Journal of Philosophy of Life

An international peer-reviewed open access journal dedicated to the philosophy of life, death, and nature, supported by the Research Institute for Contemporary Philosophy of Life, Osaka Prefecture University


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The Incoherence of Denying My Death

Lajos L. Brons

Journal of Philosophy of Life Vol.4, No.2 (May 2014):68-89



The most common way of dealing with the fear of death is denying death. Such denial can take two and only two forms: strategy 1 denies the finality of death; strategy 2 denies the reality of the dying subject. Most religions opt for strategy 1, but Buddhism seems to be an example of the 2nd. All variants of strategy 1 fail, however, and a closer look at the main Buddhist argument reveals that Buddhism in fact does not follow strategy 2. Moreover, there is no other theory that does, and neither can there be. This means that there is no tenable theory that denies death. There may be no universally psychologically acceptable alternative, however, which would mean that if denying death is incoherent, this is an unavoidable incoherence.

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