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  • Saturday, December 9, 2006
    From the smallest to the greatest, from the richest to the poorest, everyone eventually dies. But what happens after death? Can you know for sure?
    BY KEVIN D. DENEE
    Benjamin Franklin wrote, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Every minute on earth, 108 people die. Ultimately, everyone dies. It is not a matter of if, but when.

    Photo: KRT
    Sadly, and due to a wide variety of reasons and circumstances, some seek death, considering it the only solution. Others try to delay the inevitable through good health. Still others tragically lose their lives through time and chance. Sometimes disease or other illnesses bring a death sentence, leaving the person with nothing to do but wait for the end.

    Many view the end of their lives with uneasiness. They ponder, “What’s next?”—“Will I live again?”—“Is this it?”—“Will I ever see my loved ones again?”—“Where am I going after this life?”

    In contrast, others view death with fear of the unknown. Some fear the process and the suffering that may accompany death. Others, racked with guilt, have a different type of fear—fear that they will burn forever in “hell fire.”

    Whatever the viewpoint, feelings or circumstances of one’s life—ultimately, life ends. Because of this unavoidable reality, every person at some point in his or her life thinks about the subject of death.

    What about you? Have you ever considered where you are heading? Some live fast-paced lives, never stopping to consider such a large question.

    Photo: KRT
    On the other hand, most who are religious—including adherents of traditional Christianity—think they know what happens when one dies. Yet you may be surprised to learn that the religions of this world have deceived them about what occurs at death.

    In the News…
    The 1994 genocide in Rwanda; the civil war that has raged on and off in Liberia for the last two decades; the current atrocities in Sudan, where endless numbers of peasants are being slaughtered—news of people dying in wars and conflicts around the world hits the headlines almost on a daily basis. In many instances, horrifying footage and photographs of the dead and dying arise afterwards; much goes unreported.

    And then there are natural disasters that end hundreds, even thousands, of lives in an instant. In just the last 18 months, we have seen a devastating tsunami, crushing earthquakes, several destructive hurricanes and cyclones, wildfires and floods. In a matter of hours, families were uprooted, children made orphans, parents made childless.

    Then there are criminals who torture, rape, brutalize and murder. For example, in June 2006, a Florida man cut down his son with a machete in front of neighbors, and then killed his wife. For those two individuals, death came suddenly, unexpectedly. Every reasonable human being expresses great sorrow for the victims of such heinous crimes. But what is next for the little boy? Is there any future for him?

    There is much controversy surrounding death. For instance, the legality and ethics involving capital punishment is a highly emotional and politicized debate. Also, there have been high-profile cases in the media in which medical patients remain in a persistent vegetative state as family members disagree on whether the person should continue to live. Then there is euthanasia, the question of whether a person should have the right to choose when and how he dies.

    On an almost daily basis, we are confronted with the subject of death in various forms

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    posted by sasikala at 12:30 PM |


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