[ExI] "death gives meaning to life"

Brent Allsop brent.allsop at comcast.net
Sat Jun 7 02:39:39 UTC 2008


Thanks so much for posting this.  I so strongly agree with this, and 
wish there was more I / we could do than just, as individuals, say I 
agree in a follow up post to this list.  I'd sure like to see a topic 
like: "Does death give meaning to life?" and have two camps, one of 
which has something like your statement here so I could more explicitly 
show my passionate belief in this point of view.

I've met many people that claim death gives meaning like this, and I'm 
sure we'll all meet more in the future.  I think it would be so 
wonderful and powerful to be able to point to a camp containing 
something like what you say here, and say this is how we all feel about 
this.  When lots of people say something, it has so much more power.  
When I say things like this alone, everyone just looks at me as if I'm 
crazy - especially when my English is so terrible and I can't say things 
as powerfully as this.  And I think it would really take them back, 
being able to challenge them to "canonize" their very different POV.  It 
would make them have to really think about it.  I bet they would be 
fearful of doing any such because their POV is so blatantly and 
obviously stupid and faithless in comparison?

And sure, some would clearely accept such a chalange and join such 
insane camps to compete with us.  But I bet the next generation, before 
they also get similarly old and corrupted, if they can see such a 
canonized topic with both camps side by side before they locked in their 
ways, would clearly see what is truly insane and what really makes sense 
to them, for the rest of their life.

But, it will do me no good to be the only one in such a camp.  Will 
anyone agree to join me in explicitly indicating they are in such a camp 
at canonizer.com, if we canonize something like this as our camp 
statement?  Damien, will you?  Anyone else willing, or have any ideas of 
how to improve what Damien has started here?

Brent Allsop

Damien Broderick wrote:
> I've been musing on this depraved doctrine. I'd be inclined to 
> respond to that claim ("death gives life its meaning") thus:
> "You think life is *meaningless* without suffering and death? What 
> the hell's wrong with you? Do you think having a full mouth of good 
> teeth is meaningless without the potential for your teeth rotting and 
> falling out? Here, let me help you appreciate life better with this 
> steel mallet applied to your mouth. Are you really so incompetent in 
> logic and reason that you can assert: 'Without death, life is 
> worthless, and if life is worthless you might as well be dead'?"
> It's true that threats against our physical integrity, lethal and 
> otherwise, arouse intense, gratifying  states of alertness and 
> responsiveness in an otherwise complacent, routinized and dulled 
> person. But in those cases it's not *death* and *harm* that give us 
> meaning; it's their successful *avoidance*. That's why people call an 
> unusual escape from threatened death a "miracle" and "thank God" for 
> it; nobody calls the death of all those others who failed to be saved 
> by the "miracle" praiseworthy and miraculous in giving meaning to 
> those doomed people's lives, and ours.
> Damien Broderick
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