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what happens when I try to work on my personal statement

October 19, 2011

In response to the Epicurean argument, could it not be asserted that the fear of death–irrational though it may be–by its very persistence and prevalence not only actually does take as its object one’s own demise dimly anticipated, but also that the fear, rather than anticipating the ensuing pain or loss for oneself, instead anticipates the ensuing pain and loss for others? Thus understood, the fear of death would be considered a kind of preemptive sympathy. We ought indeed fear to die–for the hell to which our survivors will be damned. If this is so, then what motivates the average thanatophobiac’s dissimulation of the magnanimous compassion on which his fears are grounded? Why should he resist acknowledging that he fears, in fact, not for himself, but for others–especially when this very denial can at times multiply his own afflictions and those of his companions? (Hamlet, though no stranger to the nightmare of outliving others, keeps himself alive for fear only of his own bad dreams, thinking nothing of Ophelia.) Could it be because, considered rightly, his fear is justified–because his death will cause pain to others?–and that in certain ways it is easier to relieve oneself of the burden of the foreknowledge of one’s own mortality than it is to relieve others? Perhaps the average thanatophobiac’s situation is related to his deafness to the call of glory. The solipsist argues that immortality is illusory. Honor, however, does not assuage the loss incurred by one’s death for the dead (who experiences no loss to be assuaged)–but for the living, in the anticipation of whose bereavement the mortal aims to die honorably.

One Comment leave one →
  1. nostalgebraist permalink*
    October 20, 2011 12:34 am

    You should submit this as your personal statement.

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