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Is life good?

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
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Compassionist
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Is life good?

#1 Post by Compassionist » February 28th, 2015, 8:09 pm

I have had many negative life experiences and continue to have ongoing negative experiences, so, I find life to be mostly a trial. Do you consider life to be good? If you could have prevented your existence would you have? If you could have prevented the existence of all living things would you have? The prevention of the existence of all living things would have prevented all suffering, as well as preventing all happiness. I often wish I were never conceived. Life is too full of suffering and injustice. Is life good for you?

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animist
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Re: Is life good?

#2 Post by animist » February 28th, 2015, 8:34 pm

we are two of a kind, Compo, I think. Life for me at present is fantastic: I am 68 but in good health basically, do not have to go to work and foul things up any more, but still have some interesting work to do, have a lovely wife and daughter, blah blah. Thanks to the wonders of the internet I can communicate with nice like-minded souls like you.

But it ain't gonna go on, and (don't know whether you saw it) I actually began a TH thread with my feelings of guilt about producing a child who is condemned to death and suffering.

So my answer to your question (somewhat rephrased from your input) is - I think it would have been better if life had never evolved on this planet

thundril
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Re: Is life good?

#3 Post by thundril » February 28th, 2015, 8:43 pm

There was a comedian in the early days of cinema called WC Fields. He was a large man, with a large personality.
On his eightieth birthday, a journalist asked 'Mr Fields, how does it feel to be eighty years old?'
'Well,' he replied 'it's better than the alternative.'
That's more or less what I feel, at 66. And hopefully will still feel at eighty, if I make it that far.

Life is sometimes bad.
I don't know what depression feels like, Compo, but I know some people who do suffer from it, including some very close to me.
I think that life includes suffering, and it would be even better if it didn't. But it's still life, and it's all we've got.
Hang on in there. We need all the good people we can find.

thundril
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Re: Is life good?

#4 Post by thundril » February 28th, 2015, 8:44 pm

animist wrote: - I think it would have been better if life had never evolved on this planet
Better for whom?

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animist
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Re: Is life good?

#5 Post by animist » February 28th, 2015, 9:12 pm

thundril wrote:
animist wrote: - I think it would have been better if life had never evolved on this planet
Better for whom?
dunno for the moment, but I want to echo what you said to Compo. What you say about depression is quite right, we all get it, and Compo, please, if you are feeling down, remember that life can be good and that we all care about you. The point about life is that, whether or not we are lucky to have been born, it is simply a fact that we were born and that we therefore exist; we cannot escape the fact of our existence. So the question I answered about whether it was better for life to have arisen is not the same as the question about, given that we are here on this planet, it is worth continuing to do remain so. Ending our own or anyone else's life means killing, and prima facie, killing is wrong, specially because of its repercussions for those who remain alive and have to cope with the cessation of something that was but is no more

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Dave B
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Re: Is life good?

#6 Post by Dave B » February 28th, 2015, 9:26 pm

I think it is, or I would stop looking forward to tomorrow!

All this despite abuse as a small child, bullying at school and in the RAF, until I was an adult. That made me solitary yet self-resourceful. Being ridiculed by the girls did not do wonders for my self-image or social skills.

I grew naive and uncertain of myself in almost all worldly ways. At work conversations would stop if I showed an interest in joining in, so I stopped bothering, just went down into my lab and made or improved test gear. Work for which I never got credit or thanks, even after designing and building the best test rig of its type and size the company owned.

I had a thousand reasons to hate life and a sort of PTSD afflicts me almost daily now. But, unless the politicians of the world fuck things up completely (beyond my scope and not worth getting too angry about) there is always that chance that tomorrow will bring something to be valued! Maybe something small, or large maybe a thought, maybe the chance to help someone, maybe a small achievement or discovery, maybe pure serendipity (my favourite word).

Nietzche said something like, "That which does not kill you strengthens you". But the pain in one aspect of your life may strengthen an entirely different area of one's being.

That is the value of today, learn from the yesterdays but remain open to the future.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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animist
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Re: Is life good?

#7 Post by animist » March 1st, 2015, 9:36 am

thundril wrote:
animist wrote: - I think it would have been better if life had never evolved on this planet
Better for whom?
good point. I suppose you mean that it is impossible to compare the wellbeing of something which exists with that of something which does not exist. But I think it is still meaningful for Compo or anyone else to ask the question of whether life (in general or that of an individual at a particular moment) is good and worth continuing. It might not be good at all, if one is facing an inescapable and imminent future of being hung, drawn and quartered (or crucified), and surely suicide, if available, is not some nonsensical alternative approach to the prospect of continued life at all costs? Your own joke about W. C. Fields indicates that the question is at least meaningful. He was presumably pretty happy when he said what he said, and I am glad that you and I (and Dave, who is a real inspiration to us all), at our somewhat less advanced ages, are also happy with the prospect of continued life, but not everyone is, and for good reason

Compassionist
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Re: Is life good?

