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uisce

Life is all about death.

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Everything we do, breathing, drinking, eating, sleeping, EVERYTHING causes death of something else. Weather it be visible life forms like trees and chickens, or smaller more seemingly insignificant life forms like insects or bacteria it doesn't matter. Death is all around us, every moment of our lives is granted to us only through the sacrifices of others. When they say we are living on borrowed time, they should really say we're living on stolen time. Hopefully if there is an afterlife things don't work that same way.
Viewed: 11 times
Added: 6 years ago
 
Catwheezle
6 years ago
I dunno. That feels kinda like saying light is about shadow, because sometimes there aren't many photons; or that a planet is about the surrounding space, and the caves within it, because sometimes there aren't any rocks.

Certainly, the presence of something implies that the absence must exist. In fact, for it to be present, it MUST be absent elsewhere; the presence must cause the absence. And you could certainly argue that a bridge or a window are "about" the void that they contain.

But seems to be that if life is "about" anything, it is no more likely to be about death, than love is to be about apathy.

To me, life is "about" living: death is just an unavoidable side-effect, like shadows, holes and other absences. The goal of my life at least is to live as much as I can; not to avoid (nor invite!) death.
uisce
6 years ago
Understandable, but also feels kind of like an excuse. I don't mean to necesarily be negative. Death is a truth about life, and the cost of living more than just one's own ultimate demise but the demise of others as well as the expense for your own life. Its unbalanced, yet balanced all at once. Its hard to explain what I mean.
Catwheezle
6 years ago
Death is significant, yes: but only because life came before it. It would be meaningless otherwise.

Certainly, if I eat a tasty tasty rotisserie chicken all by myself, I'm then responsible for its death. But, by being the reason for its life, I'm also responsible for its life. And the lives of its intestinal flora. But I am also responsible for the never-having-livedness of the things that would have existed had there not been a market for tasty tasty rotisserie chicken, and the deaths of the things that were slain in order to build the factory farm the chicken came from; and so on, endless ripples just from eating a chicken.

But the reprecussions aren't one-directional. I'm not the center of the universe, ripples just going out from me. So, on the flip side, that chicken is partly responsible for my life, having contributed to it; and the lives of my intestinal flora. When I die, I am partly responsible for lives of the worms that eat me. If I am cremated, my cremater and I are responsible for the never-having-livedness of the potential worms and bacteria that didn't get to eat me.

Each choice we take has repercussions, which include life and death. Some people try to live by minimising the deaths they cause (veganism and such). Personally, I think it is better to maximise the net number of lives you bring benefit to, rather than focusing specifically on deaths as if they were more important than any other part of the life cycle.

Eating the tasty tasty rotisserie chicken probably has a negative net payoff in terms of lives benefited: my intestinal flora, and the person I bought it off, and the farmers, and all their parasites and bedfellows notwithstanding. It's probably a bad thing to do, overall.

But damn, it's soooo succulent!
uisce
6 years ago
Lol, it is indeed a tasty dish! XD

But really veganism isn't really saving any lives because they still kill to consume, it just saves SOME animal lives.
Catwheezle
6 years ago
Yeah - and I'm not sure that merely saving lives (or preventing death!) is what's important anyway. It's interesting to think of the ways all the lives interrelate, but most of them aren't lives that matter in any significant way anyway.

Just throwing a chicken bone behind the couch and leaving it there would probably create more lives than most anything else I could do. Well, slathering my walls in poop would probably be several orders of magnitude better, but I'm not going to be doing that either.

Biodiversity feels like it might be important: if there are more critters with more wildly differing genes, life's a tiny bit less likely to get wiped out completely by some freak accident. We've identified 1.3M species, and there might me as many as 10M to 100M out there. Or billions, if you include bacteria.

And biomass feels important: it's all very well having a vast range of genes, but if all life on earth could fit into a single bathtub, we'd still suck. We have about 560Bn tonnes of biomass (not counting bacteria) on earth. About 100Bn dies, and 100Bn is born, each year. Maybe double that for bacteria, and just about ALL of it dies in fairly short order.

And biological complexity, too. If one of each kind of life on earth could be snuggled together on a single petri dish, it'd be a pretty shitty version of "life". So big stuff is kinda important. Elephants, frogs, tasty tasty rotisserie chicken, et cetera. There are only about 60k non-invertebrate species known. That's a bit scary, really.
uisce
6 years ago
"There are only about 60k non-invertebrate species known. That's a bit scary, really."

Doesn't it make you wonder what comes next in the evolutionary line though?
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