Why do we Fear Death?
Many of us fear death to some degree at some point of our lives. To some it’s as early as teenage years, and to others, it’s later in their mid 30’s. We as individuals see fear and death at different levels. Before I get in detail, lets first define death and fear, then we can see how they are correlated. According to Merriam-Webster, fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, or likely to cause pain. Death is defined as the permanent cessation of vital functions, the end of life.
Both of these definitions do not seem so pleasant, and obviously nothing to look forward to, that might be part of the reason why we dread and terror the thought of death. There are different factors that I will be addressing within this essay that influence our views on why we fear death. Some of the major reasons that I believe we fear death is: 1. Leaving loved ones behind
2. Religious beliefs
3. Fear of the unknown
Leaving Loves Ones Behind
We all grew up with loved ones all around us, it being our families, friends and pets, and many times we do not think that we will ever lose them. Fear comes from both sides, the ones that are in the dying process and their family and friends. Putting myself in the “dying position” my greatest fear would be leaving my family behind, specially my mom and dad. The thought of never being able to see them after death is unexplainable, and fear of what will happen to them after I pass. The fear of dying would probably be greater to those that are new parents, single parents and anyone else that have others rely on them for care (Morse). Religious Beliefs
Some of us have a religious belief and that can influence both negatively and positively. Depending what our beliefs are, whether we believe there is a god or not, most of us fear what will happen in the afterlife. Will we get punished for what we did on earth? Or what we didn’t do on earth? Were we good Christians? Did we commit sins? And if so, how and for how long will we get punished? Many of these fears and questions along these lines will arise when we think of death. Other than fear, there also comes peace to mind when thinking about death. I believe that there is an afterlife and that I will be happier and in peace, personally I am a bit excited to die (Not that I want it to be any time soon), but I’m excited to see what’s after life on earth. I also fear it as well, because I know I have not been on my best behavior and have sinned far too many times. In my beliefs, I fear getting punished for what I did here and what I didn’t do and I know as small as a sin is, it is still a sin. There is no levels of how bad or good a sin can be. Fear of Hell is one of my all-time fears, but once past that fear, it is all happiness.
There are many religions out there that influence people on the thought of death, some religions see death as a beautiful thing and other not so much. Some just fear that after death there is nothing, and the will cease existing after death. Fear of the Unknown
No one has lived to tell what happens to us after death, so technically there is no proof of what happens, this can be frightening, especially for those who aren’t spiritually involved in a religion. I fear death because I do not know my fate after I leave this earth, I’m scared of what can and cannot be. I personally prefer to leave the thought of death alone, till death itself is near. There will always be some sort of fear in death, but its up to us to see that death should not be something to be terrorized.
“Death” Def.1. Merriam Webster Online, Merriam Webster, n.d. Web. 1 Sept.2014. “Fear” Def.1. Merriam Webster Online, Merriam Webster, n.d. Web. 1 Sept.2014. Morse, M. (n.d.). Coping with the Fear of Death. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
..."On The Fear Of Death"
The title "On The Fear Of Death," caught my eye as I was skimming the text for a story. After some thought, I concluded that the word "death" means more to me than most of my peers. I grew up as the daughter of a hard working man, one with an uncommon occupation. My father is a mortician. "On The Fear Of Death" intrigued me because many adopt such a negative view ofdeath. Kubler-Ross takes the concept of death and embraces it, perhaps allowing her to ease her own fear of mortality. She eloquently expresses her views, emotions, and feelings regarding death and dying. Humans cannot conceive peaceful death, instead most imagine themselves suffering before they pass. Kubler-Ross nicely expresses that "death in its self is associated with a bad act, a frightening happening, something that in its self calls for retribution and punishment." Why do most humans feardeath as being horrible and painful?
Kubler-Ross passionately expresses her empathetic thoughts regarding loneliness and seclusion as related to death. She writes, "our presumed patient has now reached the emergency room. He will be surrounded by nurses, orderlies, interns, residents, and lab technicians, he slowly but surely is beginning to be treated like a thing."...
Topic: Is it rational to feardeath? If so, what is the relation (if any) between the badness of death and the rationality of fearing it? If not, explain why many people feardeath.
To FearDeath is to Waste Life
When considering whether or not it is rational to feardeath, I argue that the fear of death is an irrational fear. In order to support my argument, I will consider three main reasons why people feardeath and how the fear of death ties directly to the badness that is believed of death. I will also outline Epicurus’ point of view on death and the reason for my own personal belief that death is not to be feared.
Is it rational to feardeath?
Is it rational to feardeath? No. A better question is: Is it rational to fear a wasted life and face death with nothing to proudly and happily look back on? Yes. I am currently 20 years old; I already find myself with regrets about the past, dissatisfaction about the present, and anxiety about the future. How is it that this is even possible? I, if God should will it, should live at least 60 more years! Yet, here I am, waiting, worrying...
...On Death and Dying
The Universal Fear of Death
The Universal Fear of Death expands upon the ideas Elisabeth Kubler Ross and Ernest Becker regarding the psychology surrounding death, and the social constructs designed to mitigate its influence on our psyche. These ideas focus on different cultural perspectives surrounding the path to immortality/transcendence, how culture assists us to deal with ourdeath angst (anxiety), and in a dialectical way, bring about a question; “Is the fear of death universal?”
In the introductory section section the question is asked; Is the fear of death Universal?” Ernest Becker argues that the very thought of death is “the mainspring of human activity.” He explains that this fear of death drives us to create myths about immortality, seemingly to deny that a physical death is the end of life. Death anxiety and denial are said to have two origins: innate animal instinct (fight or flight) or “cultural conditions that may give rise to the fear of death” (Charmaz).
