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Should not intelligent, reasonable men of good will be able to agree on all things that matter?

"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to
  one who is striking at the root."
- Henry David Thoreau
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Our hope of immortality does not come from any religions,
 but nearly all religions come from that hope.
- Ingersoll

Updated: 01/10/2021

The issue is just simple and profound. Unless the enhancement or quality of life sinks so low that we are suffering unbearably, life is what we have and what we intensely want to retain. We don't want to lose it! Ernest Becker wrote two eloquent books dealing with the issue. One, The Denial of Death, being a Pulitzer prize winner, is an erudite and eloquent primal scream, and deals with the universal neuroses and psychoses attendant with mankind's suppressed awareness of mortality. Endless systems of thought have been devised to help people accommodate the unacceptable aspect of their "inevitable" mortality. Most people don't have the courage to be honest and come out of denial, but that doesn't change the reality. We don't like aging and dying, and we incessantly try hard to cope with it.

Book quotes:

"Death is part of life."  So runs another familiar philosophical consolation.  Decomposition of the body, according to Watts, is "essential to life."  The conversion of a human being into a lump can be "understood as the instrument of eternal renewal.  It is not only the transformation of life into food; it is also the wiping away of memory..."  Or as Tillich phrases the same idea: death and life "belong to each other.  At the moment of our birth we begin to die, and we continue to do so daily.  Growth is death..."  So, coolly and complacently, our forthcoming annihilation is made to seem reasonable.  Shakespeare died and became food; so did Einstein.  Why not you?  Why do the members of our species stubbornly refuse to acknowledge that they belong to the worms?  Alan Harrington, The Immortalist, Avon Books, New York, NY 10019 p. 158-159

Unfortunately, no ethical system amounts to anything unless it can promise some kind of immortality as a reward for good conduct.  If both hustler and virtuous man end up in the same dark alley, what can my teacher say to me?    Alan Harrington, The Immortalist, Avon Books, New York, NY 10019 p. 123

"Our Creator would never have made such lovely
days, and have given us the deep hearts to enjoy
them, above and beyond all thought, unless we
were meant to be immortal."
  Nathaniel Hawthorne

Homer portrays the kind of cavalier attitude and thinking that often ensues in the context of not being in denial in his epic The Iliad,

"O my friend, if we, leaving this war, could escape from age and death, I should not here be fighting in the van; but now, since many are the modes of death impending over us which no man can hope to shun, let us press on and give renown to other men, or win it for ourselves." - Sarpedon to Glaucus in The Iliad

So, any message that can legitimately and enthusiastically be called "good news" must start with offering life, living not dying. In simple terms, if there is any significance to Jesus, he either came to set us free from the fear of dying by making it acceptable, OR, he came to save us from dying itself! Which is better? Which interpretation is better supported by his words?

See the complete set of verses from the five gospels where Jesus talks about immortality, living and not dying, everlasting life.

You are free to do what you want, but you are
not free to want what you want.
- Schopenhauer

Every human being has a natural, intrinsic and legitimate desire for immortality.

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