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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-12-2004, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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philosophy of death (was: rider down)

I don’t have answers. Not a one. They’re not really important anyway. It’s the questions. The asking. The process of inquiry, the reason why the question was even asked in first place. Naw, I don’t have answers. But I do have some pressing questions. Once I’ve seen countless others ask. Ones I’ve seen countless other leave unanswered.

Every time someone posts something like this, I always think and react: “damn, that is so unfortunate”, “That could have been me, or my best friend, brother, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc. How many of you think the same? The next logical step that ensues from this is the question “Why do I ride when it so dangerous?” Because it’s fun? Because it’s freedom? Because of that very risk itself? Who knows? The question comes from a (sobering) place of reflective self-preservation (i.e. bikes are dangerous, why am I partaking in danger?). The answer isn’t all that important, but grappling with where it comes from is. How many of you react the same way when you hear about a fatal car crash? About cancer? Smoking? Airplane crash, etc? Of course bikes have an imminent risk that cars do not, but what does imply to the meaning of our choices to ride, purpose of actions, and manner in which we live as persons who make choices about potential life and death situations (i.e. riding)? When someone dies in a bike wreck, do you think they’d want others to reconsider riding? Would you want that of others if you were the one to die? So what can we the living take away from the death (or serious injury) of a fellow rider? And what can we take away from (or add to) our own lives based on these risks and choices? How are we to proceed from the news of another senseless crash? How long will it be until it is our own name in the death notices (it’s gonna be there some day, bike crash or not!)?

Now of course the answers are important. But I don’t think they are quite as important as the process by which we come to arrive at them. Why do I ride? I don’t know for sure. A number of reasons. More importantly, why do I ride after hearing about a horrid wreck? The answer is simple. Because if I don’t ride I am affirming death. The passing of one rider should not be the passing of others. This is not to say that we should be reckless in our actions. It is one thing to affirm death and quite another to have a death-wish (*cough* squid*cough*). To move forward from such grim accidents, to affirm and embrace life for the living & dead, is to do so with an acute sense of conviction and passion for our actions. It is these very passions that make us human. To deny them, is the worst fatality of all. To affirm the loves, passions, and desires of those who have passed from us, (and those still here, too!), there really is only once choice; shift into 1st gear ASAP on your favorite road…and hope there will be no wrecks en route.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2004, 09:52 AM
 
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In true objective reality, is life not just one long death? Why not make it the best death/life you can then? I think for many of us, biking helps to do that.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2004, 11:39 AM
 
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I got a question? I don't try to ride dangerously, I ride the best I can and enjoy my bike and the time with my friends as much as I can. My family hollars at me everytime someone gets hurt, but watches me drive away each night, cause they know I love it. However, in numerous fights with my Girl and family, they tell me it is SELFISH to say that I assume the risks of ridin', what about the peoples lives I will affect if somthing happens to me? What do you think, is it selfish or .... I don't know? Never looked at it that way?
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2004, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DaBatty1
I got a question? I don't try to ride dangerously, I ride the best I can and enjoy my bike and the time with my friends as much as I can. My family hollars at me everytime someone gets hurt, but watches me drive away each night, cause they know I love it. However, in numerous fights with my Girl and family, they tell me it is SELFISH to say that I assume the risks of ridin', what about the peoples lives I will affect if somthing happens to me? What do you think, is it selfish or .... I don't know? Never looked at it that way?
It is selfish for you to ever become involved with anybody, as you are just going to die someday anyway. How unfair for them.

In case you can't tell, I think that argument from people is bullshit. Do what makes you happy and let others worry about themselves.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2004, 01:13 PM
 
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That 'selfish' thing has always seemed to me to be a very weak argument.

1)For the lady, would you be riding if you were not with her? If so, then no, it is not selfish. You are with her because she enjoys you, riding is part of you.

2)For the family, are these parents/siblings? Siblings don't count, because they were created without your consent. Parents created you, you are not expected to provide for them as they were placed before you w/out your consent. Now, if it is your children, that is a different story, as riding could remove you from a picture in which you have the responsibility to provide for them.

That's an objective way of looking at it, which really doesn't count for shit in life. The ultimate choice is up to you, but I fail to see how people can honestly consider the idea of a person enjoying something that could remove them from life as being selfish. Yes, you might die, and they won't get to spend time with you, but you don't owe them that time, and YOU die.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2004, 02:28 PM
 
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NICE POST!

