[ExI] "death gives meaning to life"
thespike at satx.rr.com
Tue Jun 10 06:20:50 UTC 2008
At 10:51 PM 6/9/2008 -0700, Lee wrote:
>I also agree with you strongly that we really cannot
>charge the author of this wicked phrase with claiming
>that death gives the only meaning to life, or even
>that death gives the primary meaning to life.
No, in my experience the way the phrase is trotted out usually means
exactly that--as one can see from the ancillary claptrap. "If there
were no death, people would lose interest in everything, grow
terminally [!!] bored, drift into idle pleasure-seeking, stop caring
about each other, lose their righteous fear of God's punishment,"
blah blah. It might be true, but we have no basis for asserting it,
except by analogy with brainless leeches who inherit great wealth and
ruin themselves; that has some force, but fails to take account of
other experiences with great wealth, such as Bill Gates's, say.
But it's also true that a suppressed premise generally goes along the
lines of "interfering with the divine plan for humans," something
which is intrinsically, deontologically naughty but also prudentially
wrong since the true deep meaning of life is an afterlife that can
only be attained by dying. The meaning of a pupa's existence is the
butterfly imago. If that were true, and demonstrably so, my attitude
would be very different (as it was when I was young and more
gullible, poor pupa). But note: the status of the saved supernatural
imago is then purportedly *immortal* (in the major faiths, anyway)
and hence, one must suppose, ex hypothesi eternally *meaningless*. Oh
woe! Wouldn't it rot your boots!
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