“Annihilation and the Meaningfulness of Life Beyond Death”

Philosophical perspective courtesy of Floris Tomasini:

The notion that death should be “nothing to us”, as Epicurus puts it, is difficult to reconcile with desires that give meaning to our lives beyond our sense of self-satisfaction. That the meaningfulness of life extends beyond death is testified by our transcendent interests or desires. Or, as Belliotti puts it: “my biographical life transcends my biological life” (Belliotti 2013, p. 102).

Transcendent desires surpass the timing of our own death and, in a search for meaningfulness outside ourselves, we go beyond the self-satisfaction of meeting our needs and personal preferences in the present moment. Transcendent interests or desires include: the honouring of deathbed promises; the disposal of our property and belongings after death; the integrity of our posthumous reputation; the respectful disposal of our corpse according to religious belief and custom; the flourishing of children, relatives and friends; and the successful completion after death of creative endeavours or projects begun in life.

The full essay is available here.

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