タグ別アーカイブ: 死


One simple way of reinstating an absolute form of morality (as opposed to a relative, risk-reward kind) is to postulate continuity beyond death. The notion of a “魂,” as proposed in almost all religions, serves this purpose. Soul is also the substantive (albeit ethereal) representation of the otherwise elusive consciousness of ours, which is an entity that has no right to exist or be real because it fails all possible tests for real existence, yet is supremely real to each one of us. 実際には, consciousness is more than real, it is the arena in which our reality plays out its act. It is so fundamental to our experience and existence that we have a hard time accepting its ephemerality.

私は, 1のために, believe logically that when I die, everything I will have known and experienced till then will just disappear. I believe that death is like an eternal dreamless sleep. Logically. But logic has very little to do with what I can feel and accept, emotionally. I don’t like to drag in the concept of “emotion” ここに; I am thinking of what I can accept at a gut-level. “Primally” would perhaps be a better word to use, but I am not sure. Any way, once we have conscious awareness, and develop a sense of temporal continuity about things and experiences around us, we cannot help assigning continuity to the backdrop of it all — our consciousness. Continuity of selfhood is encoded into our mind. Primally — はい, that would be the right word.

Logic and rationality, which come after the primal plumbing of the mind, 意識, selfhood etc. (which may all ultimately mean the same thing) is already in place, can influence our thinking only to a limited extent. Mind grasps at anything that offers a semblance of eternal continuity. Enter religions.

All conventional religions have some notion of a “魂,” which comes in different forms and with a multitude of meanings and contexts, しかし, logically, it can only mean our consciousness, or an entity holding our consciousness and pretty much nothing else. Thanks to our primal need to search and find continuity, we readily buy into whatever notion of soul our parents’ religion happens to uphold, ignoring the gaping holes in logic associated with it. From the perspective of religions (speaking of religions as organizational entities with intentions and purposes), the notion of continuity implied in the concept of a soul has a great benefit — it completely alters the risk-reward analysis at the root of morality. And it takes out death (or at least, greatly diminishes its significance) in the analysis. For death is only the beginning, as the horror-comedy taught us.

If the wages of sin are eternal third-degree burns, not some material comfort followed by thirty-to-life in a federal facility till death sets you free, you do think twice before doing the crime. ザ· “時間” that you may have to do could well be an eternity. Other religions offer other kinds of divine carrots and sticks. 例えば, if you are a Hindu engaged in a particularly unsavory Karma, you will reincarnate as somebody (または何か) on the receiving end of the stick, roughly neutralizing your risk-reward equation. 一方, if you are willing to take it on your chin with some amount of fortitude, you will be upgraded to business class in your next life.

In all notions of spiritual continuity of consciousness, and/or soul, there is something I find logically wanting. It is the lack of continuity of memory. Death is still a point of phase transition where all the existing memory is erased. If we think of soul as the eternal manifestation of mind and consciousness, erasing its memory is as good or as bad as killing it, is it not?

What I find interesting in this Hindu notion is that the ultimate reward for presumably the best possible Karma is not an eternal life of comfort in heaven, but a release from the cycle of reincarnations, これ, 私の見解で, is similar to an eternal dreamless sleep — which is the only logical notion of death we can scientifically entertain. そう, in the Hindu notion of the reward for ultimate good is, in some sense, the ultimate death. Makes me wonder…


The temporal aspect of punishment extends beyond the span between the crime and its punishment. The severity of the punishment is also measured in terms of its duration. And death puts a definitive end to all man-made durations. This interference of death in our temporal horizons messes up what we mean by proportional punishment, which is the reason behind the general lack of gratification on Madoff’s long sentence. If a heinous crime like a senseless murder brings about only a life-sentence, and if you know that “生活” means only a couple of months or so, then the punishment in and of itself is incapable of deterring the crime. And when the crime is not as senseless, but prompted by careful material considerations, it is a deliberate risk-reward analysis that determines its commission. A comprehensive risk-reward analysis would involve, I imagine, a consideration of the probability of detection, the intensity and duration of the potential punishment, and the time one has to enjoy the spoils and/or suffer the punishment. There may be other factors to consider, もちろん. I wouldn’t know because I haven’t actually done such analyses. Not yet.

