Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Death pays a visit to the City Lit Philosophy Course

More than likely to come knocking.
Ahead of yesterday's Philosophy 'key Themes' session I saw a fellow student asked him if he was ready for 'Death'? -in hindsight it might  seem an odd question but it was Death that we would be looking at.

Well it is something that we perhaps tend to avoid but it is the full stop on our life experience and to an extent frames how we behave - more than once as we spoke in the group the idea of an unending life cropped up and it indeed seemed as difficult to reconcile the concept of eternity alive (for me) as the finality (perhaps) of death.

Although science has moved centre stage in explanations of how things happen it has not got any closer to answering the perhaps more difficult 'why'.

Nagel in 'What Does it all mean'  does not purport to have a religious belief himself but acknowledges that many do and it undoubtedly can give purpose to life (and death) to those that do, he also queries why we should concern ourselves with non-existence.

One position for our general dread of death is perhaps the feeling of a loss as we regret in life losing other possessions - Scott brought to our attention the way that people continue their own lives after the death of people close to them this led to discussion of the point of a Darwinian survival or 'Selfish Gene' but this again can explain how life is continued but still not answer the why.

Someone within the group postulated that the purpose of life was broadly speaking pleasure but this did not seem ultimately to satisfactorily resolve the human condition.

So while we can all understand and recognise that death will happen to others as a generality it appears more difficult to reconcile for ourselves.
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