ENL131_Joshua Pampreen_Essay3 Final

ENL131_Joshua Pampreen_Essay3 Final - Joshua Pampreen Randy...

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Joshua Pampreen Randy DeVita ENL 131, Section 3 March 31, 2008 The Psychology of Death It is an unequivocal fact that, at some point in time, every single person you have ever known will die. You yourself will cease to exist. Eventually a day will come, maybe today, when you will draw your last breath and plunge into the nothingness that awaits us all; the one true promise of life is death. Perhaps there is no better way to describe the inevitability of death than with the words of Dustin Hoffman in the movie “Stranger Than Fiction”. In the movie Dustin plays a university professor, Jules, who is counseling a man, Harold. Harold is very concerned because he has just realized that he will soon die. Jules, in response, offers Harold these sobering words “you have to die. ..in the grand scheme it wouldn’t matter. ..no one wants to die Harold, but unfortunately we do. Harold you will die one day, sometime. Die in line at the bank, choke on a mint, some long drawn out disease you contract on vacation. You will die. You will absolutely die. Even if you avoid this death, another will find you.” Seeing that each and every one of us will eventually have to face an end, why should we not speak about it openly? In the book On Death and Dying , by noted physician Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, it contends that death should be a part of everyday discussion. In Dr. Kubler-Ross’ research (which was compiled over 10 years) she found that the more terminally ill people engaged in dialogue about their mortality the more Pampreen 1
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peacefully they could approach it. So, perhaps, this is how we, as a society, should approach our inevitable end: not as a taboo, but as a part of everyday life. We shouldn’t live in a constant state of paralyzing fear, yet, nor should we have to deceive ourselves with thoughts of an afterlife of eternal bliss. We should be able to accept the fact that death is a part of life; that it is ok to die. Since the beginning of human existence we have been a curious species. No other species on Earth has the ability to question, converse, experiment, or think; at least not to the extent that we can. It has been human nature, since our species emerged, to question. As a result of our constant questioning we have come to expect answers, and when we could not find them we created our own. Around the year 2500b.c., in the Nile river delta, the Egyptian culture believed that the sun was a god, Ra. Around the year 100a.d., on the Italian peninsula, the Roman culture believed that the moon was a god, Apollo. Now, with the advent of modern technology and science, we obviously know that the sun is a massive ball of super-hot gas and that the moon is an accumulation of dust that formed at the same time as the earth. However, if you put yourself into the shoes of these pre-modern societies, you would not have the capability of learning the answers, and we all know that if you are unsure of something it can makes you uneasy; we as human beings need reassurance. Based off of these instances it would seem that it is an inherent
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ENL131_Joshua Pampreen_Essay3 Final - Joshua Pampreen Randy...

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