Suicide is often thought tragedy or failure—but a person can lead an exceedingly relevant and meaningful life and still have it end with suicide. Suicide, although thought taboo and negative consequence, should not be thought especially conclusive to render some final judgment on that dead person’s attitudes about the entirety of his or her life, or personal series of assumed values while living. Esteemed and valuable lives do happen to end with this form of partial self-control over one’s finality. It can at times be practical to circumstances. The vaunted platitude the “value of human life” (as cultural supposition) has had little real open discussion or debate. Irrespective then of all peoples’ personal opinions (even if personal opinions are not often particularly individualist) one should be able to argue that thee ultimate human right of being-hood (and all related rights of existence) is the right to decide for the self whether one even wants to live a human life (especially as related to circumstances one finds the self). This is really the most basic litmus test to freedom as essential criteria as to whether one is truly free or not.
Suicide Is A Human Moral Right: Similar in Ethics to the Right to an Abortion.
By Polly Peptide
*** This essay is dedicated to Robin Williams, famous American comedian and actor, who recently died from an apparent suicide *** May he now rest in peace.
Suicide Is A Human Moral Right:
Suicide is often thought tragedy or failure—but a person can lead an exceedingly relevant and meaningful life and still have it end with suicide.
Whereas too many peoples' lives, which die by more by natural causes, or diseases, or artificially prolonged life to eventual death, could arguably be judged as even more tragic (in the sense those people did not much live up to their real human potential such as finding real meaning in their life (beyond the conformist style of self-alienation) or much spiritual awareness or actualized individuality).
Suicide, although thought taboo and negative consequence, should not be thought especially conclusive to render some final judgment on that dead person’s attitudes about the entirety of his or her life, or personal series of assumed values while living. Esteemed and valuable lives do happen to end with this form of partial self-control over one’s finality. It can at times be practical to circumstances.
Nevertheless to anyone's personal and moral opinion on such a seemingly serious event (and yet death is no more dramatic or serious than being born and no less necessary) the act of committing suicide should be considered a universal human right (at least for adults who no longer have children or dependents to care).
Yet very few people argue for such an important human right. Small pockets of conscientious people publicly argue for the right to commit suicide in respect to dire conditions—such as those who argue people seriously suffering from terminal diseases should be allowed to engage euthanasia (a grace other animals are allowed by the human race). But even when humanitarian, Jack Kevorkian types, who argue suffering people be relieved of their anguish and misery often are still reviled especially here in America's Bible belt—and even if their motives are nobly compassionate and humane.
This reality alone—many powerful institutions (religion, legal, social networks, etc.) kill one's right to a “humane” death even from interminably suffering—should be a red flag to any potential parent thinking about what kind of society to bring a child. The inhumanity of humanity and the inhumanity of religious zealots, indicate how much power out-dated religions still have on many people and institutions, even in countries that claim to separate church and state.
Rare indeed still are those very few who argue that even relatively healthy adults should also have a right to decide living life as a human simply isn't worth it (whether they suffer a physically debilitating disease of not). This is the line of the taboo and yet this is a topic people frequently think about.
[**Note: this essayist too hides behind the anonymity of a ghost’s pen-name, because this subject, as it relates to religious and social controversies, is so highly contentious, so much so the author’s life could be put in danger.]
Religious fanaticism rules the world even here in the West. It may seem subdued at times but fanaticism seethes in the underground of the often less spoken. Instead of any real debate, society’s traditional dogmas, as well as presumptions from public health professionals, and so-called keepers of morality and law, simply assume that if you are relatively healthy and yet also entertain inclinations toward suicidal ideation or have death wishes then you are not healthy but are instead mentally unhealthy and unsound.
This is the social and institutional inertia this essay seeks to challenge.
Most institutions and related professions, not to mention most people in general, take it as some kid of implicit fact that everyone of reasonable mind would: a) want to be born human on planet earth, and b) once born would choose to continue to live regardless of afflictions or circumstances to self, soul or alienation, or anxieties due to larger issues pressing mankind such as today’s many fear-based concerns.
Nevertheless professionally accepted assumptions, despite the fact they are never or seldom publicly challenged, are very much dogmatic and need to be contentiously challenged—especially at this time in human history as we have come to over 7 billion people currently living.
The vaunted platitude the “value of human life” (as cultural supposition) has had little real open discussion or debate. This human life value precept, as collective opinion, is assumed to be some sacred fact since many scientists too refuse to challenge religion dominion in areas of morality religions still presumes to rule. Practically everyone implicitly agrees that to be born is a mightily wonderful reality (as if one planet had an infinite capacity for more and more people).
Nevertheless it can be argued there are plenty people who do not really view their own lives as especially worthy (as they, themselves, have experienced and lived them). Various descriptions of the many travails life often imposes on individuals, families and societies is ignored in this non-debate; or it gets assumed, since some people, depending on their DNA genetics and dispositions, actually have attitude they crave and relish grave challenges and hardships.
Still horrific realities are part of the grand bargain (that one never really chooses). Rationalizing dogmas insinuate all, or most, people will happily sign onto the life on planet earth contract (one granted without ‘any’ guarantees); and certainly plenty of the naïve would and have. Risk-takers especially would and do. More importantly the human capacity to rationalize will and does almost consistently. After all what choice is left save the ugly thought of self-destruction. Yeah it's all good! “Our great God of providence will provide for all our important necessities to an rewarding life”. After all we are not mere lemmings following some piped piper. We are just awfully optimistic people who readily go-along-to-get-along that includes adopting a “just-do-it” attitude.
But once a soul is forced into this cosmic drama (that is born) there is no objective Consumer Report on living life on life's terms provided to self with a comprehensive “pro versus con” listings, so each individual can attempt to look at life more objectively and dispassionately (certainly no report with any universal or historical perspective). You might get all kinds of religious training about how God values your individuality and uniqueness (because in reality, on average, few other people will—nor will they truly get to know you as a true individual).
Being born is much naivety and often stems from less than noble motives, such as parents who want or need to cling to relationships, that they may or may not be mature enough to nurture or care properly. In this world even the most immature, given they are of age, can and do procreate.
Cultural brainwash and our supposed collective common sense simply expects you to comport your personal mindset around the prevailing social notion that to be born is a good thing and that getting pregnant is none-other than a blessing (taking it for granted potential parents should want to procreate children).
There is little shoulder room for cynical thinking about what it means to bring a child into the challenges of the 21st century. Childbearing, as related to today's realities, is often not given much critical thought. Such presumptuousness is true for progressives as well as conservatives, for the financially well off as the poor (as if humanity, as a whole, truly lived in one big bubble of far too much presumption).
A truly sane and carefully reflective person would need to really survey the situation from many angles before jumping to conclusions or getting too optimistic about mankind’s fate going into the 21st century. There already is a lot of road kill and road rage in today’s planet, as metaphor of overpopulation and over-technology, to not reflect on consequences.
Yet to even suggest pre-born-babies might not want to have been born after carefully weighing the pros and cons, is taken as major human heresy: “How dare you not appreciate human life—such as decreed by God!” “How dare you have opinions contrarian to ‘my’ sacred right assumptions to bring more wonderful children (like myself) into this world!” And yet if ever there was an act of chauvinism it is the idea this world needs more of one’s own.
[**Note: This singular and personal opinion, contrarian to the grain and immensity of traditional assumption as well as human history, is truly a very lone voice. This essay is what a truly ‘minority’ opinion means—having little to do with one’s race or gender.]
