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Existentialism- Life is suffering

Rebis

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The universe has no concept of joyous nirvana nor does it understand suffering.
The universe consists of resoources, these resources are in "competition" with another for mass and energy. Resource acquisition will always be a part of the universe. Since we're sentient and self-aware of this prospect we face suffering by understanding resources are finite and we can never have everything we want. No matter what life form from earth or the stars, all sentient life is bound by this awareness. This conscious awareness will always lead to a desire to acquire resources and when that need isn't met it induces suffering to some degree.

Suffering is a product of sentience. The more you're aware of this foundation the more you will experience suffering. Shoutout to the rocks in asteroid belts that don't dread breaking into smaller rocks due to a weak gravitational force from a measly central mass. You rock.
 

Rebis

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I keep modelling my conceptual framework of everything based on the universe. If it doesn't make sense in the context of the universe, as in it does not derive from the workings of the universe then that information is on dubious grounds. How the universe operates is the one true objective reality: chaos with no meaning, with a semblance of order. anything else that deviates from that is incomplete.
 

Yubby

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If there existed perpetual energy I think the universe would be it, or at least one experiment.

It seems every entity has a purpose of performing work. Human consciousness allows us to value that work positively or negatively but as stars and atoms we toil nonetheless.
 

The Grey Man

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Is the difference between the psychical tension that keeps a man from being satisfied with what he has and the physical tension that holds a rock together one of degree or of kind? Do atoms want things (e.g., a 'complete shell') and feel pain when their desires are frustrated as we do, or is discursive reasoning a sine qua non of suffering? You seem to be saying that it's the latter, but why? What is it about thought that damns us? What even is thought?

I think that there is no thought or, more precisely, the category of thought is superfluous to describing phenomena. Experience acquaints us with many things—rocks, plants, animals, planets, milky ways, etc.—but nothing that answers to the name 'thought' without also answering to another, more appropriate name like 'word,' 'sentence,' 'utterance,' 'equation,' 'formula,' etc.

Why, then, do I say that "I think?" Why, because "thought" is an entrenched part of the English language! But "thought" is not thought. Thought is the 'I,' the Cartesian ego that is having all these experiences, but is by no means among them, the justification of our belief in which has already been discredited by the work of Hume and Kant.
 

Animekitty

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Life is not suffering. Suffering is a consequence of life. Life struggles to live. Life does not seek suffering for suffering's sake.

Life has a self which is the center of one's being. This center is the thalamus. The center spreads out containing the whole self. All struggle is in alliance with ceasing survival. Without pain, we would starve to death because we feel no hunger. Without socializing we feel lonely. Love and friendship is resultant in safety/group benefit.

An absence of hugs does not mean life is abandonment.
Abandonment is resultant of not enough hugs.
Life is about overcoming abandonment with enough hugs.

As long as the body is regulated properly, all mental and physical problems can be dealt with. It is sad that not everyone has a purpose in life. It is sad that people need help but doesn't receive it. All that matters is in trying to make a difference. Asking too much of people is an obstacle. We can only do what we can do.

I believe we represent the universe. We and the universe are inseparable. My atoms are under my control as much as the atoms of the universe are in other individuals. I have free will as much as the universe which means the more control I have, The more influence we have collectively.

Carl Sagan - THE sentence !
 

Teax

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Suffering is a product of sentience
Then "no", life is not suffering. Because non-sentient life exists hahah.

Ok, ok we're talking about sentient life here. On a more serious note, I still find the argument flawed:

This conscious awareness will always lead to a desire to acquire resources and when that need isn't met it induces suffering to some degree.
Just because a sentient lifeform wants resources, doesn't mean the absence of such resources induces suffering.
 

Rebis

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You've extracted a sentence from a whole point I made which clearly linked suffering being interrelated with existentialism (One's place in the world), self-awareness and consciousness. What we experience as suffering is mainly mental anguish, it is not physical sensory pain. Due to suffering being of a mental proclivity this is only achieved through self-awareness, some consciousness that reflects on their status and compares it to others.

