• Baden
    13.8k
    Anti-life discussions (personal or otherwise) will be merged below. Please join this discussion rather than starting any new threads on this theme.

    Thanks.
  • 180 Proof
    10.2k
    What should I live for or how should I live?rossii
    In the last four-plus decades, what I have learned by daily study and from lived experience is this: work everyday towards easy sleep (ergo a good death) by not doing to anyone what you find harmful to yourself. All the rest follows.

    :death: :flower:
  • Tom Storm
    5.4k
    What should I live for or how should I live?rossii

    Totally up to you. There are billions of reasons (you make your own meaning through your use of time, your job, interests, friends, family, nature, pets, causes, helping others, whatever) and many people, even those living with great suffering, privation and war are often optimistic and future focused. Nevertheless lots of people go though a 'what's the point of it all' phase early in life. Some people feel the onset of this in middle age, as priorities suddenly change. In my experience, many people find helping others the most effective pathway out of meaninglessness and depression. Sometimes too much ruminating over meaning leads to a state of analysis paralysis.
  • jgill
    2.6k
    What should I live for or how should I live?rossii

    It would help if you would say where you are in the spectrum of ageing: twenties, thirties,...

    When I was in my twenties, evading the Union Army as it burned Atlanta, I became an existentialist, realizing there is no divine purpose to life. One must create meaning. It then becomes a task to do just that and one begins the search having a purpose.
  • Agent Smith
    8.2k


    Antinatalism is a pseudo-solution to the problem of suffering which to explicate is how to live/exist without hurting? This is, as you already know, the perennial philosophical problem (eudaimonia/the good life). Obviously, recommending death/nonexistence is to completely miss the point, oui monsieur?
  • Mikie
    4.2k
    What should I live for or how should I live?rossii

    That’s a fantastic question, and a highly important one.

    It’s also, perhaps frustratingly, a deeply personal one. No general answer can be given — from me or anyone else. It has to come from you, and one day it may.
  • rossii
    17
    Well I’m in my early thirties, and i’m really looking for a compelling reason/argument to live (and how to live) that would at least work for me. Suicide has been on my mind for a quite some time, but I really don’t want to cause suffering to people around me. That’s why the search for a reason to live or argument why not suicide.
  • javi2541997
    2.4k
    That’s why the search for a reason to live or argument why not suicide.rossii

    There are not reasons to live at all. You only have to have to do it. I think you would make a big mistake if you put yourself in a search for a cause of living.
    Instead of live, you need to "survive" this life. Don't commit suicide. As you expressed, the effects would be devastating to your love ones.
    Suicide could be only acceptable if you are alone and such act would not affect anyone.
    Keep in mind that if you kill yourself your family or friends will suffer with the remorse of thinking "what they did wrong with you to end up killing yourself"
  • Angelo Cannata
    246
    Hello, rossii, a "compelling" reason/argument to live and how to live does not exist: every reason/argument is relative. This means that being pessimist/antinatalist is relative as well: there are not compelling reasons/arguments to be be pessimist. While being in this human situation, we can try to find what seems the best to every one of us. What works for me is spirituality, which does not mean automatically belief in anything: I don't believe in anything, I cultivate spirituality as inner life, that is, the best inner experiences that you are able to cultivate inside yourself. It is not a recipe, it is a work of research in life. It is not something that works; it is something that helps.
  • Agent Smith
    8.2k
    There are probably many reasons to live; happiness, sensu lato, being the most powerful justification for wanting to (continue to) exist.

    That out of the way, if the question is aimed at antinatlists who recommend nonexistence then the answer is rather simple: death/dying is painful and given how hyperalgesic antinatalists are death i.e. suicide isn't really an option for them. Remember that nonexistence isn't the problem (re Epicurus) it's the transition from existence to nonexistence (dying) that is.
  • universeness
    3.5k
    That’s why the search for a reason to live or argument why not suicide.rossii

    Think of all the cool stuff that might happen, that you will miss if your not around. Maybe we will be visited by aliens, maybe Donald Trump will convert to humanism, maybe science will find some new answers, maybe people's lives will get better, they have got very much better imo since we first came out of the wilds, maybe a good person will love you, maybe a new child in your family will give you renewed purpose and hope, maybe someone else will learn something from you that helps them, maybe you will make a difference somewhere, maybe your favourite food ever will be discovered by you soon, maybe you will watch a show that makes you laugh harder and longer than you have ever laughed before. Maybe you don't know just how important you are to the lives of others that have never told you so or maybe you will become so.
    Your like may in fact be incredibly rare in the vast Universe.
    Immerse yourself in the wonders of life.
    The song below can sound pessimistic, yet the advice from Thom Yorke at the end is: Immerse yourself in love.

