The Inevitability Of Deathand Views On The Afterlife

4866 words - 19 pages

AbstractBenjamin Franklin once said, "Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes." The certainty of death looms inevitably for all of us, no matter how we choose to prepare ourselves for it. From our first breath when we enter this world, we not only begin to live; we also begin to die. This paper will describe some differences in the ways people face and view death. It will also explore how people grieve, death's random sense of timing, different beliefs in life after death and how religion can be used as a source of comfort for those that are facing death and the grieving process.The Inevitability of Death and Views on the AfterlifeUnfortunately, death is and will always be a part of life. As humans age across the life span, at some point they ponder thoughts about their own demise and most times have to deal with death in the form of grieving or loss. Thoughts about death and the possibilities of an afterlife are not universal and this subject is often the driving force behind many of the world's religious organizations (Flannelly, et al., 2008). Death is now primarily defined as the cessation of all brain activity as measured by a brain wave monitor (Feldman, 2008). This day and age, we seem to see this scenario play out often on television or in a movie. There is always that dramatic scene that involves the vital sign monitor flat lining and the long beep that follows, indicating that a person has stopped breathing. This picture is a little misleading today, since brain death is now almost universally used in this nation as the indication of death.In today's world, different cultural groups have established their own unique ways of facing and viewing the finality of death. There are many different customs, beliefs, forms of faith, superstitions and traditions that deal with death and what (if anything) comes after. This subject brings out intense emotion from those that are faced with loss, whether life was snuffed out before birth or after living for a century. Death sometimes seems so random and unforgiving. It can make people question their faith in God and can also turn them towards a life of prayer and service. This experience is all relative and it is very personal, but it is also the one thing that we all have in common; we are all going to die.The Fragile Gift of LifeIn order to better understand the implications of death, one should first understand the privilege of life. One inherent value of death is that it puts life into perspective. If we were all immortal, eventually we would outgrow the ability of the earth to replenish its resources (Preston & Dixon, 2007). Immortality would also make life less precious, making a person's day-to-day activities lose all meaning. The lack of motivation would be alarming, considering the absence of the implication of time (Preston & Dixon, 2007). This does not even take into account the lack of temperance that would be void in society. If a person could not die,...

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