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Debate Fear of Death

  1. I was watching a Sam Harris lecture the other night. In the beginning of the lecture he makes an offhand statement that really stuck with me.

    "The reality of death is absolutely central to religion. it's denial is central to religion. Without death, faith based religion would be unthinkable."

    I dunno why, but that thought had never occurred to me before, but once you think about it, it seems to be completely true. What kind of religion would we have if we understood death and dying hundreds of thousands of years ago?

    Faith based religion only makes sense in a world full of death, but to go farther, it only makes sense in a world full of ignorance and fear about death.

    Random thoughts.

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MbFePYyzME
  2. I'd say the same intelligence that evolved in human beings gave us a higher level of self awareness and the ability to contemplate our own inevitable deaths along with longer grieving sates of the deaths of our loved ones. Death anxiety followed and the trait of a predisposition to believe in gods, a soul and an afterlife became advantageous in abating the death anxiety and promoting the social order that would increase regional survivability for the humans.

    Not unlike spoken language, which you can find in every culture, religion is also there. No matter how dramatically different they almost all share very common traits. But no one would argue that language isn't an innate construct of the mind. It's the same with religions. Even the religious will accept that as a fact....for other religions. It's only their own that is true and divinely inspired with a true supernatural diety that exists.
  3. And as you have noted, the human brain is hard wired to be religious. God wants us to be able to relate to Him.

    Hebrews 2:9-11,14-15 KJV
    [9] But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. [10] For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. [11] For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, [14] Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; [15] And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

  4. Lol, hardwired for religion and it's your one religion from one illiterate region in a recent blip of time compared to human existence. :rolleyes:

    Next you can tell me how the English language is divinely inspired by the supernatural and all others are just man made innate musings.

    Relaxed selection has allowed the regions with the highest average IQs to find religion less advantageous. While those with lower IQs continue to cling to religion. The higher the collective intelligence of a region the more obsolete religion becomes. The lower the intelligence....the more fundamentalist and superstitious.
  5. Hmm, I guess it is about your perspective of things. Never heard of Sam Harris but then again, I don't spend a lot of time listening to intellectuals bash religion. The reality is a physical death for everyone is certain and separate from religion. You can say without death religion would not be thinkable but when death hovers at 100%, it is kind of a moot point.

    A lot of people have a fear of death both religious and non-religious but how are people ignorant about it? From my faith based religion, if you are born human, you are an eternal creature regardless if you "believe" or not. I find with my faith, I actually don't have a fear of a physical death (came real close in an ambulance one night) and watching both parents die from different forms of cancer was made easier for me and them. I am just passing thru here. I just hope my death is fast and not drawn out like my parents.
  6. And...that's how most people abate death anxiety. Just passing through on the way to the spirit world.

    I don't have an issue with that. It's all the other trappings of each true religion that seems to often cause the trouble.
  7. The Bible does not say that everyone will be saved or inherit eternal life, only those that love God and Truth and have accepted Jesus sacrifice for them. Sorry for the brief blip of time for a warning, but God has considered it sufficient for people to make their decision. Have you made your decision on which side you will be?

  8. Well, since we can't have a world without death, what do you suppose would happen if we had evolved an instinctual understanding of death? Where would that leave religion? I understand that it's a moot point, the world is full of death and most fear it. I just think it fascinating that without that primal fear no one would cling to a superstition to feel better about their mortality.
  9. There are worse things than death.

  10. My experience has been at some point in early adulthood, religious or not, it's not death that scares people. It's the process of dying that does. Those last hours and minutes when your body is shutting down, but your mind still has the natural will to survive and is struggling unsuccesfuly to get everything working again.
  11. Human's seem to be hardwired to believe that existence doesn't end at death. Even Neanderthal's buried their dead to take a journey. It appears to be a byproduct of consciousness and language.

    So it doesn't appear to be a response to our own mortality that causes this but the deaths of others. I don't know what it would take to never encounter someone else's death, but it seems impossible.
  12. Taxes?
    Uncomfortable underwear?
  13. I wonder what the responses would look like if someone took a poll and asked people if they would trade 5 years of life for an easy, pleasant death, otherwise they were sure to have a particularly heinous end.
  15. The main response would be "How do you know when I'm going to die?" And that would be the most pertinent question.

