7
   

What makes existence better than non-existence?

 
 
Debra Law
 
  2  
Reply Thu 2 Jul, 2015 05:30 pm
@LunaClare,
LunaClare wrote:

Quick summary: Isn't it better to be dead? If not, can you prove why?

We no longer experience emotions and feelings like sadness or desire.


I have no problem with experiencing emotions, like sadness or desire.

The existence of emotions in living human beings does not support an argument that it is better to be dead.

Quote:
While we're alive, we do our best to make living an enjoyable experience. We avoid pain and we pursue happiness. When we're dead, we don't need these things.


When you're dead, you don't need to avoid human pain or pursue human happiness. So what? That doesn't prove that its better to be dead.

You're the one apparently arguing that non-existence is better than existence. You have the burden of proof on this matter and you haven't supported your argument.

I have offered you many reasons why I believe existence is preferable to non-existence. I enjoy living with all the pitfalls of life. But you rejected my responses claiming that they don't answer the question.

Quote:
If you died, would you be sad that you died? You couldn't be. You couldn't have regrets. No dissatisfaction, no need for satisfaction, isn't it better to be dead?


I don't want to die. I have no overwhelming desire to avoid the natural attributes of human life such as feelings of satisfaction or dissatisfaction. The alleged absence of both when dead does not support the argument that it is better to be dead.

And your argument assumes there is no awareness after death. You can't prove your argument in favor of dying.


Quote:
That is to say, everyone would be better off dead. Better off not to have been born.


Again, you are the one making the argument, but you have not supported it other than stating your feelings while rejecting the stated feelings of others as not answering the question. Everyone is not better off dead. I hope you don't have access to WMD's. Shocked

Quote:
Having a child does not do that child any favors. That's not good parenting. It's in mortal nature to reproduce, and to desire life, otherwise we would be seen as flawed from an evolutionary standpoint.


My child would not agree with you. All the children I know are very happy to be alive. I just hope you don't have any children because you might pose a danger to their existence. Seriously. You haven't supported your argument that it is better to be dead than alive.

Quote:
I'll rephrase the question: Is it better to be dead or alive? Isn't it better not to have existed in the first place?


It is better to be alive ... and because people go to great lengths to avoid death (eating healthy, exercising, going to the doctor, fighting diseases, etc., etc., etc.,), this is strong evidence that they believe it is better to be alive. They don't have the attitude, gee ... I have a hang-nail ... thus it would have better if I was never born. Life is a gift and sane people do not throw it away based on the trivialities that you have espoused.

Quote:
Why should we continue pursuing anything if we're just going to be dead in the end anyway?


Because that's what we do. We enjoy every stage of life, from childhood, to teenager, to young adult, to parent, to grandparent, and then our time to go. It's called the human existence and most people enjoy it. That some people might be afflicted with fatalism does not mean that all of us should be similarly afflicted. Your death is inevitable argument does not support your argument that it is better to be dead.

Quote:
Even if we could live forever, why would we want to? Even if you could have everything you ever wanted, having nothing at all would still be better.


If human beings could live forever, then we would be subject to a far different paradigm which none of us is qualified to discuss from anything but our imaginations. Your arguments don't hold any water; leaky bucket alert.

Quote:
The difficulty of this problem is that I'm having a hard time finding an opposing reaction. As things currently stand, there is no valid reason to live, and there is every reason to want to be dead. What gives life weight?


I have explained in detail why I believe life is better than death and you flippantly allege that I have not answered the question. You are seeking people who agree that it is better to be dead than alive, apparently in pursuit of your secret personal agenda. But, you are the one who is arguing that non-existence is better than existence and you haven't made your case.

Quote:
I only want to hear valid arguments. "You don't know what comes next so you shouldn't take risks." This is NOT a valid argument. This doesn't handle the question directly
.

None of your arguments are valid. They are superficial stuff that living people embrace rather than reject. Human beings rely on their emotions, which are not bad things. If you feel angry, you get your butt off the couch and do something about it (all in accordance with the law, of course--I'm not advocating lawlessness). If you feel sad, you discover the source of your sadness and you take steps to remedy it. Advocating death as preferable to experiencing emotion is marlarky, pure as simple.

