are coyotes are coyotes, they do not philosophise, they don't write sonnets, they do not send envoys to human beings to try to negotiate with them over hunting disputes instead of getting shot. They are cunning, not rational. Why are you so anxious to turn animals into people? Or, is it the other way around?

  4. - Top - End - #124
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Marlinspike

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth View Post
    Animals are nothing like this. You can't separate knowledge of mortality from reason; reason is a mind looking down at itself, considering itself like an actor in a play, able to see what it is doing incorrectly, including morally incorrectly.
    Animals are extremely similar to us, and we are similar to them. You are 90% the same as a cat... That 10% difference means a lot due to the value of intelligence... but if you were dropped naked in the wild, the cat would outlive 90% of humans.

    The problem with your view is that it shows humans as amazing... when we have lots of flaws, and we have a long way to go to become the pinacle of anything.

    Besides, humans took a long time to figure this stuff out... 97% of the time we have existed we were pretty dumb. At least as dumb as some of the smart animals out there. It is only quite recently that we started grasping this stuff. Give them a bit of time (relatively speaking), and they could catch up with us.

    Why are you so anxious to turn animals into people? Or, is it the other way around?
    We are animals. Plain and simple fact. Not making us into anything or making them into anything. Accept that you are an animal, and you can start using your rational thinking about some of the instinctual "animal" things you do every day. Pretend you are not an animal... and you will ignore those things... which means you can't rise above them... which means you will act more like an animal. Rather ironic actually.
    Last edited by Aliquid; 2018-03-03 at 02:30 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #125
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Berlin
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth View Post
    Why are you so anxious to turn animals into people? Or, is it the other way around?
    We are nothing more than pretty highly advanced predators who have some mental faculty but lack the common sense to make anything of it, or rather managed to overcome basic instincts that a species has developed to avoid extinction.

  6. - Top - End - #126
    Orc in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Madrid, kingdom of Spain
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    We are nothing more than pretty highly advanced predators who have some mental faculty but lack the common sense to make anything of it, or rather managed to overcome basic instincts that a species has developed to avoid extinction.
    Speak for yourself, mate..

    We are animals sure, but not only that, you can respect our family in the animal realm without ignoring our unique characteristics.
    Last edited by Spanish_Paladin; 2018-03-03 at 05:36 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #127
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Mr Tumnus's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    The question "why are people afraid of death" seems kinda stupid in my opinion. I'm pretty sure if you asked pretty much anyone and they answered honestly they'd say "yes". I know some people near the end of their lives have "made peace with death" but I'm pretty sure when they say that they mean "I understand nothing I can do will change what's going to happen to me so I've accepted my fate" but the actual unknown of what happens after the lights go off is pretty terrifying.

  8. - Top - End - #128
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Aedilred's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Bristol
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aliquid View Post
    Animals are extremely similar to us, and we are similar to them. You are 90% the same as a cat... That 10% difference means a lot due to the value of intelligence... but if you were dropped naked in the wild, the cat would outlive 90% of humans.
    This is a product of human success, though. We're hyper-specialised animals at a social level, to the point where the majority of our species doesn't need to engage with the mechanics of acquiring food. We're a social species and depend to an extent on the support network of our fellows, and that happened in the wild too. But we're not hyper-specialised at a physiological level. An individual human still has the problem-solving brain and the physiological tools that it can figure out how to survive if given the opportunity. Being removed from the support and communications networks that inform learning obviously wouldn't help, but it's still possible to reason things out from base principles and pretty much all humans have the abilities to do so if pushed. That we don't isn't, mostly, because we can't, but because we don't have to.