Just because a sentient lifeform wants resources, doesn't mean the absence of such resources induces suffering.
It does induce suffering, because attaining resources that one does not have, which one wanted, alleviates suffering. For example, I don't feel stressed out about exams, I do not feel as if I'm suffering. Yet, the idea my exams may be cancelled causes a feeling of happiness which would eliminate suffering.

TLDR: People suffer a lot, they just don't perceive it as a suffering.
 

Rebis

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If suffering isn't related to wanting something and not making progress towards it I don't know what is. Perhaps you can define suffering better.
 

Teax

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You've extracted a sentence from a whole point I made which clearly linked suffering being interrelated with existentialism
Sorry, I usually quote only the most relevant passage, I do understand that what you meant is not physical pain.

Existentialism doesn't mean that you always get what you want, it means that you self-actualize to the most of your abilities.

It does induce suffering, because attaining resources that one does not have, which one wanted, alleviates suffering.
It would only alleviate suffering if suffering was caused by it in the first place, just like removing a sharp objects from one's immediate surroundings only alleviates one's physical pain if said object was actually the cause of said pain due to e.g. being stuck in one's ass. To prove that life is suffering, you have to prove that, metaphorically speaking, anytime a sharp physical object is found nearby, it will be found in one's ass. I do not think we sufficient groundwork in this thread to conclude such a thing...
:happydolphin:

Take any counter-example where not attaining resources doesn't lead to any mental suffering whatsoever, in some cases even when it leads to physical suffering. I'm sure you can think of something from your own life, this is not a situation where we need to reference Buddha. :xen-wink:

For example, I don't feel stressed out about exams, I do not feel as if I'm suffering. Yet, the idea my exams may be cancelled causes a feeling of happiness which would eliminate suffering.

TLDR: People suffer a lot, they just don't perceive it as a suffering.
If a sentient lifeform does not perceive suffering as suffering, can it still be called suffering?

Does it make sense to define suffering as the thing that was alleviated by pleasure? By doing so, you are implying that pleasure can not exist without suffering.

Does the pleasure that a sentient lifeform receives after completing a complicated and completely voluntary project mean that the lifeform was suffering all the way while doing the project? Or was the act of doing the project in itself also pleasurable since it was an expression of the lifeform's individuality, and hence it was existential pleasure all the way?
 

Cognisant

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Fundamentally life is suffering, it is not enough to make thinking meat you must give it the motivation to do so, give it needs and desires to drive it into action. These needs and desires need not benefit the meat but if they don't compel the meat to acquire energy it will soon expend its supply of energy and die, if the meat does not reproduce the species of meat will only persist for as long as circumstances allow it to.

Does this mean that the meat's existence is inherently short and harrowing?

Not necessarily, if the meat has the means to reliably acquire and store resources it need not fret about the potential absence of them, if the meat has many children in a safe place with ample resources to feed them it need not worry about its legacy, if the meat is so fortunate as to possess sufficiently developed medical technology it may not even need to be concerned about its own mortality.

The meat need not delude itself to achieve happiness, though that is certainly the more convenient method.
 

onesteptwostep

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Schopenhauer's pemissism is simply a road to suicide. This only happens when you divorce the good transcendence of life from life, in whatever form it's in.

To me life is contemplation. But after that, I think only a trandscent mode of life can really season our lives- thus religion. "You are the salt of the earth".
 

Rebis

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Just going to define a few formalities:
-Physical suffering is pain inflicted on someone like an injury.
-Mental suffering relates to pursuing resources, or resources have been taken.

The world is unforgiving, life has always been competing for resources, that is the nature of the world. We're problem solving creatures: We identify a problem, attempt to resolve it and generally optimise another part of our lives.

We use our intelligence to come up with solutions, identifying a problem means we suffer in some capacity. The goal of living is to increase our advantages and decrease our disadvantages, this gives us the best possible competitive advantage. People do think in certain spheres however: One may be very career oriented but doesn't care about physical health, or one may think uncompromising themselves is more important than anything else. In a lot of cases however, intelligence doesn't win. We can identify a problem but that doesn't indicate there is a solution, or that we're capable of a solution. This is a source of suffering: a lack of agency, a lack of cognitive resources to prevent a problematic situation from arising. If we overcome a problem this causes joy.