Quote:
A couple quotes:
"All that live are to be pitied, only the dead are to be envied."
"Wise men choose death before war. Wiser men choose not to be born."


I disagree with those quotes. It's okay for you to reject my arguments in favor of life over death, but you haven't made a valid argument yet that would convince any sane person that non-existence is better than existence.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jul, 2015 05:44 pm
@Debra Law,
Well said. You only miss one point non existence is not a referent. You don't need to provide any of the justification you did provide. Although they all are well founded.
0 Replies
 
LunaClare
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jul, 2015 05:55 pm
@Debra Law,
Okay, you're being very rude implying that I would kill people or harm children. Besides that, I didn't need you to reply to every single thing I said in a conversation I was having in a long text chain. It's also very rude to keep implying that my arguments have been invalid just because you don't agree with them. I don't agree with much of what you said, but you have a valid argument.

Debra, you have your way of seeing things, and just because you don't see things my way doesn't make me a murderer, okay? I don't really want to talk to you anymore if you're going to come to the conclusion that I'm a harm to other people's existence when you don't even know me. What people do with their lives is their own choice.

I think you're smart but I think you're also being rude. I'm not going to entertain this if all you want to do is shove your opinion on me and tell me my argument's invalid and then make assumptions about me.

Thanks but also no thanks.
FBM
 
  0  
Reply Thu 2 Jul, 2015 07:00 pm
“There is only one really serious philosophical problem,” Camus says, “and that is suicide." - Camus

I'm not a fan of Camus, but I think I can understand what he was getting at here. The value (or lack of) of life, though, is a subjective measure. I don't know of any way to make that determination for someone else.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Jul, 2015 09:10 pm
@FBM,
FBM wrote:

“There is only one really serious philosophical problem,” Camus says, “and that is suicide." - Camus

I'm not a fan of Camus, but I think I can understand what he was getting at here. The value (or lack of) of life, though, is a subjective measure. I don't know of any way to make that determination for someone else.


How is it a problem ? If you want it you do it. Problem solved ! Wink
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2015 12:09 am
@LunaClare,
LunaClare wrote:

Okay, you're being very rude implying that I would kill people or harm children.


Respectfully, expressing concern is not rude. The things you said are disconcerting. Your own words, not mine, suggest that you could be a threat to yourself and/or others. Go back and read your own statements. Considering the context, evaluate whether those statements might cause other people to raise their eyebrows.

Quote:
Besides that, I didn't need you to reply to every single thing I said in a conversation I was having in a long text chain.


I didn't know your opening post was derived from a "long text chain" and I don't think the source is relevant. Those are still your words and you posted them for our consideration of your argument.

You rejected all of my previous responses claiming they didn't answer your question. Thus, I went back to review your argument in the opening post and respond to everything so that I could answer your question.

Quote:
It's also very rude to keep implying that my arguments have been invalid just because you don't agree with them.


Arguments are valid or invalid. An argument consists of premises and a conclusion and here's your argument in a nutshell: Premise 1--Live people have emotions and struggles; Premise 2--Dead people have no emotions or struggles; Conclusion--Therefore, it is better to be dead than alive.

Assuming your premises are true, we have to determine whether your premises are sufficient to support your conclusion and they clearly are not. Emotions serve as a vital component of our existence and the struggles we encounter are catalysts for innovation and the betterment of our lives individually and as a whole. Emotions and struggles are not bad things warranting a conclusion that it is better to be dead. When the content of your premises are insufficient to support your conclusion, your argument is invalid. I think that's LOGIC 101.

You brought your argument to this discussion board for evaluation and it's not a rude for a member to actually do what you requested. If you already made up your mind that your argument was valid and your conclusion unassailable, why are you here?

You shouldn't call me rude simply because I would like you to open your eyes and embrace the magic of our Universe and the gift of life and all the wonders it brings. Perhaps I wanted to provoke you to think things through on a higher level. I didn't intend to be rude, if that means anything to you.



LunaClare wrote:
What people do with their lives is their own choice.


