[ExI] "Death gives meaning to life?"

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Thu Jun 12 15:04:55 UTC 2008

BillK homes in on a poor word choice:

> Lee :
> <snip>
>> That is not what they *meant* at all!  They (generally) do
>> not claim that dead people have experiences---almost all
>> of them are talking about the way that the possibility or
>> certainty of death gives life more meaning *while* we
>> are alive. So, yes, it's nonsense, but certainly not for the
>> "reasons" you [someone else] put forth.
> I'm not so sure that it's nonsense.

Yes, thanks for spotting that. Some part of me knew it was
highly questionable. Perhaps it's best to reserve such absolutist
terms like "nonsense" for near-gibberish. But look at all the
adjectives we probably *shouldn't* use:

Those are objective, but not correct


Those are "correct", but not objective

        ridiculous     (it *can* be easily ridiculed)

There we go! Objective and correct.

But I'm at the end of my vocabulary. (It seems wrong
for me to go to a thesaurus right now, for some reason.)

> From the point of view that we would quite like to live for ever, then
> certainly it doesn't appeal much to this forum.

Well  ;-)   that's never been a criterion   :-)

> But time pressure has a way of concentrating the mind.
> If you know that you only have a limited time here, then you have to
> consider what you would like to do with that time. The fact of death
> gives an urgency to life and causes people to philosophize about the
> meaning of life.
> If nobody ever died, and life just goes on with no end, then there is
> less pressure to do stuff. They can always do it next year if they
> want to.

What Damien said.

> There is also greater significance if you sacrifice your life for something.

For some people, alas, I guess.

> But obviously there is still meaning to be found in
> life, even without the shadow of death.
> It just has a different .......... 'flavor'.

Yes, but it's *not* that there is any objective
meaning in life.

I've never bought that. It's just that if you have
intelligence and energy, it's always possible
to find meaning in life. And if you can't you
should look at it as though there is something
terribly wrong with you, which doubtless the
right medication can fix, whether it's been
developed it quite yet or not.


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