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Topic: Would you rather not have been born?
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Sep 27, 2011 04:20AM)
A friend of mine has just said that given the choice she would rather not have been born.
She has what you would call a good life but says if she had never existed she would not think, feel, contemplate an afterlife or ........anything! She would just not have been.

I must admit this concept of non existence had not really crossed my mind before.

What are your views on it?
Message: Posted by: Woland (Sep 27, 2011 05:50AM)
I can't say that I can imagine my non-existence at all. My meditation practice is not that deep. But [url=http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/145224/jewish/For-two-and-a-half-years.htm]others[/url] have explored this philosophical territory before us:

[quote]For two-and-a--half years, the House of Shammai and the House of Hillel debated. These said: It is better for man not to have been created than to have been created; and those said: It is better for man to have been created than to not have been created. In the end, they voted on it and concluded: It is better for man not to have been created than to have been created; but now that he was created, he should search his deeds.[/quote]

Granted what Martin Heidegger called our "Geworfenheit" or "thrown-ness" into the world, make the most/best of it!
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Sep 27, 2011 06:19AM)
Trying to imagine non existence is, I feel, a staggeringly complex task, which can thwart you at every turn. But my friend is quite sure of her answer if she was posed the question.

Personally, I would take life every time. What about you?
Message: Posted by: Woland (Sep 27, 2011 06:43AM)
From the same tradition I quoted above:

[quote]This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now therefore choose life, so that you and your children may live.[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Sep 27, 2011 08:09AM)
Brings to mind where Calvin asks Hobbes "What if there's no afterlife? What if this is all we get?"
Hobbes gives it some thought and says "Oh, what the heck. I'll take it anyway".

For me, even though it has been a somewhat rocky road, I wouldn't have missed it for the world, and I "thank whatever Gods may be"...

Jim
Message: Posted by: balducci (Sep 27, 2011 08:10AM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-27 05:20, jugglestruck wrote:

She has what you would call a good life but says if she had never existed she would not think, feel, contemplate an afterlife or ........anything! She would just not have been.

I must admit this concept of non existence had not really crossed my mind before.
[/quote]
Have her watch "It's a Wonderful Life". :)

And just for fun here's the short story it was adapted from:

http://www.all-story.com/issues.cgi?action=show_story&story_id=132
Message: Posted by: Woland (Sep 27, 2011 09:01AM)
Agree that "Wonderful Life" is a wonderful film, balducci, but I am not sure that it addresses juddglestruck's friend's concerns and feelings . . . not that I am exactly sure what those concerns really are . . . .

Any further depth or details, jugglestruck? Is there something more here than either clinical depression or philosophical anguish?
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Sep 27, 2011 09:10AM)
I have had ups and downs but, despite whatever problems might have come along, I have a beautiful wife and two beautiful children that I can't imagine not having.

Your friend's thoughts seem to be tending toward dangerous, so maybe you can help her get some professional help.
Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Sep 27, 2011 09:36AM)
Your friend is fine.
People think about stuff and that's OK.
I'm in the being is better than not being camp.
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Sep 27, 2011 09:41AM)
Okay, some background on my friend.

She is 61 years old and I have known her for 20 years.
She retired and very financially secure, owns her own (lovely) house and is in a happy long term relationship.
She is a very happy, good natured woman who takes everything as it comes and is anything but suicidal - she loves life and is very good company.
She has a sort of faith, Buddhist leanings with a bit of Krishnamurti thrown in.

Her point of view is that IF there is an afterlife, or any kind of reincarnation, she would rather not have it happen to her. As a consequence of this she would rather, if she had been given the choice, not have existed in the first place. This is a view she has always held.

In a funny way I can see what she is getting at but I'm with Hobbes on this one!

[quote]
On 2011-09-27 09:09, Mr. Mystoffelees wrote:
Brings to mind where Calvin asks Hobbes "What if there's no afterlife? What if this is all we get?"
Hobbes gives it some thought and says "Oh, what the heck. I'll take it anyway".
Jim
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Sep 27, 2011 09:42AM)
A few random thoughts.

If your friend appears to be truly depressed, do help her to seek medical help. It may be more urgent than you at first think.

Perhpas your friend is simply musing philosophically. That's very cool because this is one of the oldest and more difficult questions around: Is life worth living?

