Thursday, October 16, 2008

Why Don't You Just Kill Yourself?

You don't think life has a purpose. In fact, you think that it is not only not sacred, but rife with suffering, and is often more trouble than it is worth. You even discourage other people from bringing other people into this dangerous world of agony, unfairness, and sorrow. So, why don't you just kill yourself? Answer?

A person can dislike his existence to varying degrees, including up to the
point where he’d just as well end it all; and yet, he might choose to endure out
of fear, like Hamlet. Or out of love for people who depend on him, or out of a
sense of personal responsibility to his friends, his community...whatever. Or
maybe he just can’t bring himself to commit a violent act, even against his own
person (this would be very tough for me, I think). In short, there are a host of
imaginable reasons why a person might not like life, and yet refuse to take that
final step.

In addition to what this article has to say in defense of its author, I also might add that his position, one that is against people conceiving new life, is not equivalent to wanting to kill people, himself included. There is a major difference between dying and never having been born to begin with. Simply not coming into being involves no suffering, no pain, no injustices, and leaves no people behind mourning your departure. Dying can involve suffering, it requires the permanent loss of your consciousness, whether you ever wanted to be conscious to begin with, it is irreversible, it prevents you from being able to continue your now established addiction to existence, and leaves plenty of people who knew you alive to deal with the aftermath of the void that you leave during your departure. They are two very distinct processes, in that one is the undoing of something that already is part of reality, whereas the other is the prevention of every introducing the thing that will inevitably be undone at all. Even if it ultimately results in nonsentience, it should be clear that never being alive at all is far less strenuous, far less painful, and far less potentially destructive, than being alive and suddenly dying, whether by your hand or not.

Anyway, happy thoughts.

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