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Thread: a thought on existence of humankind. (not mine)

  1. #1 a thought on existence of humankind. (not mine) 
    Forum Freshman precious siraj's Avatar
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    Everything that humankind has ever achieved other than basic survival has been driven by a basic and irreducible fear of non-existence. Our conception of self and self-esteem normally is a buffer against the anxiety that comes with knowing that we will cease to be. Culture is just a massive shared illusion to mitigate our fear of the unknown and eventually of death. Thus we want to visualize certain works of art as timeless or to place value in family lines and offspring, to project ourselves beyond death. We take ease in our value systems and the structures that arise from them, whether thatís through conceptions of biological kinship, national/ political identity, religious faith, etc.
    This includes belief in the inherent value of safeguarding the future of humanity by scientific development. Indeed much of modern western life is devoted to the escaping of death, the various euphemisms and stock phrases in mourning, the whole funeral home industry that serves to remove death from the ordinary course of life, from the home and onto the embalming table or into the crematorium. We build up the artifice to evade the brutal truth. In short, everything that we have ever done and will ever do is driven by nothing more than our existential terror in challenging death.


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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Everything?
    Mobile phones are a "challenge to death"?
    Gold-plated bathroom accessories?
    Rock concerts?
    Etc etc.

    BTW, given that you said "(not mine)" then you really should provide a source.


    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  4. #3  
    exchemist
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    Quote Originally Posted by precious siraj View Post
    Everything that humankind has ever achieved other than basic survival has been driven by a basic and irreducible fear of non-existence. Our conception of self and self-esteem normally is a buffer against the anxiety that comes with knowing that we will cease to be. Culture is just a massive shared illusion to mitigate our fear of the unknown and eventually of death. Thus we want to visualize certain works of art as timeless or to place value in family lines and offspring, to project ourselves beyond death. We take ease in our value systems and the structures that arise from them, whether that’s through conceptions of biological kinship, national/ political identity, religious faith, etc.
    This includes belief in the inherent value of safeguarding the future of humanity by scientific development. Indeed much of modern western life is devoted to the escaping of death, the various euphemisms and stock phrases in mourning, the whole funeral home industry that serves to remove death from the ordinary course of life, from the home and onto the embalming table or into the crematorium. We build up the artifice to evade the brutal truth. In short, everything that we have ever done and will ever do is driven by nothing more than our existential terror in challenging death.
    This strikes as utter rubbish. Human curiosity, and human love, have nothing whatever to do with fear of death. These, surely, are two of the most important wellsprings of human achievement.

    As for funeral rituals etc, I am firmly convinced that their prime purpose is to assuage the feelings of loss by the survivors, not fear of death at all. In other words, they are more a byproduct of human love and tenderness than human fear.
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  5. #4  
    exchemist
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    Quote Originally Posted by precious siraj View Post
    Everything that humankind has ever achieved other than basic survival has been driven by a basic and irreducible fear of non-existence. Our conception of self and self-esteem normally is a buffer against the anxiety that comes with knowing that we will cease to be. Culture is just a massive shared illusion to mitigate our fear of the unknown and eventually of death. Thus we want to visualize certain works of art as timeless or to place value in family lines and offspring, to project ourselves beyond death. We take ease in our value systems and the structures that arise from them, whether that’s through conceptions of biological kinship, national/ political identity, religious faith, etc.
    This includes belief in the inherent value of safeguarding the future of humanity by scientific development. Indeed much of modern western life is devoted to the escaping of death, the various euphemisms and stock phrases in mourning, the whole funeral home industry that serves to remove death from the ordinary course of life, from the home and onto the embalming table or into the crematorium. We build up the artifice to evade the brutal truth. In short, everything that we have ever done and will ever do is driven by nothing more than our existential terror in challenging death.
    This strikes me as utter rubbish. Human curiosity, and human love, have nothing whatever to do with fear of death. These, surely, are two of the most important wellsprings of human achievement.

    As for funeral rituals etc, I am firmly convinced that their prime purpose is to assuage the feelings of loss by the survivors, not fear of death at all. In other words, they are more a byproduct of human love and tenderness than human fear.
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    Forum Freshman precious siraj's Avatar
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  7. #6  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    Most of it is, however, rubbish...
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  8. #7  
    Time Lord
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    Quote Originally Posted by precious siraj View Post
    Everything... driven by a basic and irreducible fear of non-existence.
    Some truth to that, and it is reducible: Everything is subject to selection. If it doesn't endure, it won't exist. That's most obvious in family lines and offspring, and also works on culture, art, politics, etc. One needn't be consciously fearful of history's pruners... though I personally am.

    The bright side of fear is hope. By luck I saw the Tutankhamun exhibition at an impressionable age. It struck me as an immortal monument to hope. There is Ammit lurking on the path, but mostly it's about King Tut packing off to heaven with his golden toilet seat. See the expression worn on his death mask.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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