By Reilly Brady
As humans, we’ve experienced death for thousands of years, yet we still fear it and lack a single, concrete explanation for it. Over time, humans have developed a respect and reverence for the dead, and we often mourn and grieve for those who have passed on. We’ve created religions and gods, as well as developed scientific and philosophical thoughts, to attempt to cope with this inevitable event. It’s a simple fact of life – one day, you will die. What if you could know the day that you will die? Would you choose to know it? Would this knowledge increase your appreciation for life experiences, or would it become a risky and dangerous obsession?
Acquiring the knowledge of one’s death day could bring a greater sense of appreciation for life. Humans could potentially be motivated to gain more life experiences if they have a deadline by which they must accomplish their goals. This could also provide an opportunity for humans to say goodbye to their loved ones and come to terms with others before their deaths.
However, this knowledge is extremely risky and possibly dangerous. For instance, humans could become obsessed with their death date and could go insane realizing the inescapability of their death. Death is already feared enough; with this knowledge, a date on a calendar would be extremely feared and dreaded as well. The last few weeks of a person’s life could be filled with panic, dread, and hopelessness. Additionally, people with bad intentions could use this knowledge to their advantage as a source of invincibility. Overall, it takes away the spontaneousness of life, as every decision is seemingly predestined and inevitable.
It is often said that what you don’t know can’t hurt you. However, if the choice was presented to me, I don’t think I would be able to resist the temptation of acquiring the knowledge of my death day. I understand and fear the possible negative outcomes; however, my natural curiosity would get the best of me. Why not use the opportunity to make the most of my life by having the knowledge of when I can’t have those enticing ife experiences anymore? Predicting the future is perceived as impossible, but it is enticing to imagine a world where knowing just one element of the future could be possible.