  • ChatteringMonkey
    1.1k
    You ask for a reason to live, but at base this is not a question about 'reason', or abstract arguments that need to be given for life... but more a question of personal motivation, which is concerned with the affective and aesthetic. What really moves you, what do you find beautiful? What do you feel? If you can answer that, and organize your life around that, I'd think you'll find that the need for coming up with abstract reasons to live goes away.
  • Pie
    1k

    I'm pretty happy these days, but the older I get the less attached to life I feel. Does the fruit ripen on the tree? Is there less to prove ? I wrote to a friend yesterday that it's like learning that a video game can't be beat...so that losing your last player is no longer so scary...
  • Pie
    1k
    I consider that a dodge to my stance on this and a symptom of society's collective fear around death, I mean we can't even talk about it without people thinking there is something "Wrong" with you.Darkneos

    I think it's just an intimate topic. Folks aren't that afraid. What's 'wrong' with someone might just be their timing or expectation of intimacy. Suffering and gloom are not in short supply. They are maybe even the rule and not the exception, at least as people age. So there's not much use talking about it ... unless you can light up the shitshow with a joke we haven't heard yet.
  • ChatteringMonkey
    1.1k
    My counter would be that as a living being it's weird to prefer death over life, as sustaining its lifeform over time, and propagating it, is essentially what life is. That is what defines living beings/sets life apart from non-living things.

    So in other words, preferring life over death seems to me a default, almost axiomatic valuation of living beings, and doesn't need any further justification really.

    Considering that, my question to you then would be, what prompted you to flip this basic instinctive valuation on its head?

    What causes life to turn on life?
  • DA671
    626
    I often feel that the so-called small moments of fulfilment can also be of great value. Unfortunately, they aren't often appreciated and even acknowledged as much because we expect the positives to be greatly apparent (like laughing or the pleasure of eating). Personally, I have found an extremely bright silver lining in the darkest of clouds. I hope that this can be the reality for everyone (though it would obviously be better to reduce the size of the clouds!).
  • Banno
    19.2k
    I tend to view death as preferable to lifeDarkneos

    ...perhaps you are doing it wrong?
  • Pie
    1k
    I often feel that the so-called small moments of fulfilment can also be of great value.DA671

    :up:

    I love a good cup of coffee, a lonely bikeride on a cool night, snuggling my torty, laughing at a piece of a bit in an old book that only the aging cool kids remember...
  • Pie
    1k
    Personally, I have found an extremely bright silver lining in the darkest of clouds.DA671

    I can relate. One can even start laughing in the swamp of misery, with the gods at the one's own folly and the folly of humans in general. Gallows humor. And then there is the true platitude that suffering sometimes burns off a mask or a delusion. I don't claim that all suffering can be partially forgiven this way. The world offers pure stupid hurt too.
  • DA671
    626
    I think that people should have a liberal right to exit if they cannot find any alternative source of value.

    I am truly saddened by the fact that you don't seem to find joy in life. Since I am not you and don't know your experiences, it would be presumptuous of me to suggest what and how you should think. From what I have observed and experienced, however, I think I can say that moulding our perspectives can play a big role in defining the good we see in our lives. Whenever I've met the financially less-fortunate people in my area, I've noticed that they are simply content with having a decent relationship and being able to sustain themselves. They learn whatever they can and say that they don't need to create some sort of ultimate purpose that transcends their "mundane" existence. Happiness is fundamentally subjective, so I believe that there is truth to the idea that we shouldn't have unrealistic expectations. And it's possible for us to have them subconsciously without even being aware of them. If someone had told me prior to my illnesses that reading my favourite novel would give me satisfaction that would outweigh the intense pain high fever brings, I would have likely dismissed them. However, lo and behold, this is precisely what happened. Sentient experience is quite diverse (and maybe that is what plays a major role in what makes life beautiful). I think that instead of absolute natalism or universal antinatalism, a nuanced approach is desirable.

