Remembering the Dead

Most Parahumans of the Federation do not often like to talk about death, understandably. When you don’t age you can easily believe that you might live forever. But try as they might, parahumanity has yet to conquer the inevitability of death.

The Plague Wars were centuries ago, but they continue to shape Pallene culture to the day. The preference for rural estates over crowded arcologies when possible, infrastructure built by decentralized Houses, the medical microbots that prevent aging, and the coping strategies for the trauma induced by mountains of corpses.

Mainstream sociopsychology has broadly filed these outlooks into two categories, Denialist and Memorialist.

Denialists are by far the broadest category, covering everyone who does not accept that dying is inevitable. This group has many varied sub-categories with different attitudes.

-Supernaturalists believe in some manner of paranormal life after death. Depending on their particular religion or creed this may be reincarnation or any variety of different parallel universes where some essential component of their being is transferred and continues to exist. Often a mix of both. Sometimes this parallel universe is a paradise, sometimes a realm of torment, others are simply an existence. But it’s rare these days to see a faith that condemns anyone to an eternity of suffering.

-Techno-Immortalists attempt to prolong their lives via technological means, beyond even the negligible senescence provided by microbots. Most frequently through mind simulation. While it would be a stretch to call current simulations “sentient”, they have faith that in the future their brain scans might be employed to program true AI.

-Nihilists (in regards to mortality) don’t see much point in wondering about death and actively avoid the subject whenever possible. Some go so far as to actively destroy memorials, but more often they simply don’t talk about it, trying to repress their feelings to frequently unhealthy levels.

Memorialists: The view advocated by the mainstream denominations of Noospherism, this philosophy advocates recognition and acceptance of one’s ultimate mortality. They do not claim that anyone will live forever, in this universe or another, but neither do they believe one simply ceases to exist once brain activity ends. Your works in life continue to impact the universe even after you flatline, every little thing you do spirals out into a unique series of events that will never be repeated exactly. The dead should be remembered, their lessons learned, their deeds emulated or avoided.

Every House maintains a mausoleum where their ancestors are commemorated. Commonly their remains are made into diamonds on which their deeds and works are painstakingly recorded at the molecular level by the Chroniclers of the Harvester and then embedded in the walls of the mausoleum. Wealthier Houses may produce sims to tell their ancestors’ stories seemingly from their own holographic mouths. Mummification is not unheard of, but considered somewhat eccentric.

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