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Living and Dying

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KinNaoko90
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Posted 01/16/11 - 3:41 PM:
Subject: Living and Dying
One of the things I've been pondering lately has been life and death.

So many movies and books seem to consider giving up one's life for another as the ultimate sacrifice. If one lives and one dies (whether or not the sacrifice is made), then what is the purpose of the exchanging of lives?

To me it seems, if given a choice we should choose to live in order to try to change things in the future - however near or far. But I don't even know if that's right... should I just sit by and let someone die if I can prevent it? Even if it means killing myself in the process?

Purposefully killing yourself is suicide.. or is there that big a difference in killing yourself and getting your self killed? I'd think you'd be dying intentionally either way...

Now I've succeeded only in giving myself a major headache. Hopefully one of you will respond.
henry quirk
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Posted 01/18/11 - 4:50 PM:

"If one lives and one dies (whether or not the sacrifice is made), then what is the purpose of the exchanging of lives?"

Your question is too broad: narrow it...be concrete.

#

"should I just sit by and let someone die if I can prevent it? Even if it means killing myself in the process?"

Again: too broad.

But can I say this: what you choose to do is on you...that is: you'll do whatever it is you do based on criteria ('your' criteria) that may not make a lick of sense to any one else.
b.mellow
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Posted 02/11/11 - 1:28 AM:

In pondering big questions like this it's always easier to break it down, be more concrete like Henry says. I always refer back to evolutionary psychology. Concerning sacrifice, we have the idea that self-sacrifice is the greatest act one can make, to live for others, putting another's needs above your own. Some evolutionists like to talk of "selfish genes" and such, and how we're all inherently greedy and self-centered - this is failing to take into account that patterns of life behave differently at different levels of complexity; for instance, quantum mechanics and physics are polar opposites, yet describe roughly the same things at different levels of complexity. Similarly, your genes as selfish is a description of another plane of existence. Far more relevant are your social bonds, adapted for and developed over millions of years.

Your altruism extends to those you love. I recently had a son, and it is ridiculous how much I love him. You always hear of parents enamored with their children, and I always thought it goofy, but it is actually a physical, biological affection you feel. There are religions (Eastern, mostly, but also the Mystery religions, I think) that emphasize nurturing and developing your altruistic instincts - not because its good for you to help them, but because you are them. You and they are the same.

I encountered this once when driving down the road, I saw a car in the ditch along the road (not uncommon in Michigan). As I passed I saw smoke coming from the engine, and as we got closer I saw a slouched over figure in the driver's seat. No conscious thoughts went through my head - it was a physical drive to get that person out of the car. I ran over and dragged the woman out, all the while thinking in the back of my head that the car could explode at any moment (too many action movies, maybe) but the thought to protect myself never once arose; I was not leaving without her. Turns out she was drunk as hell at 2 in the afternoon, had been watching Nascar, flipped her car going 80, and pissed herself. Regardless, the moral is that in times of stress you learn what's really important. It's easy to approach life theoretically, but it's in the act of experiencing life that you truly learn. In times of weakness you discover real strength, in times of hopelessness that some find God, in times of danger one finds courage.

Ah well. I apologize for rambling. Hopefully in there I had an answer or two.
Thinker13
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Posted 02/14/11 - 9:19 AM:

KinNaoko90 wrote:
One of the things I've been pondering lately has been life and death.

So many movies and books seem to consider giving up one's life for another as the ultimate sacrifice. If one lives and one dies (whether or not the sacrifice is made), then what is the purpose of the exchanging of lives?


I have also been thinking about life and death, not lately though, but since very beginning. There is no purpose in exchange of lives on the whole. On the whole it is all molecular dance, though, at a subjective level there might well be various goals depending upon the upbringing of the individuals.

To me it seems, if given a choice we should choose to live in order to try to change things in the future - however near or far. But I don't even know if that's right... should I just sit by and let someone die if I can prevent it? Even if it means killing myself in the process?


Why does it seem to you that you should live in order to change things?


smokinpristiformis
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Posted 02/15/11 - 7:29 AM:

or is there that big a difference in killing yourself and getting your self killed


No. Millions of people die every day. Many get killed every day. That means you get killed every day. Me, I get killed every day too. Rationally, logically, there's virtually no difference between me, you, and that guy on the corner holding a shopping bag. Every death is a tragedy.

You also get exalted, get married, love your children and live life to the fullest. Every single day. Humanity is a miracle.

I think the balance is favorable. smiling face
wendi
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wendi
Posted 11/20/13 - 11:16 PM:

so great.
sadia
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sadia
Posted 11/27/13 - 12:57 PM:

nice to see this post....


[url]http://www.qu.edu.sa
Wentworth
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Posted 02/23/14 - 2:59 AM:

Life and death is a very heavy duty subject. Death befalls many for many different reasons. In my life I have witnessed death and dying first hand. When younger I witnessed my landlord die right in front of me. One time I pulled a suicide case out of a parked car. Another time my best friend died in front of me after being in hospice care for four months. I was his care giver. Death and dying are also part of military service, accidents, and disease, not to mention natural disasters, victums of crime, or the aging process. Acts of heroism, by no means can be excluded. Why a person will put their life on the line for a fellow being, may or may not have a genetic postulate. Even elephants help each other when one of its members is close to death. Death is not a subject to dwell on, but those in nursing homes, advanced in years, due think about it. Everyone handles the subject differently, and for good reason. Why? Because it's a fact of life, or should I say ...death.
Wentworth
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Posted 02/25/14 - 4:20 AM:

Regarding my previous post, lest any one misunderstand, I do not have a preoccupation with the subject of death. I revere life and all of it's beauty. What disturbs me is the fact that human nature hasn't changed in thousands of years, and since we live in the nuclear age how does this bode for the future. Have we reached a point of not "if," but "when," all hell will break loose, and all life becomes extinct. Nuclear proliferation in now a fact of life, with more and more nations vying for the ultimate power to exert their will. Before this age MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) ruled the day. Not now. For example, The United States has 450 Minuteman 3 ICBMs. Warships with nuclear tipped cruise missiles, nuclear tipped submarines, each containing 24 MIRVs (Multiple Integrated Re-entry Vehicles) each of which contains eight ICBNs, notwithstanding the B-52 Bombers, each containing eight nuclear tipped cruise missiles. Looking Glass, a fleet of 707's flying 24 hours a day over America, is ready to take over if Washington D.C. is knocked out. The average American going about their daily affairs gives little or no thought to these facts. In a worse case scenario America is ready, really ready. Maybe that's why other countries think twice. My question is, but for how long? Wentworth
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