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Thursday, 18 June 2020

Why are we so reluctant to accept life has an ending?

In some parts of our world, a human life hardly has any value. The coronavirus outbreak shows that many Western countries are determined spending hundreds and even thousands of billions of euros (or dollars) to prevent people from dying. Why are we so reluctant in accepting that life has an ending?

The above question is a rational one and derived from a macro view. A micro view usually has an emotional point of view. This is probably the main reason why most of us feel compelled to making a choice between both views.

Perhaps, the above also explains why it's difficult for many people to accept someone's wish to end her/his life - a.k.a. euthanasia. In individual human cases, the emotional micro view always seems stronger than the rational macro view (ie, to relieve pain and suffering). Remarkably, in case of our pets, emotional and rational arguments do however merge.

All lifeforms have consciousness (eg, danger from predators, opportunity of prey, surroundings). My concept of Needs-Wants-Beliefs is derived from the degree of consciousness in lifeforms. All lifeforms are in the Needs phase (eg, food, shelter, sunlight, water). Some lifeforms (eg, animals, humans) have reached a higher level of consciousness: Wants (eg, birds, chimps, dogs).

Only humans have reached the next level of consciousness: Beliefs. I think, feel and believe (sic!) that our beliefs are responsible for our reluctance in accepting that life has an ending. All around the world, humans (including scientists) have been looking for the Holy Grail, "a cup, dish or stone with miraculous powers that provide[s] eternal youth []". Note: italic marking by LO.

Today, the global search for longevity and/or immortality (the new Holy Grail) is even stronger than before, especially in Silicon Valley (eg, the New Yorker-2017the Conversation-2018, the Guardian-2019).

2016 paper named "In Search of Rationality in Human Longevity and Immortality", by Gopal C. Bhar, Research Professor of Philosophy of Sciences, gives an intriguing answer to the Why question above:
"The human body is machine-like, but self-moving, self-regulating, and self-adjusting, governed by willpower and intelligence. Aging of the body is basically a maintenance problem and so it could perhaps be postponed by thorough and frequent maintenance."

I prefer seeing humans as having an eternal Soul in a temporary Body with a unique Mind.

Mind Body & Soul (1996) by Dina Carroll

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

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