Metaphysics Essays

Essay Introduction

Death is part of the natural cycle of life which makes it necessary for constant evolution and growth in the human race. Death is shown to be part of the natural cycle in that “Death is real and final. It is fantastic to think otherwise. No doctrine of survival, in any case, escapes the universal fact of death, nor the suffering that goes with it: these remain the data of every argument.” (Hocking, 9) Death is unavoidable. It is a part of the life cycle, just as birth and growth are.

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At some point, we all die; that reality is inescapable. There has yet to be a case where the physical body has lived forever. Therefore, we can correctly assume the reality of physical death is unavoidable. The idea of death being necessary for growth in the human race is shown in that “The world room is finite; without perennial death, there could be no perennial appearance of childhood. Without childhood, love which is transmission, and whose greatest joy is handing-on life would be choked on its beginnings.” (Hocking, 11).

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Without death, there would be no more new beginnings to life. If are no new beginnings, then there is no room for new growth. If humans were to be immortal, then there would be a world without consequences. One would commit a heinous crime and wait a couple of thousand years for the guilt to go away. We wouldn’t have feelings anymore; we would slowly start to feel indifferent, which makes us no better off than being dead. In order for humans to constantly grow, evolve and have moral values, death is therefore crucial for humans to keep evolving. “For the race, death means flexibility in the changes of history.” (Hocking, 11) Death allows us to see growth. Without death, we would have no sort of history, which in turn would mean that we would not have any lessons or mistakes to learn from.

Thesis Statement for Metaphysics Essay

Death, in turn, changes the course and adds to the history, making it more meaningful. “For human maturity, bringing with it the pervasive reconstruction of all purposes, by the recognition of limit, it is a notable advance in self-knowledge.” (Hocking, 15) Death, in this case, is necessary because it allows us to realize what limitations we have in our lives. If we didn’t realize we had a limit in our lives, we would then act as if we had nothing to worry about, making our mindset childish rather than sophisticated. Death is also needed in that “Without death, the inequalities of age alone would become monstrous and the growing disparities between the ancients and beginners insupportable.” (Hocking, 12) In this case, death is needed to distinguish the old and the new. If we didn’t have death, we would all be blended into one class, constantly going about our day with no limitations to our lives.

The Interplay Between Death and Immortality

However, a limit is needed in order to set certain goals for a certain amount of time. If we had no limit, we would never accomplish any of our goals by procrastinating on them, knowing we have an unlimited amount of time. We would then, in turn, lose our desires, identity, and our need for a place in society. Due to the fact that death is the limit of life, it is needed for constant evolution and growth in the human race.

After our physical death, the evidence of life after physical death is seen through collective immortality. Collective immortality is able to exist solely through our thoughts and conversations that will live on forever. Through our teachings, beliefs, and ideas, we are able to preserve ourselves throughout time.

In the instance of parent and child, a parent can teach a child a valuable lesson which then, in turn, they can teach their children and so on and so forth, thus preserving the identity and values of the parents that taught the lesson in the first place. In this case, the parent is living on through the child. Collective immortality is also seen in the case of Socrates and Plato. Socrates, being a very valuable and insightful philosopher, was able to portray his ideas and thoughts through many of his students, one of them being Plato. Plato then, in turn, taught other philosophers what Socrates had taught him, thus inducing a ripple effect.

Titles for Metaphysics Essays: Reflecting on Death and Collective Immortality

Today, the ideas and thoughts of Socrates are still being taught, so it is shown how Socrates is still living on through his ideas that are being taught throughout time. Not only is it seen through teachings, but collective immortality is also seen through symbols. Over time, we associate symbols with certain people or animals. For instance, Abraham Lincoln is seen as the symbol of peace and unity. Although he died over 400 years ago, he is still being talked about, remembered, and identified as the symbol of peace today. This shows that he is still living on even after his physical death. **TALK ABOUT HOW IT MIGHT BE PRESENT IN PHRASES- treat others the way you want to be treated; someone said it a long time ago, and it is still being said today; therefore, they are being preserved in that essence.

Collective immortality is also present in everyday conversations. It is shown through psychiatrist Carl Jung’s studies that minimal conversations between two people can be then unconsciously imprinted into one’s mind and actions. According to Jung, “This collective unconscious does not develop individually but is inherited. It consists of pre-existent forms, the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents.” (Jung, 99) This proves that the daily conversations that we have can be imprinted unconsciously into our minds. Years later, we may hear a phrase or see an action that then triggers that moment to become real. Through collective immortality, it is shown how life can exist after physical death.


Death is the limit of life as we know it. We often can view this meaning of death as negative because it is more harsh on the survivors rather than the dead. To the survivors, we tend to mourn the dead and have to pick up what the dead left behind. However, death also can be viewed in a positive light because we know there is a time limit. We ultimately want to live our lives to the fullest. Due to the fact that the soul cannot live forever, collective immortality then allows us to become preserved after our physical death. The wide range of beliefs, ideas, teachings, and conversations allows us to become immortalized collectively. Death gives rise to our need for immortality; however, only through collective immortality are we able to live on after physical death.

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