• Mika A
  • London
  • United Kingdom

This conversation is closed.

Why do we revere people dead when we didn't care about them alive?

What is it about death that makes us change our perceptions of a person or at least act like those perceptions have changed.
I mean why is it that when people we hardly paid attention to die, we all of a sudden begin to act like they were so important and the world would be lost without them.

Is it because we feel bad for not appreciating them in their lifetime? Is it because there was nothing substantial to appreciate in their lifetime but we don’t want them to seem like non- achievers on their death? Is it because we hope people would do the same for us when we die? Is it that the “shock and sadness” only allows us remember the good things they did?

For example during MJ's final years all he got were abuses from the media and general population (paedophile, irresponsible father, to name a few) but he dies and everyone suddenly realises he is the "King of POP"?

  • Aug 15 2011: Because we mourn the potential impact that they could of had on us and tend to want to give them the benefit of the doubt?
    • Aug 15 2011: It doesn't seem like mourning a potential impact to me, it seems more like putting together a bunch of nice things to say about the person upon their death so that we feel less guilty about the way we treated them during their life. Isn't that hypocritical?

      Yes but of what point is that? Giving the benefit of doubt to someone who can no longer enjoy that benefit. Surely we should have given them that benefit alive and if we didn't we should move on and learn to give it to those who are still alive?
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    Aug 16 2011: You only know presence when you feel its absence in a sense. I think that was Bertrand Russell...maybe.
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    Aug 17 2011: Your MJ case is just Media Magic for Money. While he was alive Media went with stories that will bring money for them. When he died again they make him "KING" as again that gave them money.
    So coming to any conclusion keeping figures in mind who has got media attention is difficult.

    In general following can be answe
    Human being being very unique subject, at times understands the value of something only after losing it.

    In some cultures it's rite to talk all good thing about a person who is dead , may be that's symbol of promoting forgiveness of those cultures, so people talks only good about departed soul.

    In other cases it happens also due to a feeling that the departed person didn't get what he deserved in her/his life time, so from that feeling the departed gets all the positive attention.
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    • Aug 16 2011: I have come to see that that is the case. What I can't seem to get is why. Why do we wait for people to live before we appreciate them.
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        Aug 16 2011: It is human nature to be self-involved. It is our survival instinct. It is an instinct that is becoming more ancient though so eventually we will evolve to where our instinct is to appreciate other people. So our thoughts and our dreams may be from other people's perspective.
  • Aug 15 2011: not on the general topic but only related to your Michael Jackson reference..

    When he was alive he had the potential to be a threat to the safety and security of other potential victims (if he was in fact a pedophile, i don't know the details and it doesn't really interest me) Therefore the negative attention was for the perceived protection of the "herd" so that people would know not to allow their children into a situation where he may harm them

    Now that he is dead there is no way that he can hurt anyone, thus no warning and/or fear is needed as dead people do not commit crimes or hurt others. This negative attention is no longer necessary as it does not help us in any way or keep anyone safe anymore.

    However, none of the pedophilia had anything to do with his creations as an artist, and he was a very talented artist who's music and emotional journeys can inspire and motive. His words have the power to change the world into a better place just as they did before he was deemed a threat. So now the positive attention is being drawn to something that can help people.

    The personal character flaws mattered in life because they could happen again to more people
    They do not matter in death because he could never have another victim

    The art matters in the same way that it always has
    • Aug 16 2011: I can understand that line of thinking. What I fail to see however is how his status as a "threat" should affect people's perceptions of his musical talent. Maybe it is impossible for us as humans to separate sentiments from fact. I mean if he's a good musician, why should his "criminal tendencies" be the veil that prevents us from seeing that. Or is it that his music somehow got better when he died? LOL

      I understand the concept of him no longer being able to hurt anyone assuming he did (I too have no intention to plunge into that argument) but when he died people also remarked about his “gentle and loving soul”. Why did they not make such comments about him before he died is my question and isn’t it contradictory that a paedophile has a gentle and loving soul?