I find strength in a thought from Bertrand Russell, from his essay "What I Believe":

[quote]I believe that when I die I shall rot, and nothing of my ego will survive. I am not young and I love life. But I should scorn to shiver with terror at the thought of annihilation. Happiness is nonetheless true happiness because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting.[/quote]

John
Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Sep 27, 2011 10:00AM)
[quote]


If your friend appears to be truly depressed, do help her to seek medical help. It may be more urgent than you at first think.


[/quote]

Does anyone ever read the posts prior to their own?
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Sep 27, 2011 10:02AM)
It was, I'm afraid, bad timing, we both posted at the same time and I got in first.

[quote]
On 2011-09-27 11:00, HerbLarry wrote:
[quote]


If your friend appears to be truly depressed, do help her to seek medical help. It may be more urgent than you at first think.


[/quote]

Does anyone ever read the posts prior to their own?
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Payne (Sep 27, 2011 10:07AM)
Non existence is easy to visualize. Just think of what you were like before you were born. We come from a state of non existence and shall return to that state when our brains stop functioning.

We only get one life. So enjoy it while you can. There is time enough for non-existence after you die.
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (Sep 27, 2011 10:25AM)
[quote]On 2011-09-27 11:07, Payne wrote:
There is time enough for non-existence after you die.[/quote]
Unless, of course, there isn't.
Message: Posted by: Woland (Sep 27, 2011 11:07AM)
[quote]Her point of view is that IF there is an afterlife, or any kind of reincarnation, she would rather not have it happen to her. As a consequence of this she would rather, if she had been given the choice, not have existed in the first place. This is a view she has always held.[/quote]

The leap from one idea to the other there is quite interesting, but I don't think necessary.

I think that many of the XIXth century thinkers who embraced an atheist, non-theist, or simply non-Christian point-of-view felt that the absence of an afterlife, that is, the absence of judgment, would be a relief. I think that many of them felt that the inevitability of judgment and (eternal) consequences weighed heavily on their psyches.

On the other hand, why would an "afterlife" have to be viewed as any less enjoyable-pleasurable-educational-whatever than this life? Why wouldn't you expect the "afterlife" to be just as good as this one?

[quote]We only get one life. So enjoy it while you can. There is time enough for non-existence after you die.[/quote]

I would say, we only get 1,000s of different lives, in different forms, and they are each valuable and should be enjoyed fully!
Message: Posted by: critter (Sep 27, 2011 11:13AM)
I've heard someone say she wished she'd never been born before. She has since hung herself. Not trying to intrude 'cause I don't know anything else about your friend, but if there's other stuff going on then it may be a good time to have a long sit-down. Again, I don't know anything else about it so it's your call. Would just hate to see someone else go through what I went through.
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Sep 27, 2011 11:17AM)
Hi Critter, I did post this previously.

[quote]
On 2011-09-27 10:41, jugglestruck wrote:
Okay, some background on my friend.

She is 61 years old and I have known her for 20 years.
She retired and very financially secure, owns her own (lovely) house and is in a happy long term relationship.
She is a very happy, good natured woman who takes everything as it comes and is anything but suicidal - she loves life and is very good company.
She has a sort of faith, Buddhist leanings with a bit of Krishnamurti thrown in.

Her point of view is that IF there is an afterlife, or any kind of reincarnation, she would rather not have it happen to her. As a consequence of this she would rather, if she had been given the choice, not have existed in the first place. This is a view she has always held.

[/quote]
Message: Posted by: critter (Sep 27, 2011 11:22AM)
Alright then.
Message: Posted by: critter (Sep 27, 2011 11:30AM)
In that case; I'm a Buddhist too, with some inspiration from many other sources. I don't know whether I believe in actual reincarnation or not, being that my beliefs are more philosophical than metaphysical, but it would be nice to have a chance to do it better next time.
Though, I can't complain now. I had a hard life growing up, but after a long learning curve things are finally getting better. Even at my lowest I decided suicide was a bad idea because it couldn't get worse, but if I was dead then I'd never know what better was like.
So really I try my best to focus on the moment, within reason.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Sep 27, 2011 11:30AM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-27 11:02, jugglestruck wrote:
It was, I'm afraid, bad timing, we both posted at the same time and I got in first.