We desire what we don't have, and if there is little probability we can fulfill this desire we suffer.
It does induce suffering, because attaining resources that one does not have, which one wanted, alleviates suffering.
It would only alleviate suffering if suffering was caused by it in the first place, just like removing a sharp objects from one's immediate surroundings only alleviates one's physical pain if said object was actually the cause of said pain due to e.g. being stuck in one's ass.
That was my point, we can forget turmoils that cause us to suffer because they're consistent through out our lives. If we felt good after attaining a resource it is because we see some utility in that resource, or rather, some solution to a pre-existing problem that was unattainable prior to acquiring said resource. To further the definition of suffering we could describe it as "Being aware of a solution to a problem." I'm sure peasants were acquainted with a terrible diet of vegetables and bread and suffered from ailments due to this. Once they were aware that the solution was to eat animal proteins they unmarked the problem as being "part of life" to one which they could change.

While I don't suffer from not having wings and 4 arms, if there was a means to which I could easily gain these and it gave me a distinct advantage over others I would try and find a solution to get said items. If it was difficult to attain this state then I would suffer from identifying the advantages someone has over me, because I would have less resources to challenge them in a game of dominance.

To prove that life is suffering, you have to prove that, metaphorically speaking, anytime a sharp physical object is found nearby, it will be found in one's ass. I do not think we sufficient groundwork in this thread to conclude such a thing...
Well, since life is dynamic and the mind is constantly identifying problems and coming up to solutions: yes, problems are always nearby, and even if one experiences blissful
nirvana momentarily I will say with assurance that life is suffering, or what constitutes the experience of living, which is being aware of your existence relative to others and larger society as a whole, will result in you identifying differentials between you and others, soliciting advantageous/disadvantageous positions in circumstances.

Take any counter-example where not attaining resources doesn't lead to any mental suffering whatsoever, in some cases even when it leads to physical suffering. I'm sure you can think of something from your own life, this is not a situation where we need to reference Buddha. :xen-wink:
The point is assigning a goal, if you're goal oriented you have a prime directive. If I do not assign a goal I'm basically disassociating from the world which is goal-oriented. If you don't work towards a goal you're not living. Even Buddhists in their tranquillity would suffer if they couldn't meditate and hone one's senses, if food didn't arrive from the bottom of the mountain, or they lost a few goats. Though, Religious members seem to forfeit individual agency for worshipping a god. Agency and worship are in direct opposition. In the example of Buddhists, their goal is to worship a god which presents the importance of spiritual ascension. Buddhists oppose pursuing goals, but in doing so they disconnect from the nature of reality which is competing for resources.
If a sentient lifeform does not perceive suffering as suffering, can it still be called suffering?
If a lifeform does not perceive suffering as suffering in the context of mental suffering, then no it is not suffering. Having said that, people can be conditioned to a state where they are suffering hardships but because of the duration they are not aware of this until there's a change in their life. Though, if they do not see it as suffering in the present then clearly they have not suffered. In this case, they see their position as advantageous in relation to their past.

Does the pleasure that a sentient lifeform receives after completing a complicated and completely voluntary project mean that the lifeform was suffering all the way while doing the project? Or was the act of doing the project in itself also pleasurable since it was an expression of the lifeform's individuality, and hence it was existential pleasure all the way?
The person that goes through a complicated journey does so because they find it meaningful. We find meaning in things because we identify a reward from satisfying this pursuit. When people imagine an advantageous position, such as completing a project, they work towards that goal because they see their position prior to receiving this reward is disadvantageous. Now that they're aware of a better state of existence as a reward for completing a project, they become aware of the differential between their current state and their post-project reward state, when they become aware of states suffering occurs. Imagine I lived in a society where everyone had broken legs: Those broken legs would be normal. If I met someone with no broken legs, I would become aware of the difference between our legs. This difference in ability would cause suffering, suffering would generally point us in the opposite direction: to alleviate suffering. Build a wheelchair perhaps, identify why the whole village has dysfunctional legs.