Irrespective then of all peoples’ personal opinions (even if personal opinions are not often particularly individualist) one should be able to argue that thee ultimate human right of being-hood (and all related rights of existence) is the right to decide for the self whether one even wants to live a human life (especially as related to circumstances one finds the self). This is really the most basic litmus test to freedom as essential criteria as to whether one is truly free or not.
Anything less then an adult’s right (eighteen or older and not responsible for children) to take one’s own life amounts to social slavery—especially since no one ever born has actually chosen to be born in the first place—which is a very important point.
Self never asks for the circumstances of living—rather they are forced upon the individual by outside forces. Sometimes they arrive under more or less romantic or ideal conditions but often enough at other times they do not come with anything too close to ideal conditions.
For example, not every man is automatically going to be a good to great father (as equally said for a potential mother). There are plenty examples of children living in far-from-ideal-or-esteem-building households and circumstances. Even if it is true some children thrive quite well in harsh conditions the larger question is why were they forced to do so in the first place. And yet this essay is really about mankind having already created dangerous and politically totalitarian potentials going into the 21st century (for all humanity).
Life then, and all accompanying circumstances, is more or less forced upon innocent babies, who are then quickly acculturated into the myths of their cultures’ times and places. Many people take it for granted their cultural lives will continue on more or less unabated and that the conditions for more offspring will be adequately prosperous. This is at least more or less hope after impregnating a woman.
Religions, which have so much say on what is considered human morality, have dominated basic assumptions about issues to the sacredness of life (as even most secular progressives and radicals will not touch this kind of discussion). By far most intellectuals too seem, for various reasons, caught in a reticence of political and religious hegemony, as most religions invariably assume human life sacred (at least rhetorically) even when it has been presupposed by these religions that the self has no say—that is while religious politics often treats individual life as if it does not especially matter.
Human life and personal values are violated in all manner of being all the time as contradiction from rhetoric to reality is huge. Hypocrisy and fear too often stands in for human morality and compassion.
One exception to this pattern of reticence, are those who argue for the right (of a women) to have an abortion (men in this double standard of reverse sexism have little legal say on the matter).
[**Note: Lines of argument in respect to suicide are related to arguments for the right to have an abortion—that is why this essay goes back and forth discussing both topics.]
Surprisingly, given the consequences of any abortion versus having a child, most pro-choice advocates do not demonstrate much potency, or diversity, to make their case, save generalized dogmas like a woman has a right to decide matters regarding her personal body (implying abortion is more or less about riddance of a bodily attachment, as if men involved seldom, if ever, deal with any consequence from a woman’s decision).
A recent example of the lameness of Pro-Choice arguments is found in an interview between DemocracyNow.Org’s Amy Goodman and The Nation Magazine’s Katha Pollitt (in reference to Pollitt’s new book Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights). This interview, and presumably the book, add little, if anything, new to this historical debate—rather it’s a preaching-to-the-choir rehash about how abortion is “good” for society in some circumstances (arguments that will never change the minds of the fanatically and religiously opposed).
For the many millions who assume Judeo-Christianity and Bible are man’s ultimate authority these kinds of humanitarian arguments will not and cannot resonate with true believers—so they do little to change the ratio of followers, and therefore they do little to change the status quo of a right-wing backlash.
WHAT TO DO?
However there are two possibly effective arguments to deal with anti-abortionists.
The first is to directly confront and challenge the very moral status of the Judeo-Christian religion and the Bible itself—and yet almost nobody wants to go there. Still if one could make such a legitimate challenge, and there are legitimate arguments already made (see “When God Became the Terrorist: Traces of the Authoritarian Nature of the Three Abrahamic Religions” at:
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2013/07/511565.html (e-book), then this strategy could succeed over some time haul (surely 95% of those against abortion are precisely so because of their religious beliefs and assumptions).
A second strategy would be to demonstrate, by rational argument, that being born on planet earth, as a human today, is neither especially desirable nor healthy—that is going into a 21st century fraught with danger. The Pro-Life position could be (and should be) viewed as unhealthy and even insane. This thesis herein attempts to make such a case.
But angels dare not rush in where supposedly fools flock—and yet few fools show up either. To challenge the psychological and political assumption that giving birth (life) is not a wonderful reality (or challenging Bible Belt America on radical grounds about moral assumptions) is at best dicey. These paths are akin to some seemingly crazy warrior general Hannibal demanding his brigades ride elephants up mountain ranges to attack the Romans from behind—not especially easy of a battle.
After-all anti-abortionists believe only God can willfully take life and anything else is serious mortal sin (despite all the wars of history). So then our worldview and tactics pretty much remains stuck in a voodoo muck conditioned from ancient Judeo-Christianity, that is of ancient epochs not especially relevant to today's realities.
And even from a secular point of view, it is hard to challenge deeply implanted assumptions about the so-called “gift of life”. Many of all types simply find it hard to imagine thinking about whether an individual has a right to choose NOT to participate in the human enterprise—that is rejecting what so many others take for granted (and given the constancy of genetic variations there will always be many who want to experience life to old age irrespective of potential forms of disaster).
Yet many today fear the economic wars for the future, as plenty of even common people know this to be our human predicament. We know population growth, even if at a slower pace, still means more conflict and war. But we cannot muster enough personal integrity and independence to understand that a lot of our lives have become little more than forms of social conformity and personal alienation (life not especially being meaningful) within the context of various fears related to dealing with too many people (and all that implies) into the future.
We intuitively know most of the now-advertised world over wants the same levels of personal comfort and material well being we Americans have long taken for granted. This economic truth sets the world rife with serious conflict as a future with such economic conflict, even if it means the ‘haves’ minority keeping the ‘have-nots’ majority from getting any kind of parity, is not likely to be pretty lot for people in a lot of countries.
Why then is it so hard to fathom a baby, one who grows up to adult, born essentially without personal consent, could ever find life as resented? Why do so many parents assume they are doing something positive by giving birth to a child? Why as so few afraid to ask about such questions?
Perhaps some people, even if still a small minority, had they a socially acceptable and dignified way to die, would choose to do so? This should not be baffling to people who have a clue to many peoples’ real circumstances throughout history.
We might rather contemplate the radical argument (as opposed to a zero growth ideal which is not an ideal but population at plateau) and ask if going ‘beyond’ the human perspective (that assumes humans are the dominant species on planet earth) to ask, for argument sake, if it would be saner to have “all” human pregnancies aborted throughout the entire world until our very Homo sapiens species dies off—as in becoming extinct?
This is surely a radical position, to say the least, but also radical conditions were brought onto humanity by humanity (often enough in the name of advancement) and they are not the fault of radical thinking itself.
More over assertions of this order merely bring mankind to face itself and its assumptions. ‘Who’ presumes some right that the human race will always continue on (if not here then elsewhere)? Why should humanity even suppose the human enterprise is good on the face of things—when maybe it is not all that good, and frankly many signs of reality on the ground point to it being negative and dangerous in important ways—starting with the fact that in less than one century various countries have amassed thousands of nuclear warheads and have meanwhile lost little inclination to go to war or be belligerent (and often enough stupidly so—study U.S. Congress and several leaders in the Executive Branch)?
Granted, all of life's forms, evolutionarily speaking, can be argued to be profound as well as superfluous, at least on different levels (as many species have come and gone over the billion years of time). All species play important roles in the nature of things ecologically. We cannot take biology lightly and just assume some believed-in God will provide to compensate for our naiveté or presumptiveness.
It is a more or less a fact planet earth, and all its other millions of species, do ‘not’ need the human race, and likely would fair far better with out it.