    So while there's a perception that urbanised humans are "soft" and there may be some truth to that, certainly when the stakes are less than critical, it's still easy to underestimate human intelligence. Being removed from our support networks is an environmental challenge more than anything - an this is not only something almost all animals struggle wit, but if anything adaptation to such challenges is one of the signature successes of the human species. If dropped in "the wild", sure, a lot of people would struggle initially, but if they survived the first few days, they'd probably learn to thrive. I'd put my money on a human over a domestic cat.
    Last edited by Aedilred; 2018-03-03 at 07:02 PM.
    Empire! A community world-building game, always recruiting

    GITP Blood Bowl Manager Cup
    Red Sabres - Season I Cup Champions, two-time Cup Semifinalists
    Anlec Razors - Two-time Cup Semifinalists
    Bad Badenhof Bats - Season VII Cup Champions
    League Wiki

    Spoiler: Previous Avatars
    Show
    (by Strawberries)
    (by Rain Dragon)

  9. - Top - End - #129

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    We are nothing more than pretty highly advanced predators who have some mental faculty but lack the common sense to make anything of it, or rather managed to overcome basic instincts that a species has developed to avoid extinction.
    Are you a cosmicist?

  10. - Top - End - #130
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Berlin
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth View Post
    Are you a cosmicist?
    No, just and cynic and intellectual leaning to the far left of the spectrum. Lovecraft would actually make some sense, but I think our species manages self-destruction even without that. Just glad that I'm old enough to have passes away before that happens.

  11. - Top - End - #131
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Eye View Post
    But we don't live in the wild anymore.

    ....

    I don't get it, what about it? He went to the underworld talked to a bunch of dead people and that explains why people are irrationally afraid of something natural that happens all the time?
    If humanity went around blindly accepting things juat because they naturally happen all the time we would still be living in the wind

  12. - Top - End - #132
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Jay R's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Eye View Post
    But we don't live in the wild anymore.
    No, but we live on the highway, in tall buildings, near lakes and rivers, in buildings with stoves and electric wires, etc. If we didn't fear death, we would most likely die sooner. Evolution selects against such people.

    [Besides, entering death is often excruciatingly painful.]

  13. - Top - End - #133
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth View Post
    I don't look at what man is as a mix 'n' match of randomly evolved traits, I look at what he is intended to do. Brain, hands, voice box, erect carriage, binocular vision, these are the marks of a thinking, communicating, loving, predatory race, and one that on those counts together knows death and morality. No beast displays this combination, and no beast acts and talks like us, despite every reason to do so.
    1) All material evidence points towards humans being as much a product of evolution as all other animals. Tagging "random" and "mix'n'max" before "evolution" is irrelevant.
    2) You have not demonstrated that what you think humans are intended to do is, in fact, what humans are intended to do. In fact, you have not demonstrated humans are intended to do anything.
    3) The rest of your argument just shows you are oblivious to what my criticism is even about. You are correct that human reason is aware of mortality, and you are correct that all traits of humanity influence human reason. Where your argument persistently falls apart is that you have not demonstrated that awareness of mortality actually requires all traits of humanity. You merely assume that a creature aware of mortality must be equivalent to humans and then falsely expect them to be able of all things humans - when in reality we have reasons to believe that awareness of mortality is a much lower bar to pass and hence expecting that mere awareness of mortality somehow requires or entails equality humans is nonsense.



    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth
    Are your “dumbest humans” born that way or made that way by a retarded education system? You might underestimate “dumb” people. And, born idiots probably don't understand death anyway which undercuts your argument.
    1) Awareness of mortality in humans usually comes to being between ages 3 and 4, years before formal education begins, and even more years before a human is cognitively capable of all the stunts you claim as the essential divide between humans and animals.
    2) The "dumb people" I refer to are either actual kids, or permanently stuck on the cognitive levels of kids due to well-known developmental disorderds. So yeah, they are "born that way".
    3) "Born idiots probably don't understand death anyway"? I'm sorry, wasn't it supposed to be me who is underestimating "dumb people"? Also, that "probably" undercuts your own argument. It shows you believe "born idiots" don't understand death, just like you believe animals don't understand death.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth
    Smart smart smart, animals are smart. So smart they can't figure out how to communicate “please don't send me to be put to sleep!” They just moo and purr and squawk.
    What you stubbornly fail to grok is that those moos, purrs and squawks can be legible communication to humans, and that communication is a two way street. Humans who are fundamentally ignorant of or unwilling to decipher animal communications can not understand them, anymore than two humans who are fundamentally ignorant of or unwilling to decipher languages of each other can understand each other. You might as well be saying that mute people don't fear death, because they can't speak English and you didn't bother to learn sign language.

