Hell Or Oblivion? and Self

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by DayOn, Oct 22, 2007.

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  1. DayOn

    DayOn Active Member

    Might sound extremely retarded, but I would rather suffer through the torments of hell than lose my concious. I cannot fathom not being able to think, not having knowledge of my own non-existence...this frightens me to no avail. Imagine not even knowing that you don't exist...which is something that nobody can imagine. Ever. Even in an REM state you process information, but non-existence is a complete and utter void, the total depletion of the self.

    With all the technological advances, immediate comfort, and self-gratification of this era we should be fairly (if not immensely) content. Maybe it's because we have everything easy we are more painfully aware of the Self because of lack of incentive and appreciation? Is it boredom? The amish are rarely suicidal, they don't consider suicide and they live fairly happy lives. Maybe this is because they don't have the luxuries that we have and they aren't part of a society that encourages the futile pursuit of self-gratification. They toil day after day and lose themselves in the process, they experience flow. They are able to blissfully forget themselves in their work, and as a result the rewards of their work (food, leisure- things that we have and take for granted) taste sweeter. I personally think that if everyone reverted back to the primitive way of life (that of the amish) then suicide and suicide ideation would decrease dramatically. People would be a lot more happier and content with themselves. Of course, this isn't possible with America or any other developed nation but maybe one day it will be.
  2. protonaut

    protonaut Well-Known Member

    I agree, though I don't believe all humans should have to completely abandon every aspect of modern society. We're still wired for hunting and surviving in the wild. Social evolution occurs more rapidly than does genetic evolution, hence the imbalance which creates these kinds of problems.

    I think technology can remain, as long as it's used responsibly rather than exploited. Humans ought to adopt more self-sufficient lifestyles, take more responsibility and independence for themselves - and rely less on government and economy. The problem is that humans are conditioned from a young age to rely on society so much that many of us would have a hard time changing.

    We're definitely not supposed to sit around and have everything handed to us on silver platters. Anyone who doubts a connection between physical activity and mental stability need only try a consistent daily running program for a month's time. You'll notice huge improvements in mood, motivation, and energy levels. A good diet helps too.

    I'm okay with non-existence though. I understand what you're saying, but I'm not afraid of death. I don't feel I deserve anything more than that. When I die I'll cease to exist, and I'm thankful that I was lucky enough to experience life, and that's all there is to say.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2007
  3. Trip the Dark fantastic

    Trip the Dark fantastic Well-Known Member

    Not quite sure what you intended to say in your first paragraph...too many double negatives....
    means translated; 'Imagine knowing that you do exist, nobody can imagine (that)'.

    ??? You cant fathom ....of having knowledge of your own existence ??

    I'm afraid, all that doesn't make too much sense to me.

    What does have a certain nostalgic ring to it is your reference of a return to a seemingly purer, seemingly more harmonious life style. The Amish and their avoidance of certain modern technologies, their liberal hierarchical governing structure and their puritan lifestyle is a tempting chimera onto which to hang our utopia.

  4. DayOn

    DayOn Active Member

    Complete oblivion after death would mean no longer having awareness of your own existence...including not realizing that you cease to exist. So that moment of losing concious is what frigthens me, and the fact that I won't ever be able to regain concious because I lack a physical body. So you won't ever really know that you're dead. The only thing you will be certain of is knowing that you are dying moments before your death. I didn't study this topic too closely, so I'm open to different views, etc. considering that my reasoning might be flawed.
  5. Trip the Dark fantastic

    Trip the Dark fantastic Well-Known Member

    These are the big questions you brushing against. The fear of dying is the fear of being mortal. Mortality starts at the cradle and follows its path...

    In order to address the fear of being mortal, you need to determine what spiritual path you feel attracted to. What religious philosophical tradition disburdens you from the fear, so that fear of death doesn't turn into Death from fear......scared to death can be as real as the real deal itself...

    is it Buddhism with its belief of a cycle of birth , death and rebirth, driven by the dynamic of cause and effect...

    is it Christianity with its premise that every person who is part of it, regardless of their deeds will be resurrected....

    is it Judaism which says liberation will come once the 'messianic age' has arrived with Messiahs coming....

    is it Islam with its belief of us all having an immortal soul that will go on after our death forever...