[quote]
On 2011-09-27 11:00, HerbLarry wrote:
[quote]


If your friend appears to be truly depressed, do help her to seek medical help. It may be more urgent than you at first think.


[/quote]

Does anyone ever read the posts prior to their own?
[/quote]
[/quote]

Check the time stamps. We posted at the same time. But thanks for the kind thoughts.
Message: Posted by: critter (Sep 27, 2011 11:33AM)
Although it's pretty unreasonable to expect everyone to read every post in every thread all of the time. Sometimes we're in a rush and have to count on the OP and a quick skim to try and get the gist, as I did.
So, in short, :P
Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Sep 27, 2011 12:02PM)
It is in fact totally unreasonable for one to read about what they are commenting on.
I stand/sit/recline corrected.
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Sep 27, 2011 12:02PM)
I heard a woman talk on the radio last week who deals with elderly and dying people. She asked them all what they most regretted about their lives and the majority said that they wished they had allowed themselves to be happier.

I thought this was a fascinating observation. We have a tendency to bog our days down with the smallest of troubles and in years to come I'm sure that we too will say "Why didn't I allow myself to be happier?"
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Sep 27, 2011 12:08PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-27 13:02, HerbLarry wrote:
It is in fact totally unreasonable for one to read about what they are commenting on.
I stand/sit/recline corrected.
[/quote]

wtf? am I expected to read something that wasn't posted when I started writing? One you begin your response do you re-open the thread in another window just to make sure nothing happened in the minute of so you have been writing?
Message: Posted by: critter (Sep 27, 2011 01:48PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-27 13:02, HerbLarry wrote:
It is in fact totally unreasonable for one to read about what they are commenting on.
I stand/sit/recline corrected.
[/quote]

Every post? Great, so before anyone renders political opinions I expect them to watch every newscast and read every newspaper, otherwise they just aren't qualified to respond.
And you may not pick a religion until you read every religious tome. Ever. Even the ones the Romans burned.
And you may not eat until you have read every nutrition manual...

On second thought: No, you don't have to. That would be ridiculous.

Plus what Magnus said.
Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Sep 27, 2011 02:34PM)
[quote]
Great, so before anyone renders political opinions I expect them to watch every newscast and read every newspaper, otherwise they just aren't qualified to respond.

[/quote]

Not a bad idea. Not bad at all.

[quote]

And you may not pick a religion until you read every religious tome. Ever. Even the ones the Romans burned.

[/quote]

Again, not a bad idea. The world would be a better place.


[quote]

And you may not eat until you have read every nutrition manual...

On second thought: No, you don't have to. That would be ridiculous.


[/quote]

That would be just Rong, I agree.

You guys are great for laughs.
Message: Posted by: critter (Sep 27, 2011 02:40PM)
[quote]
That would be just Rong, I agree.
[/quote]

For a second I thought you said "bong."

[quote]
You guys are great for laughs.
[/quote]

Interesting that concern about suicide is what makes you laugh, but hey, if that's your thing then don't let me stop you. Yuk it up.
Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Sep 27, 2011 03:31PM)
Nice the way you put that whole laughing about suicide in my mouth with my vocal inflection.
Ever considered the Vent thing?
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Sep 27, 2011 03:52PM)
I sure didn't anticipate this turn of events when I started here.....do you think it would be better if this thread had never existed?
Message: Posted by: critter (Sep 27, 2011 03:55PM)
If my inferrance is wrong then feel free to explain your side. If you haven't then I can only follow the linear path of what you said in the thread to the simplest conclusion. Getting mad and lashing out about it isn't going to help me understand why you jumped John's **** for offering help when he saw what he percieved as a warning sign.
Maybe you don't care whether I understand. That's okay too. If you don't care then there's no point still talking about it and we can happily ignore each other.
I'd rather learn about people and make an effort to at least be cordial, but it's your call.
Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Sep 27, 2011 04:09PM)
I've been cordial, am not mad, and haven't lashed out at anyone.
I simply think it is funny that I see every day people on this site comment on threads they have no knowledge of when the solution is reading.
I was serious about the politics & religion comments you made.
How you came to the conclusion that I am mad/lashing out or was laughing or making fun/jokes about suicide is beyond me. I write the words, after that I'm out of the process.
Message: Posted by: critter (Sep 27, 2011 04:12PM)
It appears that there is a fundemental disparity in our perceptions of the comments in this thread.
Something lacking in non face-to-face communication perhaps.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Sep 27, 2011 05:36PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-27 05:20, jugglestruck wrote:
A friend of mine has just said that given the choice she would rather not have been born...
[/quote]

How might one consider such a thing? To consider is to be. What presumed ability to see and consider "what is" could exclude the self?