    When a cat pushes its empty food cup to its owner and meows to get their attention, it is telling it is hungry, and any human who isn't completely ignorant of cats can understand that.

    When a dog lays down and refuses to move when its owner tries to take it to a vet, it is telling it does not want to go to the vet, and any human who isn't completely ignorant of dogs can understand that.

    When a snake hisses at you, it is telling every animal around it that if they don't leave it alone, it will deliver a poisonous bite, and all animals which aren't fundamentally ignorant of snakes understand that. In fact, a snake's warning hiss is such an universal signal that animals which are not snakes, such as cats, hedgehogs and owls, have been demonstrated to mimic a snake's hiss to tell other predators to GTFO.

    And, of course, there's famous primates such as Koko the gorilla (misspelled its name earlier) who were taught human sign language, and when asked whether a thing is dead or not, answered that those things are dead in the sign language of humans.

    Just the example of gorillas alone proves you are doubly wrong: we have animals which are aware of death and capable of learning human communications, yet which still demonstrably aren't capable of all the same things as humans are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth
    Where are their fig-leaf aprons? If they understood death they would understand sex, too. They would be like gods on Terra, knowing both good and evil. Animals are nothing like this. You can't separate knowledge of mortality from reason; reason is a mind looking down at itself, considering itself like an actor in a play, able to see what it is doing incorrectly, including morally incorrectly. Coyotes are coyotes are coyotes, they do not philosophise, they don't write sonnets, they do not send envoys to human beings to try to negotiate with them over hunting disputes instead of getting shot. They are cunning, not rational. Why are you so anxious to turn animals into people? Or, is it the other way around?
    Nonsense symbolism coupled with irrelevant arguments. You are right that you can't separate awareness of mortality from reason, but you perpetually assume a much higher level of reason required for awareness of death than is actually necessary.

    And that's why your ending rhetoric is almost hilariously backwards. You assume I'm trying to cast animals as people because you can't grok the idea of an animal which is aware of its death, yet still not equal to human.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  14. - Top - End - #134
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    S@tanicoaldo's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth View Post
    And, born idiots probably don't understand death anyway which undercuts your argument.
    Ewwwww... Why are you like this?
    I'm not a native english speaker and I'm dyslexic(that doesn't mean I have low IQ quite the opposite actually it means I make a lot of typos).

    So I beg for forgiveness, patience and comprehension.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    It's like somewhere along the way, "freedom of speech" became "all negative response is censorship".
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    ."Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking), and your humility is stunning"

  15. - Top - End - #135

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    1) All material evidence points towards humans being as much a product of evolution as all other animals. Tagging "random" and "mix'n'max" before "evolution" is irrelevant.
    2) You have not demonstrated that what you think humans are intended to do is, in fact, what humans are intended to do. In fact, you have not demonstrated humans are intended to do anything.
    3) The rest of your argument just shows you are oblivious to what my criticism is even about. You are correct that human reason is aware of mortality, and you are correct that all traits of humanity influence human reason. Where your argument persistently falls apart is that you have not demonstrated that awareness of mortality actually requires all traits of humanity. You merely assume that a creature aware of mortality must be equivalent to humans and then falsely expect them to be able of all things humans - when in reality we have reasons to believe that awareness of mortality is a much lower bar to pass and hence expecting that mere awareness of mortality somehow requires or entails equality humans is nonsense.
    You underestimate the power of an understanding of one's own mortality, of what that would imply of the given mind. It's not like checking a box in a computer programme to toggle a function on or off. In understanding death one would understand one's self as a mortal being, and grasp that there is a world that is not oneself, which created oneself, and which will survive oneself. One's eyes would be opened. One would also grasp sexuality as intimately related to the mystery of death. Sex and death, eros and thanatos, and the view of oneself “from above,” as a soul, rather than mindlessly rutting, consuming, posturing, fleeing, and engaging in the sort of “funktionlust” or joy in the exercise of one's physical powers; here one expects a superstitious mentality to arise. Is Koko the gorilla superstitious? If one is aware of death, one will tend to wonder what things happen to oneself after death, and also worry about whether those events relate to how one lives one's life prior to it. There, is morality, a sense of the eerie, a potential to believe in ghosts, spirituality or “relation to relationships,” and the basis of {RULES}. An animal that was aware of its death would have its eyes opened and it would act as men, to the limits of its physical capacities. And, when it encountered men, it would talk to them, whether as equals or viewing men as gods, but it would talk to them and not as "I'm hungry" but as "We wish a truce". Even ants could talk to us if they really wanted to.