Sometimes when I get extra-paranoid (to the point I start to think about wrecking too much, riding loses its fun etc.) I ask myself it is worth it?

Then I consider my life w/o riding. HOW IS THAT WORTH IT? LAME?!?! I jumped into riding knowing all risks. "Bikes are dangerous" "...expensive..." "...wrecking..." "...roadrash..." "idiot drivers...". I enjoy the challange overcomming this everyday, and making a procedure to learn from every possible scenario that I observe, to forshadow what I can do, etc, to make me more prepared.

The answer is because it is fun. I asked myself about 10 years ago (while in elementary school) what I thought the purpose of life was. I'm not any sort of a conventional religious person, don't have many superstitions or let other people tell me what to think about big things like that. I did all of the math, and the purpose is to have fun. So from there on my secondary purpose was to make money to buy motorcycles, haha, I'm succeding in life!!!!

Death is better approached on a motorcycle than from a rocking chair. I'd rather leave a trashed body than be an 85 y.o. virgin that was afraid of life grabbing him by the nuts.

Cheers

Jon
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2004, 02:48 PM
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Though there's a lot of variation among us, we all enjoy risk—it's inherently human. Risk has enabled us to become what we are. Think of the first nitwit who, a 100,000 years ago or so, jumped on the back of a horse to see if he could ride it. He couldn't have possibly foreseen the revolution in transportation that would occur by harnessing horses; he was just having some fun. People like him—those who climbed mountains just to see what was on the other side, those who ventured into predator territory with nothing more than a knife made of a sharpened stone, those who lashed logs together and paddled out from shore—have made pivotal contributions to human culture.

Today, while the primal desire to experience risk remains, the society we live in looks down its nose at risk. So we channel that desire into more acceptable forms. We gamble, we climb sheer rock faces, we drop down into 20-foot waves just ahead of a collapsing wall of sea water. And, of course, some of us ride motorcycles.

I regard the "cheating death" talk among the twentysomethings in other sportbike forums as cartoonish bravado. Guys see the attitude in the movies, try it on for size, find that it gets them chicks, and adopt it. Yet I can't deny that the risk of motorcycling is, indirectly, part of its attraction. Riding quickly but safely on a mountain road—or just safely in town—demands my best, both physically and mentally, and I enjoy that demand. Constant situational awareness, planning ahead, assessing risks, developing contingencies, and patting myself on the back for doing something well produce the same kind of satisfaction that other intellectually stimulating pastimes do. But when I delve deeper, I'm left with the unavoidable fact that a primary objective of all that cerebral activity is to avoid crashing. And that if I really wanted to avoid crashing, I'd find another hobby. But I don't, so I conclude that "cheating death" is part of why I ride.

Last edited by DataDan; 05-13-2004 at 03:48 PM.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2004, 04:49 PM
 
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All of that is to advanced & thinking in a way that I simply do not.

I have been a bachelor all my life, no parents or relatives. In fact when I pass away my estate goes to a h/gun shooting friend & his family basically because I do not want the Fed Govt to pocket what money I have put away let alone my h/guns be destroyed.

I am an ex-of many sports that some might not even think of doing being mountaineering, comp Downhill & Giant Slalom skiing, speedskater, Judo, Amature Wrestling, stock car racing, rallie car racing, SCUBA diving, h/gun shooting (some are simply terrified of guns yet I am not only the h/gun director but an instructor) to basically all forms of m/c comp.

So you can see my ways of thinking are quite different & when I do kick the bucket I am to be cremated in the least costly way & my remains garbaged, down the dran, or whatever. For in my past I have dug graves for those that passed away (in this area it is all by hand of exactly 5'8" & no back-hoe) to even some empty COSTLY casket for someone they know to be dead, but no body. To even cats & dogs for I mean come on people, for dead is dead in my thinking.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2004, 08:06 AM
 
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Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. ~Helen Keller

You're going to die anyhow and you have little control over the method and time of your death. Those that do not enjoy life to its fullest are wasting theirs.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2004, 08:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by vigis
You're going to die anyhow and you have little control over the method and time of your death. Those that do not enjoy life to its fullest are wasting theirs.
Word. Live life with no regrets.
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