Theassumption of the afterlife in many religions has made people takethe issue of death as a rite of passage just as birth and marriage.This part of the essay will examine Nagel, Tolstoy and Russellopinions on how religion influences people to perceive death.
Accordingto Nagel, death cannot have a positive or negative value for anybody.The claim is justified on the assumption that if a person does notexist, he cannot experience anything bad or good (Nagel, 2006). Tohim, religious death is based on fear, which he refers as empiricalfalsehood (Nagel, 2006). Religious death is used to give a sense ofconfidence to Christians to accept it. But to Nagel death remains abad thing. It is for that reason he craves that there should be noGod.
Onthe other hand, Russell states that religion is an attempt toovercome the fear of death. By believing in God, people humanize theworld of nature in an attempt to make the physical forces of naturetheir friends. Such belief in immortality removes the horror that isassociated with death. People who believe that they will inheritinternal bliss when they die won`t view death as fearful while on theother hand the medical people perceive it with horror as it means anend to them. Thus, according to Bertrand Russell Christianity makesdeath simple and an acceptable journey of life.
Tolstoyexperience in Russian province explains how he went throughexcruciating moments of life. He was always frightened by theideology that in his life, he would ultimately meet death. This factrobbed him the sense of life, and the experience haunted him (Tolstoy& Dreiblatt, 2008). He dedicated his attention to understandingthe meaning of life in the great fields of philosophy, religion, andscience, but in vain. He could not find solace in the three fields(Tolstoy & Dreiblatt, 2008). The breakthrough came when Tolstoyobserved that people around him approached the issue of death withserenity. He realized that people had hope and faith in religion andits doctrine. Thus, Tolstoy asserts and supports that religion makesthe issue of death easy as people have faith in the afterlife.
Explainand Evaluate Medicalization of
Peopleused to die at home surrounded by family members, but as time passed,hospitals became the final resting place of many people. With theadvancement of technology, it has become possible to prolongsomeone’s life with the use of supportive life machines and feedingtubes. There is a thin line between trying to help a patient andprolonging life (Kirkey, 2015). People nowadays can decide on thecare they wish to receive as they are about to die, this has beendone through Advance Health Care Directives (AHCD).
Thereis no doubt that many lives have been saved through medicalization ofdeath, but questions have been raised about its boundaries. Peoplehave different cultural values which might see the medicalization ofdeath as a social norm that defies the natural law of life and death.The question I feel that most physicians are faced with is “when doyou stop attending to a patient to avoid going against culturalvalues and the interest of a patient.” But that does not rule outthat medicalization of death has been a substantial life changingventure. I believe that we should do anything in our power to savelives and provide final support to our departing allies.
(2014,February 15). Retrieved fromreasonandmeaning.com/2014/02/15/is-death-bad-for-us/
Kirkey, S.(2015, January 21). A Better – Part 1 of a 3-part Series.Retrieved June 24, 2016, fromhttp://o.canada.com/health-2/end-of-life-care-doctors-machines-and-technology-can-keep-us-alive-but-why
Nagel, T.(2006). The fear of religion. Retrieved fromhttp://www.uta.edu/philosophy/faculty/burgess-jackson/Nagel%20on%20Dawkins.pdf
Tolstoy, L.,& Dreiblatt, I. (2008). Thedeath of Ivan Ilych.Brooklyn, NY: Melville House Pub.