  16. - Top - End - #136
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Berlin
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by S@tanicoaldo View Post
    Ewwwww... Why are you like this?
    Somewhat fascinating, ain´t it? It´s like the we can´t get the whole Herrenrasse thing out of our system and someone, somehow will repeat its almost verbatim.

  17. - Top - End - #137
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Knaight's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth View Post
    Is Koko the gorilla superstitious?
    Pigeons have been demonstrated capable of developing superstition, and not particularly bright pigeons either. The standard is not that high.

  18. - Top - End - #138
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Teddy's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sweden
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    I fear death as in fearing oblivion. I don't worry about whether my death will be painful or not, but I do worry about never getting to realise all my hopes, dreams and plans before I die. A nightmare scenario would be my obituary reading "he had so much potential". I would much rather die as someone who had much to the world (but preferably not at all).

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth View Post
    You underestimate the power of an understanding of one's own mortality, of what that would imply of the given mind. [...]
    I'm going to split your post into bite-size chunks, because it kind of needs to be answered statement by statement...

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth View Post
    It's not like checking a box in a computer programme to toggle a function on or off.
    This I agree with. In fact, I'm pretty sure I agree with it even more than you do, as you seem to be of the mind that an understanding of mortality is a binary thing which you either have or you don't (much like how a checkbox is checked or not, with possibly powerful implications for how the program will behave), while I see no reason for why it wouldn't be a range, since that's pretty much how all other kinds of understanding operates.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth View Post
    In understanding death one would understand one's self as a mortal being, and grasp that there is a world that is not oneself, which created oneself, and which will survive oneself.
    This I agree with, except I think you've gotten the cause and effect mixed up.

    Understanding that the world is separate from oneself is probably a core requirement for being able to parse the world even for a fly's brain, because it's a huge waste of brainpower to attempt to bring all you need and desire to yourself psionically. Understanding the distinction between the self and the world is a prerequisite for awareness of your own mortality, not the other way around.

