Has anyone here pondered their mortality?

jefhatfield

Retired
Original poster
Jul 9, 2000
8,803
0
Sometime after my 30th birthday, my mortality has always been in the back of my mind...or at least not being a "young adult"

..and now that I am past age 40, I am now thinking a lot more about my mortality and I have come to some conclusions, or added things to my "to do" list

1) check prostrate
2) regularly check cholesterol and blood sugar
3) give back to the human race/country/local community
4) pay more attention the the history channel ;)

So what have you 30, 40, 50+ year olds done or pondered?
 

Xtremehkr

macrumors 68000
Jul 4, 2004
1,897
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Favoring Buddhism, I tend to think along the lines of not wanting to come back as a Dung Beetle.

But, taking care of your health will no doubt make old age a much nicer experience.
 

andiwm2003

macrumors 601
Mar 29, 2004
4,325
379
Boston, MA
1.)being a geek (scientist) i decided to read into philosophy.
see what other geeks know, close my gap in humanist education. after all i don't wanna die ignorant.

2.)knowing about my mortality (and vulnerability) will not stop me from outdoor sports and rock climbing. if I die so be it.
 

acceber

macrumors regular
Jul 26, 2004
129
0
Sydney, Australia
jefhatfield said:
1) check prostrate
2) regularly check cholesterol and blood sugar
3) give back to the human race/country/local community
4) pay more attention the the history channel ;)

So what have you 30, 40, 50+ year olds done or pondered?
Sorry to butt in. :)

I'm 17, but I happen to do all the above now...well close to anyway.
1) check for lumps (hey, there have been stories of 20 something's getting breast cancer)
2) regularly check cholesterol and blood sugar (exercise)
3) give back to the human race/country/local community (volunteering)
4) pay more attention to history and make sure it doesn't repeat in certain instances (we don't have a history channel)

Do the younger members of the forum relate to this at all?
 

dabirdwell

macrumors 6502
Sep 26, 2002
448
15
Oklahoma
Mortality is just part of being a small piece of a complex living system. Time and death are all that evolution (our heritage) requires. Time for small changes to acumulate and death to make room for new species.
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,232
4
well im only a mere 21, but for some reason i have always felt much older than my age, i dont know why

but i have always been conscious of life and death, and a long time ago i came to terms with the fact that i will die, i will be forgotten and it wont really matter.

i write a lot of poetry, and i used to be very Catholic oriented and thus my writing dealt with life, death, morality and accepting one's fate, yadda yadda yadda, basically crap that any teenager struggles with

i have abandoned my faith in god and christ so to speak and become basically an atheist who barrows ideas from ALL religions to make my life comprehensible, however, i still am not concerned with my mortality because i know that i will die, i might be remembered for my poetry, but probably not, its a fact of life

sorry about my semi-religious rant there
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,232
4
*Y* said:
May I ask why you abandoned your faith?
i was a very religious guy, read the bible and all, and came to know the Catholic dogmas and doctrines very well, i found that i could not comprehend them or believe in a religion based on them, they just did not sit well with me. i couldnt stand by either as a religion kept asking/demanding more guilt and money out of me, for things that were not necessary

i dont want to start a religion war, this is just my experience and my outlook

so i went and i searched around and found many more religions, none of them are perfect, but Buddhism is the closest thing that works for me, However, i do not believe in any specific god, i do believe that Jesus Christ as a man existed and had many good ideas and beliefs that i still incorporate into my life, as well as the teachings of Buddha and Gahndi and Muhammad and so on

i guess i am an amalgamation of religions while at the same time none
 

angelneo

macrumors 68000
Jun 13, 2004
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afk
PlaceofDis said:
i guess i am an amalgamation of religions while at the same time none
Sounds alot like what i believe in as well... I am lucky that I came from a country that has a variety of religions and in that I managed to learn quite a bit from them. I do believed each has their own values which we can learn but none are absolute.
 

WinterMute

Moderator emeritus
Jan 19, 2003
4,715
4
London, England
Being a long-standing athiest, I'm often drawn into conversations with believers about what they think will happen after death, and I have to say my reaction is often a little brutal.

Everything ends, entropy is the bottom line in all active systems, when we die, that's it, game over, no replay.

