• schopenhauer1
    4.6k
    So the common sense notion of suffering I am going to posit as this:
    1) If a pain is caused due to contingent circumstances that are very much seen as out of the realm of human decision-making, then it is unjustified. So Mr. Job is a standup citizen but all these natural disasters and calamities happen to him and his family. This seems unjustified pain brought upon poor Mr. Job.

    2) If pain is caused due to contingent circumstances that are very much seen as in the realm of human decision-making, then pain/suffering is seen as justified. So Mr. Job makes some poor decisions that lead to financial, social, and physical ruin for himself. This seems justified pain brought upon the deserving Mr. Job.

    I just see this split in justified and unjustified pain/suffering as not seeing the bigger picture. The very fact that any suffering can befall someone, that someone can even make bad decisions that lead to ruinous consequences, the fact that conditions are present whereby one can have natural or human decision-making causes for pain is all considered equally bad. One may try to mitigate bad decisions, but the very fact of its existence, and its intrinsic part of being human, makes it de facto also an inevitable pain/suffering that will befall most/all at some point. This all seems like unjustified pain that humans must endure as conditions of being born in the first place.
  • Albero
    20
    This is definitely an interesting question, and one that will probably garner you many responses. Personally, it seems a little too reductionistic for my tastes. To me, it may imply that if something terrible happens the event can all be traced back to your parents for being responsible since they brought you here in the first place. I think biting that bullet is fair, but I’m part of the more stoic camp that whatever is justified or unjustified in my life is dependant on my judgements alone.
  • schopenhauer1
    4.6k
    To me, it may imply that if something terrible happens the event can all be traced back to your parents for being responsible since they brought you here in the first place.Albero

    Its not meant to blame parents per se, just point out that poor decisions are part of the process of being human, and that people will make them is part of the inevitable suffering of existence. It should be taken into consideration as much as natural disasters or pandemics, for the misery or negative that can (will inevitably) characterize life.

    I think biting that bullet is fair, but I’m part of the more stoic camp that whatever is justified or unjustified in my life is dependant on my judgements alone.Albero

    Cool, make sure you rub it in your own face in your next bad decision :lol:!
  • Albero
    20
    @schopenhauer1 I’m sure what you mean in that last bit there, if I came across as rude I apologize. After reading your response, I think I can agree to an extent since I understand what you meant better. I’d have to agree that we do tend to have a rosy view on our species when it comes to decision making. We can barely get our shit together in this pandemic that’s going on thanks to the god awful planning. The United States is pretty much a complete disaster, and climate chaos is starting to rear its ugly head. Unfortunately, one man’s horrible decision is another man’s lucky strike (the Trump supporters seem to be pretty chipper despite fascism being seen as a pretty bad idea)
  • Srap Tasmaner
    2.6k
    poor decisions are part of the process of being human, and that people will make them is part of the inevitable suffering of existenceschopenhauer1

    But why should I not feel responsible for this poor decision just because it's a certainty that some of the decisions I make in my life will be poor ones? If, in this specific case, I could have acted otherwise, I'm responsible, whether it goes in the good-decision bucket or the poor-decision bucket.

    If, up to this point in my life, I have only made good decisions, whether I now make a good decision or a poor decision will determine whether I have made only good decisions or not, but that is not the choice I face. Responsibility doesn't simply attach to the conjunction of all my decisions, but to each according to the circumstances and my capacity to act freely in each case.
  • schopenhauer1
    4.6k
    I’m sure what you mean in that last bit there, if I came across as rude I apologize. After reading your response, I think I can agree to an extent since I understand what you meant better. I’d have to agree that we do tend to have a rosy view on our species when it comes to decision making. We can barely get our shit together in this pandemic that’s going on thanks to the god awful planning. The United States is pretty much a complete disaster, and climate chaos is starting to rear its ugly head. Unfortunately, one man’s horrible decision is another man’s lucky strike (the Trump supporters seem to be pretty chipper despite fascism being seen as a pretty bad idea)Albero

    Yes, I think you got the gist. Sometimes we are callous to ourselves. We have our own pathologies, tendencies, bad information, indecision. Life can be hard in all regards. Some times more decisions is more stultification, not more freedom.. The more choices in beds, the more choices you have to be discomforted with the wrong choice. It's a very first-world example, but just shows you that there is no escaping bad decisions via technology and output- it may increase overall micro-dissatisfactions. In corporate environments, you may say the wrong thing to a client, customer, or boss-wrong decision. You swerved left instead of right-wrong decision. Make a wrong decision in a tribal society, you are liable to simply die or get seriously injured. This too is part of the suffering of human existence. Though we may say that the locus of our ethics is indeed based on individual accountability, decisions themselves aren't exempt from the very causes of suffering, just because moral loci are based on them. The very fact that bad decisions lead to poor consequences, whether accountable to someone's actions or not, are still negative realities humans face.

