From: Carlo Wood (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Apr 01 2002 - 20:17:22 MST
On Mon, Apr 01, 2002 at 09:28:33PM -0500, Gordon Worley wrote:
> I'll note that even if what we call the mind in humans decides it
> doesn't care whether it lives or dies, the brain is hardcoded to want to
> stay alive).
The reasons that it is so hard for a human to take
their own life are:
1) religion : fear that the action will cause an eternity
that is worse than the eternity that would follow a
normal death. Even when one considers the chance that
God exists to be very small, or the act of suicide to have
a negative effect on life after death; the time scale of
eternity out weights it.
2) the irreversibility : after killing oneself, one is very
certain about the results for ones own emotional state:
no feelings at all.
However, as long as one doesn't take ones life there is
always the small chance that one will ever live to feel
something positive again, to be happy again (becoming happy
THE Goal of Life *). In terms of goals: you will not reach
ANY other goal but end the feelings of misery, while by
staying alive you might reach any other arbitrary goal
(how ever small the chance to reach it might be).
Therefore, at any point one might seriously consider
suicide an option but will always take any opportunity
to prolong ones life.
So unless you mean with 'hard coded' the fact that a humans brain
is goal driven and the goal is set to becoming happy, I would
still consider it the act of pure reason not to commit suicide.
-- Carlo Wood <email@example.com> PS *) Note that I state that *becoming* happy is the Goal of Life rather than BEING happy. The reason for that is that with 'Goal of Life' I literally mean the reason to STAY alive. In other words: even when one is unhappy, but there is still a chance that one will become happy in the future, then there is a reason to stay alive. Any life is worth being lived as long as there is yet one more moment of happiness to come. The above is something I figured out myself (when I was around 22?), but it might not be complete - I intend to study Eliezers FAQ about the Meaning of Life more closely in regard of this because it undoubtly cannot be ignored ;). PS2 I have been suicidal several times in the past, so I have first hand experienced how hard it is to take ones life, and why I didn't do it. And of course, why I shouldn't do it ;). One of the traps in life is allowing negative emotions to become a state of mind (resulting in chronic depressions). This is undoubtly a failure in how the human brain works: you always want immedeate results - it is very hard to do something that doesn't have immedeate results, or even makes things worse at first - even when you know that it is for the better on the long run.
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