Fandango’s Provocative Question #124

FPQ

Welcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

I am not preoccupied with death, but I must admit that as I’ve aged, I think more about it now, as a septuagenarian, than I used to in my younger days. We know that none of us is immortal and that we’re all going to die at some point in the future. That brings me to this week’s provocative question:

Would you want to know before hand the date, time, and circumstances of your death, or would you rather not know when and how it will happen?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.

Share Your World — 6/14/21

Melanie is going deep with this week’s edition of Share Your World.

What did you learn the hard way?

I learn best by doing, so I’d say most of what I learned I learned the hard way.

Which activities make you lose track of time?

Writing and reading blog posts.

Why do we seem to think of others the most after they’re gone?

I assume, by “after they’re gone,” Melanie means after they’ve died, not after they’ve left your house after a visit. I’m also a little confused by the wording. Does Melanie want to know why we think the most of people after they died (i.e., think more highly of them), or why we think of people the most after they’ve died (i.e., think of them more often)?

I’m going with the former because I probably don’t think of people more often after they’re gone than I did before they died. And my answer to the other interpretation is that it depends upon what I thought of the person when they were alive. If I liked and admired the person, I will feel a loss after their death and will focus on the best aspects of his or her life. But if I neither liked nor respected the person in life, I won’t think better of them in death.

And if I either misinterpreted Melanie’s question or overthought it, well, never mind.

Is it possible to know the truth without challenging it first?

“Truth” is subjective. Truth can be like faith, in that it is often based upon beliefs rather than demonstrable facts. I know that I can’t challenge every “truth” I’ve ever been taught. For example, I accept the fact that the planet on which we live is basically round and I accept that as the truth. But there are others who inexplicably believe that the Earth is flat, and that truth is their “truth.” My bottom line, as a pragmatist, is to follow the evidence, understand and accept what is demonstratively factual, and that will ultimately lead me to the truth. Or my truth, anyway.

Curiouser and Curiouser

Rory, aka A Guy Called Bloke, is a very curious fellow and he asks a lot of curious questions. In his latest bit of curiosity, he asks…

What happens after my life ends?

This is an interesting question, indeed, because, as Rory points out, one could interpret this question to be “what happens to me after my life ends?” Or it could be that he’s just curious about what we think happens after our death in the more global sense.

Specifically, Rory wonders “Is there life after death on any level?” and “What will life be like after your death?”

Alrighty, then. Let me start out by saying that I do not believe that there is life after death…on any level. So my answer to what happens to me after my life ends is simple. Nothing. Once I’m dead, I’m be dead, fini, kaput, gone. I will have no consciousness. I will cease to exist in any form whatsoever.

But in the broader sense, what happens after my life ends is that the world will continue to spin on its axis and life will continue to go on for everyone else who is lucky enough not to have had their lives end. Maybe a few of them will mourn me and even miss me, but for the most part, my death will barely cause a ripple and, save for a few family members, will largely go unnoticed.

So, for everyone else but me, as The Beatles so aptly put it:

Ob la di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra
La-la, how the life goes on
Ob-la di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra
La-la, how the life goes on

 

For Those Who Claim To Be Atheists

5EDABF2B-68F5-4282-AF25-80E11407602FThere is a blogger whose posts I occasionally read, even though he and I couldn’t be more different in our philosophies and ideologies. But sometimes I get a kick out of the mostly nonsensical (in my opinion) things he posts on his blog. For example, in this post, titled “If You Don’t Believe In God, They (sic) Why Are You Afraid,” he claims that atheists seem to fear death.

I’d like to examine what he said in that post and respond to his questions/comments about atheists, God, and death.

First he asks, “[F]or those who claim to be atheists, what are they so afraid of on the other side of life?” Just to be clear I don’t “claim to be” an atheist, I am one. I do not believe in the existence of some sort of mythological, mystic, supernatural, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent being. I believe that God didn’t create man, but that man created God.

Second, as an atheist, I don’t believe there is an “other side of life.” When you’re dead, you’re dead. Your life ceases. Since I don’t believe in an afterlife, I’m not afraid of it.

But the blogger is correct when he says that, “If [atheists] don’t believe in God, then they don’t believe in a final judgment. He claims that, “The Godly seem to fear the temptation of life that they will answer for come their judgment.” Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but atheists don’t live their lives in the hope of being found worthy of getting admitted to heaven for eternity by the magical judge in the sky. We live our lives to the fullest extent possible because there is nothing to “live for” after death.

Then he writes, “Atheists claim to be free and enlightened, yet they don’t seem to exhibit that which they claim.” I have no idea what he means by that. What is it that he believes atheists claim that we don’t exhibit, I wonder.

And finally he claims that “The atheists seem to fear death.” I don’t fear death and none of the atheists I know personally do either. I love life, and I want to live it as long as I can. But I know that death is inevitable and that once I die, it’s all over. It’s not something I’m afraid of. What I do fear is a slow, painful death, so when I die, I hope it will be fast and peaceful, preferably in my sleep.

By the way, don’t you love it when someone who is not something claims to have a special knowledge about, or insight into, something he’s not?

Share You World — Of Guns, Respect, Ego, and Death

Share Your World

As Melanie, at Sparks From a Combustible Mind, pointed out, it’s almost the end of fourth month of 2020, and what an “interesting” year it’s been so far. Here’s Melanie’s Share Your World prompt for this week.

Do guns protect people or kill people? Or both?

Both. But first, let’s be real. Guns are designed to kill. Sure, they can also be used to protect and/or defend people. But in the United States there are more guns than there are men, women, and children. More gun deaths, including suicides, than any other nation (close to 40,000 a year) and more mass shootings than any other nation. And then there are the types of guns available to citizens in America: high capacity, military-style, semiautomatic weapons. These types of weapons aren’t used for protection. So, my bottom line is that guns do kill people…far more than they protect people.

Is it more important to be respected or liked?

It would be nice to be both liked and respected, but if I had to choose one, it would be to be respected.

Is having a big ego a negative or positive trait?

Ego is essentially a sense of self, a person’s self-esteem, self-opinion, and self-confidence. We all have egos, and there’s nothing wrong with having a positive sense of self. But when someone’s ego is oversized or blown out of proportion to the point of narcissism, it becomes a negative trait.

Depending on your point of view, is death a new beginning?

Death is the end, not a beginning, new or otherwise.