The good death

Friends, many of us shudder at the mention of death, and indeed in some cultures I know it is taboo to even mention it. They argue mentioning death spells bad omen. Since, I don’t agree with them, I think death is a good thing and that we can’t live fully if we don’t appreciate the fact that we are here for a brief moment after which we will return to the deep abyss of nothingness from whence we had come. I don’t know about you, but my feeling is that dying is a good thing though I can’t say this authoritatively since I have not experienced death to be able to decisively describe how it feels to die.

In our times, I find Eric at Choice in dying to be one person, there could be many others, who argues for a good death, the philosopher’s death. A death that one chooses the way to die, to put differently, one takes matters into their own hands and become what, for lack of a better word, I will call god. It is this death as Socrates many years before us chose to die rather than to continue living after being sentenced by a jury of his peers for what was called by some of his accusers, corrupting the minds of the young men of Athens. It is the same death Cicero preferred to living as a slave and writes in his letters to his friend Atticus and his brother Quintus while in exile that he’d rather he kills himself if there is no hope of returning to the republic than to live in disgrace.

I find this words of Nietzsche to be agreeable to me in support of a good death, death on our terms.

To die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly. Death freely chosen, a death at the right time, brightly and cheerfully accomplished amid children and witnesses; then a real farewell is still possible, as the one who is taking leave is still there; also a real estimate of what one has achieved and what one has wished, drawing the sum of one’s life- all in opposition to the wretched and revolting comedy that Christianity has made of the hour of death. One should never forget that Christianity has exploited the weakness of the dying for a rape of the conscience and the manner of death itself, for value judgments about man and the past.

Here it is important to defy all the cowardice of prejudice and to establish, above all, the real, that is  the physiological, appreciation of so-called natural death- which is in the end also “unnatural”, a kind of suicide. One never perishes through anybody but oneself  But usually it is death under the most contemptible conditions, an unfree death, death not at the right time, a coward’s death. From love of live, one should desire a different death; free, conscious, without accident, without ambush.


About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

32 thoughts on “The good death

  1. aguywithoutboxersRoger Poladopoulos says:

    I have always felt that the if and when of the hour of death should be left to the individual and not the arbitrary manipulation of authority, whether secular or sacred. Great post, friend!


    • makagutu says:

      The problem must have started with the Hebrews and all god believers when they claimed man got his life from the gods. This in essence meant that choosing to end your life was seen as a defiance to the gods and this we must change.


  2. john zande says:

    Nothing would shake the foundations of our societies more than people loosing their fear of death.

    Great post, Noel!


  3. emmylgant says:

    Yes it is a great post.One should be free to choose when it is time to leave. While I am certain that we feel this way when death is not imminent, I am not sure that is the case for those who stare death in the face. I am currently witnessing the struggle to stay alive even though it can scarcely be called living.


    • makagutu says:

      Thanks for the kind words!
      I think there are few people who have chosen to take matters into their own hands so to speak. Last week on, an interview was attached of a lady who had decided to quit when she still could control her motor actions than to wait to be wasted by disease. So I think it is possible, we must just change how we view death.


  4. “The coward dies a thousand times before his death, the valiant taste of death but once.”
    — Shakespeare —
    “Julius Caesar”


  5. Shinashi says:

    “Christians fear death because they don’t really believe in heaven”

    Oh, memes, how I love you.

    Personally, as long as no god is real, as I believe is the case, death is of no consequence to me.


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