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Old 07-11-2016   #21
Benatarian
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Re: Pessimists - What Keeps You Going?

Once you recognize that life is a fight against large amounts of structural baddness, then the good life becomes a matter of the good death. Perhaps even the ordinary human life is consciously or unconsciously mostly preparation for death where people adopt a wide range of Thanatos strategies to make a soft landing.

I live a live in relative comfort, but still the alleged supremacy of Being over Unbeing is untenable, so what keeps me going?

I simply refuse to kill myself as I feel this is too much of a degrading and painful experience (akin to subjecting myself to gang rape or torture). I am repulsed by suicide clinics. Too clinical.

However I believe I could dig deep and mobilize anger and release it on somebody so they are forced to kill me. Anger trumphs fear and pain anyday. I am not yet digging deep because I still have empathy for other people (even the worst idiots did not choose to be born).

I get satisfaction from the daily repetition found in weightlifting, this is my meditation and in a sense a coping mechanism for my occasional nagging thoughts on the Eternal Recurrence. Oh, I absolutely adore the companionship from dogs and small children and they make me think less which is good!

Last edited by Benatarian; 07-11-2016 at 02:17 PM..
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Old 07-11-2016   #22
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Re: Pessimists - What Keeps You Going?

Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
Can anyone really say if their pain in living outweighs their grieving families' pain? You don't know how hard it will hit them.

I suspect in a few decades, many more will consider suicide because their standard of living has gotten to a low they never imagined possible.
The thing about my pain is that it is the Absolute. Imagine if someone has a tumor in their brain and the family wants them to live despite numerous failed operations...what a joke that would be, to live in excruciating agony for others who can't even be kind enough to put their loved one down as they do with their dogs! Though it is impossible to compare my pain with others' pain, nonetheless the only pain I feel is my pain-hence it has Absolute presence to me.

I still understand your point about families' grief though. Once, I heard of a man who committed suicide in a hotel with a made-up alias. They suspected he did it because he didn't want anyone to know. To do it under an alias! It haunted me ever since.

"So in the end it remains advisable to accept whatever comes, to behave like an inert mass even if one feels oneself being swept away, not to be lured into a single unneccesary step, to regard others with the gaze of an animal, to feel no remorse, in short to crush with one's own hand any ghost of life that subsists, that is, to intensify the final quiet of the grave still further and let nothing beyond that endure." ---Franz Kafka, Resolutions
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Old 07-11-2016   #23
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Re: Pessimists - What Keeps You Going?

Habit keeps me going.

Classical music, dogs, sunshine, certain landscapes and peaceful cafes where you can sit quietly and watch the world go by console me.

But as I get older, the wearisome nature of it all becomes more apparent and the prospect of old age and ill-health deepens the conviction that life is nothing more than a sick joke.

Last edited by Malone; 07-11-2016 at 05:41 PM..
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Old 07-11-2016   #24
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Re: Pessimists - What Keeps You Going?

Hey, bendk! We have something in common. We've both been gutted, probably for different reasons. I didn't complain then, I was only 27 at the time and wanted to live; but I wouldn't go through ir again unless I was given a lifetime (refills on demand)
prescription for Dilaudid. But I do wish I still had an inferior vena cava... the pain of chronic Charlie horses wears thin.

Hang in there, my friend, I agree with all you say. I may check our of this low rent motel they call Life one of these days--everyone I love is dead-- but for now I'm too stubborn and enjoy spitting in the face of the universe. Yes, it's a lunatic illusion but we find our pleasures where we find 'em.
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Old 07-11-2016   #25
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Re: Pessimists - What Keeps You Going?

I am very sympathetic to what Benatarian said "the good life becomes a matter of the good death" with all the implications of "good" that one wants to put (or not put) in there. I may be misinterpreting the statement but Benatarian didn't seem to mean "good" in a "society approves sense" but (one possibility) in maybe more of a clean, noble, and/or fulfilling death. I like this. There have been times I've been actively suicidal in the past and I am too ignorant to think I can pass judgment on people who feel that suicide is the only option of the most preferable one. Also, since I've been actively suicidal, it would be flat out hypocritical of me. At the same time, I no longer go that direction even if those thoughts pass through my mind. I think it's this "good death" aspect that reroutes my thoughts currently. Pain isn't too much of an issue for me, it's the speed. Slow death always seems way way worse than a fast one, even if the speedy one is painful. As I was reading Benatarian's post I realize that a large part of my life is preparation for dying a "good death" as nebulous as that is. Great observation Benatarian.
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Old 07-11-2016   #26
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Re: Pessimists - What Keeps You Going?

Read "A Happy Death" by Camus.

August Derleth once wrote to me that "the Ancients" judged the quality of a man's life by how well he died. His father had just recently passed at the time.

Last edited by Druidic; 07-11-2016 at 07:46 PM..
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Old 07-11-2016   #27
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Re: Pessimists - What Keeps You Going?

