Onset of Dying

When presenting an overview of the different ways in which death has been interpreted, draw from the following discussion questions:

The Great Leveler: What are some examples of events that have taken place historically that may have resulted in death being viewed from this vantage point?

Death as a Force that Unites and Separates: In what ways might occurrences such as 9/11 have served as a unifying force in relation to our experiences with death as a broader society? In what ways might the media’s treatment of casualties in recent wars have served to separate us from death?

Death as the Ultimate Problem and Ultimate Solution: In what ways might our current battle with cancer and other life-threatening diseases relate to the concept of “death as the ultimate problem”? How might the current debate about whether the practice of euthanasia should be legalized relate to the interpretation of “death as the ultimate solution”?

Death as the Ultimate Meaningless Event: How might this interpretation of death influence our views on issues such as the death penalty and other matters such as mandatory sentencing for repeat offenders and forgiveness?

Drawing from the four major contexts that pertain to when the onset of dying begins, write a brief response that addresses the following: Which of these four contexts comes closest to your current views regarding when you believe the dying process begins? What impact might your current views have with regard to how you view: the passage of time, your current life goals, how you approach dating or love relationships, how you approach your health, current concerns you might have about the dying process?

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