    Yes, so my point was don't be too hard on yourself or others, as your examples point out, we can barely make heads or tales sometimes. We get by and make do.
  • schopenhauer1
    4.6k
    But why should I not feel responsible for this poor decision just because it's a certainty that some of the decisions I make in my life will be poor ones? If, in this specific case, I could have acted otherwise, I'm responsible, whether it goes in the good-decision bucket or the poor-decision bucket.Srap Tasmaner

    I was not saying the individual wasn't accountable for that decision, just that the very fact of bad consequences in decision-making are a thing, are just one more thing to add to the suffering. It is not necessarily justified that poor-decisions are a thing, though in moral matters, it can be said to be the basis for the locus of moral accountability.

    If, up to this point in my life, I have only made good decisions, whether I now make a good decision or a poor decision will determine whether I have made only good decisions or not, but that is not the choice I face. Responsibility doesn't simply attach to the conjunction of all my decisions, but to each according to the circumstances and my capacity to act freely in each case.Srap Tasmaner

    And again, not disputing accountability, just that suffering from bad decisions, when looking at the bigger picture, is a part of the overall suffering and can lead to bad consequences. As far as being a part of the whole suffering ecology, it is just one more facet that humans face. Suffering can be brought about from contingent external forces or our own detrimental decisions. The origin of the suffering doesn't negate the suffering and certainly doesn't make one more justified. Again, not saying people aren't responsible for their moral actions, just that if those actions lead to detrimental outcomes, it is bad in the same way as other bads. It's just one more negative part of life that humans face.

    It's like if I threw you in a game and you didn't ask to play it, can't escape, and aren't particularly good at it. In fact, you have a defect that can prevent you from playing well in many ways. Then I say, "Well, it's justified that you are suffering based on your poor ability to play this game". Yeah, no.
  • Albero
    20
    When I read your last bit, it made me wonder why our societies are so anti-suicide when we shouldn't always be. Not everyone enjoys being here, and we certainly didn't get a say in whether we want to be here or not. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but in the movie "Children of Men", life has become so miserable that suicide pills are sold on the counter in laissez faire style. Maybe this could be reality 40 years down the line
  • Srap Tasmaner
    2.6k
    Suffering can be brought about from contingent external forces or our own detrimental decisions. The origin of the suffering doesn't negate the suffering and certainly doesn't make one more justifiedschopenhauer1

    I took the "common sense" understanding of whether some particular suffering is justified to be the difference between "I brought this on myself (it's my own fault)" and "I don't deserve this".

    In order to challenge that distinction, what else is there to talk about besides responsibility?

    It's like if I threw you in a game and you didn't ask to play it, can't escapeschopenhauer1

    Then no one would say you are playing the game voluntarily, and consequences of you playing at all can't reasonably be laid at your door.

    But what about things you do in the course of playing? If someone forces me to play hockey, do they also force me to knock someone's teeth out? We tend to assess responsibility more finely than that.

    If I chose freely to play hockey, am I freely choosing to have my teeth knocked out? I'm choosing to risk it, certainly, but I'm not choosing for it to happen in the same way that I'm choosing to skate, since that's an unavoidable part of playing hockey.

    I agree, of course, that suffering is suffering, no matter the origin; I'm just not convinced there's a common sense view that it's different if you brought it on yourself. That looks to me like assessing responsibility, nothing more. It's even perfectly consistent to say, "It's a damn shame what he's going through, but he brought it on himself."
  • schopenhauer1
    4.6k
    I agree, of course, that suffering is suffering, no matter the origin; I'm just not convinced there's a common sense view that it's different if you brought it on yourself. That looks to me like assessing responsibility, nothing more. It's even perfectly consistent to say, "It's a damn shame what he's going through, but he brought it on himself."Srap Tasmaner

    And so his suffering is justified? I guess the price of being a human born in existence right? Shame indeed.
  • Srap Tasmaner
    2.6k
    I guess the price of being a human born in existence right?schopenhauer1

