Monday, 28 February 2011
If human beings were happy all the time, there would be little need for philosophy. If transactions never went wrong, there would be no market for lawyers and arbitration services. If individuals never became sick and died, few persons would choose to become medical doctors. In this light, death is not only the ultimate justification for medicine, but also its most crucial subject of study.
Statistics tell us why people die, but we have to realize that there is much more to death than what the eye can perceive. Road accidents, heart failure, stroke, and cancer occupy prominent positions in every country's causes of decease. Contemporary data point out as well the growing death toll taken by age-related sicknesses such as Parkinson and Alzheimer.
Those statistics show the immediate causes of decease, but do not address the fundamental question of why people have to die in the first place. This issue should not to be dismissed as trivial. On the contrary, unless we get a clear idea of why we must die, statistical data become irrelevant. After all, one could argue, if we are doomed to pass away at 80, who cares if you die of cancer or diabetes?
To be continued in Part 2
[Image by insane photoholic under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]