Is Being Alive Really Better Than Being Dead?

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I have had quite the week so far, a lot of rollercoaster emotions, physical discomfort and deep philosophical conversations and this question has arisen out of the last five days worth of topical discussion and overheard snippets from various people on the subjects of life, death, being alive and being dead and defining our purpose in life.

In the reserve on Wednesday one of the questions being briefly discussed was …. which is better really, being alive or being dead and is either better than the other with the blatantly obviousness of ‘being dead’ means no ‘life’ choices as ‘you are dead’, not being ignored, but put to one side for the duration of the topic itself.

I suppose one of the leading factors to consider is ‘where’s the landmark of knowledge? I mean, how many of us know what it’s like being dead physically anyway? The discussion was more from the perspective of ‘ There is more to life when alive and living life than there is to support the benefits of being dead’, Yet there are those who believe and think daily that being dead is perhaps more preferable than being alive because they simply cannot see their point or purpose ‘ in life and therefore raise the question to themselves and to others as l do also to you today ………

Is Being Alive Really Better Than Being Dead?

What do you think about this?

Are there more reasons to be alive than there are to being dead?

Also, how do you define your purpose to being alive or what gives you purpose?

Let me know below. Cheers.

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38 thoughts on “Is Being Alive Really Better Than Being Dead?

  1. I think we will live till it’s out time to die. We cannot state our preference and do something about it. That’s why many attempts to end one’s life fail because it’s not their time to die.
    As for the purpose of living, I think we all are here for some reason. Maybe it’s too so an unknown stranger some good. Or to invent something that benefits millions. We just need to keep on doing the best we can. Till alive, we have to tolerate being alive!

    1. Hey Sadje, interesting point on why people fail at suicide. I personally think it is less about not being their time than it is about people not quite understanding how hard it is to actually kill yourself – it’s not that easy peasy – our bodies are remarkably resilient and can take a hell of a lot of battering.

      After 26 failed actual attempts at suicide as opposed to merely thinking about it in an ideation mode between the ages of 25 – 50, l could probably say ‘not my time’, but the reality l think is l wasn’t being logical with regards my end and l was being emotional.

      Of course, pending upon the method used – but if one’s thinking pills, then it takes a lot to deal the deadly blow and sometimes many suicide attempts are performed under the influence of drink and this has the side effect of blurring conscious thought and cognitive thinking – meaning people lose track of time and especially numbers and this can seriously undermine their efforts.

      Of course the other aspect is not everyone is looking to actually perform suicide but are desperate for help, so it’s a half hearted attempt.

      Purpose and the definition of purpose and point to life is individually different person to person.

      Good answer 🙂

      1. It can be how you’ve said or it could be what I think. But the end result is that many people who wanted to end their lives, are still around and are even enjoying their lives. Thanks

        1. Indeed they are – after all my ‘failings’ whilst l never said ‘it wasn’t my time’, l did say ‘well obviously this isn’t working for some reason?’ so who knows eh? Perhaps a variation of not my time.

  2. Great post. It raises a key question about the right to die. Some of us recognize that the terminally ill should have a right to avoid suffering. Some recognize concepts like suppuku. Some recognize nothing. Since no one has returned from full death to tell us about the experience, we have the classic debate between what we know and what we don’t know, which resolves for many people into a simple fear of the unknown.

    1. Hey Vic, oh yes this one question can hold many definitions and l agree on the point you have raised with being allowed to end our lives with grave and honour and dignity over that of dying a horrible death.

      October 2018, my father died after a very quick and aggressive cancer took him in May of that year. he was going to die and he died horribly. he wanted to die – but this damning issue about people needing to be kept alive and not being allowed to die peacefully at their own will, needs to be properly addressed.

  3. This is something that has been on my mind a lot this week. Last week I got a call from a good friend who has decided in September she will stop dialysis. She will die. I agree with Sadje that normally the decision is not ours to make but I also believe that we have the choice to refuse life sustaining treatment. As a Christian I believe the afterlife will be much better than this one but we have to do the best we can and fulfill our purpose in this life before we get to enjoy that one.

    1. It should be our rights to decide to end our life if we wish – and that includes being terribly ill and dying and or simply tired of life.

      But what is the purpose to life? Do we need a purpose or have we conviinced ourselves through belief or faith or religions or which and whatever that we need to have a purpose to make us feel better about our lives?

      1. yes I do believe we have a purpose. Individually we have purposes but in general our purpose is to further God’s kingdom. I think we live in a war between good and evil (God and Devil) and to put it simply any kindness or love that we give helps win the fight against evil.

  4. I can’t directly answer the question because I don’t think being dead is a state of being; once you’re dead, I’ve not come across anything that makes me think that there continues to be a “you”. The religious concept of eternal life has always fascinated me, but it’s never been something that holds any appeal for me, perhaps because the concept seems like a product of human desire more than anything.

    As for whether there are reasons to be alive or not, I see it as a weighing of pros and cons. If the cons of being alive outweigh the pros, then remaining alive may not be desirable. We do that kind of weighing when deciding whether to euthanize a pet who’s suffering, and I tend to think of human life in much the same way.

    I don’t think of life as having or needing to have some overarching purpose. I think having a sense of purpose can make the life you have feel more fulfilling, but I don’t feel like there’s some greater purpose to me being alive and more than there’s a greater purpose to my guinea pigs being alive.

    1. I agree with you – as l have aged l have looked at purpose and point and direction and journey and only today did l think who gives a shit if we do or we don’t – just live life and make the most of it as we can, purpose or not….

      …… or don’t.