    You also raised a point that I see being mentioned frequently, viz., the fact that you wouldn't need happiness if you don't exist. Now, I actually believe this to be true (assuming physicalism is correct), but this is an incomplete conclusion. If we should not be afraid of/averse to non-existence because we cannot be deprived of something when we don't exist, we should also not chase/worship the void, since the absence of suffering has no value for an inexistent being. You're not going to be in some better/more satisfied state due to the lack of harms. In view of this, non-existence has no value/disvalue. What one does with their life, therefore, becomes a highly individualised affair that differs from person-to-person and what action/emotion brings them happiness when they exist. Lastly, I wouldn't say there's something "wrong" with you. I am not a fan of blind optimism. All I would say is that, considering that value only lies in existence, I think that it can be rational to try our best to discover a source of joy that can provide us happiness for as long as possible instead of seeking cessation which is necessarily limited in its capacity to provide fulfilment. Maybe some people are too uncomfortable thinking about non-existence so they quickly jump to therapy. After having discussed this issue with many individuals, I feel that I am not one of those aforementioned people. Nonetheless, I believe that therapy can definitely help. If there is an opportunity for gaining ineffable value that is more powerful than the temporary and slightly distorted satisfaction that the void might give, it may be the better option.

    I hope that you have a wonderful day ahead!
  • Tom Storm
    5.4k
    I was wondering if anyone else thinks similarly or if they have a counter to what I've mentioned. I realize I'm aloneDarkneos

    I think it's pretty common to go through phases thinking/feeling like this, especially in the first third of life. Most people I know had periods of anhedonia, accompanied by periods of suicidal thoughts. But things did get better.
  • 180 Proof
    10.2k

    If I outlive every person / activity I love, only then will I long for death. Until then, sleeping well suffices. :death: :flower:
  • DA671
    626
    Precisely. I also feel that sometimes our mind starts telling us that there's something wrong/incorrect with finding happiness in these so-called small things. I generally respond to this internal pessimistic scepticism by asking why exactly should I not find beauty or meaning in that story or song? Is there an objective reason that compels me to not find it meaningful? More often than not, this makes my other side realise that, though optimism and pessimism can both be rationally chosen, only one has ultimate value that all sentient beings pursue—and there is nothing wrong with that.
  • DA671
    626
    The very fact that you posed this question makes me think that there is clearly a part of you that finds the worldview you are currently tilting towards to be problematic. I am so sorry that you feel the way you do. I know that platitudes about how it all eventually gets better would seem like empty words to you. But I can say from personal experience that things can definitely change dramatically. I've people who began to enjoy their lives when they reached their 40s. Obviously, their cases were all manifold and intricate. But one common thread was, perhaps surprisingly enough, a shift in what they expected from life. They began to see the things in life that they once found to be merely small things that one needed to "get through" as sources of genuine (albeit not total) fulfilment. There was gratitude whilst drinking a glass of water that sustains life, amazement when thinking about the enormity of the cosmos as they were driving, and happiness at being able to help someone. You're not going to be perpetually satisfied to the greatest degree possible. Yet, there could always be some happiness within you and it could come back again with a lot more force. There's nothing that is inherently wrong with having a pessimistic outlook. Nevertheless, I believe that it can only have instrumental value for sentient beings who are necessarily driven towards regaining satisfaction. Finally, and this is a point that concerns all individuals, I believe that there has to be a realisation that people's experiences are bound to vary, so absolutist views like universal pro-natalism or absolute antinatalism don't seem to be good ideas. They tend to ignore one side of the coin and have the potential to cause unimaginable loss. Even if I suffer, that does not efface all the happiness you might experience. I hope you find the good that you deserve! Have a nice day!

    Edit: I have had many discussions regarding AN on this forum. You could check my comments history if you're interested in my reasons for rejecting the philosophy. Here's an example: https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/657516

    I should forewarn you that these discourses are a bit long and somewhat tedious.
  • DA671
    626
    :up: Same (unless there's potential for something new).
  • javi2541997
    2.4k
    I think it's pretty common to go through phases thinking/feeling like this, especially in the first third of life.Tom Storm

    Agreed. I also had periods on my life related to these feelings. So, I feel better with myself knowing that is pretty common among the people when they grow up
  • Yohan
    679
    There are two motives for staying alive:
    Curiosity, which makes life a fascinating exploration of potential.

    And the fear of death. Which is not really any different from being dead already.

    Its not death you crave. You are dead already. You crave to truly live.
  • Agent Smith
    8.2k
    ...perhaps you are doing it wrong?Banno

    :lol: :up:
  • DA671
    626
    Love of life can drive the aversion, too.
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