Modern philosophers Feder, Hinton, Gordon, and Malinowsky believe that this anxiety is innate, that it derives from the characteristics that make separate us from other species, or what makes us human. One quote from Gordon states...
...Primarily speaking, the necessity of death penalty has been the prolonged clamour of victims' immediate family and relatives of these predators who demoralize and disrespect the life of their preys. A plea for justice has always been the battle cry of these innocent victims who impatiently wait the verdict of this bureaucratic delayed justice system. Moreover, some of these convicts are generally given life imprisonment which in the long run can be granted with parole; years after repayment, vengeance is once sought after by these criminals. Though this humane world has been able to give a glimmer of hope for these prodigal sons to repent for the acts committed, the financial backwash should also be taken into consideration. The need to construct more prisons and jails is growing in leaps and bounds and the hungry stomachs of these people have long been siphoning our economic budget. On the long run, the taxes we pay are feeding these lackadaisical convicts more than the benefits we accumulate
For what we pay.
The first established death penalty laws date back to the Eighteenth Century B.C. in the Code of King Hammurabi of Babylon, which codified the death penalty for 25 different crimes. The death penalty was also part of the Fourteenth Century B.C.'s Hittite Code; in the Seventh Century B.C.'s Draconian Code of Athens, which made death the only punishment for all crimes; and in the Fifth Century...
...in those who question people's knowledge. Socrates is a firm believer in questioning the universe and every aspect that exist within it. From justified true belief to immortality of the soul, Socrates dedicated his life to form opinions, challenge other people's thoughts, and to asking all the questions. In The Trial and Death of Socrates, particular in the dialogues from Crito and Apology, Plato explored Socrates argument that the purpose of philosophy is to prepare fordeath without fear.
In Plato's Crito, he describes Socrates, an Athenian philosopher, who chose to die for an ideal. When Socrates states his case to his fellow peers, he is told that he may be acquitted if he agrees to stop practicing philosophy. However, he is unyielding, saying that God commands him to find the truth. Philosophy, which has the goal to improve the soul above all other things, is the very essence of life, Socrates explains. Socrates asserts that his death sentence is actually more troubling for his fellow Athenians than for himself. He sees himself as a public servant who helps the city by his practice of philosophy.
Most importantly, Socrates proclaims through his death that respect for the law bypasses his own motives. In a dialogue between Crito and Socrates, Socrates ask Crito if we (people) could live having an evil and corrupted body and "will life be worth having if that higher part of man be depraved,...
NO FEAR IN DEATH
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Socrates did not choose to begin now at 70 years old and make choices which would have been contrary to who he was. He believed living long doesn’t matter, living well does. He lived a good, just, and ethical life and was poor because his life was spent on more noble things of the search of true wisdom, not of earthly self-pleasures of physical matters. He was the father of Philosophy and roamed the Athens’ Agora speaking, teaching, and asking questions of real wisdom, a kind of soul searching. He had many pupils and would seek others to find any true meaning of true knowledge. He felt like he didn’t know all things and questioned those who appeared to be learnt in certain areas to help him find real knowledge with wisdom. He surmised that the body and the soul are separate, and in life, we can never attain all that we yearn to know. Our soul is eternal and our physical bodies are temporal, so edifying the soul is one’s aim to practice for dying and death for a true Philosopher throughout one’s life.
He was tried in the Athenian Courts and found guilty, given the death sentence. He was accused of not believing in god and brainwashing the youth and influencing them. He made his defense but to no avail. His radical thinking and speaking made him very unpopular with those who governed the Athens society. His friends were...
In Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’,”On the Fear of Death,” she describes the different aspects of the dying process: options for the final days of the terminally ill person, the grieving process of the family, and how children are treated during this time. How grieving has changed due to the many advances in medicine that have been made is examined. The dissimilitude in “old-fashioned” death and “modern” final days are presented. She focuses on accentuating how stoically people are treated in a healthcare facility to drive her point home. She is a true advocate for Hospice but fails to mention several critical variables. I work in the healthcare field as well and I have taken care of my father in his final years, while I was a child. I have experienced both styles of the death process and one can be more appropriate than another depending on the circumstances. Sometimes one has to consider the circumstances surrounding the end of a life and a mechanical death may be necessary.
Over the past century, there has been a dramatic increase of medical advances made and a similar trend in emotional disorders. Specific advances mentioned in the essay are the creation of vaccinations and the use of antibiotics. These have caused the human population to live longer and fewer young have been dying. A great amount of faith in recent medical practices this leads...
...What is death? Is it good? Is it bad? Should we fear it? All these questions arise when the word "DEATH" is brought up. Death is a mystery. In the article "How to be dead and not care", the author begins to describe this ambiguous term by placing it in three concepts; those of dying, death, and being dead. The article goes on to state that Dying is whereby a person comes to be dead. Death is like the gateway between the world of the living and the world of the dead. Even with this concept, "Death" remains a mystery because it is not clear whether it is a part of the person's lifetime or not, which makes a big difference when it comes to fear. The last of the three concepts is being dead. Being dead is after a person dies. The article summarizes the three concepts by saying "death comes at the end of a person's dying and at the beginning of a person's being dead." (Rosenbaum 121)
Now that we understand the concept of the term "death", we can begin to discuss whether or not we should feardeath. Socrates says that he does not know what death is. Socrates feels that we should not fear the unknown because it is simply that, an unknown. What is there to fear if it's unknown? "Don't fear it. I don't fear or avoid things I don't know to be...