History of Man's Responses to Death Mythologies, Rituals, and Ethics
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This book examines death from a biological and historical point of view, and its impact on human thinking. The problems of unexplained death, the criteria of death, and its meaning in the light of the Second Law of Thermodynamics are discussed. The answers given by philosophy and the sociological aspects of the phenomena related to the care of the terminally ill, to mercy killing, to suicide and to the death penalty, are also investigated. The thesis supported is that the fear of death is the motivation behind our need to accomplish anything (be it having children or getting the Nobel Prize) that will allow us to survive death. The primary cause of most of our actions in fact, are traced to our desire to achieve some form of immortality. The fear of death is considered to be life’s main energy source. In sum, the book finds that fear of death is the motive behind the human need to accomplish anything at all and discusses care of the terminally ill, mercy killing, suicide, and the death penalty.
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