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Re: CHAT: facing your own mortality (as a conlanger)

From:Lars Finsen <lars.finsen@...>
Date:Monday, June 30, 2008, 15:12
Den 30. jun. 2008 kl. 02.10 skreiv Mark J. Reed:
> Hey, now. As a fellow atheist, I resent the implication that we don't > care what happens after we're gone. That's a very selfish attitude to > take. Just because I won't be around to observe the fate of my > family, descendants, and planet, that means I should care less about > it? Poppycock.
You don't need to be an atheist to realise that what happens after you die is more important for those that are left behind than to yourself. All you need is a sense that the world of the living is more important than the world of the dead, and I think you will find this sense a lot among religious people as well, whether their religion prescribes it or not. After all that is the world they are living in, not the other one (though some of them could have me fooled). Den 30. jun. 2008 kl. 08.09 skreiv li_sasxsek@NUTTER.NET:
> > Well this is starting to get in to the "no cross" territory, but > the whole thing about leaving a mark on the world in the form of > artistic works or even children are part of the thinking that they > somehow make you immortal.
Somehow. At least you defy death a little. It's human to like being appreciated. I like to be appreciated. We have all seen how quickly most people are forgotten as soon as they leave this world. Especially if you're a nice guy who did nothing wrong in your life, you will be very quickly forgotten. And being forgotten is to cease to exist completely. But if you are remembered and appreciated, at least something is left behind, although you don't appreciate it yourself. Existence isn't all material. Whether my existence or what I do or make are making the world a better place is hard to tell. Yet, making no difference at all would make life seem very meaningless, wouldn't it? If you think your own self is all that really matters in this world, you wouldn't give a damn whether you continued making a difference after your life is over or not, but I guess most people find there are other things that matter, too.
> Yes, it's a selfish attitude but actually so are all attitudes. > Someone could also say it's selfish to want to leave a mark on the > world after death when those who are still alive may want something > different. Even the so-called "giving" types are acting > selfishly. Their rewards may emotional rather than material, but > they are still acting in self-interest.
That depends whether they are "giving" out of a habit formed because they found they enjoyed giving some time in their youth, or if they are "giving" out of an intellectual decision formed out of an abstract notion of the greater good or that sort of thing. Genuinely self-disinterested people exist. Pretty often they are not happy and pretty often they are abused and exploited by other people. Some people develop techniques to diminish other people's self-interest in order to exploit them. Political or domestic tyrants for example, not to mention the religious ones. Only newborn babies are completely self-absorbed. If they are blind and deaf and lack any way to perceive the outside world, they stay that way. Otherwise they soon develop some interest in things outside themselves, and at times this interest can be pretty absorbing, like when you discover language for example, or when you discover girlhood. When something like this absorbs you so much you forget about yourself, we call it love. LEF