In my opinion, the only reason that people fear death is the religious hellfire and damnation myth. Religious people are afraid that they might not have been good enough to make it to heaven. Agnostics are afraid that might be wrong. Agree?
People fear death because they fear dissolution / annihilation. One way to attempt to quell that understandable yet needless fear is to pretend you live beyond death. In my view, this is like a lot of things that are blamed on religion -- it is not that religion invented the fear of death; it is that they took advantage of it, amplified it, and then offered a faux remedy.
In other words the fundamental source of dreading one's mortality is a uniquely human problem: we are more self-aware than most of us can really handle. Uniquely in the animal world, we can understand where the story arc of our life is heading: death.
Personally I've found the best way to deal with this is to acknowledge the reality of my mortality, understand that what lies beyond the grave is to be no more feared than what lies before your birth -- it is just non-being. Stressing out about that only makes it worse, stealing the enjoyment of your life. Also ... there is a lot more peace and stability in accepting your true scope as an ordinary mortal being than in buying into the nonsense that you are being cheated out of something that was never yours to begin with.
I don't agree with this completely, though I imagine it plays a role. I think the main issue is no longer being -- not existing. It is a tough concept for anyone, including myself, to accept the idea of just ending -- of no longer being. When one finally comes to grips with the notion that they were dead for all the billions of years the Universe was forming until the time they were born, then it doesn't seem to be such a big deal. Still an issue, but somehow the edge is taken off.
I fear dying too early. I have too much to do and not enough time to do it.
I know that when I die it's over and I'm not ready for that yet. My current form of life knows nothing from before it took its current form and will know nothing of what happens next. It won't hurt and life will go on here. Just because I uinderstand that doesn't mean I'm happy with it.
Yes I do agree about the religious. If they really believe that upon dying they are transported to some blissful heaven to spend eternity alongside their Jesus in perfect love, they would want that more than anything life could give them so why would anyone who believes that fear death and that happening to them.
I'm not sure that's the ONLY reason people fear death, but it is certainly in the top 5 for most people. I think more realistic fears stem from not being around for loved ones and feeling as though you didn't get to do or see some things on your bucket list.
If you believe in the multi-verse theory then we, here, are just one of the many facets of the same person spread across billions and trillions of universes. All that ever could be, is. So in a distant universe, far, far away, I am going to live forever.
Or what ever floats your boat.
Nahhhhhh. Think of a teenaged boy, all hopped up on testosterone and still building synapses. Given that young males have a much higher rate of accidents than the rest of the population, they have limited fear of death because they lack experience and the testosterone and deficiencies of synapses. But fear of death is what keeps most of us from doing crazy things like experimenting to see how high we can go on a rickey ladder or other dumb stuff. If I didn't have a healthy fear of pain and disfugurement I'd drive a hell of a lot faster than I do now. Well, tickets, but I haven't had one in a few years. (note to self, slow down in West Point, NE, The cop in that town doesn't have enough to do.) I'm not afraid of death, I do fear pain and suffering so I try to maintain homeostasis. The other fear people have is unfinished business. Becauase I learned early that life is fragile (mom died at age 45) I try not to have unfinished business. I tell my kids frequently that I love them and how happy they make me. I have forgiven who I need to forgive and if I shuffle off this mortal coil tonight I'm OK with that. And if I'm not online tomorrow by noon someone call my kids that the cats might need to be fed.
I'm fairly certain fear of death is a naturally occuring instinct which only acts as a way of trying to keep the species alive long enough to procreate.
What you say is also true however at the end of the day we all have to accept death. The only difference is some people can and others can't.
I disagree. I (and probably others) fear death simply because it means I will cease to exist. I suspect that's also partly why religions invented afterlives.
The thing people quote about not caring about non-existence before they were born and thus not caring after they die is all well and good but I do care about it now, and now is when it matters. So what if I won't fear death when I'm dead. I will for as long as I'm alive. And that's the bit that matters. I think fear of death is normal and is part of the human condition. Each to various degrees, but I doubt anyone is comfortable with it.
The other thing to clarify is that I wouldn't necessarily want to love forever. But I would definitely like to live a lot longer than we do.
The unknown part is part of it. Part of it is the idea of dying without fulfillment (without experiencing love or success or what have you), or fear of what you would miss when you're gone. As silly as it is, part of me is like "if I died I'd never get to see the last avengers movie!"
Although I'm not convinced I'd say it's fear of the unknown for me as much of the impossibility of imagining a non-thinking state. It's a headache
People fear death because it's unknown. Even the most religious people in the world who claim to be absolutely sure of what will happen after they die have a tiny seed of doubt in them, and that's why they fear death. Death is the final frontier, so to speak. What happens when we close our eyes for the last time? Do we get reborn? Do we go to some cosmic cloud city in the sky? Maybe the Wiccans are right and we go to the Summerlands.
Who can say. And because of that unknown, people are afraid.
no, we fear the unknown and death is the final unknown. I would bet you fear it too, unless you have emotional issues...hehe....it's one of the factors of being human...aware of our mortality but unable to imagine ourselves not existing. I often posit that Atheism is just another way of saying what happens after death, a way of controlling that fear. To me, death is a doorway....have no idea what is gonna happen afterwards...none. So that is kinda exciting. But let's hope it isn't the hellfire and damnation, cuz that would suck...haha