Hello. I don't know if this is too vague or even if it is a philosophical question or not, but here goes. I am fourteen. In my english class today, we had a discussion about one thing or another and the question was raised, "Do you fear 'getting old'?" A great majority of classmates said that they did. I thought that it was going to happen anyway, so why fear it. Is it irrational to fear aging? Thanks.

A belief can be irrational, if you don't have a good reason for it. Can a fear be irrational? It seems so, if it based on an irrational belief. Thus to be afraid of ghosts is irrational. But I think you are asking whether it is irrational to fear something which, though based on a perfectly rational belief, is just something you can't do anything about. And here I am less sure that we should say that the fear is irrational. Impractical, perhaps, but irrational? Maybe it is helpful to compare this to something good that you can't do anything about. Suppose you know that, whatever you do, your parents are going to get you something you really want. Is it irrational to look forward to that? It seems not. But if it is not irrational to look forward to something good you can't do anything about, then why is it irrational to fear something bad that you can't do anything about? Maybe these two cases are importantly different. Looking forward to something is pleasant, so there is no...

If every life results in death, then what is the meaning of life?

The meaning of life comes from what you do in your life: your activities and achievements. These are real even though you die, and would be no more real if you lived forever (though admittedly you would have time for a lot more of them).

Assuming that there is no afterlife -- that you lose the ability to think or feel anything once your body dies -- is it irrational to fear death? Asked another way: Was Larkin wrong when he described the philosopher's contention that "no rational being can fear a thing it will not feel" as "specious stuff"?

It's not irrational for me to fear that some harm will come to my children, even if I convince myself that if my children are in fact harmed, I won't find out about it. So Larkin was right. It's irrational to fear what death will feel like if you know it won't feel like anything; but it doesn't follow that it is irrational to fear death. It's not irrational to look forward to the pleasures of living, and if we know that death will take these away, the fear of losing those pleasures doesn't seem irrational either.