Why is it then humans almost invariably presume something very special about their own existence—so much so they have literally invented the idea of their own God-like immortality, that is to live beyond mortal life—namely by their own invention of religious dogmas that tells them how much more special they are (as if they resembled some higher creator power than so many other species, supposedly also created by the same assumption of some ancient Middle Eastern Divinity that they presume)?
Nothing humano-centric here, that is because our animal species can utilize a vastness of language tool and thought abstraction, so much so that we have invented ourselves as divine and protected by an omnipotent God of our own making—we, even if poorly misguided at that (as few really understand the real politics of religions as propaganda machines) will be destined to some immaculate and immortal fate.
The Religious Right assumes God “owns” your soul (and life), and yet when such an assumption is thought through, it distills down to a God as basically being a kind of slave owner (so you really are not free but must live out your life even if it can be argued real inhumane circumstances and dangers exist).
Dominate religious and thus presumed moral argument state God ultimately created you (and corresponding religious literature claims as much) or at least implies so, that you are sacred (at least on paper) so then according to this logic ‘you’ have no right to make such a decision about taking your ‘own’ life (even if God himself can, and arbitrarily does, take lives—that is demands the killing of non-Jewish tribes competing with Jewish tribes in the Old Testament?).
You are born then as a kind of animal stock breed to be dealt with on society's jealous terms and circumstances. Moreover in your go-along-to-get-along nonchalance you may breed just like animals; as there are presumed rules about the acceptable morality of such breeding (such as within a marriage or whatever flavor of dominate cultural supposition).
In previous centuries, when population growth wasn’t quite so scary, one could understand a general claim that life is good and connected, that made it assumptive human life was desirable, and such an argument might once merited some value, especially if one were actually born in a relatively sane, healthy and happy civilization and world—but not so much in a world that is not especially sane, healthy or happy. (And it is a sign of mental health to question whether humanity today is sane, healthy and happy versus whether one born today lives more in a dangerous, corrupt and corroding set of circumstances that are very precarious and not especially close to health or sanity—as one's life could end in many forms of tragedy and pain via conflicted variables of chaos.)
It is also a sign of mental health and personal independence to allow the self to freely reflect on serious matters (and even very controversial ones). And ‘when’ self finds enough evidence that modern life is indeed toxic enough with potentially dire conditions (as humanity is overwhelmed with issues, so much so society seems to not be able to effectively deal and cope) to then conclude giving birth is not anywhere near a good idea (and in fact seems irrational and irresponsible and could even be argued as immoral) then this is one’s right to use one’s free capacity to so reason.
Re-read the previous paragraph please.
Such a personal conclusion is of a type of divergent thinking many fearful or lazy minds loathe on first reading (but individuality is what personal responsibility requires).
If health is man’s first wealth then to be born, or more precisely thrust into life, and finding one’s cultural and political environment unhealthy (and presumed to be getting worse to past tense breaking point), then we humans collectively need to question if this status quo is something people should honor or should question—even as it takes courage to question such fundamental assumptions most people do not much question (instead corralled in their box of right angles).
[Note: “Human insanity” herein means, in a cultural sense, when our human species seems to adequately demonstrate, or strongly suggest likewise, from historical examples and contemporary media manipulation, we as species cannot, or will not, effectively deal with the many serious issues we now confront (or even admit to the seriousness of some issues we deal) without the likelihood of much pain and suffering and death for a massive number of ever-growing people into the foreseeable future. **This author thinks this dilemma describes humanity all too well. Note also, for example, on the simple issue of drought in California and the fact that way too much water goes for grazing livestock (it takes 1000 gallons of water to produce one gallon of milk or 600 for a hamburger) reporting on such issues fails to mention it is ‘humans’ and not cows that are on the top of this food chain, and it is the human, and not the cow, that thus wastes even more water-related resources.]
All people have a duty to think about what it means for a child to be born into today’s post-industrial, post-world wars, age-of-anxiety, as set of truths, to a backdrop of corporate corruption and political scandal (granted scandals and corruption have always existed but not against a world that has become increasingly dangerous and precarious year after year and in which a surveillance state has effectively grown around gullible people here to a level unforeseen—and becomes more and more a world phenomenon as potentially dangerous as any has ever been).
Thus to be born in these times especially (as one could make case for other times of history) is not especially propitious of sanity and human welfare. The best one could reasonably argue is life will be a major challenge to most of humanity (if not all).
It would be nice if Americans had the luxury of that flowery language used the likes of some Thomas Paine today. Those Harvard graduates back then with their Latin and Greek inculcation, and by other erudite lawyers as clever-cleavers, had some time to compose their conceits into the nicety of spice and tea. We Americans today have little room for such European baroque-ness. The world and industry spins too fast for anything but straight discourse.
If one were more keenly aware of the most important social and political issues current to living today—having clue to portending dangers and our human nature’s likely political reactions to conflict and ambiguity (sifting through conspiracies to see real patterns of strife) as newborns arrive daily in a world now full of chaos and a constancy of change on many levels (against all the usual human paradoxes of crime, poverty, poor education, war, higher volumes of imprisonment, human rights violations—but then adding in more uniquely contemporary issues such as food and water scarcity and starvation, including so-argued national security stakes on scarce commodities and minerals, plus various environmental dangers, as including higher homelessness and refugee problems, lack of employment (including the idea of worthy employment) while many investors turn to robotics to kill more jobs, plus over-population, etc.—would such awareness not indeed be more than enough word to the wise?
This list of challenges haunting mankind could be extended but is adequate to make the point that life on earth will be treacherous at best into the future.
Humanity needs to stop procreating and get some serious negative population growth without relying on wars--now. And Republicans and Democrats both need to understand anything else is delusion.
The only difference between war and murder is one is about killing ‘other’ as dehumanized versus killing one’s own in society. It does not matter if the so-called God of a Bible ‘tolerated’ war or was essentially a war deity. This very truth itself should be questioned to a very deep question mark. Any human more or less dense enough to think a God would start demarcating certain lands for certain chosen peoples at the necessity of killing off those all ready living there is in need of countervailing intellectual challenge.
OVERPOPULATION TO WAR:
If anything destroys the sanctity of human life it is overpopulations that continue to breed even while each birth places more demands on the world resources and economies. Why are people not making these kinds of arguments in respect to the sanctity of life?
Especially why should people who think that just because they get married they have some inevitable right to produce any number of offspring? Why is this supposed right so much taken as granted (while the opposite one of taking one’s own life or having an abortion is not allowed)?
Anti-abortionists should be on the defensive arguing why human life today is supposedly assumed to have so much value. Why are Pro-Choice people acting as if they need to be on the defensive when they should be on the offensive as morally more secure? This social issue is about understanding true moral realities.
It can’t be that hard to understand how some children born today (or even some born years ago) find life more a curse than any kind of blessing?
Cynics laugh at phony reality TV shows to ridicule the perfect white American family a few decades ago but it seems almost as if all classes of people assume some kind of romantic notion about being born and life—even against a demonstrable backdrop of inequality and racial injustice. Yet even as a white, supposedly privileged Anglo-Saxon (which I was not especially) I would never bring a child into this human mess of too much human ignorance, trouble, disappointment and evil. I would never assume that because I might have, what some might assume as attractive offspring, those offspring would find this world so compatible (Hollywood and mainstream media especially withstanding).
If so many people value their own lives (lives so heavily influenced by factors beyond their control) or their right to have children, why do they insist on opposing the right of others to choose suicide as strangers they do not even know or care?