So here you are. What would you like to do now?
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Sep 27, 2011 05:54PM)
Ah Jon, you old Cartesian! I've always had my suspicions.

John
Message: Posted by: markmiller (Sep 27, 2011 07:09PM)
Not being born is not an option for most people.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Sep 27, 2011 07:22PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-27 20:09, markmiller wrote:
Not being born is not an option for most people.
[/quote]

Metaphysics might not be the hobby for you.
Message: Posted by: rockwall (Sep 27, 2011 11:23PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-27 05:20, jugglestruck wrote:
A friend of mine has just said that given the choice she would rather not have been born.
She has what you would call a good life but says if she had never existed she would not think, feel, contemplate an afterlife or ........anything! She would just not have been.

I must admit this concept of non existence had not really crossed my mind before.

What are your views on it?
[/quote]

I think some of the concerns about her being suicidal is because many of us have a hard time understanding some other reason for her feelings. You don't really go into why she feels this way. Is this something that she has explained in further detail to you? You go on to say that she says that if there IS an afterlife, she'd rather not be part of it and would rather not exist. (I'm paraphrasing)

It certainly sounds like someone very unhappy with her life although you've described her quite differently. I'm really curious as to her reasoning.

Mike
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Sep 28, 2011 01:16AM)
"Would you rather not have been born?"

No.

:online:
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Sep 28, 2011 07:51AM)
I asked my girlfriend, if given the choice, would she opt to come back again - she would have no memory of this life but would just be another person thinking "I".

She said no, the prospect of nothingness forever really appealed to her.
Message: Posted by: Woland (Sep 28, 2011 08:52AM)
The annihilation of the individual personality, often with its merging with a Cosmic Consciousness, like a drop of water or a wave merging with the ocean, is a theme of some religious or spiritual traditions.
Message: Posted by: tommy (Sep 28, 2011 09:16AM)
I can't recall what it was like.
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Sep 28, 2011 09:23AM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-28 10:16, tommy wrote:
I can't recall what it was like.
[/quote]

My girlfriends point exactly.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Sep 28, 2011 09:37AM)
How about a Star Trek scenario. The Transporter works (so far as I can tell) by reading all the relevant data about your body, annihilating you, then building an exact copy in the remote location, using local materials.

So what happens is that you are destroyed and a copy that thinks it's you is created.

Would you really be willing to do this?

John
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Sep 28, 2011 09:44AM)
Me? No!
I'll ask my girlfriend but I think she'll say you're just being silly!
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Sep 28, 2011 10:29AM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-28 10:37, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
How about a Star Trek scenario. The Transporter works (so far as I can tell) by reading all the relevant data about your body, annihilating you, then building an exact copy in the remote location, using local materials.

So what happens is that you are destroyed and a copy that thinks it's you is created.

Would you really be willing to do this?

John
[/quote]

Yes, I would be willing. That'd be a cool way to go out (if I did).

Beam me up, Scotty! :)
Message: Posted by: Woland (Sep 28, 2011 10:52AM)
How do I know I am not already a copy that thinks it is me?
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Sep 28, 2011 10:54AM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-28 11:52, Woland wrote:
How do I know I am not already a copy that thinks it is me?
[/quote]

You never know. ;)
Message: Posted by: critter (Sep 28, 2011 11:38AM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-28 10:37, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
How about a Star Trek scenario. The Transporter works (so far as I can tell) by reading all the relevant data about your body, annihilating you, then building an exact copy in the remote location, using local materials.

So what happens is that you are destroyed and a copy that thinks it's you is created.

Would you really be willing to do this?

John
[/quote]

I got in a lot of trouble when I tried this with money.
Message: Posted by: critter (Sep 28, 2011 11:54AM)
Actually though (and I'm about to get geeky for a minute) I believe that the Star Trek Technical Manual (not that I've ever read it... cough... cough...) says that the transporter actually breaks your component parts down into molecules or atoms or something and really does shoot them through space and reassemble them.
I, uh, beat up a nerd for this information. Yeah... that's the ticket...