I'm well aware that the universe we live in is trying to kill us on a daily basis, being alive is a very tenuous state, and I'm perfectly happy with that. I make no special effort to ward off the inevitable, although I tend to live a little less dangerously now I'm a dad.

Quick and painless would be nice, but we often don't get a choice in these things. It's going to happen, why worry about it?
 

scem0

macrumors 604
Jul 16, 2002
7,028
1
back in NYC!
*Y* said:
How many of you began to think of God as you got older?
Quite the opposite for me. I wouldn't classify myself as old (I'm 17), nor would many of the members here, but during the past couple of years I have really distanced myself from God and christianity. I used to consider myself to be a steadfast christian, I donated to my church, I volunteered, I prayed, I considered God before myself, etc. But I've decided that I'd rather adopt a transcendental philosophy about my life. I think it's best not to subscribe to old ideas in a constantly changing world, where one suit doesn't fit all people, and a suit that fits one person one day won't fit them the next.

I have the utmost respect for most religions though, including christianity. I just don't see myself inside that box.

scem0
 

mj_1903

macrumors 6502a
Feb 3, 2003
563
0
Sydney, Australia
Just so everyone knows off the bat, I am an atheist and 20.

Frankly, I know I am not immortal and I know my life could be stolen from me tomorrow and I don't care. I have seen first hand how weak the human body is... it is not pretty.

Life is pretty simple, get in there, have fun, give to those who are not as well off as you and die. I accept that my life is no different than my pet budgies, there is no heaven, I am at peace.

Do I change the way I live because of my mortality? Not really. I should though, I know that much.
 

scem0

macrumors 604
Jul 16, 2002
7,028
1
back in NYC!
broken_keyboard said:
Religion? Arbitrary guff.
As my last post shows, I am no proponent to religion, but I have to disagree with this.

Religion can teach us some important things about ourselves, and help improve our lives even if it's not 'true'. I believe that Christianity is 'false'... not bad, just not true. I don't believe there is a God. I don't believe Jesus was the son of God. But I believe that Christianity has had an overall, positive effect on the world (despite some major screw-ups like the Crusades, Inquisition, etc.) because it causes people to delve into their hearts and pull out what's important. When I was a Christian, I realized that I had great power as an individual to change the world, among other things. I still believe that, even though I don't believe in God anymore.

Mortality, like so many other things, is just in place to give perspective, IMO. Life through the eyes of an immortal isn't life as we know it, because mortality has penetrated our society so deeply. In other cultures, death isn't near as important, and their lives are much different.

Death isn't something to be feared or celebrated, IMO. It's something that is there, and will always be there. I don't think death should affect you that much. You should always be cogniscent of death, but not overly saturated by it. Questioning the origin or meaning of death is pointless, as is questioning the origin or meaning of life. Actually, I take that back. Expecting an answer to how life came about, or why we die, is foolish. However, asking the question, and thinking about it can't hurt us. It just makes us a bit more wiser.

scem0
 

broken_keyboard

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
1,144
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Secret Moon base
scem0 said:
As my last post shows, I am no proponent to religion, but I have to disagree with this.

Religion can teach us some important things about ourselves, and help improve our lives even if it's not 'true'. I believe that Christianity is 'false'... not bad, just not true. I don't believe there is a God. I don't believe Jesus was the son of God. But I believe that Christianity has had an overall, positive effect on the world (despite some major screw-ups like the Crusades, Inquisition, etc.) because it causes people to delve into their hearts and pull out what's important. When I was a Christian, I realized that I had great power as an individual to change the world, among other things. I still believe that, even though I don't believe in God anymore.

Mortality, like so many other things, is just in place to give perspective, IMO. Life through the eyes of an immortal isn't life as we know it, because mortality has penetrated our society so deeply. In other cultures, death isn't near as important, and their lives are much different.

Death isn't something to be feared or celebrated, IMO. It's something that is there, and will always be there. I don't think death should affect you that much. You should always be cogniscent of death, but not overly saturated by it. Questioning the origin or meaning of death is pointless, as is questioning the origin or meaning of life. Actually, I take that back. Expecting an answer to how life came about, or why we die, is foolish. However, asking the question, and thinking about it can't hurt us. It just makes us a bit more wiser.

scem0
I'm not so sure Christianity (or religion in general) has been all that great for the world. Something that tells you to sacrifice what you want in this life in order to have a better afterlife is one thing. But then you add the fact that in actual fact there is no afterlife, and you get something that asks people to sacrifice their one and only life they will ever have, which is pure evil to ask people to do that.