The smallpox story I mentioned earlier brings these considerations to the foreground, along with how the relatively high probability of death from the disease affects them. Knowing that there isn’t much time to enjoy life (or face the music), two older gentlemen of the story decide to go and feast themselves on a local prostitute of the village whom they have been eying for a while. It is not that the consequences (spousal anger, bad diseases etc.) of their action have changed. Just that their potential duration has decreased drastically because of the outbreak of smallpox. Knowledge of our death has a dramatic effect on our moral inhibitions born out of risk-reward analyses.

It is in this light that we have to examine clichéd statements like, “Live in the present moment,” または “Live everyday as though it is your last.” What do these statements really mean? The second one is especially interesting because it makes a direct reference to death. Is it asking us to shed our inhibitions vis-à-vis all our actions? もしそうなら, it may not be such a positive invitation (これ, もちろん, is a statement of value-judgment emanating form a sense of a morality of unknown origins). Or it could be a simple exhortation not to procrastinate — a positive thing by the same uncertain morality.

“Living in the present” is even more puzzling. I guess it comes from the Zen notion of “ここに” そして “now.” I can kind of understand the Zen notion in terms of cognitive neuroscience, although that is the sort of thing that Zen would ask us not to do — understanding one thing in terms of something else. According to the Zen school, an experience has to be assimilated before the intellect has a chance to color it in terms of preconceived notions and filters. In the absolute stillness of a mind, presumably brought about by years of introspection and intense mediation, experiences take on perceptually accurate and intellectually uncolored forms, which they say is a good thing. If the statement “Live in the present moment” refers to this mode of experiencing life, fine, I can go with that, even though I cannot fully understand it because I am not a Zen master. And if I was, I probably wouldn’t worry too much about logically understanding stuff. Understanding is merely a misguided intellectual exercise in futility.

As a moral statement, しかしながら, this invitation to live in the present moment leaves much to be desired. Is it an invitation to ignore the consequences of your actions? You compartmentalize your timeline into a large past, a large future and tiny present. You ignore the past and the future, and live in the present. No regrets. No anxieties. What else could this slogan “Live in the present moment” 意味する?


Knowledge of death is a sad thing. Not as a general piece of information, but in as applied to a particular individual. I remember only too vividly my own sense of helplessness and sadness towards the end of my father’s life, when it became clear to me that he had only a few weeks left. それまで, I could never really understand the grief associated with death of a loved one, given the absolute certainty and naturalness of death. 実際には, I couldn’t understand my own grief and often wondered if I was romanticizing it, or feeling it because it was expected of me.

It is very difficult to know people, even ourselves. There are multiple obscuring levels of consciousness and existence in our inner selves. And we can penetrate only a limited number of them to see within ourselves. Therefore I find myself doubting my grief, despite its directly perceived realness and existence. Perhaps the grief arising from the loss of a loved one is so primal that we do not need to doubt it; but I cannot help doubting even the most obvious of feelings and sensations. 結局, I am the dude who goes around insisting that reality is unreal!

ザ· “loss” of a hated one, by virtue of its mathematical symmetry, should generate something like the opposite of grief. The opposite of grief is perhaps glee, although one is too civilized to let oneself feel it. しかし、真剣に, I once heard a stress reduction expert mention it. 彼は言った, “What if your boss stresses you out? Imagine, end of the day, he also will be dead!”

はい, the fact that we will all die is a serious social and moral problem. How much of a problem it is is not fully appreciated due to the taboo nature of the subject. I once read a novel in Malayalam describing a village in the sixties ravaged by smallpox. Some parts of this novel illustrated the connection between death and morality. あなたが参照してください。, morality is such a holy cow that we cannot examine it, much less question it, without being called all sorts of bad names. Being “良い” is considered a “良い” thing, and is taken to be beyond rationalization. 私は意味, we may ask questions like, “What is good?”, “What makes something good, something else bad?” など. But we cannot realistically ask the question, “Why should I be good?” Being good is just good, and we are expected to ignore the circularity in this statement.

For a minute, let’s not assume that being good is good. I think the knowledge of imminent death would make us shed this assumption, しかし、我々は、後でそれを取得します. 今のところ, let’s think of morality as a logical risk-reward calculation, rather than a god-given axiom. If somebody proposes to you, “Why don’t you shoot to be a drug dealer? [Pun attempted] Good money there…,” your natural reaction would be, “Drugs kill people, killing people is bad, no way I am getting into it.” 今, that is a moral stance. If you were amoral, you may think, “Drug dealing involves violence. There is a good chance that I will get shot or caught. Thirty to life in a federal penitentiary is no walk in the park. No way I am getting into it.” This is a risk-reward analysis, but with the same end result.

