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The end - how much do you think about it?


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#1 Human Resource   Members   -  Reputation: 166

Posted 05 May 2011 - 08:00 PM

Good morning/day/evening, everyone!

Personally, I find myself thinking about death rather often when I'm lying in my bed encompassed by darkness and silence... Sometimes to the extent of horrific feelings that envelop me whilst contemplating various thoughts on what could... Or perhaps could not be after we die. A cold shiver down my spine would be the closest approximation. What I'd like to know, since all of you are like-minded game developers, is how much death "bothers" you? Do you think about it often and if you are a wee-bit older, does that "pressure" get harder on you with passing years or have you settled with reality through religion or some other form of... Uhm, philosophy?

As of my beliefs, I'm an agnostic since I find all stories about gods like outdated fairy tales that people take too seriously (no offense, anyone). The likelihood of something like that is so... Surreal to me. I don't like the inconsistency, "greater plans" and dogmatic nature of not asking questions. That's too much to ask from a rational human being. I am not even certain that something bigger exists in any form, let alone a human-conceived image of god. The truth is, the Universe (and I refer to absoultely everything that "exists" in some way or another) doesn't necessarily have to respond to the same notion of our logical reasoning, perhaps it has nothing even close to the concept of a cause and consequence. The question why does everything exists could be easily counteracted by a "why not?".

Without turning this into a monologue, I was wondering... What do you guys think? Since we all are game developers, we are all very adept at thinking about an end of a project or a game's story/campaign. How do you rationalize the possible end of our existence?

Honestly, death always manages to freak me out. I am not afraid of the unknown as long as there is an unknown besides oblivion. One thing that bogs me down even more is the thought of dying alone, damn, that's messed up.

I apologise if the topic is too grim, I'd just like to hear your thoughts on this. I am a very open person and even though I am agnostic with expressed disbelief in various gods, I would still love to hear everyone's opinion. Maybe you have something in perspective that I do not, who knows?
The best advice I can give is the one I follow myself - listen to those with more experience. Listen and absorb.
If you are a complete beginner and want to know more about game development, read this guide.

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#2 owl   Banned   -  Reputation: 368

Posted 05 May 2011 - 08:10 PM

Think of it this way: You won't be paying taxes anymore!
I like the Walrus best.

#3 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 38423

Posted 05 May 2011 - 08:12 PM

I'm Athiest, but I read the Bhagavad Gita somewhat regularly -- I see it as a poem of complete fiction, but I find it's wisdom to be comforting.
In the philosophy it lays out, the equivalent to Christian Hell/Purgatory is reincarnation, and the equivalent to Christian Heaven is your oblivion.
It teaches you to go forth and live a good life so that at the end of it you'll be rewarded with the final death instead of being given yet another life. Sinners continue to be reborn until they learn to live a good life, at which point they too are rewarded with Oblivion.

It's interesting to see how one man's ultimate fear can be another's ultimate reward.

[edit]
I like to contemplate on exactly what the words "I am", "I" or "me" mean. Almost every religion has a concept of the self being more than mind and body - there's usually a 3rd part being the soul/spirit. In my view, the soul/spirit is the magnificence of the universe being concious of it's own existence - a phenomenon that you can ascribe to the universe as a whole instead of defining separate bodies within the universe and ascribing it to those organisms.
I am my body, my mind, and this phenomenon of the universe being self-aware. When my body and mind are gone, this phenomenon, this spirit that I am (and we all are) will still persist - and though it contains none of my memories or knowledge, it is as much a part of "I" as my body/mind are, so even though a large part of "I" will die, this one part of what makes up "me" never will.
A lot of religious comfort comes from this eternity of the soul, and I've found it's possible to internalise those comforts without ever believing in a soul or a god or anything magical.

#4 Human Resource   Members   -  Reputation: 166

Posted 05 May 2011 - 08:34 PM

Think of it this way: You won't be paying taxes anymore!


Ahahah, good one!

