I'm dying ...

But what if they invent a time machine which will let you travel back in time before the universe fucks itself up? Combined with immortality potion, that would allow for actual infinite life. Man I love bullshit science
Are you kidding me? Nothing matters to you past your life time, that should be the okay to do whatever the fuck you want, not an excuse to mope around in your basement for 50 years. Enjoy life while it lasts you depressing fuck.


tits McGee (๑˃̵ᴗ˂̵)
sometimes I think about my death, and I get really anxious trying to imagine existing without consciousness. but! there's no use fretting over something you have no control over, so I take every day at a time and enjoy each as much as I can, learning from the past and making exciting plans for the future! dying in one's sleep is probably the best way to go, but as long as I don't end up being shot or die in a fire (or anything else similarly painful and draaaaaaawn out) I'm not really concerned with HOW IT'S ALL GONNA END
When I die I'm going to haunt the shit out of you OP

I will literally steal your shit with my ethereal hands and smear it all over your mirror
sometimes I think about my death, and I get really anxious trying to imagine existing without consciousness. but! there's no use fretting over something you have no control over, so I take every day at a time and enjoy each as much as I can, learning from the past and making exciting plans for the future! dying in one's sleep is probably the best way to go, but as long as I don't end up being shot or die in a fire (or anything else similarly painful and draaaaaaawn out) I'm not really concerned with HOW IT'S ALL GONNA END
If someone shot you in the head and the gun was good enough it'd probably be pretty quick.

Still painful.

But quick.
@ Not Scicky: If someone shot me in the head REALLY quick, then I'm assuming that it would be like hitting a brick wall, except in one location for about 1 sec. Then I fade into death.

But if we die, and then there's nothing at all, a subconcious like when we are asleep, and mankind would eventually fade away, then would that mean that life has no meaning and is irrelevant?


(Virtual Circus Kareoky Act)
If someone shot you in the head and the gun was good enough it'd probably be pretty quick.

Still painful.

But quick.
What is unbearable pain if it only last a hundredth of a second?

And what is important? Nothing really matters does it? Like anything ever. It only matters to the person who puts importance to it. If you were responsible for ending the universe, who the fuck cares, the universe is gone. Why would it matter that the universe no longer exists? Who is there to care?
Ever read the book of Ecclesiastes? It's mostly a lamentation of Solomon, who, spending his life seeking pleasure, knowledge and accomplishment, comes to the twilight of his life concluding it was all in vain...though the book doesn't end there. Some reflections I've seen in this thread:

I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor.
Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.
There is a difference in taking pleasure in life, and living for pleasure. The latter will run you dogged as you chase after the next temporary boost. I've spent a lot of time with the elderly, and a wasted life is a lot more apparent in hindsight.

Then I thought in my heart, "The fate of the fool will overtake me also.
What then do I gain by being wise?" I said in my heart, "This too is meaningless."
For the wise man, like the fool, will not be long remembered; in days to come both will be forgotten.
Like the fool, the wise man too must die!
Here the writer notes there is no distinction in the fate of the fool and the fate of the wiseman (later echoed as he reflects upon the apparent fates of the righteous and the wicked). What was the point of being wise when I'm just going to die anyway? There is some irony here in that his words and identity have been preserved and transmitted even now, close to three thousand years later...

For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it.
This too is meaningless and a great misfortune.
I don't know if Steve Jobs left Apple in capable hands or not, but he was apparently pretty upset with one of his board members, Eric Schmidt, over perceived betrayals.

Despite those quotes, the message of Ecclesiastes isn't ultimately one of nihilistic despair.
Though not taken from the end of the book, a short diversion in tone hints at what his point actually is:
I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.
God does it so that men will revere him.
Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account.
I thought in my heart, "God will bring to judgment both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity, a time for every deed."
So, I think it's a pretty cool book on the subject. You were built with eternity on the mind, because that's what you're destined for. Your actions are also not meaningless and you'll sooner or later have to take responsibility for them. Take that for what you will...The good news, so far at least, is that you are a person of value, even if you don't do anything spectacular with your life.

Until now I've made no apologies for bringing the bible into the discussion. But most people in this thread have spoken confidently about their beliefs on the nature and purpose of life, and I don't intend on breaking that trend.
Brain's post is really the thread-ender here, but...