I put it to you that the origin of most of our morality is this risk-reward analysis. If it wasn’t, why would we need the police and the criminal justice system? It is this risk-reward analysis that can get skewed because of an impending death, if we let ourselves notice it. あなたが参照してください。, the concept of crime and punishment (or action and consequence, to be value-neutral) is not so simple, like most things in real life. To be a deterrent, the severity of punishment has to be proportional, not only to the foulness of the crime, but also to the probability of its detection. 例えば, if you know that you will get caught every single time you speed, speeding tickets need not cost you thousands of dollars — a couple of dollars will do the trick of discouraging you from speeding. Such minuscule punishments do exist for little “crimes.” In public toilets, leaving the shower or sink faucet running would be a small crime because it wastes water, and the landlord’s funds. To fight this crime came spring-loaded faucets that shut themselves down after ten or 15 seconds. So you get “caught” every time you try to leave the water running, but the “punishment” is merely that you have to push the release button again. Now we have faucets with electronic sensors with even shorter temporal horizons for crime and punishment.

The severity of a pain is not merely its intensity, but its duration as well. Given that death puts a definitive end to our worldly durations, how does it affect our notion of punishment commensurate with crime? My third post on the philosophy of death will examine that aspect.


死はタブーです. 我々はそれについて話を想定していない, あるいはそれについて考える. それはほとんど私たちが行った場合のようなものです, 死は私達の通告がかかる場合があります, 我々は注目のようなものなしで行うことができます. 私たちはどこでもまったく目立たないようにするには, それは死の前にある.

私が見ている シックス·フィート·アンダー 最近, その死に対するこれらの黙想の後ろにおそらく. でも、私は好奇心 — なぜ死そのようなタブーの話題です, その自然必然性にもかかわらず、? 私はタブーの迷信種類を意味するものではありません (“しないでください, ない, ない, あなたはいつでもすぐに死ぬつもりされていません, タッチウッド!”), しかし、知的種類. あなたがビールの上または夕食のテーブルでそれについての会話を保持しようとした場合について来る寒さのようなもの. なぜ、死はそのようなタブーである?

私たちは死のちょうど怖がっていると言うことは、単純化のビットです. 確かに私たちは死を恐れ, しかし、我々はより多くの人前で話すの恐怖, 我々はまだ後者について話すことができます. 私たちは、他の場所で死の特別tabooness理由を見つける必要があります.

死についての特別なことの一つは、それは素晴らしいイコライザーであるということです — 鑑賞するほとんどあまりにも明白な事実. 誰もが死ぬ — 関係なく、彼らは彼らの生活の中で何でも他の. おそらく、フィールドのこの究極のレベリングが私たちの間で、より競争力に少し苦痛かもしれ. 我々は舞い上がるしかし高い, 我々はシンクまたはが低い, 私たちの日の終わりに, スコアはすべてリセットされ、スレートは、きれいに拭いている.

このスレート拭く事業は、別の理由で面倒で. それはとても気永久的である. その永続性は、我々が通過し、痛みや苦しみ、他の種類の中には決して存在する側面を持ってい (人前で話すなど、). マイナー痛みを処理するために、私の個人的な技術の一つ (そのような根管など, 愛する人の喪失など、またはより深い傷) 永続性のちょうどこの欠如を利用することである. 私はそれが合格しようとしていること自分自身を思い出させる, 時間内に. (いくつかの奇妙な理由, 私はフランス人でこれを行う, “イット·ウォント·ビー·ロング,” しかし, 正確であるために, 私は自分に言い聞かせされるべきだと思う, “それは続かないだろう。”) 彼は彼の腕を折ったと耐え難いほどの痛みにいたとき、私も、私の息子と一緒に、この技術を共有. 私は苦しみがすぐに和らぐだろうと彼に言われた. よく, 私は別の言葉を使ってそれを言った, と私は少し仲間が理解空想, 彼は彼の頭をオフに叫んで保たれているが.

