© Jan Ove

Why do we all have to die…?

My grandfather. Leonard Cohen. Vera Rubin. David Bowie. Felix Krivin. Zara Hadid. Petr Hájek. Elie Wiesel. Balasaheb Vikhe Patil. Muhammad Ali. Zhao Er-mi. George Michael. Harper Lee. Imre Kertész. John Glenn. El Hortelano. André Courregès. Cecil Howard. Johan Cruyff…


My dad. Edward Albee. Maurice White. Nancy Reagan. Fidel Castro. Bhumibol Adulyadej. Sharon Jones. Aghakhan Abdullayev. Carrie Fisher. Hans Tietmeyer. Sarah Clancy. Umberto Eco. Debbie Reynolds. Vike Patil. Jo Cox. Shimon Peres. Trevor Tice. Victoria Wood…

Why do we all have to die…?

My mum. Bodil Kaalund. Solomon Levy. Garry Shandling. Caroline Aherne. Marvin Minsky.  Archie Miyatake. Bill Cunningham. Carrie Fisher. Richard Adams. Leon Russell.  Robert Vaughn. Anne Borg. Jagannatha Varma. Zsa Zsa Gabor. Ronnie Corbet. Peter van Straaten. Eric Hilton…


My grandmother. Jimmy Perry. Ines Prange. Wellington de Melo. Andrew Sachs. Paul de Wispelaere. My friend. Cecil Howard. Mustafa Talmi. Aya Jani. Marita Lindquist. Jerome Bruner. Alice Furland. Joop Braakhekke. Poul Sogaard. Rini Cecilia. Ahuva Ozeri. Jean-Claude Deret. Yevgeny Yufit. Rebecca Black…

Why do we all have to die…?

My favorite aunt. Teresa Saldana. Christopher Young. André Warusfel. Lidia Biondi. David Lamb. Anne Deveson. Peter Vaughan. Heinz Ulzheimer. China Machado. Patrica Robins. Irving Moskowitz. Niki Tobi. Julia Elena Fortún. Prince. One of my best friends…




4 Comments, RSS

  1. Flip Schrameijer 01-01-2017 @ 12:44

    It being New Years Day I take the liberty of a contemplative response.
    Asking why we have to die is a question on par with questions such as ‘Why are we here?’, ‘Why does the sun come up?’, ‘Why is there gravity, temperature, air, water?’
    All these questions are about the nature of the reality in which we find ourselves as humans. Children ask any number of them in the process of coming to terms with reality. Learning about reality starts in the womb, at first by automatic responses to stimuli around us, such as the heartbeat of the mother. In interaction with our hereditary equipment patterns are formed in the brain which enable us to process sensory stimuli, resulting in a ‘map’ of all aspects of the world that matter for survival. After birth, for instance, incoming light through the eyes helps to form the visual cortex. We are only aware of a small portion of the light spectrum. Because our organism is the result of evolution and evolution is governed by survival of the species, we become aware of those aspects of reality which are relevant for survival. We learn about the nature of objects, the dimensions of space and much more to the same extent. On top of this type of initial, non-verbal individual learning, we learn from others who also learned from others and so tap into collective knowledge about the world, formed in a process of trial an error in the course of history, i.e. many generations. Since we as a species did survive we can safely assume our comprehension of reality is adequate enough, which doesn’t mean it is adequate in an absolute sense.
    The knowledge of the nature of life and therefore death is part of this collective knowledge and cannot be understood merely through individual observation. This knowledge is an integral part of a bigger picture in which the basic laws of nature and biology are knitted together by logic and inference. Questioning one element brings about a cascade of other questions, bringing into question this system as a whole, i.e. the present state of collective knowledge.
    ‘Why do we have to die?’ is such an element. The basic answer then is ‘because this is the nature of life’ which can be worked out in detail, with the aid of the other tenets of the present world view. This implies the idea one wouldn’t have to die, i.e. of human immortality is in conflict with most if not all elements of the modern world view. In other words: in order to make a case for immortality one necessarily has to question the whole modern understanding of the nature of reality and come up with a better alternative. I think this is an impossible task for any number of bright and informed people, even if they had a lifetime to accomplish this.

    • Alexa Khan 24-01-2017 @ 18:52

      Dear Flip,
      Thank you very much for your reaction. Excuse me for being so late with my reply- I do appreciate your comments. Two things though: 1) if life without death is in conflict with most aspects of our modern world view, maybe we shouldn’t be too arrogant and realize our views have changed in the past, and they will do so again in the future. Nothing ever stays the same. Except, we won’t be there anymore to notice, I’m afraid.
      2) the impossibility of a task doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be undertaken. On the contrary, I would like to emphasize.

  2. Elizabeth 08-01-2017 @ 20:15

    Notwithstanding the sadness of this long list, and the difficulty of the answer – if any – to your question, I do wish you and your loved ones a bright and lively 2017.

    • Alexa Khan 24-01-2017 @ 18:57

      Hi Elizabeth,
      Thank you so much for your comment. And please, forgive me my late reaction.
      I hope you and your family will have a happy and healthy New Year too!

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