Thursday, June 09, 2005

It's certain

I find myself disagreeing with a little green man. In SW III, Yoda says something to the effect that death is a natural part of life. Death is not a natural part of life. Death is unnatural. Death is the antithesis of life. It is as much a part of life as darkness is part of light. Have we become so accustomed to this curse, that we embrace our chains?

The most comforting view of death I have ever discovered was in Augustine's City of God. Augustine argues that death is actually merciful. It is through death that God frees us from this world of pain and separation.

The most unusual view of death was in Edith Hamilton's Mythology, in which she discusses the Norse heaven of Valhalla. Unlike most religions, the Norse did not believe that good would triumph. Instead, evil would ultimately triumph, destroying the earth, the gods, and the heavens. Essentially, the Norse worshiped courage, and true courage could only be demonstrated in a lost cause--how much heroism does it take to fight for a sure thing?


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