TED about Death

I find this talk by Stephen Cave inspiring because, without taking sides on beliefs about the afterlife, he attempts to minimize the fear of death and the consequential influence it has on all of our lives. It relates to my big question, “what happens when you die?” by talking about death and how humans have tried to avoid, transcend, and sometimes even accept death.

Cave captures the audiences attention right off the bat with a dark question: Who here remembers when they first realized they were going to die? It sets the tone for the talk in that it forces the listener to acknowledge the fact that they and everyone else will eventually die. No matter what beliefs you have about what happens after death, death will happen. He then goes on to mention four ways that humans have tried to belittle death; elixir, resurrection, soul, and legacy. What I would have done differently is instead of talking about the ideas humans had to cope with death, I would talk about the actions people take in the name of said ideas. This would confront wars caused by religion, religious practices that can seem self sacrificial, and other things that rob humans of the free time they have on this planet.

This talk is meant to get people out in the world and focus on making the life they have great. Life isn’t meant to be spent working towards an afterlife we cannot even be sure exists. We are living NOW and thus should enjoy the NOW and do all we can to make NOW incredible. While this kind of negates my big question, it is a fascinating idea.

People

Paul Kjellberg, Sean Morris, Vanessa Christman, Aaron Espinoza

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