Thomas Nagel began writing the most interesting discussion about death. Death is one of the most obvious thinking topics, and Nagel took an interesting approach because he tried to define the truth about whether death caused harm to this person. Nagel has done a great job in attacking this issue from all aspects and perspectives, and only then can his own observations be more reliable.
He first reviewed the very common view of death held by most people in the world and told us that he regards death as "the clear and permanent end of our existence" and directly views the death of nature itself (1) . The first view that Nagel decided to discuss was that death is not good for us because it deprives us of more lives. Most people think that life is good; although some experiences in life may be bad and sometimes tragic, the essence of life itself is a very positive state. Nagel also added that when life experiences are left behind, this state is still positive, not just "neutral" (2).
Nagel further pointed out some important observations about the value of life. Just "organic survival" cannot be said to be an integral part of value (2). Nagel gave an example of death and was in a coma before his death. Both of these situations will be equally bad. Another observation is that “like most commodities,” the value becomes bigger over time (2).
Now look at the downsides of death rather than the benefits of life. Nagel puts forward some clear ideas about this. Life is beautiful because we consciously experience and appreciate everything that life provides. So death is bad because it deprives us of these experiences, not because the actual state of death is not good for us.
Nagel's next point is that there are some signs that people will not oppose death simply because they "are involved in long-term non-existence" (3). It is said that people will not regard the temporary “suspension” of life as a terrible misfortune, because it is a temporary fact that tells us that this will greatly return the country to a conscious life. Moreover, we do not consider the state before our birth is a misfortune or deprivation of life, because life has not yet begun, and (as Nagel later stated), he refuted the possible arguments that this person may have. Born early and lived more. In fact, if that person was born much earlier, he would stop being that person, not someone else.
Nagel discusses the next three questions. The first view is that no scourge is rooted in a person who consciously “focuses” on these evils. Nagel puts this view in easier terms by saying that this is the same as "You don't know what can't hurt you" (4). There are several examples to illustrate this theory. People who think in this way will say that if a person doesn't know about it, then being laughed at behind him is not a harm. If he does not experience evil, it will not be bad for him. Nagel thinks this view is wrong. The natural discovery here is that betrayal is not good, which is why the whole situation is unfortunate; it is not because the discovery of this betrayal makes us unhappy.
The second question is related to who the victim of death is and when it happened. A person can experience damage before he dies, and can't experience anything after death, so when death itself has experienced damage? The third issue concerns the posthumous and prenatal existence.
Considering the good or bad aspects of death, Nagel observed that we must look at the possibility of death and the history of the dead. This is important because if we are thinking about the state of the person at the time of death, we will miss a lot of things that are important to the argument. Nagel gave an example of a very intelligent person who was injured and caused him to succumb to the baby's mental ability. His needs can be satisfied like babies, and they can be happy as long as they meet simple needs. His family and friends would see this as a terrible misfortune, even though the man himself did not know his loss. This situation is unfortunate because in this way it is deprived of things that may not be hurt. He could have created great things for the world and his family, and lived his life through his later years, becoming an accomplished and widely acclaimed person. This will give him great happiness, but it can be seen that this man who is in a state of mind that matches his child is also very happy, but Nagel agrees that what happened to this man is a tragedy because of the terrible loss of what a smart person might bring. life. This situation can mean death in this way of deprivation. Death is bad because it will deprive you of what might have existed.
After publishing these observations, Nagel pointed out that "this case should convince us that it is arbitrary to limit the goods and sins that a person may blame for non-relational attributes at a particular time" (6). There are infinite situations and events happening that affect a person's wealth or misfortune. Many of them have never directly coincided with human life. We must take into account that there is no way to determine the exact location of a person’s misfortunes in life, and there is no way to determine the origin. People have dreams and goals in life that may or may not materialize. There is no way to find all the situations and possibilities that these hopes and dreams really come true, but Nagel tells us that we must simply accept that “if death is an evil, then these terms must be taken into account and placed in life. Impossibility should not cause us trouble" (7).
Some people think that the time before birth and the time after death are the same. We are united, although Nagel believes there is a difference. This whole article fully expresses his point that even though we do not exist in any situation, death deprives us of the time we can live our lives.
Nagel is an interesting observation about whether we can point to an unfortunate incident or aspect of life that is normal for everyone. We all know that we all die, and the maximum number of lives is about 100 years. So is this unfortunate or reasonable? He also gave an example of a mole, which is a blind man. Mole blindness is not a misfortune, because they are blind, they will never know vision and can appreciate it. But Nagel also put forward an example. In this case, everyone will experience six months of pain and suffering before they die. Everyone knows this will happen, but does it really make the event more fearful and fearful?
We were brought into this world and improved in the life we appreciate. It is unfortunate to deprive us of the things we learn to appreciate, because we have learned to enjoy these privileges. For a person, the concept of mastering limited life is the most difficult to understand. We don't think of our life now as a plan or a series of limited events. Depending on how much time we have left, we don't think about what we should do every day. Our life is essentially an open sequence of good and bad situations and possibilities. Death is a sudden interruption of this sequence, and we can't help but end up in a state of mind. This is that death is a deprivation and a bad thing for one person.
In summary, Nagel put forward a good argument in his paper on death, that death itself is an injury. Whether or not a person believes in immortal life, one must also consider that death deprives you of the quality of life and experience. This view seems inevitable. A person who died at the age of 92 lived a fulfilling life and experienced more experiences than those who died at the age of 32. The person who died at the age of 32 has many things he wants to accomplish and experience in his life, because the death has eliminated all the possibilities of any of these goals and undermined all his work to achieve his goal, death. It was a terrible tragedy for him.
Nagel, Thomas. Fatal problem. Cambridge: University of Cambridge, 1979.