But that was back in high school so I could be remebering wrong.
Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Sep 28, 2011 05:34PM)
You are correct about the disassembling of molecules, shooting molecules and reassembly of those molecules on the planets surface or wherever else.
Message: Posted by: Steve_Mollett (Sep 28, 2011 07:22PM)
Life is an unwanted interruption of blissful nonexistence.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Sep 28, 2011 07:27PM)
By 1990 or so it was common hard scifi story that a tradeoff has to be made, or at least explored. A copy goes somewhere and subjectively experiences the here-now->there now while the non-copy is here-now. So what do you do with here-now? Integration by parts goes beyond the subjunctive when it comes to memories.

And what does she mean by experience of nothingness?
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Sep 28, 2011 08:01PM)
The Star Trek Transporter would probably be a great way to cure disease, because don't germs get killed during transport?

Not that this has ANYTHING to do with the original question...
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Sep 28, 2011 08:06PM)
Just a way of distracting from considering that you're arguing over 1960s scifi when there's been fifty years of progress considering the matters in easily accessible stories that pertain to this topic.
Message: Posted by: edh (Sep 28, 2011 08:06PM)
Jon, have you ever been under anesthesia? That's experiencing nothingness.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Sep 28, 2011 08:14PM)
I've been asleep before.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Sep 28, 2011 08:59PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-28 21:06, edh wrote:
Jon, have you ever been under anesthesia? That's experiencing nothingness.
[/quote]

how would I know? woke up after my one operation with a headache and feeling weak once but I don't recall anything about the time after I passed and the time I woke up - no experience is not the same as experiencing nothingness. That's more like the nowhere man scene after the vacuum thingie happens.
Message: Posted by: rockwall (Sep 28, 2011 09:44PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-28 10:37, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
How about a Star Trek scenario. The Transporter works (so far as I can tell) by reading all the relevant data about your body, annihilating you, then building an exact copy in the remote location, using local materials.

So what happens is that you are destroyed and a copy that thinks it's you is created.

Would you really be willing to do this?

John
[/quote]

Sounds more like The Prestige than Star Trek!
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (Sep 28, 2011 10:45PM)
[quote]On 2011-09-28 21:01, ClintonMagus wrote:
The Star Trek Transporter would probably be a great way to cure disease, because don't germs get killed during transport?[/quote]
Only the bad germs, I'd imagine. All of the good bacteria (for example, in one's digestive tract) undoubtedly survive intact.

Pretty dang clever things, these transporters.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Sep 28, 2011 11:16PM)
All the stuff in your pockets seems to get transported too. And your clothes. And the stuff touching your clothes. But not the ground that you stand on. Mighty clever.
Message: Posted by: The great Gumbini (Sep 29, 2011 12:04AM)
Well think about this folks---If I had never been born what would you be reading right now? And who I ask would wish you this---


Good magic to all,


Eric
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Sep 29, 2011 03:34AM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-28 20:22, Steve_Mollett wrote:
Life is an unwanted interruption of blissful nonexistence.
[/quote]

I think that pretty much sums up her thoughts on this.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Sep 29, 2011 03:46AM)
Blissful nonexistence?

:worry:

How can feel anything if you don't exist?
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Sep 29, 2011 03:59AM)
Well, maybe just miss out the word 'blissful'.
Message: Posted by: irossall (Sep 29, 2011 05:55AM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-27 11:07, Payne wrote:
Non existence is easy to visualize. Just think of what you were like before you were born. We come from a state of non existence and shall return to that state when our brains stop functioning.

We only get one life. So enjoy it while you can. There is time enough for non-existence after you die.
[/quote]

With all due respect Payne, neither of us knows for sure if this is our only shot at life.
My opinion is, ANYTHING that happens once in eternity can be repeated. If we came from "non-existence" why can't this happen again and again?
Iven :patty:
Message: Posted by: edh (Sep 29, 2011 08:33PM)
Iven, according to some scientists it does, and may already be happening.
Message: Posted by: edh (Sep 29, 2011 08:35PM)
Jon, so tell me what you experienced from the time you went under until the time you woke up?
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Sep 29, 2011 08:51PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-29 21:35, edh wrote:
Jon, so tell me what you experienced from the time you went under until the time you woke up?
[/quote]
what time? I have no memory of any time between nodding off and regaining consciousness much like waking up but with much less energy.
now if someone took movies and I could watch them I might have some experience of that time vicariously, sort of, but again I'm making a distinction between the experience of nothing (consciousness required) and not experiencing anything - ie being only to others and not to myself.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Sep 30, 2011 09:13AM)
Actually, this thread should be merged with one of the capital punishment threads.

