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 Live as a coward or die as a hero?

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Join date : 2013-02-23

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PostSubject: Live as a coward or die as a hero?   Live as a coward or die as a hero? EmptyMon Sep 12, 2016 9:27 pm

I recently came across the question, "Is it better to be a live coward or a dead hero?"

One can pointlessly face danger so one can be or seem tough or brave. (I call that self-destructive pseudo-toughness.) But that's not generally what is meant by heroism. Similarly, choosing not to face danger when facing the danger is more harmful than not is generally not what is meant by cowardice. I think cowardice generally refers to people who make harmful decisions out of fear. Heroes are generally people like firefighters who overcome their natural fear of fire when they can see it is worth the risk. Of course, we are more prone to use the word heroism when we feel the brave decision is especially compassionate. We are more prone to use the word cowardice when the fearful decision is especially selfish.

Anyway, regarding my own personal values, I generally prefer to stay alive. Of course, I would choose to die or risk dying if doing it would have results that I want more than choosing to live. For example, if I saw an innocent 3-year-old girl playing in the street about to be hit by a car, and for the sake of simplicity let's say I know that either I have to let her die or kill myself to save her, of course I would choose to save her. Who wouldn't?

What do you think? Is it better to live as a coward or die as a hero?
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Hugh Watt

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Join date : 2012-01-08
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PostSubject: Re: Live as a coward or die as a hero?   Live as a coward or die as a hero? EmptyTue Sep 13, 2016 9:41 am

We mostly don't like to contemplate the final moment of our lives. We pretend it's somewhere out there, lurking in the nebulous future, hoping it won't catch us. But, it's the only future event which is truly inevitable. In a sense, that inevitability makes it immutable as any past event. And yet, although we must all surely die, how we die isn't written-in-stone. Once I'm able to overcome an almost visceral aversion to contemplating my own death, I can see a bit more clearly just what a terrible moment it truly is. A shrinking and desiccated moment, in harsh contrast to the vibrant life fading just behind. It quickly atomizes the very core of what being me was all about.

The only thing which can, in any way mitigate that icy terror is the belief, nay the hope that oblivion has some meaning. I lust for the hope there's someone, who if only in grief will accompany me into the monotone grey I'll quickly become. I believe that such meaning cannot come from having sated my personal greed or lust. My only hope lies in someone else mourning my demise; and, that'll only happen if I chose to sacrifice myself for that person. The terror will doubtless be just as stark. Maybe though, I'll be less terrified of the starkness.

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