Does it make sense to define suffering as the thing that was alleviated by pleasure? By doing so, you are implying that pleasure can not exist without suffering.
I'm saying they're a dichotomy: You cannot suffer joy, you cannot joy suffering. This is a case by case basis. I can be joyful of x while suffering from y but it doesn't make sense to simultaneously be joyful and suffering from x,y. Situations are multi-faceted, so a certain change in a state could yield 4 advantages (Joy-enhancers) and 3 disadvantages (inducing suffering). Depending on the weight of one or the other it will decide the outcome.

I can't be happy and sad simultaneously about seeing a "football", only if I broke it down into sub-components I could then be happy about one and sad about the other. When we're talking about atomic traits, or a specific state like "I'm happy about having a football because I like football" I can't simultaneously hold the opinion "I'm sad about having a football because I dislike football."
 

EndogenousRebel

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This definition of suffering might as well be linked to the expenditure of calories, interchangeable with sacrificing. Realizing we don't have to sacrifice anything is pleasing. Emotions like this were naturally selected as animals that do not avoid suffering are just dead weight. I see most emotions as a dysfunctional primitive contraption that responds to stimuli in attempts to influence you, and if you let them guide you entirely, they are like strings and you are the puppet. Avoiding suffering is something humans are really good at and is a goal in everyone's lives. We don't know exactly how other animals suffer because none of them have bothered to tell us, but many do express grief and sadness, but is our suffering more complex or intense than theirs? I doubt it. Really what if we're just being dramatic haha? Probably yes as far as most animals are concerned. With each generation of humans that comes we are more and more entitled and set higher expectations on society. It very well may be something built into us to not be satisfied, to suffer a little, that's what disease like depression would make me think.

Suicide have been rising, and while it maybe because we just have a lot more free time to think about how much life sucks, why do we not spend this time telling our selves how great life is or could be? The funniest people are those that are most depressed, and often those that are depressed are also smarter. Robin Williams was funny af, but he went off and killed himself anyways. Was there something wrong with his approach to life, was he alone? How does one remedy their own suffering? I don't expect insightful answers, as really it's

Going into a well of philosophical inquiry ends with you in a place of absurdity if you want to keep your sanity (imo.) Don't get caught up in bs and learn to use suffering to your advantage. There doesn't seem to be any winning in life, just a constant struggle between feeling and chasing satisfaction and avoiding dissatisfaction.
 

Teax

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@Rebis
I see. Well explained. :coffee:

I'd say the model you describe is representative of a significant portion of human population. It is especially characteristic of the western world. Depressed people unsurprisingly turn out to follow this way of thinking... You seem to have never met anyone who doesn't? Which is.... I guess only natural since people who suffer less, complains less, and are thus less visible...

Your model is not incorrect as much as it is incomplete. I'll point out a few things. For example let's sum up one of your points in this quote:
While I don't suffer from not having wings and 4 arms, if there was a means to which I could easily gain these and it gave me a distinct advantage over others I would try and find a solution to get said items. If it was difficult to attain this state then I would suffer from identifying the advantages someone has over me, because I would have less resources to challenge them in a game of dominance.
I have not observed this to be a universal human trait. Just like some people, who believe that a gun would provide them with more dominance over other people, still don't care about owning a gun and experience no suffering about lack of gun ownership.

Resources, dominance and desire are not linked causally (though, sometimes empirically). It is true that the nature of this world is physical and therefore resource based, but that does not imply that the individual agents are. Just like the organs of an organism do not compete for resources, they cooperate for them, some people do not have the desire to dominate, rather seeing themselves as team players, cogs in a glorious machine or followers of a cause.

