Why are men afraid of death?


Death is a certain destination all men share, we know it is nature’s culture, and yet the simple reminder that any man could die at any time, any place, any how drives men to shudder, forget their joy, remember their God, or even pretentiously simulate the non-existence of death. Admittedly, generally life is a misery, if not today, certainly tomorrow, if not for you, for others. Doubtless, life is one piece of work that we moan about everyday, and yet we prefer it to death, and bend stones to avoid it. Curious, isn’t it? Perhaps, miserable as it is, life offers some certainties that death does not. After all, however miserable life is, the sky will still hold its place above, if the sun refuses to share its rays, the clouds may donate their rains, and sometimes, you may end the day with a smile on your face.

Then, methinks, what is unsettling about death is the uncertainty that it brings. For if we knew what death held forth, maybe, we might rather look forward to the exoticism that it holds, with the same, oft, mixed hope that we hold for the morning. It appears to me that, it is not death, but uncertainty itself that men fear. Uncertainty about tomorrow, marriage, parenthood, yes, death, and even God and the uncertain algorithm of His purported impending judgment, do unsettle us. Why is uncertainty so unsettling? Is it the ignorance? No, methinks not, for people often do not know what they do not know. But we know death, and yet we do not know it. Ah, it must be the knowledge of ignorance! To know that you do not know does set the mind in perpetual discomfort.

Yet that is even more curious. I might think that knowing what I do not know gives me the opportunity to find out, by some means, I should. For true ignorance is not knowing and not caring that you do not know, the uncertainty of uncertainty, the ignorance of ignorance. But search as I may, the uncertainty of death’s certainty is neither traceable by Google nor fathomable by statistics and probability. That I know I do not know, and cannot know is frightening, especially if I can only know when it comes for me. Even then, will I truly know?

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