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Death is a natural occurrence that is unavoidable. Olver defines death as the end of the connection between a soul and a physical body (5). Philosophers, scholars, and religious leaders have been examining the problem of death in an attempt to understand it vividly. The common agreement among societies and individuals across the world is that death is not a pleasant thing. This reason explains why the greatest number of people would not wish to die.
Patients suffering from terminal illnesses are usually grieved, unhappy, and discontented. Although it would be better to die than to continue suffering, the affected people acknowledge that death is something unwelcome. This discussion offers solid arguments to explain why death is appalling.
Why Death is Bad: Supportive Arguments
To begin with, Rogers acknowledges that death is painful and capable of affecting the lives of many people (28). In order to support this argument, he presents a number of reasons that are relevant, applicable, and meaningful. Death is something that puts an end to an individual’s life. This indicates that whatever is good in a person’s life becomes nothing (or obsolete) after death. More often than not, many people die prematurely before they can achieve their potential in life.
The affected individuals will be unable to enjoy life or pursue their agendas or unfinished businesses. A person’s future is important because it results in fulfillment or contentment. Death, therefore, explains why people cannot achieve such fulfillments.
Different religious teachings and faiths explain the origin, impact, and nature of death. For example, Christians and Muslims believe that death is a form of punishment designed by God. The first death on earth, according to the Holy Bible, was intended to penalize mankind for disobedience (Bradley et al. 12). It is, therefore, evident that God cursed man and placed him on this mandatory path. Similar notions are held by different religious groups across the world. With this kind of understanding, it would be agreeable that death was devised as an ill-guided idea from the very beginning.
The process of living is described by many scholars as an end by itself. It is evident that there is something good or meaningful about life. Human beings realize that death is dreadful since it brings an end to their purposes in life (Bradley et al. 19). People who die are transferred to an unknown world. Human beings are usually unable to explain the true nature of life after death. Consequently, a large number of philosophers continue to use this understanding to explain why the dying process is bad.
Every human being has unique reasons for having a good life. This means that there are selfish reasons presented to explain why people would not want to die. In fact, many individuals would want to live for the longest time possible (Bradley et al. 39). When they do, they can organize their goals, take care of their children, and support those who benefit from them. When people die at a young age, everyone is left wondering or questioning the nature or purpose of life.
Rogers indicates that death is a terrible event for relatives, friends, and neighbors who are left behind (64). When a person dies, his or her beloved individuals will become unhappy and grief-stricken. The process is also known to produce more orphans or widows across the world. Such victims find it hard to lead quality lives or follow their aims. More often than not, such individuals will be unable to lead better lives because they lack desirable support (Sidaway 63). This is a major reason why people treat death as an unforgiving happening that takes place in people’s lives.
Death shows clearly that human beings, and all creatures alike, are mortal. Such living things will lead life and eventually die at some point (Sidaway 63). This understanding explains why every person fears death. Something that a person is afraid of will definitely be inappropriate or appalling. Humans yearn for an everlasting, rewarding, and happy life (Olver 48). Unfortunately, the thought of immortality results in unprecedented trepidation. The situation worsens when a person has a terminal condition. Something that is dreadful or feared can never be desirable. This fact supports the idea that death is bad.
The process of dying is used by different scholars and thinkers to support the notion that death is painful. The procedure can be painful or unbearable. It is acknowledgeable that death can occur in diverse forms. People die in road accidents, earthquakes, crashes, or during conflicts. These scenarios will definitely result in great anguish and suffering. Injured people might take longer before succumbing to death (Sidaway 74). Throughout this period, the affected individuals will undergo untold affliction. These are harmful human emotions that are associated with anguish. The experiences encountered by such people reveal or expose the unique issues arising from death. It becomes evident that death is awful.
The death of some prominent leaders and mentors has led to unanticipated outcomes. For instance, many companies and families have collapsed after the death of specific leaders. This development affects the welfare and outcomes of those who are left behind. In the business world, corporations have failed to realize their potential after the death of their leaders. If such people do not die, the companies or families can be in a position to realize their ambitions (Gunaratnam 85).
A natural process that takes away the life of an important personality would be unacceptable to many members of the society. Consequently, those who are left behind will acknowledge that death is a frightful event that has a way of disorienting human life.
Life after death is an issue that has been analyzed by different philosophers to understand how to address the problem. The epistemological issue discussed by many philosophers arises from the final resting place after death. Death is treated as a journey whose destination is unknown. In this unknown place, people who have already died will definitely be found there. The uncertainty associated with this unknown place has captured the imagination of all human beings (Gunaratnam 51).
Rogers asserts that human beings will always be keen not to pursue a journey that leads them to an unknown destination (81). Such kind of voyage would definitely be bad and detestable. Similarly, death can be treated as a form of journey whose destination or end is a mystery. Consequently, scholars have gone further to acknowledge that death will always be a bad thing due since its future is a mirage.
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The complexity of death explains why some people die before living in the world as adults. True life, according to philosophers, will be led by individuals who understand or experience whatever is happening around them. This experience results in the accumulation of knowledge and ideas that are used to improve a person’s life. Unfortunately, this kind of life will not be experienced or led by individuals who die before birth. Scientists acknowledge that life usually begins after conception (Bradley et al., 37).
This means that unborn children who die prematurely will have been denied the chance to lead this true life. A process, whether natural or unnatural, that will result in this kind of pickle will definitely be shocking and painful.
Finally, it is arguable that death has a way of disorienting people’s lives. This is the case because death has a tendency of striking when it is least expected. Gunaratnam indicates that death takes place in all societies, families, and nations (41). Death is a natural process that does not choose specific individuals or discriminate. This notion explains why the process is bad. The unprepared are hit the most especially when breadwinners, loved ones, or relatives die.
Despite these facts about the nature of death and why it is bad, the process will always affect humankind and make the lives of those who are left behind painful. The greatest number of people acknowledges that death is one of the most dreadful events in life. With this kind of information, human beings should think of the best ways to cope whenever death strikes since it is always here to stay (Gunaratnam 92). Consequently, they will be able to overcome the suffering associated with it and come up with new strategies to pursue their goals in life.
Northcott, Herbert C., and Donna M. Wilson. Dying and Death in Canada. 3rd ed., University of Toronto Press, 2017.
Bradley, Ben et al. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Death. Oxford University Press, 2013.
Sidaway, James D. Deathspaces: Spaces for Death, Dying, Mourning and Remembrance. 2nd ed., Routledge, 2016.
Rogers, Buddy. The Pain from the Death of a Spouse: A Diary of Life, Love, Death, and Sorrow. WestBow Press, 2014.
Gunaratnam, Yasmin. Death and the Migrant: Bodies, Borders and Care. A&C Press, 2013.
Olver, Ian N. Is Death Ever Preferable to Life? Springer Shop, 2013.