Roy Schestowitz wrote:
Many people are deeply troubled about the fact that they will one day
die. Lucretius asked the question: Why are we worried about coming to an
end but not about having had a beginning?
This is a very philosophical question which doesn't concern religion (or
conversely atheism) in any obvious sense.
Yes it does. Religion almost certainly came into existence as a comfort
for human existential terror. We "know" we are going to die. So we
formulate a story to comfory ourselves. But our story is very odd. For
our non-existence extends both in the past and in the future. So why are
we only concerned with the future?
I think it's a matter of consciousness. People have no recollection of their
beginning and yet they approach the end day by day. By nature, or perhaps
logically speaking, people concentrate on their present and future. The
past is immutable.
Someone who dies in their sleep has no awareness of approaching death.
And if the terror is non-existence then that terror should extend to the
Why be worried about coming to an end? Because thoughts come to end; because
existence is no more. Throughout our entire lifetime we get accustomed to
that perpetual trail of thoughts. For the first time in our 'life', it all
comes to an end. If one thinks of the 'beginning',maybe there's place for
solace. At death we reach that very same point as before we had been
And then we are afraid - of the very condition from which we came?