    Did I freely choose to be born?
  • Srap Tasmaner
    2.6k


    Then why bring it up? Is someone claiming that the pain and distress of being born is justified because the fetus chose to be born?
  • schopenhauer1
    4.6k

    They are claiming that if you just made better decisions you wouldnt be so bad. Oh regret and remorse can be added too.
  • Srap Tasmaner
    2.6k
    They are claiming that if you just made better decisions you wouldnt be so bad.schopenhauer1

    Okay. In one sense, that's just obvious, and in another it's ridiculous. If I don't deliberately crush my hand with a 2-pound sledgehammer, then my hand is fine, or it ends up getting crushed some other way, or something worse happens to me because I didn't crush my hand, or something amazing and wonderful happens to me because I did crush my hand, or happens because I didn't, or ..., or ..., or ...

    Counterfactuals are tricky enough without trying to do some kind of double-entry happiness bookkeeping on top.

    If I freely choose to crush my hand with a sledgehammer, we can at least say that the pain I suffer is my own fault, and if I never regain the use of that hand, that's mostly my fault too, though I suppose we could discount a little for medical science not being more advanced than it is.

    I'm still not sure I understand what you're arguing for or against.
  • Tzeentch
    828
    What I think requires consideration is the common sense notion that suffering is an objective thing, external to the individual. I think when examined, suffering is internal. It is highly subjective, and caused by the desires (however understandable those desires may be) of the individual.
  • schopenhauer1
    4.6k

    Yes you created some ridiculous scenarios, but that's not how these things usually go.

    Let's say you decided to make a purchase. In the store, the purchase seemed something you would like. Your friend recommended it. You tried it in the store and it seemed good at the time. You brought it home and you realize you don't like it. You didn't read closely enough at the fine print and you cannot return it. You are stuck. You made a wrong decision.

    Let's say you decided you made a decision that was much more detrimental. It can go on and on.
  • Isaac
    3k
    I'm still not sure I understand what you're arguing for or against.Srap Tasmaner

    Have you ever heard a teenager complain "I never asked to be born!" when asked by their parents to carry out some chore? Schop has unfortunately found a medium for dragging this pubescent whine into four and a half thousand posts.
  • khaled
    1.4k
    Is someone claiming that the pain and distress of being born is justified because the fetus chose to be born?Srap Tasmaner

    Isn’t all pain and distress a result of being born? Because it seems to me like you’re saying all pain and distress is unjustified.
  • Srap Tasmaner
    2.6k
    Isn’t all pain and distress a result of being born? Because it seems to me like you’re saying all pain and distress is unjustified.khaled

    No. But "result" is a weasel-word, isn't it?

    Being born is a necessary condition of being alive; being alive is a necessary condition of suffering; therefore being born is a necessary condition of suffering.

    Does that make being born the sole sufficient condition of suffering? Obviously not.

    Certainly being alive is also a necessary condition for making poor decisions. Is it a sufficient condition?

    What exactly would that mean? Even granting, and I see no reason not to, that everyone makes poor decisions, does it make any sense to say that being alive caused those decisions?
  • Srap Tasmaner
    2.6k
    Let's say you decided you made a decision that was much more detrimental. It can go on and on.schopenhauer1

    There's a lot going on between most decisions and the consequences of those decisions.

    I think we all shoot ourselves in the foot, but some of us are given a BB gun when we're born and some of us are given a shotgun. I've made a lot of mistakes in my life, none of which led to prison or homelessness.

    I think your observation that everyone makes mistakes is a reasonable founding principle for a society that is more supportive and even forgiving. We could live in a world more obsessed with human flourishing than justice.
  • schopenhauer1
    4.6k
    Have you ever heard a teenager complain "I never asked to be born!" when asked by their parents to carry out some chore? Schop has unfortunately found a medium for dragging this pubescent whine into four and a half thousand posts.Isaac

    Good one. You don't have a good answer to it, so you if you call it pubescent, and attack it by not having an argument, you feel you diffuse the argument. Nope. Cowards way.. I can just say all of philosophy is masturbatory rhetorical nothings being spewed by a bunch of (possibly?) grown adults who haven't gotten past the stage of trying to showoff their empty rhetoric to the rest of the (clearly pampered private school) class. Anything can be manipulated to look a certain way. The fact that you wanted to comment on it in that way, shows more about you.
  • schopenhauer1
    4.6k
    I think your observation that everyone makes mistakes is a reasonable founding principle for a society that is more supportive and even forgiving.Srap Tasmaner

    Agreed, but we are generally our own harshest critic. No one else will know how much that decision affected you to the extent that it did.

