Re: Why do we fear death?
I think the answer is pretty simple: Fear. As you say, the Universe will exist as it always has after we are gone, but that doesn't really matter, because we aren't the entire Universe; we are only conscious in one part of it. We are afraid that, when we die, that's it; lights out, no more life, oblivion. As a species, we can't comprehend that. About the closest most people can come, I think, is to imagine that they will be floating alone, forever, in blackness, which isn't that comforting a thought. We can't imagine what it would be like to not have consciousness, because the only thing we have to imagine that with is consciousness; hardly an appropriate tool. And, since we can't understand this concept, we fear it. It's instinctual. What we don't know could kill us, so we've carried that fear over to after we are dead. So, instead of oblivion, we've come up with afterlives that we can imagine, and like.
This fear could very well keep us from making the right decisions, but it also helps us make good decisions, at least from the point of survival; if we have no fear of death, we aren't going to defend ourselves as well. The thought of a desirable afterlife also adds meaning to the life we have now; we have something to look forward to, to work toward, something to keep us going when life gets hard, instead of just giving up.
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Do you have a magnetic compass in your head?
A new study, led by psychologist Jean Twenge, points to the screen as the problem.
- In a new study, adolescents and young adults are experiencing increased rates of depression and suicide attempts.
- The data cover the years 2005–2017, tracking perfectly with the introduction of the iPhone and widespread dissemination of smartphones.
- Interestingly, the highest increase in depressive incidents was among individuals in the top income bracket.
On Thursday, New Zealand moved to ban an array of semi-automatic guns and firearms components following a mass shooting that killed 50 people.
- Gun control supporters are pointing to the ban as an example of swift, decisive action that the U.S. desperately needs.
- Others note the inherent differences between the two nations, arguing that it is a good thing that it is relatively hard to pass such legislation in such a short timeframe.
- The ban will surely shape future conversations about gun control in the U.S.
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