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How can we know what death is

when there is no agreed upon definition of life?


Asked by NotPanicking at 12:50 AM on Jun. 7, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
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Answers (60)
  • Don't quiz me on this, geez, I just thought of it.... LOL Ok, seriously though......The matter/carbon/whatever doesn't "die", no. It just goes somewhere else. All the earth we're standing on (the dirt) is just the remnants of life that has died. When we die, we become mixed up with it again. It's kind of like the clouds and evaporation really, I guess. A raindrop can be considered "life". Then it "dies" and is mixed in with all the original water bodies again. It evaporates (equivalent to rotting or being eaten) and is formed into a raindrop again. So.....the raindrop ceases to be a raindrop when it falls into an ocean....but it's not non-existent is it? It's just back home :)

    (Damn! Did I just come up with that? That's good....LMAO)

    Answer by metalcowgirl34 at 1:20 AM on Jun. 7, 2009

  • did i miss something? i thought when you stopped breathing, with no return to breathing, you were dead.

    Answer by thehairnazi at 12:59 AM on Jun. 7, 2009

  • We can't know what exactly happens when you die...but I don't think it makes sense to believe there is anything after death for the individual. Your energy gets transferred to other life-forms as your body decays (or you get eaten..LOL), that is proven by science. Your cells die and rot away also, including brain cells, so it's not very logical to think that the memories contained inside those cells don't cease to exist too. That's how I see it.

    Answer by metalcowgirl34 at 1:01 AM on Jun. 7, 2009

  • Legally, for insurance and funerary purposes, yes. But scientifically, your cells do not all die at once. More to the point, we cannot define "life" so it seems we shouldn't be able to define an absence of life when we don't even know for sure what life is. All the organisms on and in your body that participate in decomposition never "stop breathing." Hair and nails continue to grow long after the funeral as the cells eventually die off.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 1:03 AM on Jun. 7, 2009

  • the hair nazi sums it up but i think it is brain activity stops because like you said a person can stop breathing and then start again.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:04 AM on Jun. 7, 2009

  • ladies have been busy little thinkers tonight, eh? carry on..i'm too pooped from today's zoo-trip to delve into much conscious thought.

    Answer by thehairnazi at 1:06 AM on Jun. 7, 2009

  • Ask those that have died and come back.... Don Piper is one of them.

    Answer by Shaneagle777 at 1:08 AM on Jun. 7, 2009

  • Well, I see us as being made out of the same matter as the earth, so we are just part of the earth, but temporarily a little part of the earth gets to separate from it, get up, walk around (if you happen to be that kind of life form), and try to stay separated from the earth for as long as possible because of a self-preservation instinct that has been passed down through the generations. Seems kind of pointless really....except that I see myself as extremely lucky to have the opportunity to be one of the intelligent life forms for a while.

    Answer by metalcowgirl34 at 1:10 AM on Jun. 7, 2009

  • So from that point of view, do we ever actually die at all? The carbon in your body has been around for 14 billion years. And while it can be broken down into smaller pieces or merged into bigger ones, it cannot be destroyed.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 1:12 AM on Jun. 7, 2009

  • But the ocean itself is an ecosystem, just like the decomposing body. The heart does not beat, but the fungus, parasites, and scavengers live. By the time the last cell dies, thousands of the digested ones could be well on their way into the life cycle of another organism.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 1:22 AM on Jun. 7, 2009