Still, desire exists even if it's not the desire for dominance, moving on:

We find meaning in things because we identify a reward from satisfying this pursuit. When people imagine an advantageous position, such as completing a project, they work towards that goal because they see their position prior to receiving this reward is disadvantageous. Now that they're aware of a better state of existence as a reward for completing a project, they become aware of the differential between their current state and their post-project reward state, when they become aware of states suffering occurs.
Technically at this point "desire" occurs. The fact that you equate desire with suffering so directly is curious, due to how close your beliefs are to Buddhism in this matter. I think here you address the issue most directly:

We can identify a problem but that doesn't indicate there is a solution, or that we're capable of a solution. This is a source of suffering: a lack of agency, a lack of cognitive resources to prevent a problematic situation from arising. If we overcome a problem this causes joy.
Lack of agency is the state in which one does not see any course of action that would lead to a meaningful result.

Hence, suffering is a logical conclusion based on (at least these) two premises, and can therefore be meaningfully interpreted as being caused by one of them, since removing any one of these premises removes the cause of the suffering:
[1] being unable (e.g. one believes having insufficient intelligence) to figure out the right course of action that leads to a meaningful life or
[2] having the wrong thing defined as being meaningful.

Buddha too managed to identify the model you described and identified point no [2] as a viable solution.

Even Buddhists in their tranquillity would suffer if they couldn't meditate and hone one's senses, if food didn't arrive from the bottom of the mountain, or they lost a few goats.
Buddhists as in people who are trying to follow the path of Buddha? Sure, those people wouldn't be there if they didn't suffer and if they weren't looking for a way to alleviate the suffering. But if you mean Buddhists as in people who successfully follow the teaching of Buddha, those act outside of your behavioral model.

In the example of Buddhists, their goal is to worship a god which presents the importance of spiritual ascension. Buddhists oppose pursuing goals, but in doing so they disconnect from the nature of reality which is competing for resources.
While the general point is good for most religions, Buddhism don't worship gods so I would hesitate to even call that a religion.

Also Buddhism doesn't oppose setting goals, it merely opposes identifying your goals as the only source of meaning in your life.

The person that goes through a complicated journey does so because they find it meaningful.
Well said
 

The Grey Man

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Schopenhauer's pemissism is simply a road to suicide. This only happens when you divorce the good transcendence of life from life, in whatever form it's in.

To me life is contemplation. But after that, I think only a trandscent mode of life can really season our lives- thus religion. "You are the salt of the earth".
According to Schopenhauer's pessimism, suicide is pointless. Death is only the destruction of the body, of a single temporal manifestation of the will-to-live, which eternally tortures itself with want. However, it is true that he divorces the good of life from life itself. He makes the will something to be transcended rather than something that can transcend itself, which leads to his speaking paradoxically about "denying" the will, which sounds like an act of will in itself. But then, I suppose the idea of the will transcending itself is somewhat paradoxical too, like Münchhausen lifting himself up by his ponytail. Maybe soteriological doctrines like Schopenhauer's will always be paradoxical unless they involve some superhuman agency.
 

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Arhats who acheive Nirvana manages to find a way in between being a full-fledged sentient self and a rock - they manage to become a sentient rock, so to say, having sentience, but being impersonal --- more like a rock than a human. That is not to say they would lose personality and emotions, rather they would understand and perceive personality itself to be more of an impersonal manifestation, nothing much different than a colorful glowing space-rock expressing its colors. Transcending attachement and aversion, finite resources, life and death are no more serious concerns to Arhats. Through mastery of jnanas, they can be more conscious than anyone, perhaps even to the point of even supernatural perceptions keener than the gods, but they would still have cut away the very root of suffering and stress. They would stop being "a being in the world" with no further grasping for being. They would have gone beyond, unbound, and free. Nirvana is not mere joy in the conventional sense. Nor is it about having a concept. Just kidding. Nvm.
 