    As for understanding that the world both has preceeded and will succeed you, I'd say it's linked with you understanding that you can be born and that you will die. Now, I'm also pretty sure that most species possessing empathy (a trait which I know to exist among both reptiles, birds and mammals, and probably in several of the other animal classes as well) will have at least a rudimentary understanding of these, as seeing a being you understand to be like yourself being born or die is a pretty simple way of demonstrating to you that the same happened you and may happen to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth View Post
    One's eyes would be opened. One would also grasp sexuality as intimately related to the mystery of death. Sex and death, eros and thanatos, and the view of oneself “from above,” as a soul, rather than mindlessly rutting, consuming, posturing, fleeing, and engaging in the sort of “funktionlust” or joy in the exercise of one's physical powers; [...]
    Wait, what? What does sex have to do with death at all, apart from creating more living being which can die?
    ...
    Am I reading you right in that what you're saying is that the mind sits in some kind of soul, and animals don't have souls, thus rendering them mindless? Well, I'll point out to you that a number of people in this thread have both said themselves to be atheists (and thus not believing in the mind being housed in anything else but your body) and fear death, so an understanding of your mortality demonstrably does not always lead to you seeing yourself as a soul.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth View Post
    [...] here one expects a superstitious mentality to arise. Is Koko the gorilla superstitious? If one is aware of death, one will tend to wonder what things happen to oneself after death, and also worry about whether those events relate to how one lives one's life prior to it. There, is morality, a sense of the eerie, a potential to believe in ghosts, spirituality or “relation to relationships,” and the basis of {RULES}.
    Superstitions arise where either effects have been observed, but a cause is indeterminable (e.g. weather, diseases), where two unrelated effects have been observed at the same time and are assumed to be linked, or where some actions seem powerful enough that they should cause some effect (e.g. breaking a mirror causing bad luck). All in all, superstitions arise from our brains being hard-wired into interpretting the world according to a strict cause-and-effect pattern, and if we can't find one part of the equation, we will invent our own. As such, superstition is rather a product of ignorance rather than understanding, and I take for given that any animal that can learn cause-and-effect relationships will display at least the second form of superstition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth View Post
    An animal that was aware of its death would have its eyes opened and it would act as men, to the limits of its physical capacities. And, when it encountered men, it would talk to them, whether as equals or viewing men as gods, but it would talk to them and not as "I'm hungry" but as "We wish a truce".
    Here is where your leaps to conclusions reach escape velocity and crash straight into the moon. How would an awareness of you own mortality grant you an understanding of diplomacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth View Post
    Even ants could talk to us if they really wanted to.
    But would we listen? Would we even recognise it as an attempt at communication? Humans are notoriously bad listeners when we don't want to listen. Why try to figure out if the animal is attempting to communicate with us when it's a chunk of meat and a pelt which willingly offers itself up to our spears? I admit that the ants have the advantage of generally not being seen as food, but then I don't think ants possess the empathy required to understand other organisms either.
    Last edited by Teddy; 2018-03-04 at 04:40 PM.
    Clouddreamer Teddy by me, high above the world, far beyond its matters...

    Spoiler: Banner by Vrythas
    Show

  19. - Top - End - #139

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    Pigeons have been demonstrated capable of developing superstition, and not particularly bright pigeons either. The standard is not that high.
    Are we talking about the same thing? Do pigeons believe in ghosts? Or an afterlife? Or the need for rituals to placate spirits? Or are you referring to experiments where rats do nonproductive behaviour because they've been conditioned to get food one way and the way has been changed without them understanding the change?

  20. - Top - End - #140
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    S@tanicoaldo's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Just saw this video and I think it's relevant:

    I'm not a native english speaker and I'm dyslexic(that doesn't mean I have low IQ quite the opposite actually it means I make a lot of typos).

    So I beg for forgiveness, patience and comprehension.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    It's like somewhere along the way, "freedom of speech" became "all negative response is censorship".
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    ."Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking), and your humility is stunning"

  21. - Top - End - #141
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth View Post
    Are we talking about the same thing? Do pigeons believe in ghosts? Or an afterlife? Or the need for rituals to placate spirits? Or are you referring to experiments where rats do nonproductive behaviour because they've been conditioned to get food one way and the way has been changed without them understanding the change?
    Gotta agree with you here. Knaight's argument is based on equivocation and/or idola fori

  22. - Top - End - #142
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth View Post
    You underestimate the power of an understanding of one's own mortality, of what that would imply of the given mind. It's not like checking a box in a computer programme to toggle a function on or off.
    It's you who is treating it as an on/off-switch, because you can't grok a mind that stops at being aware of mortality and doesn't continue to be humanlike. The implications are in your head, not supported by actual science of either human or animal cognition.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth
    In understanding death one would understand one's self as a mortal being, and grasp that there is a world that is not oneself, which created oneself, and which will survive oneself. One's eyes would be opened.
    We have other tests for finding out if a species is self-aware, unrelated to testing whether they fear death. Completely unsurprisingly, the list of species which show signs of self-awareness is wholly included in list of species we can demonstrate to fear death (see again: primates, dolphins, grey parrots, corvids...). So, you can pat yourself on the back - you're not even wrong, you're clueless of the material evidence related to the matter at hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth
    One would also grasp sexuality as intimately related to the mystery of death. Sex and death, eros and thanatos, and the view of oneself “from above,” as a soul, rather than mindlessly rutting, consuming, posturing, fleeing, and engaging in the sort of “funktionlust” or joy in the exercise of one's physical powers; here one expects a superstitious mentality to arise.
    This paragraph is not noteworthy of its substance (it has none), but for its terminology: once again, I find you leaning on Freud, despite the fact that Freudian psychology has been considered obsolete and debunked for decades.