    Touching these few shows the richness of belief systems we have created to deal with life, death and what happens afterwards. Fear is our instinctive response to danger. Even if no-one is able to claim of knowing what happens after death, you are able of dealing with fear. Read, find out about your spiritual path, your philosophical quest and you are dealing actively with your fear.

    Someone said once, 'Horror is the fear of the known, terror is the fear of the unknown'.

    You'll never beat natures way of dealing with the living, but you can trick yourself into thinking you did, by conquering you being petrified with terror.....

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2007
  6. powder_girl

    powder_girl Active Member

    My imagination of death doesn't venture to fear, horror, or the like. I sometimes think about different aspects of death being something that I will not be familiar with but also not feared, or horrified of it.

    Death is the subject of my concerns and the acts before death are more important to me than what comes after. I fear what goes on in life before the act of death or the need for death rather than the act itself. What leads to death, that is more horrifying to me and more curious to my mind than the existence or NON-existence that may accompany death.

    If in fact I did fear death, then I have no reason to live because admitting to the fear of death is like (somehow) admitting to defeat. You're already dead, so don't even let it bother you anymore. When I don't fear death, I can think about my life today and the lives of those around me although I can only try and relate to the lives of others while living my own and interpreting my own.

    I think your point on the Amish way of life is admirable and possibly an alternative to the one we have now. An alternative that offers less chaos, less susceptibility to the human condition (which is abstract thought and abstract motion). The Amish live a life that verges on the animal-state of mind. They eat, sleep, reproduce and defend their territory where they eat, sleep, and reproduce. They don't exactly sit around questioning why they should eat, or sleep, or have sex. They do it, out of nurture and nature? But in our society, in the society I was grown in, sex, sleep, reproduction and defending territory have added dimensions to the same levels of thought it does get complicated, perhaps more difficult for a population to attain peace and life in the conditions that urbanization and modernization offers them but again the Amish way of life is one where you would have to be animalistic and just living in the past...not necessarily a better option, just another one.
  7. DayOn

    DayOn Active Member

    Why concern yourself with the worries of this life? If oblivion is inevitable, why does your actions in this life matter? What difference does it make if you make the most of this life, or if you waste it.There is no meaning in living, no meaning to anything so why try and find or create meaning in your existence and your relations with others. If there is nothing beyond this life, no retribution or reward, then I can choose to live a life similiar to that of Ted Bundy and it will make no difference. There are no morals, no obligations. Don't hurt others- not only because it's against the law, but because it's wrong? Not everyone is born with an innate sense of right and wrong. Someone like me, who was born with no conscience and who has no conscience, can take joy in the suffering of others. If there is no divine retribution, and if I can avoid suffering the consequences of my actions during this lifetime, then what's stopping me? You can't appeal to the feelings of something that has no feelings. But that's beyond the point.

    We are defeated one way or another, our attitude toward our defeat changes nothing save the quality of our lives, and the quality of our lives doesn't change our fate.

    My point in the Amish way of life is not admirable. It's actually pretty stupid because people now are too intelligent and demanding to be able to revert back to such a simple way of life. It's a pity, we could be so much happier leading simple lives. After all, we are only human. It's our nature to be animalistic. All this progress gives us the illusion that we are something more than worthless, finite creatures destined to one day perish.

