I know that son, and his sons. That son has experienced death, in particular the loss of both of his parents in the last few years - he conducted himself with good humour and a resigned acceptance of reality. Sour faced Mr Cunt Caller may wear big pants when commenting on a blog, but would he call him a cunt to his face? Would he really? When confronted by a good humoured, intelligent human being - a father and a son who has the advantage of being able to find humour in death, rather than self indulgent life limiting fear.
Friedrich Nietzsche famously suggested laughter to be a reaction to the sense of existential loneliness and mortality that only humans feel. Nietzsche put together a very compelling argument that all abstract thought, and in particular laughter, exist only as a result of our mortality, sentience and our inability to accept the inevitable.
This is not a new philosophical stance; past examples include; Shakespeare's human 'being' life and death analysis, in that powerhouse soliloquy in Hamlet Act 3 scene 1 - and the ubiquitous 14th and 15th century dance of death carvings and engravings, which extend us an invitation to laugh at death as an encouragement to live in the moment.
Interestingly both were aimed at inhabitants of a time we now believe to be simple in comparison to us with our sophisticated-modern-intellects. This was an audience who were more accustomed to witnessing death close at hand and understood its fundamental significance. They 'simple folks' exhibited a considerably more mature attitude towards death than our contemporary self-indulgent, hotline-backed, childish rejection of the reality of existence.
The very essence of an adventurous spirit, one drawn to the Scottish mountains in winter in this case, is exploration of the unknown and the thrill and challenge of just such. Such adventures, like life, have a simple binary outcome:
To live another day, and die later
To find death, "the undiscovered country" is the very apotheosis of the adventurous spirit; walkers and climbers, like soldiers, accept that price - no qualms, no cowards. Those around them who cannot accept their death are unable to accept the simple truth, and rather than celebrate a life worth living they give into the dark shadows of loneliness and mortality. By illogically and immaturely giving into melancholy and refusing to accept death they negate the value of a positive life and the privilege of having lived and died - is that a suitable mark of their love?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us allFinal word to Mr Richard Dawkins
"We are going to die and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place, but will in fact never see the light of day, outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA, so massively outnumbers the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds, it is you and I in our ordinariness that are here. We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred."Get over yourself, who are you? The Mutaween?