Sunday 22 January 2017

Is death a good thing, a bad thing - or what?

In this modern secular world, there are two main views about death - both deficient.

The usual view is that death is a bad thing, because it is extinction, annihilation. Only life can be good because death is nothing. 

The more covert but increasing view is that death is a good thing for exactly the same reason.

In other words; because life entails suffering, sometimes extreme suffering; from this (actively pro-suicide/ pro-euthanasia) perspective, death is the only sure safety and escape.

The truth of the matter, so far as I can understand it, is that over the long terms mortal life requires death, because death is the only means of transition to resurrected everlasting life - so death is a good thing...

But also that a good death needs to come at the right time for a particular person, according to that person's destiny and life experience.

Thus death can be too early (for example when a person is killed as a consequence of the evil choice of another); or death can be too late (as when a person clings to life, when they know in their hearts that their proper time for dying has come).

So death is a good thing overall; but not all death. More precisely death a good thing when it comes at the right time and in the right manner; but the reason for a particular death in a particular circumstance may be bad - bad overall, for the person that dies, or for someone else.

(Note: This leaves aside the process of dying - which is a a major concern for many people - because of the fear of extreme suffering, especially pain. The point to recognise here is that dying can only be understood in the context of death. A further matter is also what happens to each specific person after death - again only answerable in context.)