Death Doesn’t Have to Be the End–But for Now, It Is (A Personal Reflection)

Death. Interesting, isn’t it? Death will happen to everyone someday, but publicly talking about it is somewhat taboo. Funny how we’re so selective about who hears our thoughts on death.

It’s only when we’re alone that we can probe to our heart’s content about what happens after we die, a question which has baffled mankind for tens of thousands of years.

I’ve spent almost two decades pondering this question. So far I’ve deduced that nothing happens after we die. It’s that simple. The lack of evidence for an afterlife suggests that nothing is what most likely happens.

Of course, I don’t want to die, but I know that someday I will. If stars, planets, and black holes can’t exist forever, how could I, a frail human, expect to do so? Even if, by chance, I were able to prolong my life for several eons, I still would never be able to escape the clutches of death.

Sigh. Where’s an impenetrable bubble when you need one, right?

What frightens me the most is the prospect of ceasing to exist. That encapsulating darkness ensnaring my body. That retreat into the abyss as my eyes force themselves shut. That sense of “not knowing” the fate of everything. Sometimes it terrifies me, and sometimes it doesn’t. Just depends on my mood.

I frequently remind myself that I had to “wait” over 13 billion years for this opportunity to know life. I should appreciate it and constantly reflect on whether I’m truly “happy.” If I’m unhappy, I ask myself, “What can I do to better my situation?” I don’t have all the answers, but it’s important that I try to understand it.

Isn’t it funny how we go about wasting time? I mean, it’s not my place to tell other people how they should live their lives, but if a person were to ask me what to do, I’d suggest the following:

  • Dedicate a portion of your life toward unraveling the mysteries of the universe.
  • Develop technologies that help humanity explore the galaxy.
  • Support experts who strive to cure aging (e.g., Aubrey de Grey at SENS).

In my opinion, that’s what we should doing as a species: Tackling death. It’s plagued humanity for too long.

However, some argue that people need to die because of dictators. Others worry about overpopulation. These are short-sighted views. I say “short-sighted” because rather than seek solutions, people tend to just give up once they’ve arrived at that conclusion. What’s wrong with living in a universe where humans don’t age nor suffer illnesses?

In a way, opponents are arguing that everyone must suffer because of their fear. Ironic, isn’t it? They’re more concerned about dictators than the deaths of themselves and their loved ones.

FYI: Killing yourself won’t stop future dictators from perpetuating their tyranny through familial dynasties.

On the flip side, what about all the good people who could still be alive today, such as Jesus, Buddha, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, and so on?

What about those who valued life and supported liberty like the Founding Fathers?

Arguably, there are more “good” than “bad” people on this planet; otherwise, humanity would have self-destructed long ago.

Is it justifiable (both morally and ethically) for one segment of the population to deny the ability of another segment to live a life without suffering? Instead of forcing people to die, why not devise preventive solutions that mitigate the adverse risks of immortality?

Individually, every person deserves to live, to exist for however long he or she wants. It’s his or her life. He or she is unique. He or she lives only once. ONCE. After several billion of years, he or she is finally here.

We, therefore, DESERVE to live for as long as we possibly can! No one should tell us otherwise.


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