Is any death meaningful?


Many times the phrase let their deaths not be in vain has been uttered like at moments of civil strife and I am here asking myself, if deep down these deaths were meaningless. Did someone have to die for something to be achieved?

Take for example the over 30 people who were killed by police in our last election. What did they die for? What, if you were to meet their parents or relatives, would you tell them was achieved by their deaths?

In the movie silence, based on the Japanese inquisition of the 16th century (2016) by Scorsese, a number of Japanese endure torture and some even die to show their faith in Jesus. Was this rational? What was the point?

About makagutu

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

30 thoughts on “Is any death meaningful?

  1. Some deaths are very meaningful. I’ve celebrated a good number of them.

    Liked by 6 people

    • makagutu says:

      Like the death of an enemy, perhaps?
      I think it was Voltaire or was it Nietzsche who said he would fight to the death for ones rights but avoid the death if possible.

      Liked by 1 person

      • basenjibrian says:

        I think more the death of a monster. I know every human beings have good points, but there are people whose actions, beliefs, etc. cause such harm to other people, the earth, etc.

        Will anyone actually MOURN the death of Donald Trump? Was there an outpouring of grief at the death of Mobuto Sese Seko? Papa Doc Duvalier? Sadly, there were people who mourned the death of Franco.

        Like

        • makagutu says:

          Some sage said no one is wholly good nor wholly bad. You and I can bet there will be millions of MAGA at DT’s send off.
          And i think with time, even the worst offenders get history rewritten in their favour. Our current regime has fucked things so bad some people wish for the second president reign. This is a guy who ruled with an iron fist for 24 effing years.

          Like

  2. renudepride says:

    In my humble opinion, no death is equal to the life of another. Have a great weekend, O Exalted One! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  3. maryplumbago says:

    I donโ€™t know if death can be meaningful or if itโ€™s more that their life was meaningful and at death, this can hit you full force.

    But some deaths, if they sacrifice to save others from harm or to make way for a better life for others, I do believe them that their deaths are meaningful for the timeframe and maybe even longer.

    But once several thousand years pass, then the timeframe has moved on and the meaningfulness is less.

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      I look at our situation here. Many lives were lost in the struggle for multiparty democracy and while we have many parties, there’s not better representation. In a way it feels like those deaths were in vain.

      Sometimes it takes less than 20 years to see the meaninglessness of it all

      Liked by 1 person

  4. History measures things in body counts. They’re tangible and more easily verified. Take vaccines, for example. You can’t take a picture of every person saved by a vaccine. So we have anti-vaxxers, and will continue until more kids die of preventable illness.

    It’s more of an indictment on how human societies learn than anything else. Nobody looks for a better way to do something until an arbitrary number of people die from it. AIDS is a great example. Deaths from government actions is another example.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Eric Alagan says:

    Death is a given. A person’s death means something to somebody, but not to everyone.

    Perhaps the question that needs answering is: have you lived a meaningful life? Yes, again to somebody, but not to everyone.

    A better question could be: Brandy or whiskey?
    Answer: Both.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. john zande says:

    Ultimately, no. In the short term, say dying to defend your country, then perhaps.

    Like

  7. judyt54 says:

    I wonder if ‘meaningful’ is the right word. It’s a way of ascribing purpose or intent to something that can’t be refuted, since the object of all of that is, unfortunately, dead. Some men who died ‘bravely’ in war were actually beyond caring any longer, and threw themselves into what was their last battle, oblivious. The ones who survived were hailed as heroes.
    The person who dies to save someone else from a near certain death may be the exception,

    I would prefer, given the choice, live a meaningful life rather than a meaningful death. At least with the former I get to appreciate the whole thing, first hand.

    Like

    • makagutu says:

      I would prefer, given the choice, live a meaningful life rather than a meaningful death

      I agree with you on this.

      The person who dies to save someone else from a near certain death may be the exception,

      What if the person who was saved, dies in a suicide shortly after?

      Like

      • judyt54 says:

        @maka

        What if the person who was saved, dies in a suicide shortly after?

        that’s a whole ‘nother ballgame, isn’t it. You can’t predict what any one person is going to do, all you can do is deal with what you see. And I agree, sometimes the thought that someone died to save my life can be a terrible burden to bear. Sometimes, not always, and there is no way of knowing if you might tip someone over the emotional edge by saving a life he no longer valued, or released him from some kind of depression.

        Basically, you pulled the guy out of the burning house, and died doing it, if he decides to run back in to save a favorite photo, then that’s his problem, and no longer yours.

        Like

        • makagutu says:

          Basically, you pulled the guy out of the burning house, and died doing it, if he decides to run back in to save a favorite photo, then thatโ€™s his problem, and no longer yours

          this has me smiling. well said.
          have a pleasant evening and a great weekend ahead friend.

          Like

  8. Jully says:

    I would rather think on how meaningful life is, rather than thinking of death.. once you die youve passed on

    thats why we ought to live life in the now, so we dont miss out as death will come to us all.. sometimes too soon.

    Like

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