At least in his literature, Kurt Vonnegut referred to death as "getting stuck in time." I always found THAT a frightening thought, as though I had to look at the last image on my retina forever and ever and ever.
He was a science fiction writer, I believe. I don't do science fiction, so I'm not familiar w/his work - except for what I was forced to read in high school, and I can't remember what that was - did he do "Subliminal Man" or was that Bradbury? ... I believe that Vonnegut made the list of famous atheists. I think he did. The most surprising name on that list? - Katherine Hepburn! She played such a good missionary spinster, didn't she? - both w/Humphrey Bogart and John Wayne.
Vonnegut is hard to categorize. I doubt if most people would describe him as sci fi. A certain type of fantasy, surely, but whatever in his works seemed to take on a sci fi theme had precious little science behind it. Not like Arthur C. Clarke or Isaac Asimov. The books that I recall that had some resemblance to sci fi were Cat's Cradle (Ice 9, a type of water that freezes at temps where regular water is liquid, also having the property of converting regular water coming into contact with it to Ice 9), The Sirens Of Titan, and Slaughter House 5. His other books tended to be political fantasies, more or less.
That's a good distinction. Fear of death is silly to me, as we won't know a thing - we will already be dead. Fear of dying on the other hand is an entirely different kettle of fish.
When deeply, seriously considered, eternal life is a terrifying proposition. After about 4 hundred trillion billion years, the entire cosmos would be like a 6 X 8 grey prison cell. There would be no one with whom to talk - for everything would have already been said. There would be nothing left to read or learn - all would be known. At that point, eternity wouldn't even be started yet, and the next trillion trillion trillion years would be more than I could bear.
Well, but that is not the eternity awaiting a Christian, for example. Instead of what you described you'd be lounging around in a green pasture on a blanket eating heavenly food, observing the lion lying next to the lamb, with pieties from God or Jesus being broadcast over a PA system.
If you're a male Islamist, you can throw in some charming and willing underage virgins as well. Oh, and subtract the Jesus part.
Still sounds horrifying - no matter how great an experience might be, infinite repetitions of it would be a nightmare.
Well, maybe God suppllies plenty of porn, alcohol and drugs to ease the sheer heart attack boredom.
no matter how great an experience might be, infinite repetitions of it would be a nightmare.
You mean you would actually grow weary of giving Yaweh his daily foot massage and pedicure? What an ingrate!
LOL - yup
the entire cosmos would be like a 6 X 8 grey prison cell. There would be no one with whom to talk - for everything would have already been said. There would be nothing left to read or learn - all would be known. At that point, eternity wouldn't even be started yet, and the next trillion trillion trillion years would be more than I could bear.
@ Heather - It may be possible to be happy eternally, if your brain was somehow wired or controlled to make you forget experiences so that things are new again and again and again. Kind of like an eternal groundhog day lol.
I'm up for it.