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Death (warning, possibly morbid topic)

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Posted Apr 8, '08 at 6:36am

Strop

Strop

10,823 posts

Moderator

Following Brigadier's post on the Afterlife thread, I realised there's something we all talk about but never fully define.

Well, that can be said of a lot of topics, but the one I'm talking about is death. Recently, Pope Benedict XVI invited a small group of doctors to discuss what exactly death is and when it can be declared, because we are in a day and age where these definitions are important, but are even more difficult to find.

So all that said, what would your definition of "death" be?

 

Posted Apr 8, '08 at 7:25am

Navnlose

Navnlose

119 posts

well meny people would proberly say, heart stops working or stops breathing, but there is a disease which slows them both down so much that they are declared dead, yet are alive, need not to eat or drink, there bassicully a zombie, living but dead, but that can be treated if found. i think your dead once you have started to decompose, which only happens once your dead, another way i think is if you have lost or puntured major organs, and/or lost major amounts of blood.

 

Posted Apr 8, '08 at 9:07am

Moegreche

Moegreche

2,765 posts

Moderator

Death is just yet another word humans try to use to relate to the world around them, but it is an entirely relative definition.  The only people who can define death are those that haven't experienced it, which makes it doubly hard to define.  You could list biological factors and things like that, but from a legal and a pragmatic sense death is defined when a doctor declares you dead.  There are, of course, cases where people are declared dead when they're not, which seems to indicate that a reality exists beyond our definition; but that reality and the knowledge of death is entirely retrospective.  You can only be sure of someone's death after quite a bit of time.

 

Posted Apr 8, '08 at 9:25am

Megamickel

Megamickel

946 posts

I think that pretty much just ended the thread, though. Dang, I had something very similar ready to go before I saw that >_

 

Posted Apr 8, '08 at 10:01am

Asherlee

Asherlee

5,189 posts

Knight

I agree with Moe (as usual), but I feel that the cessation of cortical functions is death. I mean without that brain you really are just a bag of bones and meat.

 

Posted Apr 8, '08 at 10:05am

Brigadier

Brigadier

66 posts

It is an interesting thing to think about.

Humans are so used to their consciousness, they can't imagine life without being conscious.

When we die and our Heart Stops, Our Brain shuts down, and we stop breathing. I think we just lose all consciousness and just lay there in the ground forever. It's hard to tell as Moe said because no one currently Alive has experienced death to it's full extent.

We will never know what death holds for us until we reach it.

 

Posted Apr 8, '08 at 3:53pm

Sting

Sting

339 posts

Depends on your religion/views of the world, as do many controversal topics nowadays.  Technically, it is when your heart ceases to beat, but like Asherlee said if your brain goes, that might as well be death (you would be unable to move, think, do anything at all).

And like Brigadier said, we will never know till we die.  If a religion is correct, we will realize that instantly.  If evolution is correct... well, we will not realize it because we would 'cease to exist', and therefore not have the consciousness to say "Evolution was right."

 

Posted Apr 8, '08 at 4:06pm

Megamickel

Megamickel

946 posts

Religion and evolution don't necessarily counteract each other, Sting. I'm a Christian and yet I tend to believe evolution is true - simply God's way of creating the world. You're thinking of atheism.

 

Posted Apr 8, '08 at 4:10pm

Sting

Sting

339 posts

I guess you are right, Megamickel, but most atheists believe in evolution, you know?  I suppose you can still look at it the same way, just replace 'evolution' with 'God'.

 

Posted Apr 9, '08 at 2:45am

Strop

Strop

10,823 posts

Moderator

Darn it, I was hoping that we'd get wrapped up in a conversation on continuity of being!

For example, in such fictional (and not necessarily fictional) concepts as cryogenic freezing, or some kind of suspended animation, or even say a brain transplantation...the questions that come up are supposed that one passes through a state of "death", does this mean the necessary end of the continuity of experience?

In the end though, that does come back to Moe's point about the experiential conundrum of death.