Hamlet put it best:

"Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?"

That "undiscovered country" might well also precede our unconscious existence. To have never been born might still also mean a later entrance to that undiscovered country.

Our lack of knowledge of what non-existence might mean is so profound that it should force us to deal with the existence we know.

It is precisely in this sense that I so wholeheartedly disagree with Payne's apparent materialism. Since I am convinced (philosophically, and I am not about to even begin explaining my position, but I am convinced of it) that Being is "mind" or consciousness, I do not dare to pretend to know what manifestations consciousness might or might not take outside the world I have come to know with sensation and reflection.

So I try to remain humble. I know, I know, I do it badly sometimes....
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Sep 30, 2011 09:33AM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-30 10:13, stoneunhinged wrote:

Our lack of knowledge of what non-existence might mean is so profound that it should force us to deal with the existence we know.

[/quote]

It was because of this that I put a different version to my girlfriend. Trying to come to terms with the original question in the thread I feel can be a none starter but the choice of coming back again or not is something more comprehendible to most.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Sep 30, 2011 09:41AM)
I understand.

Just to be clear, I only disagree with Payne's apparent materialism and his certainty. My "belief" (if you can all it that) is pretty much the same as his.

I think that when we die, our "consciousness" just goes away.

But I am not certain. I am certain about nothing, pretty much. I know I like the taste of beer.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Sep 30, 2011 03:18PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-29 00:16, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
All the stuff in your pockets seems to get transported too. And your clothes. And the stuff touching your clothes. But not the ground that you stand on. Mighty clever.
[/quote]
Edge detection?
Message: Posted by: rockwall (Sep 30, 2011 07:13PM)
[quote]
On 2011-09-30 10:41, stoneunhinged wrote:
I understand.

Just to be clear, I only disagree with Payne's apparent materialism and his certainty. My "belief" (if you can all it that) is pretty much the same as his.

I think that when we die, our "consciousness" just goes away.

But I am not certain. I am certain about nothing, pretty much. I know I like the taste of beer.
[/quote]

But are you 'certain' you like the taste of beer? That is the question!
Message: Posted by: Woland (Oct 15, 2011 08:35PM)
It has been written:

[quote]So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.

Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead, more than the living which are yet alive.

Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.[/quote]
Message: Posted by: critter (Oct 15, 2011 08:39PM)
I just can't bring myself to that level of cynicism.
Sure, there's a lot of deebags in the world and that gets on my nerves sometimes, but there's also lots of good folks. And there are parks and Scottish Terriers to boot. Oh yeah, and my hot blonde girlfriend.
I have my dark moods periodically, but overall I think life kicks ass!
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Oct 15, 2011 09:21PM)
The original question remains unanswerable as far as I can tell - has there been any rephrasing?

To suggest a preference for a life spent unconscious and unresponsive to the world - just seems creepy but perhaps that's the intention of the question?
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Oct 16, 2011 04:19AM)
As much as the original question is hard to contemplate it is by no means unanswerable, my friend is very sure of that.
I did simplify the concept though by asking my girlfriend if given the choice, would she come back or not - albeit with no memory of this life.

Very good quote Woland, the apparent difference between the author and my friend is that they have both reached the same conclusion but by very different routes.

Critter, I think you have discovered the meaning of life ...... a walk in the park with a Scottish terrier and a hot blond.
Message: Posted by: Woland (Oct 16, 2011 08:12AM)
The rest of the book from which that quote came is quite worth studying for an in-depth presentation of that particular point of view, as well as many if not all other possible points of view. I am not so sure that your friend and the author of that quote are really in the same philosophical place at all.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Oct 16, 2011 10:12AM)
We make choices all the time without any direct experience about them. Would I rather go to Ireland or Alaska? Should I try meal A or meal B?