    Isn’t all pain and distress a result of being born? Because it seems to me like you’re saying all pain and distress is unjustified.khaled

    It's like the analogy you give about being thrown into a game you didn't ask for and perhaps can't play well (for a variety of reasons). Except this game is inescapable. Poor decisions are part of the ecological landscape of being born at all, just like natural disasters.
  • khaled
    1.4k
    It's like the analogy you give about being thrown into a game you didn't ask for and perhaps can't play well (for a variety of reasons). Except this game is inescapable. Poor decisions are part of the ecological landscape of being born at all, just like natural disasters.schopenhauer1

    You misunderstand. I agree that all pain and distress is unjustified ultimately. But I also think that it is best to act as if it was not in personal life. If I see the world as a dark and cruel place where I suffer no matter what I do I won't do anything, which will only confirm my paranoia. So I choose to not think that way. It is the only way to play the game well now that I'm stuck in it. However that doesn't justify me forcing other people to play just because I found a way to make the game bearable which may or may not work for them.
  • schopenhauer1
    4.6k
    I (and others) have provided 'good' arguments against the kind if crap you're peddling already - many times over. You just ignore them and start another tiresome thread on exactly the same fucking topic, again. It's like you're recruiting and that pisses me off. Teenagers have a high enough suicide rate as it is without being exposed to "you're better off not being alive" death cults masquerading as philosophy.Isaac

    Playing the role of concerned mother at a PTA meeting, isn't philosophy. Make an argument or don't. I give you credit for being concerned (if that really is the case rather than rhetorical tactics). Rather, I am trying to chip away at oft-used arguments. It's not recruiting but making a slow, plodding case with various examples. Just ignore if you don't like and answer threads about whether mind is matter or matter is mind, or something about physics.. the ones you think have an air of legitimacy (precisely the type point I have been making if you pay attention regarding minutia-mongering). But ultimately, sometimes the truth is indeed something that can be hard to hear. Even if that is the case, it doesn't mean it must be hushed. It's not meant for any demographic to commit suicide to anymore than any other philosophy or art or form of communication that may convey negative views of existence.
  • Isaac
    3k
    Playing the role of concerned mother at a PTA meeting, isn't philosophy.schopenhauer1

    Nor would I claim it is, that detracts neither from the point I made nor the justification for posting it. If you'd have posted neo-Nazi propaganda I would have responded likewise with a non-philosophical opposition.

    Make an argument or don't.schopenhauer1

    It's already been made, yet you persist, are you suggesting that your previous (I'm going to go with hundreds) of posts on the subject have gone uncontested? An argument with which you do not agree doesn't cease to be an argument simply by virtue of your disapproval.

    It's not meant for any demographic to commit suicide to anymore than any other philosophy or art or form of communication that may convey negative views of existence.schopenhauer1

    It's not your intentions I'm imputing it's your presentation of genocide as a solution to teenage angst.
  • schopenhauer1
    4.6k
    If I see the world as a dark and cruel place where I suffer no matter what I do I won't do anything, which will only confirm my paranoia. So I choose to not think that way. It is the only way to play the game well now that I'm stuck in it. However that doesn't justify me forcing other people to play just because I found a way to make the game bearable which may or may not work for them.khaled

    No, I agree. My main point is that people often view suffering as external, and exclude suffering made by oneself through poor decision-making. There is an idea that if the result is something from a deliberative act, that it was justified, since it came from the person. All suffering is part of the picture. As far as how this understanding affects daily life, I agree, one doesn't have to make it color everything, it is more descriptive of the ecology than trying to be prescriptive of any way to think of it daily.
  • schopenhauer1
    4.6k
    Nor would I claim it is, that detracts neither from the point I made nor the justification for posting it. If you'd have posted neo-Nazi propaganda I would have responded likewise with a non-philosophical opposition.Isaac

    Antinatalism is not a hate group. It advocates no discrimination, harm, or violence on any particular group of people. And passively arguing for not procreating is not any of those things, so don't even try with that. If you are implying it's causing teen suicide, that seems a straw man you pulled out of your ass.

    It's already been made, yet you persist, are you suggesting that your previous (I'm going to go with hundreds) of posts on the subject have gone uncontested? An argument with which you do not agree doesn't cease to be an argument simply by virtue of your disapproval.Isaac

    Uncontested? I never said that. I am well aware of the many many interlocutors who disagree. And I have rarely started threads that I never defended over and over. So I would never say it is uncontested. Rather, I am focused on the many arguments people make for why people should keep procreating and taking various angles to dispute these commonly held notions and to chip away at them. It is also to present things people might not consider.