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if they couldn't meditate and hone one's senses,
Yes, otherwise there wouldn't be much point to Buddhism and its practices.
if food didn't arrive from the bottom of the mountain, or they lost a few goats.
Buddhism isn't necessarily about removing possibility of all forms of suffering in all senses permanently. It is about removing a deeper form of existential suffering. Even Arhats after Nirvana would have "residues" while living which would cause pain and such. Only paranirvana is free from suffering, but it sounds more like absolute death, so of course. It's ultimately controversial what Paranirvana is but whatever. Regardless, even in case of food not arriving or losing few goats, suffering is still a mental reaction to the events. The events themselves are not inherently suffering, nor are the "pain-sensations". Suffering starts to emerge when the mind fabricates upon the sensations, and attach different concepts upon it -- negative thoughts, pessimistic thinking, and so on negative spirals, and when the mind starts to induce aversive tendencies towards it. The feeling of desiring to escape or run from the sensations paradoxically amplifies the pain and actually create suffering. In meditation, and mindfulness, if you start cutting down all the bullcrap fabrications "suffering", can be reduced to mere "neutral sensations", and in advanced level even that can be broken down. With some practice one doesn't have to be in deep meditation for all that. Sure, it may not work as great or be as easy for intense sensations to which the mind is strongly biologically predisposed to avert from and interpret as suffering, but it's something.

There are arhats who have acheived Nirvana and then straight up suicided. They don't even have a special attachment to life and such. You think they care about foods and goats? Sure they care. They take them seriously to live on, but that doesn't mean they would be severely distressed if they lose access to it. Of course, normal Buddhists probably would be distressed. But I am talking about Arhats, Stream-Entrants and advanced practitioners.

Though, Religious members seem to forfeit individual agency for worshipping a god. Agency and worship are in direct opposition. In the example of Buddhists, their goal is to worship a god which presents the importance of spiritual ascension. Buddhists oppose pursuing goals, but in doing so they disconnect from the nature of reality which is competing for resources.
Buddhism don't leave everything to god. Buddhism involves effort and practice by oneself not relying on gods and prayers. Not to say, "surrender to gods" is not a valid practice but Buddhism is much more orientied towards self-control and practice by one's own power. Buddhists don't oppose pursuing goals. Whole of Buddhism is about mastering the eightfold paths for fruition, nirvana and so on. It may at times discourage the goal-seeking mindset but that too is paradoxically for attaining specific goals.

And what do you mean by "disconnect from the nature of reality which is competing for resources". Dependence on resource, and dependent-origination is more vivid and stark in Buddhism than many other belief-system. It is always reminding us about the stark reality of the eat-and-be-eaten world. Suttas talk about dark stories like a mother and father having to eat their own children to survive. And so on. It is one of the darkest and hardcore religion. Especially early pali canon Buddhism, not the Mahayana "New Testament" Buddhism.
 

onesteptwostep

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Schopenhauer's pemissism is simply a road to suicide. This only happens when you divorce the good transcendence of life from life, in whatever form it's in.

To me life is contemplation. But after that, I think only a trandscent mode of life can really season our lives- thus religion. "You are the salt of the earth".
According to Schopenhauer's pessimism, suicide is pointless. Death is only the destruction of the body, of a single temporal manifestation of the will-to-live, which eternally tortures itself with want. However, it is true that he divorces the good of life from life itself. He makes the will something to be transcended rather than something that can transcend itself, which leads to his speaking paradoxically about "denying" the will, which sounds like an act of will in itself. But then, I suppose the idea of the will transcending itself is somewhat paradoxical too, like Münchhausen lifting himself up by his ponytail. Maybe soteriological doctrines like Schopenhauer's will always be paradoxical unless they involve some superhuman agency.
Taken head on in isolation of the philosophical tradition, I guess that's true, but German "philosophers" who fashioned themselves after Schopenhauer usually took on more suicidal tones, like you well know, Mainlander. Nietzsche was a huge fanboy of Mainlander, even after foregoing Schopenhauer. And Nietzsche is pretty much the epitome of suicide in sense of the philosophical tradition.
 

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Schopenhauer's pemissism is simply a road to suicide. This only happens when you divorce the good transcendence of life from life, in whatever form it's in.

