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2012 | 54 | 1 | 5-12

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Search for Immortality in Ancient and Modern Sport



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There is only one real problem each human being faces: death. Nobody lives eternally. In essence, humans are mortal beings; beings-unto-death, as framed by Heidegger. But human beings are never reconciled with this fact. Since ancient times, humans have been searching for ways to become immortal and to somehow stay alive eternally. In this paper we will focus on one specific common understanding of immortality among people - immortality in memory. Since ancient Greece, success and fame have meant not only different privileges in the community but also achieving symbolic immortality. Artists, politicians, and athletes - all of them were trying to become well known. So other people would remember them after their death, praise them, and keep them in their memory. In times when transcendental immortality was not known (or accepted), this was the only means to becoming immortal. To this day, lists and statues of ancient Greek Olympic champions have survived. So in a way champions are still alive - they achieved immortality. With the rise of metaphysics in philosophy and the also the Christian understanding of transcendental immortality, the need to be famous, to stay alive in memory, has declined. But nowadays, when the faith in transcendental immortality is weak, once again the ancient notion of immortality is becoming more and more powerful. Being famous, recognized among others, staying in the memory of others - this can be one of the important motives in striving to become a champion in the field of sport.










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1 - 6 - 2012
21 - 6 - 2012


  • University of Ljubljana, Slovenia


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