“We [are] strongly inclined to believe that our continued existence is a deep further fact, distinct…”
“We [are] strongly inclined to believe that our continued existence is a deep further fact, distinct…”

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“We [are] strongly inclined to believe that our continued existence is a deep further fact, distinct from physical and psychological continuity, and a fact that must be all-or-nothing. This is not true. Is the truth depressing? Some may find it so. But I find it liberating, and consoling. When I believed that my existence was such a further fact, I seemed imprisoned in myself. My life seemed like a glass tunnel, through which I was moving faster every year, and at the end of which there was darkness. When I changed my view, the walls of my glass tunnel disappeared. I now live in the open air. There is still a difference between my life and the lives of other people. But the difference is less. I am less concerned about the rest of my own life, and more concerned about the lives of others.”

Derek Parfit, Reasons and Persons

Originally appeared on Philosophy Bits Read More

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