    The fact that you stick to such terminology shows your knowledge is out-of-date when it comes to human cognition, why exactly should anyone take you seriously when it comes to animal cognition?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth
    Is Koko the gorilla superstitious?
    Irrelevant question. In order to demonstrate awareness of mortality, I only need to demonstrate that trait. I don't need to demonstrate any additional traits that you assume would go hand-in-hand with such a trait. That's on you.

    The only credible path for you in this argument, would be to prove my remarks of Koko a hoax.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth
    Even ants could talk to us if they really wanted to.
    And this just goes back to what I said about contrasting humans with animals, as if "animals" is some unified group.

    You're the only one who thinks anything that's been said has anything to do with ants. I don't assume the abilities of a gorilla say anything about ants. I don't need to say anything at all about ants, to prove a flaw in your argumentation.

    At this point I'm just repeating myself, but: the sole example of gorillas shows that there are creatures which a) can communicate with humans in human terms (sign language), b) are aware of mortality, and c) are not human equals physiologically, cognitively, culturally nor technologically. These are enough to demonstrate that your beliefs about what awareness of mortality requires or entails, are unrealistic and false.

    Ants are irrelevant.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  23. - Top - End - #143

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    It's you who is treating it as an on/off-switch, because you can't grok a mind that stops at being aware of mortality and doesn't continue to be humanlike. The implications are in your head, not supported by actual science of either human or animal cognition.



    We have other tests for finding out if a species is self-aware, unrelated to testing whether they fear death. Completely unsurprisingly, the list of species which show signs of self-awareness is wholly included in list of species we can demonstrate to fear death (see again: primates, dolphins, grey parrots, corvids...). So, you can pat yourself on the back - you're not even wrong, you're clueless of the material evidence related to the matter at hand.



    This paragraph is not noteworthy of its substance (it has none), but for its terminology: once again, I find you leaning on Freud, despite the fact that Freudian psychology has been considered obsolete and debunked for decades.

    The fact that you stick to such terminology shows your knowledge is out-of-date when it comes to human cognition, why exactly should anyone take you seriously when it comes to animal cognition?



    Irrelevant question. In order to demonstrate awareness of mortality, I only need to demonstrate that trait. I don't need to demonstrate any additional traits that you assume would go hand-in-hand with such a trait. That's on you.

    The only credible path for you in this argument, would be to prove my remarks of Koko a hoax.


    And this just goes back to what I said about contrasting humans with animals, as if "animals" is some unified group.

    You're the only one who thinks anything that's been said has anything to do with ants. I don't assume the abilities of a gorilla say anything about ants. I don't need to say anything at all about ants, to prove a flaw in your argumentation.

    At this point I'm just repeating myself, but: the sole example of gorillas shows that there are creatures which a) can communicate with humans in human terms (sign language), b) are aware of mortality, and c) are not human equals physiologically, cognitively, culturally nor technologically. These are enough to demonstrate that your beliefs about what awareness of mortality requires or entails, are unrealistic and false.

    Ants are irrelevant.
    Begging the question of, if an animal is aware of death--if it has that concept in its mind, if its mind is capable of such sophisticated concepts--then why does it not follow through with the implications: afterlife, philosophy, culture, the sense of the eerie, ghosts, and above all {RULES}. No one has demonstrated any beast fears death, only that they experience fear in the presence of potential injury. I'm not buying Koko. If Koko knew what death was it would pose an existential problem for her that she would have to deal with psychologically. I have seen no evidence that foreknowledge of mortality has any such effect on anything other than man.

