Death: the permanent cessation of physical life and the lost all bodily attributes and functions necessary to sustain life. Death is viewed differently by every culture and every person, especially what occurs after death. These different views cause people to alter their lifestyles. With that saying, there’s an association between how one’s outlook on life and the way they live their life, whether that outlook is a factor of religion, health, or philosophy.One’s religious views of an afterlife and how one can get into the holier place affects one’s feelings on death. In all religions, there`s a belief on how to get eternal salvation and all desire to obtain it. In Roman Catholicism, there are two paths one can take after death—the path to Heaven or the path to Hell.
While Heaven is where one receives eternal salvation, Hell is said to be where one will be punished and burn in sweltering fire. The illustration of Hell puts Catholics into fear of going there. Although it is said that anyone that has been baptized will obtain salvation as a free gift from God, the idea of going to hell is often used as a fear tactic to make people behave how God desires us to. This causes many Catholics to try their best to study the bible and become close to God and Jesus Christ. Similarly, Eastern Orthodox Christians also attempt to reach eternal salvation in Heaven, but rather than believing in hell, they believe death is not natural. They believe that God did not create death and that it’s the last enemy.
In the eyes of these Christians, Jesus came down and to be crucified and save us from them from death. Now concerning the process of salvation, it is believed that as long as one has a good heart, God will grant them the choice of salvation or not. In contrary to the previous religions, Hinduism believes in Samsara, the cycle of reincarnation, and Moksha, eternal salvation. Reaching Moksha is possible by three paths: the path of knowledge, the path of action, and the path of devotion.
The path of knowledge is the most challenging path; it requires one to obtain Knowledge of Truth and Absolute to be freed from Samsara. The most common path is the path of action, which one will be liberated once themselves and their past lives have comprehensive attain good dharma, conduct, and good karma, deeds. The final path is that of devotion, where worships a specific god(dess) to the point of personal connection and becoming one with them to gain liberation. Looking that the statements above, one can see how different religions strive to be saved and be with God. Whether it is by being one with God, being kind-hearted, or studying about their holy teachings, religion has a massive effect on how one’s outlook on life and the way they live their life are connected. Being terminally ill can also affect one’s views on death. One of the reasons people are so scared of death is because they never know when they will die. However some people know that they have a very limited about of time left on Earth, and that affects their thoughts on death.
While one may think that someone on the verge of death would be cynical about it, it is quite the opposite. Researcher Kurt Grey discovered that the terminally ill are more accepting of death because they no longer have any mystery behind it. They know how they are going to die and the time area in which they will pass away. They mentally adapt to the idea of dying just as someone in prison mental adapts to being in prison.
Since the terminally ill are mentally prepared for death, they have an easy time speak of it. In fact, talking about death with a loved one as a terminally ill patient can reduce stress for the patient along with their caregiver. Most friends and family of the patient have anxiety regarding talking about their death. Once the imminent death is accepted, it is relatively helpful to talk about it.
On the other hand of these positive reactions to sudden death, a terminally ill patient may desire hasten their death. A 2000 study found that 17% of the patients in the study had a high desire for hastened death and 16% of the participants had a current major depressive episode. It is not uncommon for terminally ill patients to feel hopeless and depressed because of their illness. Factors including pain and physical functioning play a role in their emotions and mental health as well.
Given these points, it is evident that knowing that one is going to die strongly affects their opinions on death. Though it does vary through the patient, it is seen that death can be viewed positively as the next stage of life and relieve stress just by discussing it with family or can cause clinical depression and the urge to death soon.Philosophically, one’s values on life and knowledge alter their perspectives on death. Every person has their own sets of beliefs and values despite health, national culture, or religion. One perspective to look at is nihilism, the doctrine that nothing is true or real therefore nothing has a point to it. Nothing is absolute but the universe itself and all its metaphysical dimensions. Because nothing but the universe is fixed, death and anything that may occur after it is false as well. It is seen to be a vast void of nothingness, and that is all.
It is a pointless as everything else in the world. Another perspective is existentialism. The reject the notion of anything being predetermined and believe we should live as freely as possible. They claim that one’s destiny is in their own hands; they can choose what they want and change their destiny at will.
Alone, one must give meaning to life and live life to the fullest. Due to this philosophy, existentialists do not fear death but instead are willing to looking it dead in the face. They focus on the now, not the past or future. Modern dogma on death is different from those already stated. The way people of the 21st century see death is in relation to how long the average person lives.
For example, if a 16-year-old dies in an accident, it would be considered tragic because they would be missing out on a possible 64 years of life, considering the average lifespan is 80 years. Although this concept does not entirely relate to the past, death is viewed to be sad if one dies young just because they will be missing out on decades they were expected to live through. As has been noted, the different philosophies on death alter one’s outlook on how to live one’s life.
Death can be understood to be pointless, something not to fear, or tragic in the case of a young member of society dying.As a final analysis, many factors cause an association between the way one perceives death and their lifestyle. It could be the desire for liberation making one study the word of God and aim to be benevolent, the knowledge of imminent death leading to acceptable or the aspiration to be dead now, or even one’s values on life generating positive or negative outlooks on death. The controversy of how one should live their life and what happens after death will never end, but play a significant role in society and all its members.