Coming close to death makes you really, honestly question your own mortality. It can make you confront it in a way that waking up and realising 'oh, I'm going to die one day, so what's the point of anything?' can't. If you ran off to die in Syria or wherever, I think, once the ideal of 'dying for a cause' (and being one faceless, nameless statistic in history) wore off, you would regret it. Why? Because death doesn't make life pointless. Every single day, if you waste it lying in bed and counting cracks in the ceiling, is an opportunity, as clichéd as that is. You're going to die one day and have not any more opportunities, but I take it from your despair at the idea of dying that you are sorry you will one day lose these opportunities. Then, if they're such a good thing to have, seize them instead of finding a way of frittering them all away in your twenties or whatever trying to die for a cause. I really doubt you don't care about life because of your impending death, or else the idea that you are going to die and your life will be valueless (since you seem to use other people as the metric for the value of your experiences) wouldn't distress you so much.

Maybe your existence has almost no impact on the world. That's okay, we're all small, really. Do you still enjoy it? Then you have something to lose. Chances are even if you did travel to Syria to die in a rebellion, your death would have minimal impact. And chances are that your death would be forgotten by all but those who loved you within a year. You can't control your legacy after you die, so I don't see any point in going out of your way to risk your life on the possibility of a glorious death. Make your life matter, even if it's just to you and the people around you, not your death. Legacy isn't the only way to make your life matter, either. Be happy, make other people happy by being happy around them, enjoy the opportunities you're given. I don't think someone who had a happy life can be said to have 'lived in vain', if there is such a thing (since I believe that people determine the purpose of their life and it doesn't matter what someone else thinks). Personally, I would (if possible) consider myself to have lived successfully if I die in an hour because I'm happy right now.
You know, by definition if you take some immortality potion and are truly "immortal" (though I guess this depends on how you want to define immortal), Earth being gobbled up in a few billion years will not kill you, nor will any potential end of the universe (if you subscribe to those beliefs, I'm not religious by any means, but I find it just as implausible that there must be a beginning and end to the universe).

That being said, I sure as hell plan to fight off death as long as I can.
Sweet mother of potatoes, I just realised something.

I re-read banedon's post on death where he said that we are dying right now and something dawned to me.
I'm decomposing in my own shoes right now.


I love weather; Sun for days
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Man I don't know what anyone's worried about when it comes to dying. Everyone wants to be remembered, sure. Everyone wants to go down in the history books for doing something wonderful with their lives. Though if you were to die right now, right here, after you finish reading this post; what would be the one regret you'd have about your life? That's probably something you should ask yourself when you go to bed. It could be something trivial, or it could be a bigger scheme. Making an impact on other people's lives, as Brian pointed out, is fucking hard if not impossible for most people. So instead you should be making an impact on your life.

What's the one goal you had before you died? Get married? Learn to surf? It doesn't matter. What matters is if you can achieve that goal. If you can then do it, and you'll feel accomplished. Move on to the next thing you'd like to do before that skeleton knocks on your door demanding for your life.

Make yourself happy, and if you do your life will have more meaning than leaving a legacy.
Global warming is the most ridiculous government scam I've ever heard.
I know, right? It's a damn shame the whole half of the political spectrum that vehemently opposes this scam never gets in power...

I think this clearly shows that being able to die would be much better than living forever.
That's a better list than I expected, but I don't think it's entirely fair. If you are living forever, you can fully take advantage of technological advancements in order to sidestep many of these problems.

For instance, an eternity would probably provide for a way to simulate a couple thousands, or millions of human-like AIs in a small virtual world on a little machine that you could power with your own body heat (which will presumably never run out). All you would need to do is keep the machine inside your body to shield it from any and all harm, connect yourself to it, and live in that virtual world forever. The second law of thermodynamics needs not apply, because if you are magically eternal, you are already violating it anyway and can technically power any device forever (and also repair it automatically, using the same energy source). Using, again, thermodynamic noise produced by your body, you can add variation to keep things fresh in the virtual world.

