A Depressing “Take” on life from this article

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I understand there r many ideas, thoughts , philosophies , etc. 

I’ve always been sensitive to suffering , but having it more detailed or statistical, makes it even more depressing !

There are actually people who are against humans continuing :

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-br...xtinction/

Just looking to generate discussion
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(2023-04-18, 04:58 PM)Bill37 Wrote: I understand there r many ideas, thoughts , philosophies , etc. 

I’ve always been sensitive to suffering , but having it more detailed or statistical, makes it even more depressing !

There are actually people who are against humans continuing :

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-br...xtinction/

Just looking to generate discussion

I'm not sure I can take philosophers in their cushy tenured jobs as seriously as the single mother in poverty who works multiple jobs to support her children, the reformed child soldier who seeks to correct their conditioning, or all the other people in some hard to terrible circumstances who still hold a smile and cares for others.

Do those who exist in the the "turned over burning bus" conditions the article mentions want their lives to end?

It's fine to not have kids but it seems a bit silly to claim this is an attempt to alleviate future suffering, when so much can be done to alleviate the suffering that exists now.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2023-04-18, 09:31 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel. Edited 1 time in total.)
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(2023-04-18, 09:30 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: I'm not sure I can take philosophers in their cushy tenured jobs as seriously as the single mother in poverty who works multiple jobs to support her children, the reformed child soldier who seeks to correct their conditioning, or all the other people in some hard to terrible circumstances who still hold a smile and cares for others.

Do those who exist in the the "turned over burning bus" conditions the article mentions want their lives to end?

It's fine to not have kids but it seems a bit silly to claim this is an attempt to alleviate future suffering, when so much can be done to alleviate the suffering that exists now.

But then, for every extraordinary case of joy found in the presence of great and unjust innocent personal physical suffering there are probably many more cases of lifelong misery and railing against the (true) injustice of it all. The greatest good for the greatest number looks like it would be on the side of the anti-natalists, unless you think that the extraordinary cases have a transcendental value that trumps all the unalleviated suffering.
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(2023-04-19, 10:57 PM)nbtruthman Wrote: But then, for every extraordinary case of joy found in the presence of great and unjust innocent personal physical suffering there are probably many more cases of lifelong misery and railing against the (true) injustice of it all. The greatest good for the greatest number looks like it would be on the side of the anti-natalists, unless you think that the extraordinary cases have a transcendental value that trumps all the unalleviated suffering.

Nb, I hope you don't take this as a criticism but I just want to make sure where you're coming from. And I know what you've expressed here you've said in other ways on the forum. But given that you believe in Spirit (afterlife, etc.), are you saying or do you personally think God, souls, etc., are cruel and unjust? And do you think the whole physical incarnation business is therefore wrong?
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(2023-04-19, 10:57 PM)nbtruthman Wrote: But then, for every extraordinary case of joy found in the presence of great and unjust innocent personal physical suffering there are probably many more cases of lifelong misery and railing against the (true) injustice of it all. The greatest good for the greatest number looks like it would be on the side of the anti-natalists, unless you think that the extraordinary cases have a transcendental value that trumps all the unalleviated suffering.

Well the existing joy is only part of it. The article, and anti-natalists in general, assume they know what everyone else wants - not everyone suffering would choose to cease their existence. Additionally, it doesn't seem like the suffering the article speaks of is born from the natural world with nothing to be done - humans can work to alleviate suffering.

As to whether it is morally justified to have children at all...that I think might depend on the true natural of our reality and the souls that come here. Do they choose to be here? The answer seems to be "perhaps".
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2023-04-20, 01:01 AM by Sciborg_S_Patel. Edited 1 time in total.)
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(2023-04-20, 12:28 AM)Ninshub Wrote: Nb, I hope you don't take this as a criticism but I just want to make sure where you're coming from. And I know what you've expressed here you've said in other ways on the forum. But given that you believe in Spirit (afterlife, etc.), are you saying or do you personally think God, souls, etc., are cruel and unjust? And do you think the whole physical incarnation business is therefore wrong?

Observation indicates that the human condition is largely very unfortunate and comprises an incalculably large amount of completely innocent suffering. A fact. Humans did not design the overall physical system that produces this - another observed fact. From the purely human perspective this appears to be wrong, using one very important practical tool given to and available to humans in trying to understand the world and deal with it, that is, the faculty of intellect or reason. From a completely simplistic standpoint this vast wrong could be ended by the ending of births - the anti-natalist credo.

It appears that the intellect and the faculty of reason are inadequate to understand what is behind this existing physical system, so the above is about as far as I am willing to go for sure. The best I can do is the theodicy I proposed and debated earlier in another thread. Against my deepest wishes I find it not completely satisfactory and convincing, but perhaps promising. There doesn't seem to me right now to be any other better approach.
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It's interesting for me to consider this topic from a non-human perspective. If viewing the world through the eyes of the many other lifeforms both animal and vegetable (and arguably mineral), the presence of modern humans has not been a great blessing.

Perhaps then when we look at out own condition and see it in terms of suffering - notwithstanding the long and venerable Buddhist take on life as suffering - it could be that a good deal of our state is inextricably intertwined with our inharmonious coexistence with our fellow-inhabitants.

That sounds a little idealistic in that the logical extrapolation of my thought is some vision of a harmonious and beautiful world where those other creatures are grateful for our existence. Clearly we are a long way from that. However, it does seem to indicate to me that we should not simply shrug our shoulders and say, 'this is the way the universe was made'. Rather we can take hold of our own power to change our inner and outer world and do something about it. By inner world I mean we can through meditation or spiritual practice affect our mental state. The outer world, very clearly this is something we all impact whether it is choice of hairstyle or what clothes to wear, how we decorate and maintain our immediate living space and so on, outwards.

