Archive for the ‘certainty of death’ Category

The British parliament’s first avowedly atheist member, Charles Bradlaugh, would stride into public meetings in the 1880s, take out his pocket watch, and challenge God to strike him dead in 60 seconds

September 13, 2011

The British parliament’s first avowedly atheist member, Charles Bradlaugh, would stride into public meetings in the 1880s, take out his pocket watch, and challenge God to strike him dead in 60 seconds. God bided his time, but got Bradlaugh in the end.

Theodore Dalrymple

God is gracious with all, every day who sin against Him. Though He would be justified in ending the life of any of His rebellious creatures, He often spares them even in the face of their blasphemous challenges.

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death in ten thousand shapes hangs ever over our heads, and no man can elude him

January 12, 2010

death in ten thousand shapes hangs ever over our heads, and no man can elude him.

Homer, Iliad

The Pessimism of Pre-Socratic Thought

September 16, 2009

We are like the leaves that shoot in the spring-time of the flowers, when they grow quickly in the sunshine. Like the leaves, for a span of time we rejoice in the flowers of youth, taught by heaven neither good nor evil. On either hand are the black Fates, the one holding the fullness of miserable age, the other of death.

Mimnermus of Colophon [circ. 650-600), frag. 2. Source

Not only is life without hope, others saw the pursuit of knowledge as vain:

We men know nothing, and our thoughts are vain;

Theognis, Elegies 133. Theognis is believed to have died
after 490 B.C.

Socrates and Plato began a tradition of attempting answers in hope of finding meaning to life. But by the time of Christ pessimism has set in again:

Soon, very soon, thou wilt be ashes, or a skeleton, and either a name or not even a name; but name is sound and echo. And the things which are much valued in life are empty and rotten and trifling, and [like] little dogs biting one another, and little children quarreling, laughing, and then straightway weeping. But fidelity and modesty and justice and truth are fled.

Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, Chapter 5, 33

The last scene of the play is bloody

September 10, 2009

Imagine a number of prisoners on death row, some of whom are killed each day in the sight of the others. The remaining ones see their condition is that of their fellows, and looking at each other with grief and despair, await their turn. This is a picture of the human condition…The last scene of the play is bloody, however fine the rest of it. They throw earth over your head, and it is finished forever.

Pascal

Over 500,000 die every year in the UK.

Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

September 9, 2009

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but its sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in the relative way, but youre older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Time, Pink Floyd

Death can’t be avoided

August 5, 2009

Death Lib

The liberating thing about death

Is in its fairness to women

its acceptance of blacks,

its special consideration

for the sick.

And I like the way

that children aren’t excluded,

homosexuals are welcomed,

and militants aren’t banned.

Con men can’t con it

Thieves can’t nick it

Bullies can’t scare it

Magicians can’t trick it.

Boxers can’t punch it

Nor critics dismiss it

Don’t knows can’t not know

The lazy can’t miss it.

Governments can’t ban it

Or the army defuse it

Judges can’t jail it

Lawyers can’t sue it.

Capitalists can’t bribe it

Socialists can’t share it

Terrorists can’t jump it

The Third World aren’t spared it.

Scientists can’t quell it

Nor can they disprove it

Doctors can’t cure it

Surgeons can’t move it.

Einstein can’t halve it

Guevera can’t free it

The thing about dead

Is we’re all gonna be it.

Steve Turner, “Up to Date” (Sevenoaks UK: Hodder and Staughton Ltd. 1987), pp 72-73

Death

August 5, 2009

Q. How does an undertaker sign letters?

A. Yours eventually.