The fact is there are people who don’t find living within their own personal circumstances or societies viable or desirable? Why should strangers claim some moral say about these other peoples’ choices regarding their own lives or families?
[**Note: This is not argument from some spoiled kind of notion which expects some kind of human utopia, that is where one is afraid of being challenged or even politically oppressed—rather this is from an awareness level that understands enough serious challenges to humankind, as a whole, as it now faces the future, as truly potentially devastating in aspects, so much so as to realize sane people would not likely chose to procreate vulnerable children into what is no longer viable (or healthy society).
We American alive today may have had a long and peaceful history of economic stability here in the United States but change is the only constant (and we already see this in increasing homelessness and poverty).
Few would choose (had one the choice) to be born in a world where there exists a hundred military budgets that stockpile innumerable forms of military arsenal that could make much hell on earth (and routinely does but could make it even more serious).
When Robin Williams did his giddy, over-the-top comic spiels (references from Rod Sterling’s “Twilight Zone” to little people from “Wizard of Oz”) as radio announcer in Good Morning Vietnam his jokes too were in regard to exaggerated political fears in the name of war profiteering.
War veterans who commit suicide are doing what is natural when they learn of the ugly realities and moral contradictions most civil citizens dare not much learn or care to delve. It is within a naiveté of the masses, those well propagandized and reality-protected elites, that can wear enough rose-colored glass to drown out truer levels of traumatic syndromes, and who live in pedestrian, although entertained, lives (and many who have the current financial material means to stave off sharp truths) to become aware human historical realities.
The human race is not sane, and frankly never was, nor likely will ever be. Rather societies live on myths, hopes, presumptions, luck, and a lot of distorted nationalist propaganda. But definitely mankind does not live mostly by any form of wisdom—for wisdom would see the human race for what it is—blind, arrogant, gullible, and too often evil in its capacity to rationalize (and also too often corruptible—traits well supplied in all eras of human history).
THE REAL ECONOMICS;
Childbirth, as a physical reality, is more about demands on the environment and various economies than it is about superstitious matters presupposing all sorts of things never truly proven one way or another. Having a child is about placing a physical baby in a world of specific historical circumstances—especially economic. Nevertheless too many fear the dominance of the religious right even while many know the sanctimonious right to be so philosophically and morally wrong (global warming being but one of many).
Yet progressives, exasperatingly, dare not too much question the moral legitimacy of ancient religions even when the Judeo-Christian religions are not really based so much on love (from an analysis of in-depth ‘political’ or ‘psychologically’ study) but rather is a religion, based on long-established literature and tradition over millennia (much of which transpired BC before Christ) but when analyzed politically, shows itself to not be especially moral nor demonstrative of any real equitable sense of justice (rather too much the opposite).
Read for example the clever Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ (‘clever’ in his sophistic style of trying to prove the Bible true from a logic and an investigative science point of view but still presuming too many supernatural things). But focus specifically to his discussions on the painful truth of torture as crucifixion (my word choice) in his Chapter 11: “The Medical Evidence…” where one almost must conclude the sadistic nature of crucifixion as an act of torture and terrorism that Roman armies used fairly extensively against rebelling slaves and criminals.
There can be no moral case for any JUST God to have demanded this type of torture as murder, save some tyrannical Deity who based his political ideas of governance on authoritarian principles.
Any God who claims to be all-powerful, and who claims to have created all peoples circumstances (including their very DNA which scientists learn more and more that our genes play a heavy part in all we do), while taking no responsibility for any outcome of those creatures lives that he supposedly created (or their circumstances) and then instead engages harsh judgments against humanity, such as torture in a hell by devils of his equal making, cannot possibly be thought either sacred or worthy (unless people are insanely brainwashed by a religious terrorism of punishment via a scapegoat of forgiveness from a Jesus figure who in truth could not even save himself).
Nevertheless millions and millions of people, over many centuries, and ultimately in many civilizations, have been more or less brainwashed to believe, as a kind of Stockholm syndrome, in this kind of totalitarian religious psychology as supposedly taught to be moral? Any religion and religious deity that claims to be the epitome of morality and shows itself to be so utterly the opposite should have rational people asking questions.
People are routinely taught Jesus ‘chose’ this fate and that somehow he was saving others from God’s wrath. How much longer can the human race blindly accept this kind of adolescent conditioning? If Jesus was truly such a visionary he would have rejected the Old Testament and Judaism for a multitude of reasons.
People are afraid to think they have a right (and a duty) to evaluate and judge religions and those religion’s projection of deities, and more importantly to admit some religions themselves can have terrorist forms of psychology—especially when believers have been brainwashed be believe such terrorism is itself somehow sacred. Maybe mankind needs to stop honoring the Easter holiday in which a Jewish, left-leaning, Rabbi was tortured?
Theoretically God could have created a better and more equitable world, and he or it could have taken some responsibility for his creation rather than act like some tin-pot dictator like an Ariel Sharon or a Bibi Netanyahu (who equally act as if they can engage in any form of atrocity such as blatant war crimes, and no one will dare call them on it because they and too many naïve people assume their cause to be sacred).
Instead we have the Biblical God, or real life war criminals threatening their subjects with pain, death and eternal torture—but few independent minds dare transverse where even angels hide (especially and ironically the social science and medical professions like psychologists, psychiatrists, journalists, social scientists, and professionals that study comparative religion). When U.S. Congress looked the other way and tepidly excused Netanyahu’s government of blatant war crimes and terrorism this summer it shows the exact same authoritarian psychology (while using lies and every form of deceit any devil might use in process). It was exactly the same evil.
It is not enough for a religion to give comfort to believers in an alienating world, if they claim to be moral and wise then they should be consistently so. If some religions claim to be the very paradigm of morality and ethics then they should at least past the sniff test.
So why then, given the many dire realities potentially exposed to any given human life on planet earth, or even the mere contemplation of potentialities (since much of life lies within the human imagination) would a person want to be born into this chaotic mess of a world? For its education and growth value as somehow to be found a spiritual experience?
Or isn’t it a bit trite, as retort from some, about how one’s very son or daughter will be able to give value to human society, via some great scientific discovery, or by moral suasion of diplomacy (a conceit that doesn’t especially hold much water when we all ready have seven billion people living, some supposedly trying to save mankind within their potentiality, and not too many doing a great job of it (rather being mostly consumers of services, materials, economies, and food and water scarcity, and making other demands on this planet and people, etc.)?
Birth is an animal truth via the game of sexuality. Birth is not primarily a religious or spiritual reality unless populations can be convinced so by indoctrination. Sophisticated animals as ourselves, no doubt who can drive sophisticated cars and engage multiple forms of sophisticated technology, and come to think we are infallible (as if we can always invent new and viable outcomes). Our hormones rage and our desires lead to intimate relations (which I am not condemning except that the human race is out of control and cannot at this point likely save itself).
Previously through history mankind at least maintained an illusion of being in control—although it never really had such (even with its various religious myths). Eventually this complicated chessboard became more complicated even as is important ways it also seemed to offer fewer viable choices.
What if the idea of ‘spirituality’ is more a matter of becoming truly aware of important matters (and not just new age neophytes contemplating their naval anatomy at yoga spas and eating the politically correct vegan diet of the week (to which I do not ridicule)? And yet what if real and wide awareness on important matters (social, political, material, psychological, economic, etc.) besides religious escapism into esotericism (that some claim spiritual) could also lead to strong streaks of cynicism, alienation and anxiety, etc., and even at some point a loss of hope for humanity in general (and maybe even a desire to depart this human asylum altogether—speculating dire consequences and violence likely awaits too much of mankind)?