Am I a long way from discussing the original premise of this thread? Yes. I'm very much aware of that position, I did live through a state for a while where I embraced that viewpoint and belief. But it didn't last for a whole lifetime, instead it was something I explored, like clothing put it on and worn for a while. I dress differently now.
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(2023-04-20, 02:37 AM)nbtruthman Wrote: Observation indicates that the human condition is largely very unfortunate and comprises an incalculably large amount of completely innocent suffering. A fact. Humans did not design the overall physical system that produces this - another observed fact. From the purely human perspective this appears to be wrong, using one very important practical tool given to and available to humans in trying to understand the world and deal with it, that is, the faculty of intellect or reason. From a completely simplistic standpoint this vast wrong could be ended by the ending of births - the anti-natalist credo.

It appears that the intellect and the faculty of reason are inadequate to understand what is behind this existing physical system, so the above is about as far as I am willing to go for sure. The best I can do is the theodicy I proposed and debated earlier in another thread. Against my deepest wishes I find it not completely satisfactory and convincing, but perhaps promising. There doesn't seem to me right now to be any other better approach.

I understand and agree that from the human perspective it's hard, possibly impossible, to understand. I was interested in whether you were saying you thought it was cosmically unjust. Or maybe I should ask, if it's unjust from the human perspective, does it affect whether it's just on an ultimate, Greater Reality perspective?

And if there is a radical, unrepairable breach between the two perspectives, how do "we", or "you", align your perspective? Or do you attempt to hold both? Does it depend on "what" we identify with? (soul or human, for example)

Personally, I trust in the Greater Reality perspective, so even if in my human perspective I can't fathom answers (or potentially completely satisfying ones), I don't see a point in continuing or furthering a "protest" (which is not the same as saying I don't care or won't do anything about human suffering). That would seem to align (and further entrench) myself with "lower (limited) frequencies", if we want to call it, and I don't feel that's the spiritual way to go (for me).

I'm not saying you do that, which I wouldn't criticize anyway, because it's your choice or inclination, but sometimes I'm a bit unclear on what your exact position says.

Personally I tend to shy away from theodicies, etc., because by default those are limited by human capabilities, and too human-centric (our thought traditions, over-reliance on language and concepts and rationality and logic - basically a lot of what we do on this forum Big Grin ), and therefore not only inadequate but somehow fundamentally erring from the get-go. But to each his own!! And I think everyone's inclinations and choices are part of their own individual spiritual journeys. Thumbs Up
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(2023-04-20, 02:14 PM)Ninshub Wrote: I understand and agree that from the human perspective it's hard, possibly impossible, to understand. I was interested in whether you were saying you thought it was cosmically unjust. Or maybe I should ask, if it's unjust from the human perspective, does it affect whether it's just on an ultimate, Greater Reality perspective?

And if there is a radical, unrepairable breach between the two perspectives, how do "we", or "you", align your perspective? Or do you attempt to hold both? Does it depend on "what" we identify with? (soul or human, for example)

Personally, I trust in the Greater Reality perspective, so even if in my human perspective I can't fathom answers (or potentially completely satisfying ones), I don't see a point in continuing or furthering a "protest" (which is not the same as saying I don't care or won't do anything about human suffering). That would seem to align (and further entrench) myself with "lower (limited) frequencies", if we want to call it, and I don't feel that's the spiritual way to go (for me).

I'm not saying you do that, which I wouldn't criticize anyway, because it's your choice or inclination, but sometimes I'm a bit unclear on what your exact position says.

Personally I tend to shy away from theodicies, etc., because by default those are limited by human capabilities, and too human-centric (our thought traditions, over-reliance on language and concepts and rationality and logic - basically a lot of what we do on this forum Big Grin ), and therefore not only inadequate but somehow fundamentally erring from the get-go. But to each his own!! And I think everyone's inclinations and choices are part of their own individual spiritual journeys. Thumbs Up

Since the prevalence of vast amounts of innocent suffering is a fact, and this is very hard or impossible for human understanding using intellect and reason (which assessment you agree with), I personally don't feel able to come to any conclusion as to whether this unfortunate human condition is "cosmically" just or not, from an ultimate "Greater Reality" perspective. I could just comment that my everyday perspective as an engineer with a scientific orientation is usually 90% human, though greatly affected by a couple of short transcendental spiritual experiences I have had, and my long study of the paranormal evidence. 

The thing is, the subject of this thread is that we as humans could potentially do something about this vast apparent injustice by simply ceasing to reproduce. We could choose to jump off the merry-go-round. It seems logical and merciful to me, from a purely human point of view.

It seems to me that as you term it, there is a radical, transcendental breach between the two perspectives, and though sometimes I attempt to somehow achieve both simultaneously, I usually take the human perspective - after all, I am human and identify with my human personality, life, memories, physical body, etc. My usual state is that of a sort of cognitive dissonance, which I have learned to be comfortable with. My human side (which as I have mentioned is normally 90% of my consciousness) deeply feels that the radically different cosmic perspective is also deeply irrelevant to the human.
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It does feel, in reading the responses, that there may even be a moral obligation to try and see if spirits choose to incarnate here.

It brings to mind the difference between reincarnation ideas of Native Americans and South Asian. The former seems, at least based on my preliminary reading, to indicate spirits choose to reincarnate and even have power over when & where. In South Asian we seem - again based on a non-expert layperson like myself - to believe that souls are bound in a cycle of birth & death.

If everyone everywhere stopped having children would we suddenly receive some global spiritual message? Or would spirits just incarnate on other planets?
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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