To a large extent, you are right. But you chose to bring this argument to this forum and it was my choice to respond. When you're dead, you don't have choices anymore.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2015 12:48 am
@LunaClare,
Quote:
I do hope you understand I have wished I was dead for over four months now

So I was right....this thread IS about suicide ! Discussion of a hypothetical "state of non-existence" is irrelevant. It all about escape from existence.

I have extensively argued from the position that "existence" (of anything) is about relationship. Your participation on this forum could be construed as an attempt to establish relationships irrespective of the subject matter or your simplistic demands for "proof". Indeed you should consider that the subject matter is antithetical to such establishment since successful relationships involve mutual gain...hardly to be enhanced by discussion of ending relationships ! That may be why "professional therapists" are useless to you since you know the relationship is superficial.

The author Herman Hesse makes a case for "triumphal suicide" (in The Prodigy, I think). On the other hand this position is perhaps tempered by his Siddhartha ...a Buddhist narrative...which resolves the exigencies of an apparently meaningless existence. They are both worth reading if you are unaware of them.

0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  -2  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2015 05:13 am
Take the amount of time you are alive . Now divide by infinity . Thats how much your life matters .
0 Replies
 
FBM
 
  0  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2015 08:42 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

FBM wrote:

“There is only one really serious philosophical problem,” Camus says, “and that is suicide." - Camus

I'm not a fan of Camus, but I think I can understand what he was getting at here. The value (or lack of) of life, though, is a subjective measure. I don't know of any way to make that determination for someone else.


How is it a problem ? If you want it you do it. Problem solved ! Wink


I just need to believe more in myself, I reckon.
0 Replies
 
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2015 11:25 am
@thack45,
thack45 wrote:

Well, being dead certainly is easier than being alive. And cutting through all of the filler, it sounds like that's exactly what you're saying


Not so fast, Thack.

LunaClare insisted we use LOGIC in our evaluation of her argument. Thus we must initially presume the truth of her premises, essentially 1) life is something (e.g., awareness, emotional, full of struggles), and 2) death is nothing (e.g., no awareness, no emotion, no struggles). LunaClare argues these premises support her conclusion that death (nothing) is better than life (something). Her premises, however, are insufficient to support her conclusion. Thus, her argument is invalid.

If we find her argument is valid, (which I don't), it is at that point that we examine her premises for truth or falsity. If her premises are not absolutely true, then her argument is not sound. We cannot establish the truth of her premise that life is somehow undesirable because she makes trivial complaints about the attributes of human life that are essential for survival and advancement. We cannot establish the truth of her premise that death means nothing (and is thus inherently "easier [or better] than being alive"). I'm not a religious person, but I acknowledge the possibility that there could be "something" after death and post-death awareness might not be as pleasant as human life awareness. Using LOGIC, her argument is neither valid nor sound.

It is possible that death is not easier than life and thus a person ought to be cautious. It might be easier to do the work necessary to fix the problems that are causing unhappiness with life.
0 Replies
 
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Jul, 2015 11:36 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

Ya know...I could scare you with some mind experiment of sorts...

...who's to say the moment someone is dying in profound agony doesn't stretch time to infinity like in real numbers for said person who is dying ? Witnessing living beings transcend the death moment with infinite energy but not the one who is dying as it loses energy... Suffering the last moment could be an eternal process to infinity...Do I believe it ? No ! Can I disprove it ? No !


Exactly, Fil. Luna Clare cannot establish the truth of her premise that death means nothing (and thus somehow better than the something we know). Her argument is unsound.
0 Replies
 
Professor Gumbus
 
  2  
Reply Thu 9 Jul, 2015 03:17 pm
@LunaClare,
Dying is something that will happen to all of us eventually. There's no point in rushing it, and TO "rush it" is too scary anyway! It's very hard to off one's self! Very terrifying. Much easier to just accept that life may not be as grand as we'd hoped, but it does have its comforting rhythm (even an awful life, people get used to what they experience as 'normal', and even depend on it - so a person living in seeming tragedy will defend getting to still live that life! And it's just an instinct to survive that we have, plus an ability to adapt. And this is what gets people through.