    1. Hahaha, this was so good a comment Geoff l want it bottled, turned into a body cream and l can rub myself pretty all over after a nice hot shower every morning 🙂

  5. Hey JB
    Wow! When you ask a question, you really ask a question!

    There are SOOO many instances when I should have died yet here I am. I’ve never actively or even passively attempted suicide, though I have *wished* for the suffering to end. Physical and emotional.

    I can honestly say that even with all the chaos of my life, I am happy to be alive and looking forward to many years of discovery and learning.

    I *do* believe we have purpose and it’s a quasi-spiritual belief… which I won’t go into cuz you already know.

    I agree with you that the human body is resilient. It’s also very frail and a person can die from seemingly minor things. Which reinforces what Sadje said about “our time”.

    I’m glad my state allows for medically assisted end of life. But if it should come to it, Daughter has her instructions😉 There can come a time when circumstances would make simply existing a curse. Like Ruth’s friend… choosing to stop medical interventions or choosing euthanasia should be everyone’s right.

    1. Hey Gramma, totally – l think we should all have a dignified way of ending our lives, but l also believe that should we wish to end our lives naturally as opposed to simply dying, but getting old and infirm or simply wishing to not live, we should have that right also .

  6. Well, I will always believe being alive is better than being dead under normal circumstances. I like to think we’re here to make a difference and to make the world a better place. Those that lose their quality of life due to illness, etc., they should have the right to end it.

    1. Hey Eugenia, l totally agree that we should have the right to end our lives with regards illness – although l also believe we should have the right to end our life even if not in pain.

      Way too many lengths are being undertaken these days to extend life for whatever reason and l think that if someone doesn’t wish to be alive, then they should be allowed to end their life with dignity and no pain through assisted death.

      1. Yes, the medial profession has come along way but to keep someone alive just for the sake of doing so, and they have no quality to their life isn’t in their best interest.

        1. No precisely it isn’t. I remember my father in 2018. Diagnosed with an aggressive cancer that they said was killing him. he wanted to die, he didn’t want the pain of dying … but no, he had to go through the agony of dying with no dignity – that is l believe morally and ethically wrong. There should be choice.

  7. Well that is definitely a matter of perception.

    If you have quality of life then yes … you get one life and if you know how to see life then it’s amazing!! ❤️

    I am cancer survivor so life to me soooo precious and amazing – but even before that I love life for small things. I just relearned how precious 😉✌️

    However I will also say… if my quality of life is not there or I am diagnosed terminally with something – I will move to a state that does dr assisted right to die.

    I do not want Alzheimer’s or to be at mercy of others care. I want to be remembered full of life and cherish life… I do not want to be burden or at mercy of someone’s care.

    Not be remembered how sad an ending was

    I say that because I don’t want my kids to watch me have Alzheimer’s if that were to happen. 💔

    But I also am not sure I have the balls to do even if dr assisted 😮

    No one really truly knows death. So I don’t have death to compare with life.

    Hopefully we get to Rest In Peace? 🙏🤞

    I chose being alive totally!! ❤️

    1. I would prefer it if the UK recognised the right to end one’s life and not make it an illegal process as it currently is. People should have the right’s to say nay or yay to the life and death rights.

      Alzheimer’s is a pure example of the rights we should have to tick Death Choice.

      1. In America – either they gonna let us decide our own lives – or we will do anyway. What they gonna do – arrest me after death? Lol whatever

        Either they allow doctor assisted or I will do myself.

        So either peaceful and dr assisted the way I would like. Or I will just handle it.

        I am not going to go through Alzheimer’s – if that happens – I’m out ✌️

        I’m not gonna go through it and I’m not going to have my children go through that.

        Currently it is called Death with Dignity …

        The following U.S. jurisdictions have death with dignity statutes:

        California (End of Life Option Act; approved in 2015, in effect from 2016)

        Colorado (End of Life Options Act; 2016)
        District of Columbia (D.C. Death with Dignity Act; 2016/2017)

        Hawaii (Our Care, Our Choice Act; 2018/2019)

        Maine (Death with Dignity Act; 2019)

        New Jersey (Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act; 2019)

        New Mexico (Elizabeth Whitefield End of Life Options Act; 2021)

        Oregon (Death with Dignity Act; 1994/1997)

        Vermont (Patient Choice and Control at the End of Life Act; 2013)

        Washington (Death with Dignity Act; 2008)

        I have many states to pick from ❤️

        They can’t tell me what to do… I am American… I will do what I want with my own life. MY choice! As if they gonna control my shit!! No thanks.

        Over my dead body lol – sorry I had to ✌️😘

        1. That’s a lot of end of life choice – over here, there is nothing in the UK that allows it to be even remotely legal.

          I can attempt to kill myself and it’s not illegal, but should anyone assist me, they could face up to 14 years imprisionment and with regards Euthanasia – l quote.
          Depending on the circumstances, euthanasia is regarded as either manslaughter or murder. The maximum penalty is life imprisonment.

          This is actually wrong and they should allow those who need this the actual dignity of ending their life.

          “Over my dead body lol – sorry I had to ” Very witty 🙂

          I think the biggest problem is that it is NOT easy to kill yourself and even harder for those not in the know at all with an easy way of performing the task. So there should be an allowance and professional assistance for those who need help with this. A novice to life taking could bumble it all up and become a serious issue for the medical world by becoming brain dead and a burden whereas they simply wanted to die with peace of mind that they were no longer that burden.

        2. They should allow a person to die with dignity instead of suffering – end on a happy note, not sad. People should have that choice.

          I know. It should be legal for those who need. Rules and restrictions are fine – but let people have mercy.

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