Untimely Death, Does It Exist Or Not? – By Anthony Gyening-Yeboah

‘What a shock’, ‘Obituary’, ‘Gone too soon’, ‘Called to glory’, and in rare cases, ‘What a relief’, are just a few of some of the bold headings you see on the funeral invitations pasted on walls, notice boards and several other public places to invite family members, friends, strangers and everyone to the funeral of the the deceased.

Before the inception of the use of papers in Africa and also the coming of Europeans to Africa, funeral invitations were not as we see them today. They were obviously not printed nor announced on any television network. Gossips, visitations and the gongon beaters were some of the means of giving out funeral invitation.

It is quite obvious that pertaining to funeral invitations, there has bee an evolution. Even keeping wake is currently not an obligatory item on the planings of funerals. Whether you accept Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution in his book On the Origin of Species or not, evolution is taking place within nature.

Almost everything is evolving into something else, but there is this common noun pertaining to death that has not encounted any of that wind of critcism and finally evolution. And that noun is: UNTIMELY DEATH. In this easy, we are going to identify whether there is anything called untimely death. Thus whether untimely death exist or not.

What separates you, the reader, from lower animals is your rationality. Hence, you shall probably have an opinion on this topic. I beseech you to pick your opinion and contexualize it in the argument in this essay to test your opinion’s tennability and its mettle. If your opinion is checkmated, then do not be stubborn to take a second thought and look at your opinion.

Jean Paul Satre, one of the greatest French intellectuals redefined his perception of freedom when the realities of the Second Word War made his previous definition of freedom impractical. Several other redefinition of concepts and idea have taken place within the history of humanity, so you will not be the first.

You are not going to be last either, because there are a lot of corrections to be made in some of knowledge humanity possesses. Also, there are a lot more grey areas yet to be understood. And this will give humanity a different perception of nature.

From Wikipedia, Death is the permanent termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism. All living things die. And death verifiably occurs once in the timeline of every living organism. So far as I am living today, I have the potency of dying. Equally, anyone who is living at any point in time has a complete potency of dying too.

Since every living organism is susceptible to dying at a point in time, other than the past. It can be infered that death is always present either in the passing present, or in the future (either proximal or distal). Hence we live to die one day. Thus, we live to meet our death. And that will occur in the passing present relative the the timeline in context.

It is this futuristic existence of time and it’s occurence in the passing present that brings the concept of untimely death into the picture. Untimely death is defined as the occurrence of death within the timeline of a living organism, specifically human being before the appointed time for the individual in context. Three questions can be asked about this definition, pertaining to the objective of this essay. They are:

  1. When is the appointed time within the timeline of the individual?
  2. Who chooses the appointed time?
  3. Is there an appointed time?

In trying to answer the first question with respect to untimely death, it will be realised that the so called appointed time finds its place in the future on the timeline spectrum. But if you try to answer first question with respect to death as a whole, it will be realised that the so called appointed time can finds itself in the past, passing present, or the future.

And the probability of death finding itself in any of these times is one out of three. Hence, each of them is equally probable. Therefore equality in probability will inform us that no complete certainty can be obtained in the actual point in time that death exists. Since the actual point in time when your death will be meeting you is not known, the whole concept of untimely death becomes fallacious and nonsense.

Because you do not know when your death is occuring, and you cannot make a valid statement whether it occurred at the specific time it was appointed to occur. Christians quote Ecclesiastes 3:2 (NIV- a time to be born and a time to die…) to corroborate the idea of untimely death.

There is no doubt that in the world view of christians, there is an appointed time to die because in Psalm 139:16 (NIV – …All the days of ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.), but the argument is that since you cannot state emphatically when the appointed time is, then you cannot also state emphatically that a particular death is before its appointed time or not.

For exmaple, assume A is a person, and D is her/his appointed time to die. If D is known, and A dies before D, say at C, then we can state that A died an untimely death-thus died before her/his time. On the other hand, if D is not known, and A dies at Z. How are you going to know whether the death was before or after D? You just cannot know because you do not even know D. Untimely death is simply ridiculous.

This whole concept of untimely death continuous to live with us because of the misunderstanding of what Psalm 118:17 says-(NIV) I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done. This scripture taking alone will make an individual procastinate her/his good works to the future, and also think that she/he will never die. This is kind of interpretation is questionalble.

Combining Psalm 118:17 to the afore mentioned scriptures and Hebrews 9:27 (NIV- Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgement.) will tell you that Psalm 118:17 was rather talking about a carpe diemic way of living. Thus, as you live, do not forget to proclaim what the lord has done.

In the second question, Christians, Moslems and some other religions will say that God/god/gods appoint(s) the time of death. Skeptics, Agnostics and Atheists will have their own argument about the ontology of the universe and even the existence of God, god, and gods.

The interesting point to note is that the fallacious and ridiculous nature of the concept of untimely death still remains whether the appointment to die was decided by God, god or gods, or not. Because the argument still remains that we as mortal living creatures, have no idea of the time we will die in order for us to make statements like untimely death.

From the begining of this essay, it was assumed that an appointed time to die actually existed. And the religious belief of christians was even stated to further analyze it. But it was realised that even if an appointed time to die actually existed, the idea of untimely death will still be ridiculous.

Now we are going to consider the third question which challenges the existence of an appointed time to die. Empirically, the existence of an appointed time to die cannot be proved. But most people tend to belief that each person has an appointed time to die because:

  1. Her/his religion says so.
  2. Her/his wonderful plans for the future
  3. The sudden death of loved ones especially in natural disasters, road accidents, suicides, drownings, fire outbreaks, abortions, etc.
  4. The disire to leave her/his current miserable condition.
  5. Fear of death.
  6. Her/his eschatoligical philosophy.
  7. Unfathomability of the mysteries of human life.
  8. Desire to make sense out of life.
  9. Disire for hope

Most people BELIEVE that there is an appointed time to die because of some of the reasons stated above. Remember that this is just a believe, hence not verifiable. Therefore whether an appointed time exists or not cannot be known. Hence, since this uncertainty rests in the actual existence of an appointed time for death, untimely death still become ridiculously in limbo at this point too. Each person is entiltled to her/his beliefs. And since beliefs are unverifiable, they tend to be NOT IMPOSABLE.

You may want to think about why such a long talk on untimely death. But one of the reasons is to remind you that that whole untimely death idea is intellectually and logically ridiculous. Hence, each person must make good use of each day that you have. Because you do not know when you will die. Procrastination is a thief of time even consoles the soul. Rather, the best advice is procrastination is the tent for stupid people. Be wise and make good use of each time you have at your disposal. Because time is independent of you!

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