ToALonelyPeace - I think a loving person could reasonably kill a loved one to release them from excruciating pain.
But most people who consider suicide probably aren't in that sort of unbearable pain. It's difficult to compare pain. But my point was that a suicide can create far more suffering than it erases. I guess in some few cases it could actually create a lot of benefits for others.

I hope that guy who created a different name didn't have anyone who loved him at that time, because not knowing what happened to someone can be worse than knowing they've killed themselves.

Benatarian - Why would not caring about your family when you are too dead to care about anything factor in? If you want to create a better world you might not give them priority over everything else but they are an obvious consideration if you care about reducing suffering.

Do you consider getting someone to kill you less degrading than suicide?

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Old 07-11-2016   #28
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Re: Pessimists - What Keeps You Going?

Quote Originally Posted by gveranon View Post
Maverick Philosopher's own position is theism, and if you're familiar with his blog you will probably remember that he has argued against the notion (held by some) that belief in God is rationally compulsory; instead he argues that belief in God is merely rationally defensible. I think the same is probably true of many philosophical world-views, including pessimism. One can rationally be a pessimist (there are obviously some grounds for it) without making overweening claims that the position must be held by any rational or honest person. Personally, I wish pessimism didn't seem as true to me as it does, but I wouldn't claim that it must necessarily seem true to every rational or honest person.
I can't tell for sure whether you're saying you think a particular world-view is probably true, but you're not certain about it, or if you're saying there is no absolute truth about it. "Pessimism" can mean negative predictions, in which case someone could be either realistic or biased in their prediction, but given the context, I assume you're referring to anti-life philosophy. If you're claiming contradictory ideas can both be true, I don't know what you mean by "true".

Quote Originally Posted by ToALonelyPeace;126113The thing about [I
my[/I] pain is that it is the Absolute. Imagine if someone has a tumor in their brain and the family wants them to live despite numerous failed operations...what a joke that would be, to live in excruciating agony for others who can't even be kind enough to put their loved one down as they do with their dogs! Though it is impossible to compare my pain with others' pain, nonetheless the only pain I feel is my pain-hence it has Absolute presence to me.
It is possible, and often easy, to compare one's own pain with another's pain. You make plans based on knowledge of your own pain and what will cause or prevent it. You also have knowledge of the pains of others, often with a high degree of confidence. The fact of your only having first-person experience of your own pain is an irrational basis for ethical reasoning. It's not a significant distinguishing difference, because everyone else's pain is also experienced in first person, just not by you. I'm not arguing against the conclusion that suicide can be justified. I'm arguing against what I think is bad reasoning not necessary to defend the right to die.
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Old 07-11-2016   #29
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Re: Pessimists - What Keeps You Going?

Quote Originally Posted by Gray House View Post
Quote Originally Posted by gveranon View Post
Maverick Philosopher's own position is theism, and if you're familiar with his blog you will probably remember that he has argued against the notion (held by some) that belief in God is rationally compulsory; instead he argues that belief in God is merely rationally defensible. I think the same is probably true of many philosophical world-views, including pessimism. One can rationally be a pessimist (there are obviously some grounds for it) without making overweening claims that the position must be held by any rational or honest person. Personally, I wish pessimism didn't seem as true to me as it does, but I wouldn't claim that it must necessarily seem true to every rational or honest person.
I can't tell for sure whether you're saying you think a particular world-view is probably true, but you're not certain about it, or if you're saying there is no absolute truth about it.
The former. Given humans' epistemological position, I don't see how fallibilism about philosophical world-views can be avoided.

Quote Originally Posted by Gray House View Post
"Pessimism" can mean negative predictions, in which case someone could be either realistic or biased in their prediction, but given the context, I assume you're referring to anti-life philosophy.
The recent thread called "Anti-Pessimist as a Political Polemic" was probably about the "negative prediction" sense of the word (or it may have equivocated between the two senses of the word), but I've only been talking about pessimistic life-philosophy in this thread.

Quote Originally Posted by Gray House View Post
If you're claiming contradictory ideas can both be true, I don't know what you mean by "true".
I'm not claiming contradictory ideas can both be true.
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Old 07-11-2016   #30
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Re: Pessimists - What Keeps You Going?

I can only speak for myself and I am not an antinatalist. One goes from the horror of the news and the licensed authority to kill to an everyday existence that seems like an awkward, really bizarre tea chest waiting to explode.

I volunteer in an ER psych ward and the intakes are enormous. The shade has sufficiently thickened to the point where anyone who would speak out against pessimism has more than a few ounces of nonsense in them.

But one can only reach the same conclusion: if someone is in dire straits that are worse than your own, you should at least try to be there for them, and there lots of those people now.

I have experienced a degree of "burnout" that I don't think I've ever experienced before in this regard.

“The real reason why so few men believe in God is that they have ceased to believe that even a God can love them.”
― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
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