Which one is actually better, being alive or being dead?

You turn on TV, you see news saying that an innocent child died in a terrible car accident and you feel sorry for her/him.

That is pretty much an universal reaction. When someone (even though you don’t know them personally) dies unanticipatedly, whether in an accident or an incident, you feel sorry for them.

But why do you feel sorry for them?

It’s because you think that there are many things they could have enjoyed if they had been alive, they are no longer able to talk with people they love and they are deprived of all the amazing experiences that their life had to offer.

In other words, you believe that being alive is better than being dead.

It is quite an intriguing assertion considering the fact that nobody who is alive has an actual experience of “being dead”, but people in general have no doubt that being alive is better than being dead. How can we actually compare them, if nobody is able to tell what it’s like to be dean and we only have one side of experience?

A famous philosopher J. S. Mill said that there are 2 types of pleasures (higher pleasure and lower pleasure), and they way to distinguish these two pleasures, is to ask someone with both experiences to choose which one was better.

However, in this case, there is no one who has been through both experiences (being alive and being dead) and therefore, you can’t really know which one is higher/lower pleasure. Being dead might be better off than being alive, who knows?

Well I guess the important thing for us to do, is to keep believing that “being alive is better” and fulfill every single day. What you can do for those who died is not only feeling sorry for them, but also enjoying your life and doing as many things as you can do on behalf of them.

I believe that is the mission for those who are fortunate enough to be alive…

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