#8 Post by Compassionist » March 1st, 2015, 6:03 pm

Thank you to all who replied. Extra thanks to Dave for sharing your experience of suffering. I am sorry you were not recognised and rewarded for the test rig you developed. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in March 1998. I have had chronic pain due to piles (caused by constipation caused by medications) since 1999, chronic pain due to neuralgia since August 2008 and chronic headaches due to unknown cause since 1 September 2014. I am taking pain relievers but they are only partially effective. I was physically, emotionally and sexually abused as a child and have some PTSD symptoms (e.g. flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety) like Dave. I have lost many relatives and friends to illness, accidents and killings. I am all too aware of all sorts of atrocities and large scale suffering. My mood is currently low, hence my post about whether life is good or not.

Compassionist
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Re: Is life good?

#9 Post by Compassionist » March 2nd, 2015, 4:05 pm

animist wrote:(don't know whether you saw it) I actually began a TH thread with my feelings of guilt about producing a child who is condemned to death and suffering.
I don't think I saw your thread - please send me a link to it if it is still on the forum. Was it a planned pregnancy or a surprise pregnancy? My wife and I had a surprise pregnancy hence we have a son who is almost ten. I can relate to your feelings of guilt about producing a child who is condemned to suffer and die. We try our best to make him a happy child but we can't protect him from all suffering and death. I have noticed that religious people on average have more children than secularists like Richard Dawkins who has only one child. I think many religions can and does provide comforting delusions about spending an eternity in heaven after brief suffering on Earth (e.g. Christianity and Islam) while other religions (e.g. Hinduism and Buddhism) offer the promise of a better reincarnation or attainment of Nirvana depending on one's Karma.

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Sel
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Re: Is life good?

#10 Post by Sel » March 3rd, 2015, 1:58 pm

Compo

I have been busy and am just now catching up on your thread.

Having been down the road of hopelessness, I know how annoying it can be for someone to answer your queries with "Lighten up will you. Life is wonderful". Or, the equally insulting: "We are not going to talk like that. We are going to think positivey." Aargh!

There are times when life truly sucks. I know. I had 16 deaths in 4 yrs and acquired a daughter and her son after they were abandoned at the US boarder 7 1/2 yrs ago. Her story is the stuff of nightmares.

Perhaps you can find a way to acknowledge how you feel, let it work and then try to push it to the back of your mind. Something that worked for me was to recognize that I was really feeling down. Then I would light some candles, put on some sappy music, pour a large glass of wine, turn off the lights and in turn, yell at the world and/or sob my heart out. Silly as it sounds, it seemed to have a healing effect.

Perhaps you could find a similar ritual that would give you the strength to face your trails with renewed optimism.

You know that folks here are always willing to listen and offer support.
Take care of yourself.
"The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge." Bertrand Russell

Compassionist
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Re: Is life good?

#11 Post by Compassionist » March 3rd, 2015, 4:46 pm

Sel wrote:Compo

I have been busy and am just now catching up on your thread.

Having been down the road of hopelessness, I know how annoying it can be for someone to answer your queries with "Lighten up will you. Life is wonderful". Or, the equally insulting: "We are not going to talk like that. We are going to think positivey." Aargh!

There are times when life truly sucks. I know. I had 16 deaths in 4 yrs and acquired a daughter and her son after they were abandoned at the US boarder 7 1/2 yrs ago. Her story is the stuff of nightmares.

Perhaps you can find a way to acknowledge how you feel, let it work and then try to push it to the back of your mind. Something that worked for me was to recognize that I was really feeling down. Then I would light some candles, put on some sappy music, pour a large glass of wine, turn off the lights and in turn, yell at the world and/or sob my heart out. Silly as it sounds, it seemed to have a healing effect.

Perhaps you could find a similar ritual that would give you the strength to face your trails with renewed optimism.

You know that folks here are always willing to listen and offer support.
Take care of yourself.
Thank you ever so much for your moving post and wise tips. I am so sorry about your suffering and that of your loved ones. What happened to your daughter and grandchild? Please don't tell us if they would rather it was kept private.

I am feeling more positive. I recently watched a TED talk about philanthropy and was most encouraged about humanity and our future. Life is not always good but it can be good and can certainly be improved through wise, compassionate and constructive work.

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Sel
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Re: Is life good?

#12 Post by Sel » March 4th, 2015, 1:55 am

Life is not always good but it can be good and can certainly be improved through wise, compassionate and constructive work.
You have it! The above is the secret to a productive, meaningful and contented life.

I will tell you their story...later. Right now I am preparing to host a meeting of the Apeiron Society Board members. It is a philosophy society. I am no philosopher but I enjoy the talks and discussions.

Take care of yourself.
"The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge." Bertrand Russell

Compassionist
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Joined: July 14th, 2007, 8:38 am

Re: Is life good?

#13 Post by Compassionist » March 4th, 2015, 9:17 am

Sel wrote:
Life is not always good but it can be good and can certainly be improved through wise, compassionate and constructive work.
You have it! The above is the secret to a productive, meaningful and contented life.

I will tell you their story...later. Right now I am preparing to host a meeting of the Apeiron Society Board members. It is a philosophy society. I am no philosopher but I enjoy the talks and discussions.

Take care of yourself.
Thank you Sel. Hope the meeting goes well.

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