@Hodgman - That's a very down to earth approach, but what always captures my imagination is the transition from the living to the dead, no matter what the final actual form is. Specifically, how does it "feel" like, the shutting down. I love Richard Dawkins' quote: "Matter flows from place to place and momentarily comes together to be you. Some people find this thought disturbing, I find the reality thrilling."

That's somehow what I feel about this world and our short existence (relative to the age of the cosmos), but still... I can't shake the fear of the actual end, losing my memories and experiences, everything that defines me... The rest is just a shell. Some people would say that fear is good, it's a reminder you're still alive.
The best advice I can give is the one I follow myself - listen to those with more experience. Listen and absorb.
If you are a complete beginner and want to know more about game development, read this guide.

#5 Bow_vernon   Members   -  Reputation: 184

Posted 05 May 2011 - 08:53 PM

Ive been thinking about it too...I guess death is like dreaming, but were not gonna wake up in the same world...anymore...
Anyway the elders here said that when people are dying, they experience a great thirst of cold water...hmm what does it mean?

#6 owl   Banned   -  Reputation: 368

Posted 05 May 2011 - 08:58 PM

Ive been thinking about it too...I guess death is like dreaming, but were not gonna wake up in the same world...anymore...
Anyway the elders here said that when people are dying, they experience a great thirst of cold water...hmm what does it mean?


That they never had a coke?
I like the Walrus best.

#7 ddn3   Members   -  Reputation: 1411

Posted 05 May 2011 - 10:12 PM

There is the physical death, which is the body itself. The death of the body has been described pretty throughly .. ie vision goes dark, you see bright tunnel.. loved ones.. sense of peace (dry throat?). That's just the end of your physical existence. I've lived long enough to know that we arn't just physical beings, there is a another nature to our reality beyond our physical perceptions. Either by intent or acquiescence, it's not as obvious but it's there. I've experienced it in several ways ie information leakage from a future perspective, subtle telepathy, synchronicity, etc.. I think if your open too it, you'll see it or not.. but given the sheer volumes written about it already, throughout history obviously something "other" exist than mere physical reality.

People have given it a name and a form, like gods or demons or soul or spirit or magic. Those names only reflect us not the true nature of existence. Some people just give up naming it at all and call it the unknowable, the alpha and the omega, using metaphor instead to describe it but that is just as limited. Ultimately i don't think it matters what we call or name it. We're here at this point in time. Maybe we're the universe made conscious, a giant experiment in free will or maybe were just recordings of a long dead race, played back unaware of our true nature predestined etc... There isn't enough information to make any grand declarations, maybe by design?

As for death? That's hard to say.. one thing is known. If the universe continues after your death (no guarantee it does, this could be a simulation and your the only reason this universe even exist like that twilight zone episode), even after death peoples actions echo on, maybe forever? Just like you are a distant echo of someone who lived millions of years ago and further back of some fish which lived 100s millions of years ago and further back of some star which exploded billions of years ago.. etc.. The long chain of existence, of great improbable actions and impossible outcomes. What more can you ask for? :)

-ddn




#8 The_Neverending_Loop   Members   -  Reputation: 635

Posted 06 May 2011 - 06:16 AM

well me personally I believe when you die you cease to exist, but the way I see it when that happens ill be to dead to care! that and no more taxes woot woot!

#9 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2333

Posted 06 May 2011 - 06:20 AM

Once a week probably. But I don't care too muck. Fuck knows, I will find out eventually. However, I'm afraid that there's a kind of hell/purgatory/Lost's Island/Jacob's ladder, so I try to be happy so that it will be easier to let things and life go and go to Heaven/Nirvana/Cosmic Goo/whatever.

#10 kseh   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2469

Posted 06 May 2011 - 09:46 AM

The impact of the life you lead will live on. If you were to take that impact and metaphorically scrunch it up into a ball of some sort you could maybe think of it as your soul or spirit (or a rose by some other name if your not comfortable with the loaded meaning of those words).