The only good thing I can see about religion is that it gave birth to philosophy which is at least a serious attempt to answer the big questions of life. Even though most of modern philosophy is a load of rubbish, at least it is an attempt to be methodical and rational about things.
 

brap

macrumors 68000
May 10, 2004
1,701
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Nottingham
I'm 21, but nobody in my family has led a long and happy life for a few generations now; I hope to follow the trend. I have sort-of a 'f**k it' attitude, which annoys the hell out of my partner.

I'm a pragmatist, I suppose. If any of the religious types are right (which they arent - score one for Hell) any afterlife will be a riot compared to this crap.
 

zelmo

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2004
5,490
1
Mac since 7.5
Having a child does wonders for increasing your mortality awareness.
I am 43, and have a 3.5 year old son. I am fully conscious of the fact that I may not live to see him graduate high school, as the males in my family do not "routinely" make it to 60. While this has not given me a religious awakening, it has made me appreciate every moment I have with my boy. The moment I held him in my arms for the first time, I started worrying about him, and thinking ahead to the day when I would no longer be there to help guide him in life.
Time is precious, and we need to make the most of every second we are given. That is something we can all agree on, and also one of the easiest facts to lose sight of in the day to day grind of our existence.
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
0
powermac666 said:
Having a child does wonders for increasing your mortality awareness.
I am 43, and have a 3.5 year old son. I am fully conscious of the fact that I may not live to see him graduate high school, as the males in my family do not "routinely" make it to 60. While this has not given me a religious awakening, it has made me appreciate every moment I have with my boy. The moment I held him in my arms for the first time, I started worrying about him, and thinking ahead to the day when I would no longer be there to help guide him in life.
Time is precious, and we need to make the most of every second we are given. That is something we can all agree on, and also one of the easiest facts to lose sight of in the day to day grind of our existence.
I completely agree - that was my first thought when I saw this thread. Having two young children, and as such my ponderings of mortality center on the impact it would have on my family, not on what I would be missing.
 

kiwi-in-uk

macrumors 6502a
Sep 22, 2004
735
0
AU
In my early 20s I behaved as if I was immortal (the stupid, stupid things we do when young :D )

In my early 30s I didn't think I'd reach 40 (although I had slowed down a little on the stupid stuff)

In my early 40s, with 3 young children I went through a period of "good behaviour" for a while before it all got a bit boring

Now, as I approach 49, I feel very mortal when on the M25 (a busy ring road around London), landing in Canberra (Australia) during fog season, and landing in Wellington (NZ) anytime

I've never been religious, always (since I was 8) felt life is a privilege - I try not to abuse that privilege, and at the same time I try not to have a boring, mediocre life. It's been "interesting" so far, but I think I will slow down (i.e. fewer risky things) again soon - too many things to do, places to see, people to meet, stuff to show my kids.
 

sgarringer

macrumors regular
Jul 15, 2004
210
0
Cedar Rapids, IA
PlaceofDis said:
i was a very religious guy, read the bible and all, and came to know the Catholic dogmas and doctrines very well, i found that i could not comprehend them or believe in a religion based on them, they just did not sit well with me. i couldnt stand by either as a religion kept asking/demanding more guilt and money out of me, for things that were not necessary

i dont want to start a religion war, this is just my experience and my outlook

so i went and i searched around and found many more religions, none of them are perfect, but Buddhism is the closest thing that works for me, However, i do not believe in any specific god, i do believe that Jesus Christ as a man existed and had many good ideas and beliefs that i still incorporate into my life, as well as the teachings of Buddha and Gahndi and Muhammad and so on

i guess i am an amalgamation of religions while at the same time none
There is a term for what you believe in, its called Agnostic. Athiest (as you mentioned earlier) is refusing to believe in anything.

I'm Agnostic because personally, I don't know the meaning of life. There are a lot of convincing arguements out there (different religions) one of which may be right. I'm going to live my life the best I can, and hope that in the grand scheme of things, thats good enough.