Is it better than to rationalize that one does not want to be too involved with thinking too deeply on matters and instead just living and taking one’s chances? Certainly this is a choice many people either choose or succumb but should people have the right to expect their offspring to play the same mental games?
Religion has always been about escape from the alienating reality of being born and having to live a life within many circumstances beyond one’s own control. This is equally true for many new age / old-age spiritual movements.
True spiritual awareness is ‘not’ mostly about esoteric discussions regarding the aligning of charkas, the reciting mantras, etc. (although such practices may be personally soothing), but the realization the entire world is now one big mental institution and the majority of earth’s people are in reality pretty much mental patients (even those who mostly assume themselves sane and go along with many cultural presumptions—either spoon-fed as children or by TV commercial).
Even plenty liberals will also readily veto your right to take your own life (amongst other rights) even if you really have more than adequately surveyed the situation and decided you do not want to participate in mankind’s games of chance and luck? If so many people believe in the right of abortion than why do some of them not believe in the right of suicide? After all what better argument that having an abortion is not mostly a selfish choice of ridding of hassles and responsibilities?
In truth most religious practices do nothing about real evil acted out in the here and now of this real world other than promising the bad guys will one day be appropriately punished. Sure we have a minority of groups who engage in social justice work here on earth but what Judeo-Christianity is mostly about is promising an afterworld of make-belief if one doesn’t get too wrapped up in giving a damn what happens in this transitional place. Here people are expected to conform to the “God-spell” and then assure themselves that their God has everything under ‘his’ control.
Still few will think you are enlightened if you talk like the human race is insane but this is really a closer picture of what humanity purports today than most care to entertain. And you don’t need to be some high priest of pessimism to appreciate this perspective, as anyone with any real dept can become aware of the dark side of human life and equally of “all” humanity’s institutions—including its religions.
Years ago movie viewers intuitively accepted the death of Native-American “Chief Bromden”, long-term resident of a psychiatric institution who died in the 1975 classic movie plot One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest starring Jack Nicholson. Most thought him deaf and dumb but this so-diagnosed paranoiac thought society ground people up like a combine as it chewed up humanity to bits (and what Native American would not). His death technically was by murder via pillow suffocation, and yet there was implicit understanding from a large part of the audience that his death represented compassion in a broader moral perspective. This was never articulated to the level of conscientious evaluation and most yet assented to this conclusion with little compunction.
The psychiatric illnesses that then affected patients of the Cuckoo’s Nest book and movie is nothing compared to the dereliction of insights that affect leadership classes of the world today, especially the political and financial classes of the United States. If U.S. Congress were more affected by common anxieties rather than delusions of being well informed (when they are often misinformed by our tax-paid agencies personal) we Americans might stand a chance in staying some kind of viable United Nation. Dale Harding in Cuckoo’s Nest as intellectualizer of abstruse abstractions would be a welcome to the State Department’s hall of scoundrels who blatantly lie with newspeak to the American people (getting more rabid and bald faced by the day).
A TRUE GIFT
Death then is really a great gift to those who have learned of life’s heavy spiritual and social messages, so much so death could be thought as even more so a gift than life itself. Jaded people, that is cynical people who have lost the faith in mankind (but who are open in their eyes to see more truths to what is humanity is really about) can realize it is one’s birth that ought be mourned and one’s funeral as appropriate time for celebration.
Death itself is mankind's salvation—as any vampire worthy his or her salt would aver. Metaphorically the vampire is the one who comes to realize life is not some simple set of idealist feelings but a consciousness to living off other forms of life. It is a realization that humanity too is parasitic (as opposed to saintly and not always worthy of being forgiven). It recognizes the evil is somewhat built into our DNA and biological and psychological drives.
We, as animals, should not be blamed for all our animal needs or spiritual assumptions—even those that are not realistic. We as participants of life need instead to have some intellectual space to see the inevitable violence of our existence—far more than being seduced to pour gallons of herbicide poisons on our personal lawns and gardens or spraying six ounces of insecticide at one stray insect intruder in the kitchen.
Humanity is very much about violence (even if we also are very capable of cooperation and empathy). One thing that is so alarming about our species: we have almost zero control over how this propensity will take us into the future of more and more perversely invested monies for more war machine realities.
We are dominated by fears and there are agencies that specialize in manipulating such fears. Further too many want to believe everything the experts say on TV. Life today is more hysteria than most people admit.
But when we die we want to naturally die quickly and not painfully—that is why it is not automatically more cruel for a cold blooded killer to shoot someone with a gun two versus twenty times (what matters is the victim dies quickly and does not experience a great deal of pain by lingering, slow death). A murder with more bullets might in fact be more humane. Equally that is why a quick beheading of a prisoner is less cruel than long and slow but painful torture in a prison cell. The guillotine may have been sensational but it was less cruel than slow, painful and systematic torture, as one at least died quickly—even if bloodily.
The facts of natural history include we must all die—a reality that itself questions the very postulate of just how sacred is, or was, life—and why there needed to be so much human superstition of an afterlife created by the human imagination to explain away the obvious truth to death and our mortality. Few question the finality of frogs or grasshoppers?
Ernest Becker's book The Denial of Death goes into some detail of how various civilizations had come to imagining and believing in an afterlife (in which you do not really die but pass on from one form and awareness level to another). But no skeptic would agree religious explanations currently in fad today (that is for the last three thousand years or so) have any true or satisfactory basis of reality. Not only do these many cultural adaptations appear as pipe dreams they do not even appear to have a true sense of bliss or security (which is exactly the qualities promised).
The whole heaven and hell paradigm is nothing more than ‘another’ form of human judgment and human politics in which the soul is still subject to the carrot and stick of pain or pleasure (and related anxieties regarding the politics of pleasing authority). A real heaven would be more religious contemplation than history’s obsessive worry about being admitted, and then once admitted worry about subordinating to the established norms such as needing to be pleasing to God (who supposedly gets all the glory).
So why cannot a human at least have some control as to how he or she dies, rather then leaving it completely up to chance, that includes any number of medical conditions from the aging process, few being especially fun or desirous to experience (never mind the high costs of unaffordable medical care)?
Even if one could anticipate a relatively healthy and financially secure old age as golden years (as too few can), one still deals with the many banal and alienating realities in life itself (and too much of American modern life amounts to the banal and the alienating), such as constantly clicking the TV remote control to find something half way interesting or entertaining as escape and distraction—in the context of a kaleidoscope of continuous advertisements pushed onto one’s eyes and ears. Advertising also too much plays to peoples’ fears and anxieties whereas mass media news too much plants disinformation to mislead viewers about current events. Why then would anyone choose to be born in a world in which you have either news stations ignoring real news stories or manipulating the facts to a level of plain distortion and corruption? Where is there peace in this give-me-my-medication scenario of tons of pharmacy products advertised at night?
The innate evil of human realpolitiks will ruthlessly oppress a vast majority of populations if necessary—this is what some people intuitively know (and what many more do not). Given all the contenders to be on top the human anthill in times of political distress (knowing how history places out) the future readily implies humanity does not likely stand a chance of surviving as a species. The question is how will the vast destructions take place and how terribly will too many masses of people suffer in the process. This is the unspoken fears people think about even while the enjoy the luxuries they currently enjoy.