    Hypotheticals based on the impossible are never instructive.
  16. 5 years is probably too long. I'd think people would trade somewhere between 6 months and 2 years. The sad part iis the medical science exists to offer people that choice based on their real needs, not just speculation. Unfortunately, Death with Dignity is only legal in a couple states.

  18. Anyone who has watched a love one die a slow, agonizing death....artificially kept alive by medical technology (and at great monetary expense) understands the concept of "death with dignity". We treat our pets better.
  19. Worse than death.

    Having no honor

    Having no purpose

    Having no connection to the Creator

  20. People have understood death since the first days. Everything dies eventually. How could they not? Death is happening every single day and always has. What puzzles me is the folks that are sure nothing comes later but are still afraid of death. What the heck is there to be afraid of in that scenario?
  21. I think those first two would go for just about anybody with a trace of character.
  22. Jude 1:11-19 KJV
    [11] Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. [12] These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; [13] Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. [14] And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, [15] To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. [16] These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words , having men's persons in admiration because of advantage. [17] But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; [18] How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. [19] These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

  23. Gotta love it when people start quoting the Bible to support their position. Because, either you are a Christian, and you believe that quote somehow constitutes a valid argument for the position, or you aren't a Christian and you laugh.
  24. I don't really understand why my post was quoted with that. I just think honor and purpose are pretty universal in any real man's life. The other option goes for many as well, but even the non religious routinely care about honor and having a purpose in life. That's all. Nothing too deep here, just agreeing with at least two of your examples.
  25. I fear my physical death, which is inevitable.
    But I will never experience a spiritual death, because of the free gift given to me by Jesus Christ.

    The physical death and the spiritual death are two different things.

    Everyone has to experience the physical death, but no one has to experience the spiritual death.
    The difference is belief in Jesus Christ.

  26. I was raised in a very religious household and kept up with it until I had a say in my own life. I still feel like something might be there...there might be something to it. It was drilled into my head from birth so it's impossible to forget about it completely. I'd like there to be another journey but I don't know for sure like you do. I live in such a way that in case you're right I wont be too bad off after I die. I have a little bit of self preservation feelings going on for my dead self. Hard to explain. I guess I live to be a normal nice guy and anything beyond would be a bonus. I do not act the way I do for fear of after death consequences. I just don't see the upside of being anything but the best I can be. I hope that makes sense.
  27. i fear death with guilt and regret.
    my conscience is clear. now to do those things i wish, so there may be no regret.
    quote stolen from the movie "GLADIATOR"
    "what we do here echoes into eternity."
  28. I don't understand your fear of physical death. can you explain? You would be better off correct?
  29. I have no need to connect with something that evidently does not exist.
  30. You are correct, but it's natural to fear the end of this physical life and the physical pain that might come with it.

    Anyone who says different isn't telling the truth.
    Only faith in Jesus Christ can guide a person through their physical death.

    And yes I will be better off.

    I'd also be better off if I did a lot of things, but I'm still not looking forward to them either.
  31. You exist, why can't he exist?
    How can you have one without the other?

    Have you ever thought that even though God may not exist, by your standards,
    he still is?
  32. I suppose you are correct with it being normal. I just see death as the final mercy of pain relief I guess. The only thing that scares me about death is what happens to those still alive. The ones that will be affected by it. For instance, I don't want to die before my parents. That would be exraordinarily painful for them so I'd rather outlive them. As long as I have my affairs in order, and it isn't a freak out of the blue thing; I don't really fear it in general. Maybe that's some of my upbringing showing.
  33. I was just reinforcing your point that even the non religious care about honor and a purpose to live. Some have gone beyond that point and as you can see in the Bible text are twice dead. The blackness of darkness which is the second death is reserved for them.

    Jude 1:11-19 KJV
    [12] These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; [13] Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

    There is a first death and a second death.

  34. I am not sure I can answer the question since I am unsure what you mean with buzz words such as evolved and instinctual when talking about death. You answered my question with a question. What needs to evolve in our opinions about death?

