Sunday, August 18, 2013

Death and our ultimate "rest"

Sometimes, maths can be very interesting. I recall how I wrote about the insufficiency of mathematics in rendering the abstract and philosophical, and I still hold this stance. Maths can very often prove inadequate.

But the brilliant thing about Maths is that in certain things, it gives very straight answers. There's really no discussion about whether 2+3 is 5, or 5*2 is 10 rather than 11. In that way, Maths is wonderfully precise.

In school, I've recently embarked upon a course in Philosophy, and already I grow weary of the way it succeeds in giving so ultimately vague answers in our impossibly big questions. Maths may not have answers to those questions either, but Maths meets us halfway and gives us full answers in the smaller questions.

I'm reading this book by John Green (Who is also an amazing inspiration as a blogger...), called The Fault in Our Stars. As the story tells about the lives of a group of people broken by cancer and sickness, the subject of Death is never too far away.

In the book, it was mentioned that there are fourteen dead people for every living person. Naturally, that sparked some questions. I looked it up, and according to THIS article, about 107 billion Homo Sapien have ever lived. It's a swindling thought, especially in connection to my last entry. 107 billion people lived just as fully as you do, right now. 

Thats 107 000 000 000 people that have lived. That's over 21 THOUSAND times more people than are alive in Finland right now. It's every single person you know, times hundreds of millions. The amount is completely incomprehensible.

Naturally, Religion is also another subject very entangled with Death.

Say every soul that ever lived, enjoys a communal afterlife on earth. Well, if that were so, enjoy wouldn't be the word I'd use. Think about it. On earth, there is roughly 148.94 million square kilometres of land not covered in water. If we calculate the population density of the earth, that gives us ~42 human lives per square kilometre. Thats quite comfortable, right? It leaves each and every one of us with (1 000 000 m^2 / 42) 22000 square metres for ourselves. It's a surprisingly big number, but the fact is that while the human habitat basically spans the earth, we actually inhabit a very small portion of it. 

Say that we include the unliving. That's 107 billion people to share a measly 149 km^2, and the population density rises dramatically to 772 ppl/sq km.

What does that mean? It leaves us with only 1295 square metres for ourselves. That's not so bad? There will be privacy..? 

Given that privacy was something all the dead wanted, the distribution of souls would be quite uniform. Everyone would get their own 1295 m^2.

I'm just going to go proclaim that none of you can estimate how small this area actually is. r^2*pi=1295 sq m . Solve the equation for yourself. What you'll find is that the radius of our privacy only spans 20 metres in all directions. 

That's anywhere on land, earth. On Antarctica, in the desert, in those woods behind your house that no one ever visits. There will be a soul, the living death of a passed human, no less than twenty measly metres away from you. No matter where you go. 

So that's that, then. So much for the eternal peace in death. 

If we presume that dead people don't want to live in Antarctica, or the woods, but in the same places humans are living right now, then you're in for a bigger shock. Think of all the pictures you've seen of busy streets in India, or any other packed place. The beach, some show, just anywhere. Now picture that place with 18 times more people in it. Where there stood one, now stands 18. Where stood a hundred, now stand 1800. 

There could never be any rest if the afterlife resides on Earth. How many beds are there in the world? Do dead people sleep? How many human souls then sleep beside you every night? It makes "Heaven is a place on Earth" the most ironic statement. A place of no privacy, no escaping intimacy, no not being around people, this is not heavenly in the least.

1 comment:

  1. If ghosts were real and everyone turned into one when deceased, I would not like to be a person able to see the dead.


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