    It's not your intentions I'm imputing it's your presentation of genocide as a solution to teenage angst.Isaac

    This is where you are arguing out of bad faith. Clearly none of my posts have anything to do with "teenage angst". That is the presentation YOU are imputing, and its just a way to delegitimize with labeling. I am not sure if this is a joke to be funny or real. If real:
    A) Genocide is not passively not having children.
    B) Solution to suffering isn't a solution to teenage angst.

    But you knew this and are being a troll it seems which is very much what an angsty teenager would do :wink:.
  • Isaac
    3k
    It advocates no discrimination, harm, or violence on any particular group of people.schopenhauer1

    What it advocates and what it's philosophical positions end up encouraging are two different things. As I said, it's not your motives I'm talking about.

    If you are implying it's causing teen suicide, that seems a straw man you pulled out of your ass.schopenhauer1

    I'm not implying it's causing teen suicide, but if you can't see a link between that and a cult advocating that non-existence is the only way to avoid suffering then you really don't understand the issue at all.

    to dispute these commonly held notions and to chip away at them. It is also to present things people might not consider.schopenhauer1

    You're doing neither. The arguments which have been presented you just leave hanging and then open a new thread. You're not 'chipping away' at anything, you're ignoring contrary opinion that cannot be disputed and hunting for 'fresh blood' who might be more gullible. That's why it comes across as recruiting. The arguments you make have already been made, the counterarguments have already been made yet rather than think of new angles on those difficult positions, you hawk a new thread with the same flaws hoping someone new might not notice them.

    If real:
    A) Genocide is not passively not having children.
    B) Solution to suffering isn't a solution to teenage angst.
    schopenhauer1

    As I've said, it's not what you intent, it's what's implied. If I were to strongly advocate that immigrants should be steralised and imprisoned, do you think I can really wash my hands of any violence against immigrants which then ensues by claiming "well, I never actually advocated violence"?

    Your arguments are undermining the basic sanctity of human life, I find it very hard to believe you can't see the philosophical consequences of arguing that all human life is worth less than nothing.
  • khaled
    1.4k
    My main point is that people often view suffering as external, and exclude suffering made by oneself through poor decision-making.schopenhauer1

    I would say that it's not fair to put ALL of your suffering on being forced to play the game. Birth is the first cause of all suffering but not the only cause. Currently people don't count suffering they inflict on themselves as suffering at all but I don't think it's fair to go from that to counting all suffering as a direct result of being born. If you lost your house due to a volcano I'd understand blaming the game, but if you sold your house at a less than ideal price I'd say it's not fair to blame the game solely.

    And since you're already part of the game I'd say there is no point in blaming anything on the game because that pragmatically makes the situation worse even if it makes sense. But anyways this isn't really philosophy I'm just talking about attitude towards life in general.
  • khaled
    1.4k
    a cult advocating that non-existence is the only way to avoid sufferingIsaac

    Just an interjection here. First off antinatalism doesn't say that non-existence is the ONLY way to avoid suffering and secondly it is not the goal of antinatalism to avoid suffering but merely not to inflict it. If you knew you child would cure cancer an antinatalist would still say that having them is wrong. Even though having them would relieve more suffering.

    If I were to strongly advocate that immigrants should be steralised and imprisoned, do you think I can really wash my hands of any violence against immigrants which then ensues by claiming "well, I never actually advocated violence"?Isaac

    That is already advocating violence (what with the forced improsonment and all) so no. Antinatalists do not advocate suicide.

    arguing that all human life is worse less than nothing.Isaac

    When was that implied? It is very easy to look at a philosophical position like materialism and blurt out something like "sO YoU'Re sAyiNg wE'Re AlL jUsT MAchinEs???" when the reality is often much more complicated. I think that's exactly what you're doing here.

    sanctity of human lifeIsaac

    No matter how sanctified human life is all that serves to do is to make a case against murder, assault, etc. No amount of sanctity will make an argument FOR having children without sounding ridiculous. "Human life is so sanctified each person must at least have 3 children" sounds pretty ridiculous no? Bringing up sanctity of human life here is like providing a proof for the the sum of angles in a triangle in a debate about free will. Completely unrelated even though it's correct.
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