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An argument for suicide

An argument for suicide
MeowMix
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Posted Sep 13, 2012 - 6:04 PM:
Subject: An argument for suicide

This argument is going to rest on the premise that suffering is worth stopping.

It also pays to keep in mind that our desire to negate/avoid ills far outweighs our desire for positive wants. Consider if I offered you a deal of you giving one hour of the worst suffering imaginable in return for one hour of pure bliss. I would hazard that most people wouldn't take the offer. I sure as hell wouldn't.

Moving on, imagine that you're walking your dog when a magical genie appears before your very eyes and hands you a switch. She says that flicking the switch will instantly 'turn your life off'; you'll cease to be right there in then. No pain or suffering or anticipation, you'll just instantly flash out of existence. So you thank the genie for her gift and continue on walking your dog when suddenly, due to your obesity and clumsiness, you manage to trip over a crack, snapping your femur in two as you fall.

So there you lay in absolute agony. Now I am going to argue that you should flick the switch. When you die, you couldn't possibly go into this state called ‘non-existence’, because death is the cessation of yourself. There would exist no ‘you’ to not-exist. So it’s impossible to not exist, and so it's impossible to be harmed by non-existence. If you want relief from your agony, you won't get it by flicking the switch because you'll be dead. Nothing will exist to experience that relief. However if rather than relief, you just want this agony to cease, (and remember that our desire to negate/avoid ills far outweighs our desire for positive wants(in this case the nice feeling of relief)) then flicking the switch is the valid option.

Non-existence cannot be preferable as there won't be a "you" for non-existence to be preferable for. However, ending your life now (by flicking the switch) as opposed to enduring extreme agony is the better option. If you end your life now, then you stop the extreme pain (by ceasing to be a "you"), and you aren't harmed by flicking the switch because it destroys the very thing which would be deprived of the pleasure/enjoyment in life.

So laying there on the ground, you realize that the blinding agony in your leg is worth stopping. Now you reason that you can stop this suffering in one of two ways; hobble to the doctor and get your leg snapped back into place/plastered and endure a long and slow recovery (slowed of course by your morbid obesity), or simply flick the magical switch. Being the cold calculating rational person that you are, you flick the switch and your life is over.

Now replace the switch with some semi-pleasant suicide method like heroin/benzo OD, exit bag plus helium, whatever one seems the most pleasant, and replace the agony in your leg with all the pains and sufferings of life such as hunger, thirst, body pains, headaches, boredom, work, tiredness, old age, feeling your body fail on you, cancer, your obesity, cuts, bruises, burns, angst, depression, itching, sorrow, loss, anger, anxiety, pins and needles, too cold, too hot, razor burn, fear, worry, jealousy, heartbreak, and so on and on... and I think we have a pretty rational argument for suicide.



Edited by MeowMix on Sep 13, 2012 - 7:25 PM
shmik
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#2 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Sep 13, 2012 - 6:30 PM:

Wouldn't it be more rational include our attitudes and feelings towards death itself into the decision rather then just our attitude towards cessation of pain?
I can't see why you view it as rational to ignore that aspect of suicide.
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#3 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Sep 13, 2012 - 6:33 PM:

MeowMix wrote:
This argument is going to rest on the premise that suffering is worth stopping.

It also pays to keep in mind that our desire to negate/avoid ills far outweighs our desire for positive wants. Consider if I offered you a deal of you giving one hour of the worst suffering imaginable in return for one hour of pure bliss. I would hazard that most people wouldn't take the offer. I sure as hell wouldn't.

Moving on, imagine that you're walking your dog when a magical genie appears before your very eyes and hands you a switch. She says that flicking the switch will instantly 'turn your life off'; you'll cease to be right there in then. No pain or suffering or anticipation, you'll just instantly flash out of existence. So you thank the genie for her gift and continue on walking your dog when suddenly, due to your obesity and clumsiness, you manage to trip over a crack, snapping your femur in two as you fall.

So there you lay in absolute agony. Now I am going to argue that you should flick the switch. When you die, you couldn't possibly go into this state called ‘non-existence’, because death is the cessation of yourself. There would exist no ‘you’ to not-exist. So it’s impossible to not exist, and so it's impossible to be harmed by non-existence. If you want relief from your agony, you won't get it by flicking the switch because you'll be dead. Nothing will exist to experience that relief. However if rather than relief, you just want this agony to cease, (and remember that our desire to negate/avoid ills far outweighs our desire for positive wants(in this case the nice feeling of relief)) then flicking the switch is the valid option.

