Maarten Maartensz:    Philosophical Dictionary | Filosofisch Woordenboek                      

 D - Death


Death: Absence of life.

It is a curious fact that many religious persons have led lifes guided by notions about what would happen to them, or their souls, after their deaths, where they believed themselves to be rewarded or punished for the deeds they committed while alive.

Even so, each could have known that there is no good evidence at all that there is anything left that experiences after the body that the experiences were associated with has died, which is a state of affairs quite similar for what was the case and where one was, if anywhere at all, before one's conception.

This is one instance of a very common human feature: That humans seek inspiration and motivation from theories they might know are based on wishful thinking - the decision to believe what one desires to be true rather than investigate rationally whether what one desires to be true might be false - rather than rational evidence. This human penchant for wishful thinking has caused the deaths of very many millions, and miserable and deluded lifes for many more millions.

It is a remote logical possibility that there is more to be experienced after death, but the probability seems small, and the probability that anyone knows it in this life even smaller, wherefore Epicurus seems quite correct:

"Thus that which is the most awful of evils, death, is nothing to us, since when we exist, there is no death, and when there is death we do not exist."


See also: Clifford, Faith, Ideology, Religion, Wishful thinking



 Original: Sep 22, 2004                                                Last edited: 12 December 2011.   Top