Westerners can’t even get peace in the Middle East (or at least get our noses out) as players there and elsewhere that demand everything their way (namely Israelis)! So instead media and public relations firms supply the naïve masses with baubles of pseudo-reality and infotainment. Post-modernist peoples are distracted to listen to self-righteous radio talk jocks who know far less than they pretend—yet what else to do while stuck in cramped city interstate driving to or fro work each work day? (In fact contemplating the realities of life on the highway, that is those crazy, rude, bully-centric and dangerous drivers one experiences pretty much daily, and the many annoying stopping at lights and stop signs, within ever-growing populations, is a set of thought patterns worthy of cynicism all on its own).
Or why bring a child into a world with so much capacity for massive tentacle spying on all peoples everywhere meanwhile governments deny more and more Constitutional rights in reality? The National Security State that has sprung on Americans since World War 2 and the Cold War hysteria leading into the deceptive propaganda about Vietnam is enough ugly truth to realize the evil inherent in humanity (especially about how so much of humanity that went along with it far too long).
Arguably then, given these many issues already presented (as there are many more) why is it not clear to any person of prudence to think twice about having children—that is given all the precarious circumstances mankind now lives including the many mankind has always lived (and we haven’t really discussed much in the way of environmental issues)?
Therefore even if mental health experts claim most suicides do not happen because of broad political or social forms of alienation but because of personal reasons—often related to more mundane things—including drug and alcohol addictions (still a lot also has to do with one’s overall assessment of the human condition and life experience as namely alienation) so this assertion hardly lets helping professions off the hook about not really seeing the deeper realities of alienation.
It may be true those who abuse drugs or alcohol are tied to personal idiosyncrasies and personality traits, stemming from both nature and nurture, and yet even personal idiosyncratic nature also resides in a world of greater social, political, religious, ethnic and philosophical perceptions and attitudes, including all things potentially related to mind and soul, and this gestalt of nature and nurture lends equally to one’s dispositions including possible desire to end one’s life.
Some of us, not many granted, who have studied enough landscapes of human history, including a multitude of vagaries of human nature, as noting too the often corrupt policies and motivations in politics, as measured against a backdrop of numerous seemingly important social and political issues humanity now confronts, can rightly portend some pretty grim (dark) clouds are on the horizon for a great part of humanity—including a great deal of potential and likely oppression or repression as the masses get restless and boisterous within their own boundaries in times of stress (some inevitable or quite likely).
Few Americans, for example, have really grasped the police state nature of Senator Joe Leiberman’s Department of Homeland Security—even if they have been given some important clues as starting to connect the dots such as the excessive spying of NSA and private corporations and other countries such personal information is shared. Why are not more journalists raising questions on such things as the Department of Homeland Security securing hundreds of millions (1.6 billion) of hollow point bullets and Pentagon sharing of thousands of machine guns for “internal use” within the United States to police departments and state guards across the country (in their militarization of police departments).
Even still there are liberal outlets doing news stories meant to espouse banning weapons and guns from private ownership as private citizens? Such realities and strategies makes no sense, as they assume common day people never need to protect themselves from government power or it potential of corruption. Tyrannical governments always want to disarm the masses so why are so many progressive types playing to the same mindset?
And if one does decides to commit suicide, then does not such a person have a right to end his or her life in an efficient manner, such as with a gun, even if a gun gives evidence of violence?
There are few if any current institutions that helps provide for a humane way for people who want to die in peace and dignity? Most religious institutions provide for no humane and dignified way to die under one’s own will. What kind of religion would force people to live in inhumane circumstances?
Or why do so many people presuppose a life in prison is somehow more humane than the death penalty (presumably if done in a relatively humane way) and thus death gives freedom from the cage of prison life? Maybe the death penalty is less formidable than a long life in a penal institution—that is to say if they actually had humane ways of killing people in a timely fashion (not sitting on death row forever)? Maybe firing squads do beat current day drug injection methods by a mile in regards to far less suffering as process?
Prisoners too should have a right to commit suicide in prison. Also maybe there are criminals, who, when confronting police trying to arrest, act in manners that elicit death by a police officer’s gun rather then be handcuffed and imprisoned? In another words maybe criminals at times deliberately invite death over arrest? No or little discussion here?
Recently DemocracyNow.Org showed a clip of a debate for Massachusetts U.S. Senator between John Kerry and then Massachusetts Governor William Weld. The clip was in regard to the death penalty and Kerry was asked back in 1996 why he would value the life of a criminal cop killer over the police officer killed. Kerry’s response was, “Its not worth more, its not worth anything, its scum that ought to be thrown in jail and have to learn day after day the pain and hell of living with the loss of freedom and the crime committed.” His remark tacked to the idea that a state power taking a life in revenge is not any more moral (with clapping by the phony and to shallow idealists) is supposed suggest life in the pain and hell of prison is a lesser of evils, at least according to so many self-righteous liberals. Yet Kerry sounded then like a man filled with hateful wrath and was arguing for “scum thrown into jail” because it would be more suffering than the death penalty? Apparently reverse revenge is not his real issue—only one of rhetoric.
One hardly sees enlightenment (knowing what one could about American jails and prisons) any mercy in this mentality of supposed progressive politically correct idealism? If more people were debriefed on the true nature of life more would see the wisdom in death.
Why do so many people assume that one’s death is such a terrible outcome and that any form of life is undoubtedly better than death—even keeping people alive with machines when they would naturally die on their own?
“Give me liberty or give me death” once meant something gallant and brave.
In fact American current styles of political diatribe substituting for real debate, such as constant blame caricaturing, is alienating enough, and eventually this, along with all the corruption in the beltway, too sickens the soul to a point of saying I've had enough—I simply have no faith in American and Americans. Our species will never last, and even if it did, it would be dreadful to watch those who compete to mop-up those who don’t in survivor game.
For example, how many future generations need to witness the constant oppression of Palestinians decade after decade? Yet there are those who admire the Palestinians for not caving in to atrocious Israeli bombing and war crimes carried to 51 days this summer. Admirers then accept the argument put by some Palestinians who say they would rather die then live under the constant Israel oppression. So why should not anyone institutionalized person not have the right to die in peace rather than be kept alive to live in either indefinite detention or unjust penal colonies?
Americans can’t even get Gulag Gitmo closed and instead we will deal with the pathetic variation versions of Senator McCarthyism as Senator dictator Tom Cotton and delusional Ted Cruz (not to mention many other delusional players in the chambers of Congress).
Whereas the truly aware will and do fear political concentration, imprisonment, political torture and murder. We understand such possibilities could happen and may likely happen to some such as activists or writers. People who brush off so-called conspiracy theorists are often more naïve then they can ever begin to imagine because some conspiracies are very true and dangerous to any assumed status quo.
Paranoia is not always psychotic as often implied by the politically naïve, or mental health professionals, and especially the mainstream media. Google “political paranoia” and you are more likely to get feedback of conspiracy theories or other arguments that presume paranoia is a sign of being mentally ill, rather than discussions that groups of people are being justifiably paranoid (concluding they are actually the more sane ones).
WHAT RETIREMENT PLAN
Meanwhile plenty who may not be especially alienated or paranoid have no retirement plan to speak of or any real kind of life savings, and basically will have homelessness to turn as they age and gain in pains. It should not be a shock if baby-boomer suicide rates are seen to be on the rise any more than to know 20 or so U.S. war veterans are killing themselves daily—as not everyone lives in a shell.
Living in such a hyper competitive society, not all those who do possess financial and political power, really care about the human race in general. Rather they fear the many lesser-haves. When push comes to shove some with connection to political power and money will be happy enough to see the less economically well-off killed off (if they seem to be getting too unstable or threatening).
It is sane then for people to continue to think that just because one has the legal right to have a child that it is a wondrous and great idea to give birth—irrespective of what the future portends?
I wish my own parents really took more time to learn more about real history, real politics, and deeper truths about religions, also to have been more skeptical on government lying and corruption, and questioned more of their assumptions before deciding to have children. I wish all potential parents spent far more time finding out what is really going on in this world and learning to some depth the issues their potential children will likely face.
For example, even if it were true global warming was not a significant issue (which seems unlikely) there are “many” other environmental issues that are still dire to deadly. This is within a context to which some industry corporate cultures and judicial precedents react by getting more and more environmentalists labeled “suspicious” or terrorists. One can be spied on now days, according to definitions made up by the Department of Homeland Security, if you are critical of the manipulated mainstream of corporate owned reality.
Way too many optimistically think humanity will be mature and politically honest enough to sort through its various problems, and will finally make enough realistic, although tough compromises, and thus will actually deal with mankind’s current challenges. And although this kind of hopeful, although lame, rationalization optimism is psychologically appealing, in truth humanity does not historically act in such manners. Mankind will not likely be able to cope, and simply having idealist and youthful optimism is not in anyway a truthful assessment of how humanity, or the American society, generally works (and equally is naive attitude regarding self-deceit in the personal perspective).
Sure it would be nice if people were primarily rational and could act rationally but historically this has not been much the case (especially when corrupt forces keep people ignorant and misinformed or sidetracked).
Think of it this way: If you don’t have a baby then you do not have to feel guilty if your child turns out to resent the very idea of being born into this human mess in the first place—even if such a jaded child would never dare directly ask their parents: “How could you be so stupid as to think I wanted to be born in the first place?” Although somewhat surprisingly many to most children, even as later grown adults, claim to be happy to have been born—and yet if you study their awareness levels they often are not especially accurate or curious about many truths—and therefore they avoid being steeped in the pessimism of ugly awareness.) If you have read this far you deserve a medal because there is little fun in such realizations. Nevertheless this is not simply a matter of choosing one’s perception and attitude as if the bottle is merely half full or half empty. This is more about knowing there are few more bottles and some will be contaminated.
Equally, if you choose not to have children you will not have to feel bad if your child (you could have had) decided to commit suicide and this seems tragedy and loss. Non-persons never contemplate suicide nor suffer in any way.
Nevertheless the selfishness of society routinely portrays such a choice as wrong-headed, immoral and cowardly. But if you personally accept life you should accept “all” lives' possibilities, including your children or friends being different from what you hoped and making choices you dread. You have to accept the potential suffering and tragedy that life can be about (including the facts some will take their life’s against your wishes). Otherwise you are a hypocrite.
Secularists philosophically accept Friedrich Nietzsche’ claim: “despite all the potential suffering and disappointment in a given life, one should embrace life fully and even wish for many more life times!” This over-the-top Freudian reaction formation defense mechanism is so enormously contrarian and plainly stupid, it is bereft of moral logic, as it shows even some of mankind’s most otherwise brilliant writers and thinkers can wax poetic injustice. Nietzsche himself supposedly was not even that of a physically vigorous man but apparently liked shocking ideas.
If life is so sacred why is it every time American foreign policy ends up being a failure does the military industrial complex get to make more and more money (from the tax payers) as the U.S. enters into more and more wars, while alienating even more and more people around the world? Our country's foreign policy kills people all over the place but how many right wing conservatives have much of problem with this truism as far as moral dilemma? Killing ‘other ‘is still the equivalent to murder.
Did Hunter Thompson of gonzo journalism commit suicide merely because of his personal issues (which he obviously had) including over-use of alcohol and drugs which he certainly engaged—or could we suspect he also saw aspects of reality, such as what this country and the world has really been about, so one could argue his awareness appropriately alienated him to that end?
Perhaps Robin Williams also, at least to some extent, saw cultural writing on the walls that insinuated to him: “We Americans, as a society, are going down and yet we will continue to victimize many in the process”? Williams was not known to be any keen philosopher but he was a man of the world to some extent.
The right to die then is not just for those who are suffering from terminal illness. It should be for a wider set of circumstances of personal choice—and although there should be some limitations set, such as parental responsibility to take care of children—still such a choice should not be based on religious dogmas—especially from religions that are themselves not especially moral.
There are various reasons people might find life unendurable, and this is not an argument to be any kind of easy quitter. There can be a lot of growth in pain and challenge, as it may be truth, according to Nietzsche, that growth requires suffering. Still no one asked to be born, especially in a world that too much offers little hope for many into the future.
More and more people are saddled with poverty, homelessness, incarceration, severe disability, even terminal loneliness, etc.
Adults should have the right to decide for themselves their willingness to carry on, and not feel they have to suffer this world just because other people demand they somehow “owe it to society” to do so.
Legal and religious justifications that claim the individual cannot choose one’s own course of action on this matter (even if the consequences relate to the personal) is social and religious slavery, as society and religion acts as Deity that in essence psychologically cages an animal.
Political corrects might argue this type of logic is the same slippery slope for Germany extermination—killing the undesirables—but what we are talking is about self-choice—not social policies controlled by others.
Some social scientists sometimes argue allowance for suicide devalues life—but in truth governments, political parties, corporations, wars, and human realities do this all the time. Modernity creates an amoral world for the powerful minority of 1% in which they get away with any sort of crime whereas they set rigid laws for the powerless—how does this truth honor human life?
Human life is also devalued by economies that cannot employ their peoples (not to argue here that jobs are owed to people by society). Life is devalued when large segments sit in prisons, devalued when military arm sales go up and up and up and more and more conflicts of war continue to fester anew (and too often related to high unemployment).
Humans are expected to work so they can eke out some kind of living and yet plenty people do not find worthwhile pay, and quite frankly many enough don’t like their jobs—especially after years of grind and labor. Why would a person of any historical frame want to be born just to have to get up early, day after day, face aggressive and risk-taking drivers on the highway, to get to a job they don't really like? Show me a fun job that is easy to get if you are not a sexy blonde woman.
Whereas people in Detroit cannot pay their water bills as water is being shut off against expensive water prices. To some the obvious answer presumes a more or less socialist and moralist assumption that no matter how much mankind procreates itself into over-population, families once established deserve free essentials if they cannot pay—but such an argument becomes weaker and weaker as economic pressures and competition builds.
Why cannot the poor and unemployed give far more consideration to not having children—rather than accepting an idealist political philosophy that because one has been born then the world owes every creature a livelihood (and this is not an argument from a overly-protected, middle class white). It may be considered compassionate and liberal to sympathize with a woman that cries about being a mother in need of a change of immigration status so as to have her or her children returned to home country in Mexico. And yet why are so many people procreating children in the first place if they do not live in secure socioeconomic situations? The act of demanding that because one has a baby that the world needs to create a safe harbor for that baby as an absolute right is morally dubious and none of these political cultures dare confront the assumed “right” for people to have children? It may be sound cold-hearted to say stop procreating but it is not.
Birth is a right people simply assume as a given fact. It is time to confront the Catholic Church and all other Judeo-Christian denominations about such matters.
Abortion is and should be a right. This is far more a bigger issue than what some feminists have delineated as acceptable corridors of debate.