私たちはいずれかを処理することができます “通常の” ただそれを待っていることで痛み, 死のではなく、痛み, 永遠に続くもの. それは続く. それの私たちの恐怖の背後にあるこの永続性はありますか? たぶん. 絶対的な耐久性と絶対的な不浸透性が来る, すべてのスパイダーマンファンは感謝するだろうとして、. どのような死の向こうにあることは知られていない. そして、不可知. 私たちの向こうにあるものについて様々な神秘的なことを言って、世界のすべての宗教にもかかわらず (あなたが知っている, 天国と地獄のような, カルマと生まれ変わりなど), 誰も実際にそれを信じていない. 私は知っている, 私は知っている, いくつかは、正直に、彼らは本当に行うことを主張すること, しかしいざとなると, 本能的に, 良いレベル, 誰もしません. 彼らは天国に終わることが確実されていないもの. なぜ他聖なる男性は、セキュリティの詳細を持っているだろう? 中に 人間の絆, モームは、この奇妙な欠如を似顔絵 (または不可能) Blackstableの牧師の最後の日の彼の描写で向かい合っ死本当の信仰の.

目的のいずれかの感覚と一緒に暮らす, 私たちは死を無視することがあると思う. 存在の有限のスパンは、複数のレベルでちょうど不合理である. これは、すべて私たちの高尚な目標や不条理な理想を作る. それは、善と悪不条理の私たちの理にかなっている. それは、我々は不条理人生の目的として考える何でもできます. それも、DNAベースの進化の説明で提案された人生のささやかな目的を作る (私たちは少し長く住みたいこと) 不条理な, 時間の無限大と比較した場合、私たちの寿命の任意の有限インクリメントのために本質的にゼロである, 私たちの間でオタク系のものが容易に理解するであろうように. 要するに, 人生に一つだけ本当の問題がある, その死である. 我々は税金を瀕死と支払いを回避することができないので, 我々は考え、それについて話して回避することができかもしれ — 死の話題のタブー自然の背後にあるもっともらしい理由.


IITからの私の同級生は、数日前に亡くなった. 私は衝撃的なニュースを聞いたとき, 私は彼について何かを書きたい. 何頭に浮かんだことはばらばら思い出のカップルだった, と私はここでそれらを共有するだろうと思った. 彼に近いものに、より痛みの原因となるのを恐れ, 私は最小限にすべて特定するの参照を保持します.

私たちは、PJ彼を呼び出すために使用される — 軽度の侮辱的な表現の頭文字, これはおそらく私たちの学問羨望にその起源を持っていた. PJが学問的に素晴らしかった, ほぼ病理学的に競争力のある、明るいIITiansで満たされたクラスのトップに卒業. 彼はあまり超人的に負担するもたらしたこの強度は、私の第一のメモリの一部である.

この強度に悩まさ, 私たちは、かつてPJの良い自然にアピールするために代表団を形成し. 私はそれを開始した人覚えていません, あるいは委任にあった人. しかし、それは確かにルクスやラットはどうしたら何かのように感じている; またはKutty, たぶん, 私たちは彼にまったく何もし得ることができれば. とにかく, 私たちはPJに近づき、彼は簡単にそれを取ることを要求され​​た. “大したことは何ですか, 男? ゆっくり確実にやることが勝利につながる, あなたが知っている。” PJの反応は目を見張るものだった. “確か,” 彼は言った, “しかし、高速かつ安定した方が良い!”

私はPJの輝きのこの猛烈なペースはおそらく最高の品質の面ではなく、量で測定された一生の間に多くの当然の称賛後で彼を連れて来たと確信している, インパクトではなく、長寿. しかし、PJは、すべてのワーク·アンド·ノープレイ仲間ではなかった. MardiGrasの女の子はMandak食堂に来たとき、私は一度覚えている (“混乱”) 食べる. 唯一の仲間IITianを完全に理解することができるという不運な情熱でそれらを学ぶ, 私たちはPJでこの開発を議論. 彼は言った, “はい, 私達はそれらを台無しにしたい!”

IITは友情を簡単来て、鍛造結合が強い滞在歳の時に、私たちに何が起こった. PJはなくなって、接続が少し弱いと, 私が解明を少し感じる. そして、私の心の中の環憂鬱言葉が私に思い出させる — しないための鐘の通行料を要求, それはあなたのために通行料.

PJは素晴らしい男だった. 私は彼の輝きは彼に近いものに強さと勇気の源になります願っています. あなたは、彼らの言うことを知っている, 倍明るい火傷などの燃えるろうそくの半分の長. 私達の最も明るいろうそくの一つが出て燃えると, 私が感じることは、どこか遠く降順一部闇の感覚です.

写真: armin_vogel cc