    Those are just my thoughts on this matter, I don't disagree with yours. But either way, we're both going to die anyway regardless of our different perspectives. Our outlook on life changes nothing.
  8. DayOn

    DayOn Active Member

    I don't understand how some people can so readily accept their fate, and have no dread of it. You are able to focus on your life, on the moment, as a result of learned helplessness- that is defeat. But I'm too absorbed with death and what comes after, I fear that more than the actions leading up to death. I'm not admitting defeat yet, I need to know whether there truly is an afterlife.
  9. Puddytat

    Puddytat Well-Known Member

    i think any 'outcome' of death can instill fear in someone, be it that there is a hell and dying you could end up being tortured in whatever nightmare you imagine it to be or that there is absolutely nothing and you merely cease to exist. my dad used to not want to die because he was afraid he would have to sit on a cloud and play a harp for eternity. such an afterlife could also scare some. personally i guess i dont really mind. as far as most religeons go or from what i understand, the cances of going to hell are slip unless you are a mass murderer or you 'deny christ'. neither of which i have done, my only sins have been pleasure seeking and perhaps i'll spend eternity craving a cigarette which i will never get or something to that effect. luckily in my life i have learnt to deal with not having everything i want when i want it so that too would not be much of a problem. ceasing to exist is just that. no recollection of a here and now and no more thoughts at all (the best option i think). personally i wouldnt want to end up on a cloud the rest of eternity either. aaah... ignorance is bliss!
  10. protonaut

    protonaut Well-Known Member

    Well, let me put it this way.

    I say that I'll cease to exist because I feel that's a logical way of describing death in human language.

    Humans lack the resources to explain certain things, and I'm fine with that. There may be inconceivable possibilities beyond this life, if you see what I'm getting at here. You can think of it as an afterlife if you want. We just don't know for sure what to expect. I choose to think about death as an adventure into the unknown, rather than an "ending" to everything. I'm Agnostic, and acknowledge that a higher power may or may not exist, it's just impossible to prove one way or the other. It could be that some of us require certainty in order to find comfort, while others are comfortable with uncertainty. If that's the case, I seem to be the latter type. I accept ignorance, and enjoy exploration with no expectations of understanding everything.

    I wouldn't say I expect afterlife though. It seems selfish to me. When humans are given something they enjoy, they often want more of it. I guess I see no reason why humans deserve to live infinitely, especially in terms of heaven or hell. Neither the greatest of our deeds nor the worst of our crimes could possibly justify such extreme conditions. It's the way popular religions are designed that leads me to believe they're products of humanity, and should be digested metaphorically rather than literally.

    Those are my opinions, not facts. Believe what you want, it's impossible for any of us to truly know if our moral actions here will be of greater significance beyond life. If you lack empathy for others, perhaps you would opt to play it safe purely for yourself. Maybe a positive afterlife is only there for those who truly believe. Regardless, I'm not sure how acting immorally would benefit you much either way, as you would be treated badly by others in return for your negative actions. In the end, it still makes more sense to respect others since you'll be rewarded in return. It's your choice to make though.
  11. Pama

    Pama Guest

    For me it's the exact opposite. I hunger for non-existence. This for me ultimate peace.
  12. powder_girl

    powder_girl Active Member

    Do your actions matter in this life? If you're human then you're capable of thinking about ethics and values within the context of the society with which you live them in. For each culture comes each different set of social ethical and moral standards, each community divides and continues to dedicate social order to the same standards, often adding to or detracting from the whole but never getting rid of the basic, fundamental relative ethics that most humans share- that of the right to basic shelter, food, and reproduction. Some societies have extended these codes of conduct or regulatory means of controlling those rights by adding more or less to them, and in the same way, there may be individuals who have more or less of those codes.

    So, not everyone is born with an innate sense of right and wrong. Actually, I'm not sure if you could consider any human as being born with anything innate except for pooping, sleeping, and nursing.

    But I think I'm following your train of thought, and I have no good answers. All I can think about is that if you are pursuing what you believe in, whether it be intrinsic or something you've learned or gained from others, then no matter what you do acting upon those beliefs will result in consequences for you and those around you. If you believe the consequences are not negative, or there is no such thing as a negative consequence but simply "something and nothing" at the same time, then you're not bound by the restrictions of the code that most humans operate by; i.e. Ted Bundy?

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