22. Life isn’t everything

January 18, 2018 Sticky Thoughts No Comments

The reason we die is not that nature didn’t find a way to let us live forever.

It just didn’t look for one.

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Moreover, death was one of the biggest inventions of nature (or evolution) in order to make ‘better’ life. This is: more complex, more resilient, more all-encompassing life. Life ends itself in order to give room to other, better life. As a consequence of this, all people must die.

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So death is part of the life that has been given to us. A relevant question that may come to us in the next few centuries, is: what do you do if science finds a way to let people live forever? Would you say no to it?

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People who are ‘for human life’ (as I am) always have to take into consideration that death is really part of the very fabric of this life. To their own surprise maybe, such people should say no.

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However, I doubt whether many of them would say no, if time comes.

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In any ethical talk about ‘human life’, a choice has to be made between a materially obvious and an immaterially meaningful definition of ‘human life’. To both sides in this ongoing discussion, the own choice may appear to be unmistakably the right one. However what both sides have to admit, hard as it may be, is that it is a choice in any case. The definition of ‘human life’ is not present in this universe. It’s not like some asteroid or the Milky Way. There is no ‘God’ who gave us the definition on a piece of paper. It’s a human definition, a human endeavor.

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I’m not on any of both sides as such in this discussion. However, I am on the side of the person who, in all conscience, makes a respectful decision in it for himself. In other words: I respect the respectful. I have a harder time respecting the one who doesn’t want to really think about the matter. I have little respect for the one who only follows his own selfish needs in this. Of these three categories, I see people on both sides of the discussion.

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Maybe in the end it doesn’t categorically come down so much to what one thinks about the matter, as to how it is thought: the effort that one is willing to put into it, the depth of feelings, the respect for other people’s opinions. Life isn’t everything.

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Love matters more than life.

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