#11 rip-off   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9544

Posted 06 May 2011 - 10:22 AM

I've lived long enough to know that we arn't just physical beings, there is a another nature to our reality beyond our physical perceptions. Either by intent or acquiescence, it's not as obvious but it's there. I've experienced it in several ways ie information leakage from a future perspective, subtle telepathy, synchronicity, etc.. I think if your open too it, you'll see it or not.. but given the sheer volumes written about it already, throughout history obviously something "other" exist than mere physical reality.

I think this is the human instinct to find patterns in everything, even meaningless chaos. We are really good at finding patterns, whether they exist or not.
 
As for death, I imagine the absence of thought - the void. I don't believe we experience anything after we pass. It is quite scary, but also ultimately peaceful. I kind of wish I would get to see what happens after, but I don't see how that would be possible. Plus there is a lot of suffering in the world, and it could get worse... maybe it would be for the best that I will not get to see what happens after.

How do you rationalize the possible end of our existence?

That is the problem - I am not sure it even makes sense to try to rationalise these things. Spending a lot of thinking about death doesn't help, ultimately it will happen and when it happens you'll either find out what is beyond, or not. In the mean time do the best you can here.

#12 Human Resource   Members   -  Reputation: 166

Posted 07 May 2011 - 08:41 PM

Thanks everyone for your replies they've been quite illuminating! But I must say, I've also found myself on numerous occasions thinking about death quite embracingly. For example, when I'm facing a tough decision or a rather grim development in my life, I always "make a note" to myself that I am going to die anyways, so why the hell not. Or, fuck it, it'll end someday anyways. Do you guys ever find such comfort in death, to actually go on with something risky (ambitious project) you wouldn't normally do if you hadn't considered your mortality previously? And there are opposite things, like skydiving, when your mortality suggests otherwise. :D

Anyways, we can all agree on one thing, we should make the most of what we've got here on this little planet in this huge Universe! My only regret is that I won't see what comes after, since, in my heart, I have been and always will be a Starfleet officer. :D
The best advice I can give is the one I follow myself - listen to those with more experience. Listen and absorb.
If you are a complete beginner and want to know more about game development, read this guide.

#13 alnite   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2513

Posted 08 May 2011 - 11:44 PM

The universe is billions of years old and it is still evolving. Most of us will probably die around the age of 70. If you compare 70 with billions, its only a tiny fraction compared to how massive this universe is.

People make a big deal of life and death simply because they cant accept the fact of themselves disappear from life. This is why concepts of hell, heaven, and reincarnations are created, as a continuation of our life here. Honestly, I dont know if they exist, nor denying the possibility of their existence. Its just that..if you think about it, our life and all its problems are pretty insignificant to whats going on out there around the Earth and the universe.

So why worry about life? People chase happiness, but they fail to realize that happiness is a state, and like any other states, it is not permanent. You can be happy today but tomorrow you'll probably not so happy. But who gives a fuck because you are only gonna be here for 70 years anyway, and beyond that people will forget who you are. Might as well enjoy it while it lasts.

#14 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2333

Posted 09 May 2011 - 12:41 AM

But who gives a fuck because you are only gonna be here for 70 years anyway, and beyond that people will forget who you are.


Are you serious?

I give a fuck. Because that 70 years is the whole universe for me. I don't give a fuck if it's just a puny fraction of something I will probably never ever experience. And tell those kids in Liberia or someone who is paralyzed from the neck down to give a fuck because they are nothing compared to the whole universe....

#15 Jesse7   Members   -  Reputation: 154

Posted 09 May 2011 - 10:35 PM

Thinking of death is one way I find the motivation to do those things I always wanted to do but tend to put off. If I knew I had only a week to live what would I be doing? The answer to that question gives a clue as to what I should be doing with my life. If after meditating on death I still want to put off certain things, then they probably aren't as important as I think. The 2nd law of thermodynamics guarantees that you will be gone one day. This ought to provide motivation to not waste a single day because it may in fact be your last. This is why it's best to get cracking and start making/designing/programming all those games that you've dreamed of making. A lot of people, including me, waste valuable time making excuses saying "I don't know enough to start" or "This is not the right time for me to do this" or "I will wait until I first learn X", etc... The time to work/learn/create is now. "There will be plenty of time to rest in the grave."
Good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment.




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