Non-existence cannot be preferable as there won't be a "you" for non-existence to be preferable for. However, ending your life now (by flicking the switch) as opposed to enduring extreme agony is the better option. If you end your life now, then you avoid the extreme pain (by ceasing to be a "you"), and you aren't harmed by flicking the switch because it destroys the very thing which would be deprived of the pleasure/enjoyment in life.

So laying there on the ground, you realize that the blinding agony in your leg is worth stopping. Now you reason that you can stop this suffering in one of two ways; hobble to the doctor and get your leg snapped back into place/plastered and endure a long and slow recovery (slowed of course by your morbid obesity), or simply flick the magical switch. Being the cold calculating rational person that you are, you flick the switch and your life is over.

Now replace the switch with some semi-pleasant suicide method like heroin/benzo OD, exit bag plus helium, whatever one seems the most pleasant, and replace the agony in your leg with all the pains and sufferings of life such as hunger, thirst, body pains, headaches, boredom, work, tiredness, old age, feeling your body fail on you, cancer, your obesity, cuts, bruises, burns, angst, depression, itching, sorrow, loss, anger, anxiety, pins and needles, too cold, too hot, razor burn, fear, worry, jealousy, heartbreak, and so on and on... and I think we have a pretty rational argument for suicide.



A secular argument against suicide should go like this:

The person who commits suicide acts on the basis of the maxim "shorten one's own life from self-love when future is bad more than good". But then, the principle of self-love, whose end is to preserve one's life, becomes the spring for one's death.

Hence, the person who commits suicide destroys his life by his free will, which is itself destroyed in the process. To use free will so as to bring about its own destruction is self-contradictory, hence it is logically wrong.

rgreendale
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Posted Sep 13, 2012 - 9:25 PM:

MeowMix wrote:

So laying there on the ground, you realize that the blinding agony in your leg is worth stopping.


I can't help laughing a little bit at the thought that one should kill himself to escape temporary physical pain like this. I don't think anyone is that weak to want to leave life altogether for some minor injury; indeed, even in the face of grave terminal illness, the majority of people arduously suffer through treatment in the hope of getting better.

Your argument for suicide is incredibly narrowminded- it only looks at the individual's personal feelings. What about the fact that suicide inflicts great pain and guilt in all those who love and care about the individual? Is it rational to leave one's own suffering while drastically increasing the suffering of one's circle of friends and family?
teq
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Posted Sep 13, 2012 - 9:54 PM:

I'd lasso the bitch and drag her to the laboratory.
PhC.
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Posted Sep 14, 2012 - 5:22 AM:

MeowMix wrote:
Now replace the switch with some semi-pleasant suicide method like heroin/benzo OD, exit bag plus helium, whatever one seems the most pleasant, and replace the agony in your leg with all the pains and sufferings of life such as hunger, thirst, body pains, headaches, boredom, work, tiredness, old age, feeling your body fail on you, cancer, your obesity, cuts, bruises, burns, angst, depression, itching, sorrow, loss, anger, anxiety, pins and needles, too cold, too hot, razor burn, fear, worry, jealousy, heartbreak, and so on and on... and I think we have a pretty rational argument for suicide.

All the suffering you mentionned are not permanent if one don't want them to be. There is allways a way to get out of this circle, but it's not everyone who is ready to face truth about themself.

angslan
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Posted Sep 14, 2012 - 5:27 AM:

MeowMix wrote:
It also pays to keep in mind that our desire to negate/avoid ills far outweighs our desire for positive wants. Consider if I offered you a deal of you giving one hour of the worst suffering imaginable in return for one hour of pure bliss. I would hazard that most people wouldn't take the offer.


Mind you, I wouldn't kill myself over a broken femur. It's evident to me that something different is being weighed up in each of these choices - that the one hour of bliss isn't equivalent to the rest of my life, and that the chosen one hour of pain isn't the same as accidentally incurred suffering.
MeowMix
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Posted Sep 14, 2012 - 9:03 PM:

Or in other words, does life consist of something over and above that which is being experienced? Does that which I am experiencing 'nestle' or sit within something greater than said experience? Does that which I am experiencing now sit (and travels) within a larger something which seems to be commonly referred to as 'my life'?

Often we say things like "how's your life going", "my life is a mess right now", "my life is going nowhere", "my life is complicated at the moment", "etc". What are we talking about when say things like this? What is a 'life'?
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Posted Sep 15, 2012 - 12:16 AM:

I somehow believe that people are overoptimistic about themselves thinking that there is always a hope, people can always get out of suffering if they try to, there are meaning to life, people can do anything if they are willing to, etc.


So optimistic...
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