But when one gets depressed enough to contemplate continuing to live, then is when it might help to take some examples from people who've had to live with depression on and off all their lives. There are ways of snapping ones self out of it. There are ways of bearing through a low period, knowing that a good period will follow. And this is the advice I would give to you, the answer to your question (which I took as "what makes living worth sticking around for?"): there will always be some happy moments here and there. And they are what makes it worthwhile. You're going to die one day anyway, so what's the hurry, stick around for those occasional happy moments. Look for them even! You know..break into song, tell a joke, share a loving moment, create something.. the little things. It's about little things. Little moments of content.

And I'd recommend a visit to a book store, to the self help/ spirituality & psychology section, where you will find wonderful books that sell the value of a few happy moments along the way so compellingly.

You'll find books there too that, without being in any way about god belief, talk of living spiritually - books that report on the things we know about intuition and being connected and having inner wisdom to rely on and such, that can make you feel very powerful as the creator of your own life. Wayne Dyer has published dozens of these books, and gives wonderful inspiring speeches on PBS at pledge times (and you can find videos of those speeches on you tube, for free Wink )

Me, I very much liked The Celestine Prophecy, which a friend gave me, to get me started. Again, it had nothing to do with god belief, just observations about intuitive powers and being connected that we all have. Potent stuff. Changed my life.

So go on a quest, LunaClare! It will be something to do that could interest you. And being interested in something makes life seem important, even worth while.

(And don't be afraid of seeing as doctor, if the depression doesn't lift. One in four people has had to get a little medicinal help with snapping out of a period of funk. No big deal. (HOWEVER (CAUTION): Pills do create side effects though, and I would recommend FIRST try a natural remedy, like the following:
1- walk daily
2- watch or read something that will make you laugh, DAILY
3 - find something to be interested in, a project, a reason.
4 - if you don't have someone with you, for gods sake get a cat.
I've been alive YEARS longer than I would have, because I wont abandon my little friend who depends on me. He makes me have to get up, he makes me unable to just string myself from the ceiling. And most of all, he lets me feel some happiness, each day, when I wouldn't have. (When he cuddles on the couch with you and lets you know there's nowhere else he'd rather be than watching the telebision with you in the evening, all the cat box cleaning and ripped curtains pay off then. Trust me. It's nice. Love, even for a treasured pet, is wonderful feeling. And you should feel it daily, and have someone to fight for. Wink

This is my friend and constant companion, Captain Meow:
I keep him entertained ~ and he keeps me from visiting Dr Kavorkian's self-help page...

This is him
(Captain Meow):
.................................http://i451.photobucket.com/albums/qq238/mailmeathought/smoking_zps9b2af547.gif

No, wait, this:
.................................https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/318/19283651950_343d279bb0_z.jpg

I wish you a little moment of happiness each day.
That's plenty better than nothingness!
Debra Law
 
  0  
Reply Thu 9 Jul, 2015 03:44 pm
@Professor Gumbus,
I hope LunaClare is listening, Professor Gumbus. You brought up many good points. I know people who attempted suicide, and they are so grateful that they didn't succeed.

There are so many happy moments in life for those who will take the time to acknowledge them. I also have two cats that bring me tons of daily joy. I took a walk with my 5-year-old great-nephew the other day. He lives in another town and this was the first time I had to spend one-on-one time with him. He was so delightful and full of life. Happy moments ... life hands them to us in abundance ... they are there for the taking.
0 Replies
 
HesDeltanCaptain
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Aug, 2015 11:08 am
@LunaClare,
I've never died or been dead before so can't really say if it's better. My only personal experience is with being alive. Though if the 13.4 billion years prior to my birth are anything to go by, the time between my death and the end of the universe will "seem" instantaneous. So there may be no point in asking what it's like being dead because we have no conception or appreciation of time, just like before our birth.
0 Replies
 
Stoic
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2015 09:41 pm
@LunaClare,
Why are we sure that existence is better than non-existence? Why is the opposite assumed true? What would make non-existence better than existence? Also entertain that both are equally futile.

To give a normative evaluation and compare the two would be as they say, comparing apples to oranges. It's absurd. There's no valid reason to be alive, nor is there a valid reason to be dead (assuming we're both operationalizing "reason" the same way).

I don't personally feel 1778 was better or worse than 2015, despite being non-existent in one of those years, and quite alive in the other.
0 Replies
 
 

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