Continuing the ideas from my previous post, I've been perusing through the works of Sartre, Camus, and Kierkegaard.
The corona crisis has really made my thoughts churn in the preceding months, and I think that these three above-mentioned have given me some clarity as to why we are so rigidly trying to avoid death as much as possible. Some of you may leave now with the idea, of course you would try to avoid death at all costs. Yet, never in history has there been a global lockdown in response to a pandemic. Hence, I find it a discussion worth starting.
In the spring, the Dutch news always published the number of daily deaths, infections, and hospitalisations due to covid19, as if to remind us that this was serious business, and more importantly, that we had a responsibility to avoid more deaths, infections, and hospitalisations. It was Erwin Kompanje, a clinical ethicist, who first stated openly in an interview, that our perception of life and death was no longer realistic. In my own words; our cramped attempt at yet again evading natural life processes is no longer realistic.
In an article in the Groene Amsterdammer, Basje Boer stated about the film industry (Hollywood) that "it makes us believe that we have a right to have prosperity and happy endings." "It causes us to be hopeful when despair would be more appropriate."
We have the most people on the planet than ever before in history, and it is only logical that a balance will be found (soon), because our capacity has been reached (for a while now).
Kierkegaard, a proponent of Christian existentialism, is surprisingly the philosopher that brought me closer to understanding our current mindset than any other. The Sickness of Death brought me to understand that religion brings the promise of continuation after death, thereby releasing man from the fear of death. The loss of religion has thereby created a large portion of the population that has no other option than to fear death, due to the knowledge of the finality of the act. As a non-theist (not an atheist), it has always been difficult for me to understand the blind faith in God, but now that my eyes have been opened to the role of death, the comfort of the protection from fear, I finally understand the creation of religion. I can also understand that societies deeply rooted in religious practices are much more at ease in the face of death than atheist societies (if those exist).
Does of loss of faith explain the extreme reactions of world governments to avoid corona deaths at all costs?
If so, the next step for atheism is to accept death, even to welcome death. As Kierkegaard states "the inability to die is what is to be feared." "Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced."