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Thread: Being alive inherently better than being dead?

  1. #1 Being alive inherently better than being dead? 
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    I was just wondering, is there any way to reason that being alive is better than being dead without involving emotions in one's reasoning?

    My train of thought consistently leads me to the conclusion that emotion must be used to reason that being alive is better than being dead.

    Thanks in advance!


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    The sense of 'I', the illusion of self, would motivate one toward life. Whether one needs emotions to have this sense of self, or the sense of self is itself an emotion - probably.


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    So you would say this sense of self motivates us to continue existing because we think a particular expression of our self is something that is constant throughout our lives?

    Is this just saying we want to continue living for the sake of continuing to live?

    Are you also asserting that there is no line of reasoning for the statement "being alive is better than being dead" that isn't rooted in the illusion of self?
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    As you say, we can only decide this question after we are already alive, which, even logically, and not emotionally, probably ends up for most to continue living since they have life going on and are inclined to continue the endeavor, which, of course, is still of self. The brain's function is for us to survive, and so that is a strong impetus, even so strong in some that they devise the ways of an afterlife so that they may continue on, for the last thing a brain may wish to consider is its own end.

    I you revise the question be if existence matters over nonexistence, then I'd suppose it doesn't matter at all if there is no meaning to the universe.
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  7. #6 Re: Being alive inherently better than being dead? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by m84uily
    I was just wondering, is there any way to reason that being alive is better than being dead without involving emotions in one's reasoning?
    If your not alive then you can't think about death. But whether you think one way or the other depends on circumstances of the moment and that is almost always emotional, depending on how much physical and/or mental suffering you are going through at the moment.

    Extreme example: You are in a freak accident and end up completely paralyzed with no feeling in any part of your body, also you are blind and deaf and dumb. You have a rich family that loves you very much and they tell the doctors to keep you alive for as long as you show brain activity.

    I know how I would be thinking. Death would be worth any price you could pay and even though your family loves you, you will hate them more than anything else in the world. Just being alive is always personal and emotional.
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    Quote Originally Posted by m84uily
    So you would say this sense of self motivates us to continue existing because we think a particular expression of our self is something that is constant throughout our lives?

    Is this just saying we want to continue living for the sake of continuing to live?

    Are you also asserting that there is no line of reasoning for the statement "being alive is better than being dead" that isn't rooted in the illusion of self?
    Yes, yes and not necessarily. I conjecture the sense of self to be an evolved trait maximising the chances of an organism spreading its genes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus
    I conjecture the sense of self to be an evolved trait maximising the chances of an organism spreading its genes.
    Sense of self, that sounds like self aware. May I take it you don't believe there will ever be a self aware machine in our future?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    Sense of self, that sounds like self aware. May I take it you don't believe there will ever be a self aware machine in our future?
    Don't see why not, i just contest what it means to be 'self-aware'.
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    There is no dead you. There is only you and no you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    There is no dead you. There is only you and no you.

    Well said.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    There is no dead you. There is only you and no you.
    I agree with your sentiment, but dead does have an agreed usage listed in the dictionary.

    Dead applies in general to whatever once had, but no longer has physical life.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    There is no dead you. There is only you and no you.
    I agree with your sentiment, but dead does have an agreed usage listed in the dictionary.

    Dead applies in general to whatever once had, but no longer has physical life.

    Are you trying to say that 'you' and 'I' have something more then 'physical life' /obviously, from the science and not philosophical view/?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hippocampus
    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Wenban
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    There is no dead you. There is only you and no you.
    I agree with your sentiment, but dead does have an agreed usage listed in the dictionary.

    Dead applies in general to whatever once had, but no longer has physical life.

    Are you trying to say that 'you' and 'I' have something more then 'physical life' /obviously, from the science and not philosophical view/?
    Absolutely not, but we do have terms used to describe things, however accurate they might be to a given situation. Basically I don't have a problem with saying you are dead and knowing you are “not” anymore. I agree with KALSTER, but making an absolute statement like he did was like he was daring anyone to argue his point. I guess I was being a nit picker.
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    do have terms used to describe things, however accurate they might be to a given situation
    .

    Yes , we might do in
    a given situation
    If subjective view is gone or we have to generalize then we can only speculate
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    I agree with KALSTER, but making an absolute statement like he did was like he was daring anyone to argue his point. I guess I was being a nit picker.
    Not so much daring to argue, as much as asking a question.

    What does he mean exactly by "being better"? For whom? Because if your dead, there is no you for anything to matter to any more, so in context to whom is the question asked?
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I agree with KALSTER, but making an absolute statement like he did was like he was daring anyone to argue his point. I guess I was being a nit picker.
    Not so much daring to argue, as much as asking a question.

    What does he mean exactly by "being better"? For whom? Because if your dead, there is no you for anything to matter to any more, so in context to whom is the question asked?
    Yeah! I guess only OP can answer that question. As for “being better” I can speculate that when your dead, you don't have any problems to worry about or deal with. That's a subjective plus and everyone that has ever committed suicide must have felt being dead was better than being alive. Society places a high value on life and would have you believe being alive is always better than being dead and they back that up with laws that make taking a life illegal, even your own life.

    However I don't agree with that all inclusive policy. Many people reach a point where the quality of life is just not worth living any more and there is no chance that it's going to ever change. Somehow it's okay to put animals out of their misery and pain, but not humans. Why is that? Why is my right to live or die, not my choice?
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I agree with KALSTER, but making an absolute statement like he did was like he was daring anyone to argue his point. I guess I was being a nit picker.
    Not so much daring to argue, as much as asking a question.

    What does he mean exactly by "being better"? For whom? Because if your dead, there is no you for anything to matter to any more, so in context to whom is the question asked?
    I mean to say, that the person reasoning is creating a line of logic that supports the statement "being alive is better than being dead" for themselves.

    Maybe I could change it to "Being alive is better than being dead for me." if that helps clarify things at all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by m84uily
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I agree with KALSTER, but making an absolute statement like he did was like he was daring anyone to argue his point. I guess I was being a nit picker.
    Not so much daring to argue, as much as asking a question.

    What does he mean exactly by "being better"? For whom? Because if your dead, there is no you for anything to matter to any more, so in context to whom is the question asked?
    I mean to say, that the person reasoning is creating a line of logic that supports the statement "being alive is better than being dead" for themselves.

    Maybe I could change it to "Being alive is better than being dead for me." if that helps clarify things at all.
    It does. I was over analysing.
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    It does. I was over analysing.
    I've had countless girlfriends tell me I do that. I tend to respond that there is no such thing as OVER analysis. I reject the premise of the assertion.


    To the OP, I have no information regarding what it would be like for me to be dead, so I guess by default I find more value in being alive.
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    It does. I was over analysing. :)
    I've had countless girlfriends tell me I do that. I tend to respond that there is no such thing as OVER analysis. I reject the premise of the assertion. ;)


    To the OP, I have no information regarding what it would be like for me to be dead, so I guess by default I find more value in being alive.
    Isn't that drawing on fear of the unknown as a basis? Or could you explain a little more?
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by m84uily
    Isn't that drawing on fear of the unknown as a basis? Or could you explain a little more?
    I don't think so, because fear is not part of it. Truly... I simply have no information about what it would be like to be dead... Other than what it might seem like through the eyes of others. All information I have comes from being alive... 100% of every single data point available to me is through me being alive. I've got no data, no insights into what it might be like from a first person point of view to be dead.

    For that reason, I suggest that by default it is inherently better to be alive. Fear plays zero role in this suggestion.
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by m84uily
    Isn't that drawing on fear of the unknown as a basis? Or could you explain a little more?
    I don't think so, because fear is not part of it. Truly... I simply have no information about what it would be like to be dead... Other than what it might seem like through the eyes of others. All information I have comes from being alive... 100% of every single data point available to me is through me being alive. I've got no data, no insights into what it might be like from a first person point of view to be dead.

    For that reason, I suggest that by default it is inherently better to be alive. Fear plays zero role in this suggestion.
    So "Due to the ambiguity of death, and the known state of living, to choose life is a logically appropriate decision."

    Is that an okay summation? Does that not relate to an individual's attitude regarding risk aversion? Or maybe how risk averse someone is can be considered to be a good measure of how logical they are? Is it usually the logical decision to avoid ambiguity?

    Attempting to answer my own last question, I may reason that the only things that compel a person towards ambiguity are curiosity, thrill seeking and other such states. Therefore apart from fear there may be no emotional counterpart to avoid ambiguity, making it a decision that's logical rather than emotional?
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  26. #25  
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    No aversion in my comment. Death is no big deal to me. I'm just saying, I have zero information about what death is like from my own perspective. Like Kalster, I suspect that "there's no there there."
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