To me life is contemplation. But after that, I think only a trandscent mode of life can really season our lives- thus religion. "You are the salt of the earth".
According to Schopenhauer's pessimism, suicide is pointless. Death is only the destruction of the body, of a single temporal manifestation of the will-to-live, which eternally tortures itself with want. However, it is true that he divorces the good of life from life itself. He makes the will something to be transcended rather than something that can transcend itself, which leads to his speaking paradoxically about "denying" the will, which sounds like an act of will in itself. But then, I suppose the idea of the will transcending itself is somewhat paradoxical too, like Münchhausen lifting himself up by his ponytail. Maybe soteriological doctrines like Schopenhauer's will always be paradoxical unless they involve some superhuman agency.
Taken head on in isolation of the philosophical tradition, I guess that's true, but German "philosophers" who fashioned themselves after Schopenhauer usually took on more suicidal tones, like you well know, Mainlander. Nietzsche was a huge fanboy of Mainlander, even after foregoing Schopenhauer. And Nietzsche is pretty much the epitome of suicide in sense of the philosophical tradition.
How is Nietzsche an epitome of suicide?
He was all for life-affirmation and shitz.
 

The Grey Man

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He was, and Mainlander was only able to condone suicide because he rejected Schopenhauer's elegant monism, replacing it with (what I, at least, believe to be) an inferior and grossly speculative pluralistic system in which the death of the individual leads to "absolute nothingness." Schopenhauer didn't found a tradition, though he joked of the "evangelists" who propagated his doctrines near the end of his life. He was (and continues to be) a greater influence on artists, theoretical physicists like Einstein and Bohr, and people in general than on "professional philosophers." Traces of his metaphysic of the will-to-life can be found in Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Freud, and the existentialists, among others, but the subtler aspects of his thought, including his brilliant re-working of Kant's critical idealism, have not proven to be as prolific.
 

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Schopenhauer's pemissism is simply a road to suicide. This only happens when you divorce the good transcendence of life from life, in whatever form it's in.

To me life is contemplation. But after that, I think only a trandscent mode of life can really season our lives- thus religion. "You are the salt of the earth".
According to Schopenhauer's pessimism, suicide is pointless. Death is only the destruction of the body, of a single temporal manifestation of the will-to-live, which eternally tortures itself with want. However, it is true that he divorces the good of life from life itself. He makes the will something to be transcended rather than something that can transcend itself, which leads to his speaking paradoxically about "denying" the will, which sounds like an act of will in itself. But then, I suppose the idea of the will transcending itself is somewhat paradoxical too, like Münchhausen lifting himself up by his ponytail. Maybe soteriological doctrines like Schopenhauer's will always be paradoxical unless they involve some superhuman agency.
Taken head on in isolation of the philosophical tradition, I guess that's true, but German "philosophers" who fashioned themselves after Schopenhauer usually took on more suicidal tones, like you well know, Mainlander. Nietzsche was a huge fanboy of Mainlander, even after foregoing Schopenhauer. And Nietzsche is pretty much the epitome of suicide in sense of the philosophical tradition.
How is Nietzsche an epitome of suicide?
He was all for life-affirmation and shitz.
There isn't a philosophical tradition that was left by Nietzsche, unlike Hegel or Marx. Nietzsche's philosophy is more of an outcry against the nihilism he felt, not an actual affirmation of life. He's more or less a dead end philosophically, much like Camus.
 

onesteptwostep

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He was, and Mainlander was only able to condone suicide because he rejected Schopenhauer's elegant monism, replacing it with (what I, at least, believe to be) an inferior and grossly speculative pluralistic system in which the death of the individual leads to "absolute nothingness." Schopenhauer didn't found a tradition, though he joked of the "evangelists" who propagated his doctrines near the end of his life. He was (and continues to be) a greater influence on artists, theoretical physicists like Einstein and Bohr, and people in general than on "professional philosophers." Traces of his metaphysic of the will-to-life can be found in Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Freud, and the existentialists, among others, but the subtler aspects of his thought, including his brilliant re-working of Kant's critical idealism, have not proven to be as prolific.
That's more or less what I feel about Schopenhauer. He seems more clear headed about reality and doesn't fall victim to romanticisng his view of the human condition. I would say most people, whether they realize it or not, have a loose acceptance of reality that aligns with Schopenhauer's. He's probably one of the atheistic philosophers I take seriously, the other being Feuerbach.
 
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