    You find it fascinating, I find it not worth spending my time on. I would rather think about how I am going to live rather than how I can feel better about death without a superstition, which once again is not a problem for me.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  35. If you live in such a way that those still living remember you fondly, you have done well. Anything more is just a bonus.
  36. I may take some heat over this. That's ok I have broad shoulder's. I am a firm believer in Jesus Christ. I believe Jesus died on the cross for all of man. I believe all mankind is sinful, myself included. Death to me is a path to a home I have created for myself during my time on earth. I do not believe once we are dead that is the end of life, just the beginning of a new eternal life. I have no hard feelings against anyone that does not believe, that is your right and I fought for you to have that right. I also should be allowed to express my belief. The unknown path after death is what I fear. Did I do it right during life on earth? It is my choice. Just like the GT forum. You can express your views and be accepted for being different. Yeah, we have our trolls, I think Gt is a close knit family.
  37. I find it sad that your religion has convinced you that you are inherently bad. And that a person was tortured and murdered for your sins. And that it's a good thing.

    The idea that the dead can be punished, that this life is simply preparation to avoid that punishment, it's the stuff of horror films. And we sell it to children as fact.
  38. Your welcome to your thoughts. My religion does not make me bad. Mom and Dad taught me what's good and bad. Stealing bad, Murder bad. Common sense goes a long way in being a good person. We are all bad. You ever told a lie? that's bad. Religion does not have to tell you that. You should know it
  39. Nothing is unknown with Jesus Christ.

    Christianity is the only religion that lets a person know with certainty where he's going when he dies.

    If you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins, you're saved and you're going to Heaven.

    The difference between Christianity and other religions
    (3:41 minutes)

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kljWVmmnY8
  40. I think there is more than just believe.
  41. Everybody does something wrong at some point. But the idea that we are born with a sinful nature and need Jesus to be tortured and murdered to save us....it's a sickness of its own. People are born to be just as good. Nature and nurture decide.
  42. Read Romans through Philemon.

    In the Age of Grace that we live in right now, good works are completely irrelevant.
    Faith and belief in Jesus Christ determines your fate when you die.

    It is that simple.

    The other posters here criticize me for the things I post, but I know my Bible and I know what I'm talking about.

    The Bible is crystal clear on this. All the good things you do in this life don't mean squat.
    Only your faith in Jesus Christ matters.

    Some of the kindest, most loving and most generous people who ever lived are burning in the fires of Hell right now, for the simple fact that they never accepted Jesus Christ.

    It's in the Bible, look it up.

    You don't have to go to church, give to the poor, or do anything.
    Jesus doesn't want anything from you, he wants to give you something.

    All you have to do is believe. Nothing more.

  43. Sure, someone with a higher level of intelligence would believe that but us lower level of intelligence folks can't fathom that. :supergrin:

    Honestly in the Sam Harris discussion, death shouldn't even be mentioned since we ALL experience it. What he should focus on and maybe he does (I didn't listen) is the promise of an eternal life with a Creator. As already been stated, most have believed in an "afterlife" long before Jesus was murdered. The question becomes - Where will you spend it? If you don't believe, then have no fear, to dust you will return.

    I would comment on the whole - we are born this way but that really isn't what this thread is about.
  44. Jesus was not tortured and murdered. He is as alive today as you and I are.
    He redeemed mankind from sin.

    Read your Bible.
  45. Faith without works is dead.
  46. Yeah, that's where I read it. The fact that it says he came back to life doesn't change anything. Surely you don't want me to expand on the implications of the idea that Jesus was never tortured and murdered.
  47. He was tortured and murdered. That's a fact to millions of people. If he did not die, then what is any of this? He died. Isn't the whole premise of your beliefs and many others that he died for our sins? He died one way or another.
  48. He died. According to you, it was the only way. Why do you say he didn't die? He had to die to redeem us. Correct?
  49. You're taking that verse out of context.

    Look at the beginning of the book of James.
    It says, "to the twelve tribes that are scattered abroad". That's Israel.

    The book of James was written to the Jews.
    The Jews were still under the Law, so works did matter to them.

    But Christians are not under the Law and works means nothing.

    You guys really need to learn how to put the Bible into proper context.
    All of the Bible is not written to all people.

  50. Jesus died but he rose again. He defeated death.
    You can too by believing in him.