Sure, I'm religious (just look at the books I read!), but I don't take death lightly. I've watched both of my grandmothers die and my grandfather on my father's side. I've had close friends get shot in the back and killed. Death is not something I take lightly.
However, while I'm not anxious to die, I couldn't disagree more with the statement that the only improvements I have seen have been based on science. Science will not stop death. Science will not help you deal with your grandfather's death.
In fact, science can't improve anything.
Science discovers or develops tools that we can use, but we have to use those tools appropriately to improve our lives. That requires a guiding philosopy — religion, for some — to help you make choices. If your philosophy is a materialistic "death is the end and science is the savior" one, then you will almost assuradly take advantage of any life-prolonging treatments without considering whether or not those treatments would actually improve your life.
Now, this may seem like a cop-out if you are a materialist, but if your guiding philosophy is like mine — death is a step along the way, but not the end — then you will carefully consider whether extending your life here and now is worth the risks. After all, if I do not fear death, then I may have a reason to avoid a prolonged life where much of the added length is lived in pain.
Through science and its discoveries, we've been able to do some pretty amazing stuff over the past hundred or so years. However, while our knowlege has increased, our foolishness has not decreased.
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