How should we think about death? – A workshop

How should we think about death? – A workshop

Wednesday, 22nd October 2014 at 7:30pm

The Upstairs Room at The Ship and Mitre

133 Dale Street Liverpool L2 2JH

As Humanists, we accept that this is the only life we can be sure of. We believe that we should make the most of our time on this earth by trying to lead positive and productive lives and by helping those around us to do the same. We believe that each and every individual is unique………

How, therefore, do we contemplate our own deaths? How do we deal with the inevitable loss of those we love? How do we decide to live? We shall look at these questions in a series of exercises.

There will be a charge for this event:
£1 for those unwaged; £3 for students/low waged; £5 fully waged

Please arrive on time, between 7:30pm and 7:45pm. Admission will not be possible after 8:00pm.

We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively outnumbers the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here….we didn’t arrive by spaceship, we arrived by being born, and we didn’t burst conscious into the world but accumulated awareness gradually through babyhood. The fact that we gradually apprehend our world, rather than suddenly discovering it, should not subtract from its wonder.
Richard Dawkins Unweaving the Rainbow


Accustom yourself to believing that death is nothing to us, for good and evil imply the capacity for sensation, and death is the privation of all sentience; therefore a correct understanding that death is nothing to us makes the mortality of life enjoyable, not by adding to life a limitless time, but by taking away the yearning after immortality. For life has no terrors for him who has thoroughly understood, that there are no terrors for him in ceasing to live. Foolish, therefore, is the man who says that he fears death, not because it will pain when it comes, but because it pains in the prospect. Whatever causes no annoyance when it is present causes only a groundless pain in the expectation. Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not. It is nothing, then, either to the living or to the dead, for with the living it is not and the dead exist no longer.
Epicurus (341–270 BCE), Letter to Menoeceus



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