To avoid death at all costs is the primary aim and concern of human life — so says this late modern age, which at the same time is so smugly proud of having scientifically proven that life does not exist, but is merely an epiphenomenon of accidental material interactions.
To avoid death at all costs is to define oneself as subject to continuous and overriding fear — in other words, as an abject coward.
Today, the very possibility of death has become, to the lifeless bulk of mankind, a consideration utterly debilitating to the judgment, to the capacity to interpret facts, to the sense of dignity — even, paradoxically, to the instinct for self-preservation.
Today, the fantasy of escaping the single most inescapable reality of all earthly life has become, in the minds of us all-too-earthly men, the sole purpose of existence, the only cause worth fighting for.
To avoid death at all costs is a folly, for it is impossible. The costs are incurred, but death comes nonetheless — hence a complete loss. In practice, in modernity’s universal practice, to avoid death is to shun life: to flee from humans, to recoil from freedom (especially other men’s freedom), to wait quaveringly for permission in all things, and to hate one’s neighbor merely for living so near — or worse, for his daring to live as though the avoidance of death were not the sole purpose of life.
To reduce life to a perpetual struggle to evade death is to revalue hiding as the essential human activity, and terror as the cardinal virtue.