All you need is to not run into any major problems until the technology becomes available, manage to make use of the technology, shoot yourself through space, and there you go. All that remains is the "memory overload" problem, but it's not obvious it would actually be a problem, and being eternal doesn't mean you can't give yourself amnesia. The speed of time increasing seems like complete bullshit to me - it might increase a bit, but that's nowhere as bad as what that article says.

Another option to sidestep several problems (but not heat death of the universe, for instance, which the "virtual world" strategy DOES cover) in the article is the "live in an underground bunker and control bodies remotely" strategy. That should be technically possible at some point. I know I would totally go for that. I mean, you have an eternity before you, you'd have to be nuts not to plan for it.

PS: I'm glad my last post in this thread was appreciated (more than I thought it would be) :) See now I don't feel like I wasted my time writing it!
Brain said:
If you want to have an impact for eternity or for billions of years, you're insane. Get your shit together and lower your goddamn standards.

If you want to have an impact for millenia, you will need to write or build something truly epic and groundbreaking and then cross your fingers for somebody to notice. That's unbelievably difficult, partly out of your control, and competition is at an all-time high. You can also become a mad emperor and command batshit insane funerary buildings for yourself (pyramids or terracotta armies). I'll let you think about how difficult that is, and ponder how much of a hindrance to progress that also is.

If you want to have an impact for decades, that's not too unreasonable, but the most important thing is to get noticed. You'll need either great talent, great luck, or great people skill to stand out from the lot.

I think you are seeing the pattern here: making an impact on society is fucking hard. Take any given length of time, multiply it by a thousand, take the inverse, and you'll get the fraction of people whose impact will last that long, and the worst thing of all is that these people's impact was partly due to luck. The direct consequence of this is that if you care about impact or being remembered, you are doomed to be miserable, not only because you won't succeed, but especially because even if you do, you won't know it before you're dead (especially true of painters).
Of course it's really hard. Nobody said it's easy. But it's also possible. Quickly, name some people from two thousand years ago that continue to wield a (huge) influence in today's world. Surely you can come up with some names: Aristotle, Jesus, Confucius. Move closer to today's world and there are still plenty of people humanity will remember almost forever: Einstein, Newton, George Washington, Napoleon I, Alexander Fleming, Prophet Muhammad, etc.

Realistically, making an impact on the world so big most people will sit up and take notice for you and me is not likely. That doesn't mean we can't do anything though. If I went to Syria and died in pro-democracy protests, whoever is leading (or crushing) the revolution would get all the credit, but I would still have been part of one of today's more profound events. @jumpluff, maybe I'd come to regret it, but then I'd also be dead and dead people don't feel, right? I'm not going to go to Syria to die right now, though. I'm not sure that is what I really want yet, and there're still some things I want to do.

Now one could argue that there's no point caring about legacy, but what else is there to care about? The whole point of creating new knowledge is to pass that knowledge on to the next generation. Works of art etc are for the same thing. Having fun is nice and all, but fifty years in the future are you going to care about how you peaked #1 on the DW OU ladder, or how many books you read? If you thought back to all your most memorable experiences, they would be something like your first kiss, your graduation from university, your wedding, a perfect score in a difficult exam and the magnificent sense of achievement that comes with it, etc. Those are the things to remember.

Another example: after the 9/11 attacks on the US, many US citizens joined the army. They found a purpose in life - read this, for example. If they succeed in the war on terror, they can look back on their life when they're dying and know they've achieved something. If they fail, they at least have tried. If they die, they die while living a dream. They have an significant purpose in life. Do you? Is your purpose in life to get as much fun as you can over everything you can? A year ago I would've said the purpose of life is whatever you want it to be, but said out loud that hardly seems like something I'd be proud of when I die.

I'm aware that my concepts are somewhat contradictory. Yes, I think of things that happen billions of years into the future ... and I also thing about what happens after I die, which is only a century into the future. I don't know how to resolve it. I guess in the long run everything is impermanent and there's nothing to aim for, but in the short run there's a lot that can be done. People do things that change the world everyday. I'm just not one of those people.

@GenEmpoleon, if I died today, my biggest regret would be not achieving anything with my life. As for my goals in life, they are massive and not easily achievable. One of my dreams in life is to win the Nobel Prize, but that's very unlikely to happen, isn't it? Am I happy? In some ways, yes. But in other ways, my life could be so much more.

Oh, the melancholy. zzz !

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