It is time to challenge the idea human life is sacred in an absolutist sense (within the ironic context that we humans find it difficult to consider other species as equally or even more sacred as supposedly our own human nature)? We can and do readily kill every other form of living animal—even as we routinely find ways of killing our own.
We assume all species have some biological presumption of their righteous cause to continue and to procreate. This is an automatic biology. And yet none of the many other species that have become extinct have even began to threaten so many other forms of life as does the human race.
Meanwhile the medical industry and its policies of saving people who are dying, and prolonging life as long as possible, end up being a parody within a paradox, as human life extended places more demand on the already stressed economic systems. This is why the very health systems that create value also destroy human value.
This civilized world has become too complex for the human race itself. Not only is technology and capitalism out of control so is any sense of stability. The age of anxiety is whole-heartedly true.
Yet too few have enough puzzle pieces to see the big picture. We simple expect to trust our own kind even as our own kind demonstrates time and again we are not trustworthy. Nevertheless Machiavellian forces amass to destroy ‘other’ be it the less privileged, the less educated, the less wealthy and connected or sophisticated, etc. Homeland Security is listing ‘types’ of people as threats to the status quo. This is not a conspiracy theory—this is reality.
If Plato said the unexamined life is not worth living (as it has typically been true un-examination has dominated in the realm of procreation) that does not mean the examined life automatically means life is worth living. The ancient Greeks did not have some of our issues to delve—and yet they were not as morally rigid either. They for example accepted the right to personal suicide.
There are no easy answers, but you cannot deny there are more wars rather than fewer.
A career woman as a high level executive in a psychiatric hospital, years ago, once told me: “some of the most intelligent people in this world are the some of the most unhappy”. I did not appreciate the extent of her statement back them but I have slowly come to understand some of her meaning. But what is psychiatry going to do with the realities that haunt the masses—continue to bury their heads in sands of obscurity?
The facts are on the ground, as even most normal people intuitively know, procreation equals more competition amongst peoples, that equals more conflict between cultures competing for resources, that also equals more war and killing. And again war, by whatever motivation, is murder too, for those who claim abortion and suicide is murder.
When Robin Williams starred in Good Morning Vietnam as a rebel—too few people, even today, have come to realize how violating and terrible that Vietnam War really was, and how many southeastern Asian people suffered devastation and enormity of pain and suffering against the backdrop of talking-head palliatives from an ever-evolving obsequious mainstream media and all their shallow assumptions that then allowed so much ugly human turmoil to continue for so long as it did back then.
The totality of U.S. bombing and for napalm being dropped in Vietnam and neighbor countries came to the tune of 7 to 8 million tons of munitions—something almost forgotten by Americans’ “ignorance is bliss”.
Thus people today still live in the cave Plato wrote about millennia ago, as they saw but shadows on cave wall manipulated as slight-of-hand finagling against firelight. Truths they thought they knew as reality were mostly made-up puppet charades by propaganda megaphones (before newspapers). Plato then really had a great classical insight. Raw reality they seldom cared to grasp. The sun outside the cave was too searing in its intensity—despite all its light and energy. Much of our human world would take a hydrogen bomb a hundred times over versus the fearful realties of looking human truths into the eye.
Occasionally some very few people might get a glimmer of insight via history, psychology, and the exceedingly dirtiness of politics (acted out by empires and other dogmatic and illegally engaged institutions). But this minority is so relatively small it simply has no watt power to counter the ambitious, the naïve, nor traditions (not to say miracles never happen, its just they seldom do).
Death really is, and always has been, a positive and illuminating outcome; like the snow pall that covered the dark forest in Robert Frost's poem: 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening':
“Whose woods are these I think I know… To watch his woods fill up with snow… The woods are lovely, dark and deep… But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep…and miles to go before I sleep.”
Humanity could appreciate the reality of death. It is a real salvation in and of itself. There is nothing more to fear or any form of vulnerability. Judgments are an earthly reality. There are no more political issues or rebellious angels as rebels are political reflections of humanity. There is no more judgments, torture or condemnation (nor hell full of Dante’s insidious). There are no more power-hungry leaders to worship or to pretend allegiance. No more calculations and anxieties. One is truly free from the constant uproar of life’s demands. Death is a very beautiful thing and any worthy religion would honor death without emphasis on judgment day or punishment.
But again this essay is not meant to argue life has no meaning or value. Each person can determine such criteria on his or her own. Rather this essay is meant to argue the individual can find meaning and value in his or her own capacity (or decide life is no longer meaningful).
Robin Williams’ other classic movie role was teacher for that sliver of America’s upper crust of mostly white male easterners in the movie the “Dead Poet’s Society”. Here he challenged their universe of political correctness. Here he too insinuated a power within the personal soul (too often lost to poets themselves) and that life is raw and natural and does not have to conform to various cultural brainwashes so common throughout history.
Unfortunately the Dead Poet’s Society is dead, was dead, and pretty much always has been dead. This movie had a few truly great moments every U.S. Congressional aide should have seen given how corrupt the legislative branch of governance now is (along with the other two branches).
But had Williams’ movie actually inspired more than a mere handful, people would be ripping up The Patriot Act of Bush’s era that was railroaded onto our souls by a Washington D.C. government that now monitors all communication.
Some who have dared to challenge the norms of ignorance and conformance have faced evil consequence. Whistle blowers beware. Edward Snowden don’t be so simple minded as to think you actually want to come back to the United States. Stay where you are safe! There were not enough willing to “seize the day” then and equally again not now.
Not enough people were willing to put their souls on the line—or even to protest in large numbers. Their psychological suicide was fear and inactivity as they lived as half-human and alienated from any sense of personal power.
Google instead video clip “Frank Slade defending Charlie In Court” from Al Pacino’s award winning Scent of Women and it is all the same shit—a small sliver of moonlight against a massive sea of wealth money, mediocre awareness, and too much mere humanity, to deal with the corruptions and growing fears that confront again, and again, and again, our human society.
Frank, in prophetic statement in that elite courtroom-like hearing (argued like a good drunk with some of that American inebriety of early revolution): “…Their spirit is dead, if they ever had one, they are building a rat ship here…” as this even more mirrors truths of the American Empire and how the intellectual power structure and media exist more as minnows instead of men and women.
How can anyone, for example, allow the likes of Bradley (Chelsea) Manning to be condemned to imprisonment by a military and political circumstance based primarily on political expediency because of all things a soul was weighed in closed circumstances as good versus evil? It is not about medical treatments its about why he is in prison (hell) in the first place.
There are too many devils getting away with too much evil to just resign to death too quickly. People should at least put up a fight for a while for something viewed worthy as to give a damn about; whereas too many die in the mediocre non-exertion—even as they live relatively long and productive lives.
Why do we allow so many fear-mongering bastards to get away with so much stuff—when we could at least fight a few battles before we might think about giving up?
The new boogie man of ISIS or whatever devil Bin Laden capacity comes to blind a shallow and fearful soul of America’s sheeple (who constantly run for stable conformity even if it means cowardliness). The Executive Branch wants more power to carry out conflict anywhere? Only Israel carries a veto power in the United States.
One should not be so willing to let those corrupt sons-of-bitches get away with so many things. They are the walking dead!! Let’s make some of those bastards pay for their sins here on earth—while they still are on earth—especially the torture people of Bush's Administration.
No sane person would chose to be born into all this turmoil but once you have become such a victim to life (and that is in essence your reality) well then at least strike back and confront their stupidity and their insanity of humanity.
Still suicide ought be thought as a right to be respected and honored.
Death is peace: fear and suffering is not.
“Give me liberty or give me death.”