    And, ants are never irrelevant.

  24. - Top - End - #144

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Teddy View Post
    This I agree with. In fact, I'm pretty sure I agree with it even more than you do, as you seem to be of the mind that an understanding of mortality is a binary thing which you either have or you don't (much like how a checkbox is checked or not, with possibly powerful implications for how the program will behave), while I see no reason for why it wouldn't be a range, since that's pretty much how all other kinds of understanding operates.
    What other understanding is there? Either one knows one will die or one does not. Saying one knows that other things die is irrelevant. One has to understand that oneself is mortal, and that knowledge opens the door to {RULES}, etc..

    As for understanding that the world both has preceeded and will succeed you, I'd say it's*linked*with you understanding that you can be born and that you will die. Now, I'm also pretty sure that most species possessing empathy (a trait which I know to exist among both reptiles, birds and mammals, and probably in several of the other animal classes as well) will have at least a rudimentary understanding of these, as seeing a being you understand to be like yourself being born or die is a pretty simple way of demonstrating to you that the same happened you and may happen to you.
    To what end? What can a beast's understanding of personal death, as you propose, do that mere fear of predation or other injury not do?

    Wait, what? What does sex have to do with death at all, apart from creating more living being which can die?*
    A mind that could fathom personal death is a mind that could fathom sex as a powerful force in the given animal's life

    Am I reading you right in that what you're saying is that the mind sits in some kind of soul, and animals don't have souls, thus rendering them mindless? Well, I'll point out to you that a number of people in this thread have both said themselves to be atheists (and thus not believing in the mind being housed in anything else but your body) and fear death, so an understanding of your mortality demonstrably does not always lead to you seeing yourself as a soul.
    No. I'm saying that humans, by virtue of the kind of mind capable of understanding personal death, are capable of (though not always willing to) transcend their ordinary perceptual consciousness, into the higher levels of “looking down” on themselves as to make a scientific or kindred discovery.

    Superstitions arise where either effects have been observed, but a cause is indeterminable (e.g. weather, diseases), where two unrelated effects have been observed at the same time and are assumed to be linked, or where some actions seem powerful enough that they*should*cause some effect (e.g. breaking a mirror causing bad luck). All in all, superstitions arise from our brains being hard-wired into interpretting the world according to a strict cause-and-effect pattern, and if we can't find one part of the equation, we will invent our own. As such, superstition is rather a product of ignorance rather than understanding, and I take for given that any animal that can learn cause-and-effect relationships will display at least the second form of superstition.
    That's a very interesting exposition and I appreciate it, but it's not what I'm talking about. I'm asking about the spirit world. Does any beast conceptalise a spirit world qua spirit world, which it will attempt to contact, summon from, or otherwise manipulate, typically in the form of a body of shared knowledge or pseudoknowledge regarding same? A dog growling at its own tail doesn't count.

    Here is where your leaps to conclusions reach escape velocity and crash straight into the moon. How would an awareness of you own mortality grant you an understanding of diplomacy?
    How could you be aware of your own mortality but not grasp that there are others who mean you harm, and not consider the possibility of talking to them? Again, you're reaching to a conclusion that isn't warranted; there is nothing knowledge of personal death can do for a beast that mere fear of injury could not.

    But would we listen? Would we even recognise it as an attempt at communication? Humans are notoriously bad listeners when we don't want to listen. Why try to figure out if the animal is attempting to communicate with us when it's a chunk of meat and a pelt which willingly offers itself up to our spears? I admit that the ants have the advantage of generally not being seen as food, but then I don't think ants possess the empathy required to understand other organisms either.
    Our intentions or behaviour is irrelevant. If ants had knowledge of personal death they would not act as they do, they would have a plethora of other behaviours including {RULES}.

  25. - Top - End - #145
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    AMFV's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    I don't know... I'm not particularly afraid of death. And I wouldn't say I'm a moron, or that I'm an animal. I mean I'm not eager to die or what-not. But it isn't something that bothers me that much, the possibility of it.
    My Avatar is Glimtwizzle, a Gnomish Fighter/Illusionist by Cuthalion.

  26. - Top - End - #146
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Knaight's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donnadogsoth View Post
    Are we talking about the same thing? Do pigeons believe in ghosts? Or an afterlife? Or the need for rituals to placate spirits? Or are you referring to experiments where rats do nonproductive behaviour because they've been conditioned to get food one way and the way has been changed without them understanding the change?
    I'm talking about the pigeon superstition experiments, where they come up with elaborate rituals to get food and thoroughly stick to these rituals despite them being totally unnecessary. Poke a button, wait five seconds works - and yet pigeons will come up with very elaborate ways to fill those five seconds, stick to these elaborate systems, and even try to communicate these elaborate systems to each other. It's pattern recognition creating patterns where there are none, and that's at the heart of a lot of superstitions.

  27. - Top - End - #147
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    It doesn't explain very well to me the weird intellectual dread of death that a lot of people have, and I've never grasped. I can't object to oblivion, not existing was a perfectly suitable state of affairs for the billions of years before I showed up, I can't see why not existing for the billions of years subsequent to my exit* will be any worse.
    You don't get how after you've tasted something, reverting back to not having it might be way more awful than never having had it in the first place?

    It's a certainty that you used to be single at some point in your life; now, having met the woman of your dreams, married her and spent a couple super happy years with her, it's fine if I kidnap her and kill her, because it was a "suitable state of affairs" to be single previously in your life...?
    Offer good while supplies last. Two to a customer. Each item sold separately. Batteries not included. Mileage may vary. All sales are final. Allow six weeks for delivery. Some items not available. Some assembly required. Some restrictions may apply. All entries become our property. Employees not eligible. Entry fees not refundable. Local restrictions apply. Void where prohibited. Except in Indiana.

  28. - Top - End - #148
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    @Knaight: you're going after a red herring. It's clear Donnadogsoth is using "superstition" to refer to belief in the supernatural, and is not interested in any actual psychological or etiological study of "superstition" as the process of mistaken cause and effect. You don't need to prove either kind of superstition in any kind of animal, because the only reason to link that with fear of death is Donnadogsoth's assumption that they must go together.
    "It's the fate of all things under the sky,
    to grow old and wither and die."

  29. - Top - End - #149
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    danzibr's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Back forty.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    I think when it comes to human v animal, you have to carefully define animal. Anything under Animalia? Sure. Different definition? Maybe.
    My one and only handbook: My Totemist Handbook
    My one and only homebrew: Book of Flux
    Spoiler
    Show
    A comment on tiers, by Prime32
    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    As a DM, I deal with character death by cheering and giving a fist pump, or maybe a V-for-victory sign. I would also pat myself on the back, but I can't really reach around like that.
      /l、
    ゙(゚、 。 7
     l、゙ ~ヽ
     じしf_, )ノ

  30. - Top - End - #150
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tail of the Bellcurve
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Why are people afraid of death?

    Quote Originally Posted by lio45 View Post
    You don't get how after you've tasted something, reverting back to not having it might be way more awful than never having had it in the first place?

    It's a certainty that you used to be single at some point in your life; now, having met the woman of your dreams, married her and spent a couple super happy years with her, it's fine if I kidnap her and kill her, because it was a "suitable state of affairs" to be single previously in your life...?
    That's um, quite an example there.

    Anyway, it's not like I'll be able to miss experiencing things, since I won't exist. It's only something I can dread beforehand, because it's not like there's an 'me' left post-mortem to, you know, suffer or anything. Worrying about experiencing something (oblivion) that by definition I can't actually experience on account of there being no me left is, at least to me, a simply incoherent question.
    Last edited by warty goblin; 2018-03-05 at 10:18 AM.
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •