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It all comes down to: Is life an "absolute good" ?

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posted on May, 19 2011 @ 09:01 PM
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This is the question I think is one of the hardest to answer, but we all have to answer it for ourselves. It seems to me the way you answer is an important building block in defining who you are.

It is a binary, yes-or-no question, no grey areas, very black-and-white: Is life an absolute good?

By this I mean, is life itself worth living in every case, absolutely? Or are their some cases in which death is preferable to life.

If you believe life is absolutely good, you are apt to oppose abortion, taking people off life-support, suicide, etc.

If you don't believe this, you will be able to find examples of situations in which death is preferable to life, like Kervorkian-style euthanasia, etc.

Thoughts?




posted on May, 19 2011 @ 09:10 PM
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I would truly hope if I was laying in the hospital with no way of recovery and my brain was no longer functioning in certain ways but I did know what was going on around me, and being tube fed,that someone would have the compassion to pull my plug...I would surely do it for anyone I truly loved....WE, I, didn't come here to suffer...I came to give love, compassion, and help everyone I can if at all possible....even trolls....
edit on 19-5-2011 by Caji316 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 19 2011 @ 09:13 PM
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Originally posted by Caji316
I would truly hope if I was laying in the hospital with no way of recovery and my brain was no longer functioning that someone would have the compassion to pull my plug...I would surely do it for anyone I truly loved....WE, I, didn't come here to suffer...I came to give love, compassion, and help everyone I can if at all possible....even trolls....


OK, so you would be in the "not absolute" camp. Me too. I agree with you.

I actually believe the way we think about this is a kind of "hard wired" part of our personality...that is to say, our answer depends on our personality, or maybe even something inherent in the way we view things. So this isn't a thread about euthanasia or abortion specifically, but maybe more a way of trying to see why people feel the way they do about the value of life itself.

Thanks for the reply...



posted on May, 19 2011 @ 09:32 PM
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reply to post by Partygirl
 


Definitely an interesting question!

On the surface, my answer would be an easy yes. Of course (for me) life is good --- death is bad.

But in truth --- there are so many gray areas. We have to look at quality of life and here euthanasia comes into play. I really don’t have a problem with someone who is in terminal agony ending his/her life on their own terms. But on the other hand --- I do condemn suicide in most cases.

And then I have to wonder at what point does life begin? (Does it begin immediately upon conception or does it begin a few months into the pregnancy.) Because if our soul (if we have one) doesn't develop until a few months into pregnancy --- then I have no problem with abortion.

In addition --- I have to wonder at what point does life actually end? Does life end with the death of one’s physical body. Energy supposedly never dies and so if we continue on after our physical death....

So yeah, it’s a tricky question to answer with a yes or a no. But a very important question nonetheless!


This brief heartwarming video might perhaps help people see that each life no matter how small is truly precious:

www.youtube.com...

edit on 19-5-2011 by OwenandNoelle because: Edit to add heartwarming video


edit on 19-5-2011 by OwenandNoelle because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 19 2011 @ 09:36 PM
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It depends how one perceives life. If you're strictly talking about the body, then the life of the body is not that important. It is just a container. If you were laying on the bed brain-dead and on life support, then yes, it'd be better to let them go up so that they can be born again in a better body. However, if one has a chance of surviving, it's probably better to let them live as the experience of suffering molds us. Remember Lt. Dan from Forrest Gump? He wanted to die, but having lost his legs, his life was truly painful and full of remorse. But when he learned to let go of all that, he found peace and eventually had a wife and prosthetic legs so that he could at least walk again. He became happy. That's just a story, but it's more than possible to happen to any of us. If you, on your deathbed, were begging to be allowed to die, but someone denied this request, you'd probably wallow in hate and suffering too, but when you let go of that and embrace love and selflessness... good will happen. In the end, you may be very grateful to be allowed the right to continue.

I've suffered a lot in my life and came close to dieing a few times. It was agony, truly agony. But I passed it... and I'm so glad I did because of who I have become from all that suffering. It almost brings me to cry in joy when I look back at the path I've walked, and when I look forward to the path that is yet to be walked. To deprive someone of that joy is a crime. I've looked back and I've looked forward many times, but I'm learning that now is what's the most important.

The right answer to your question is not available to me with your options, because it is the middle path that one finds love and peace. Extremes can be very destructive. We keep seeing things in black and white, like how you want us to answer your question, but the absolute best answer is sometimes grey.
edit on 19/5/11 by AdamsMurmur because: (no reason given)

edit on 19/5/11 by AdamsMurmur because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 19 2011 @ 09:37 PM
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To be or not to be, that is the question.

I think there must be at least some cases of extreme suffering and misery where nonexistence would be better than existence. If someone had a condition where they experienced extreme pain constantly and had absolutely no chance at relieving that pain, I would consider it cruel NOT to put them out of their misery.

This is an issue that also comes up when considering factory farmed animals. They live quite a miserable existence filled with suffering, but if it weren't for the meat industry, billions of animals wouldn't exist at all. So we're forced to ask the question of whether it's better to never exist than to exist but only know suffering.

Ultimately, I think, it comes down to free will. If a person on their hospital bed wants to be put out of their misery, then their wishes should be respected and carried out. If someone has led a miserable life and doesn't see things getting any better, then suicide would be reasonably justifiable. People should be able to choose their own fate.

The gray area is when people can't choose for themselves whether living is better than not living. With abortion, for example, who is to say that even though a child may grow up in abject poverty and have pathetic parents that his life wouldn't be worth it? What if he has the courage to overcome his situation and lead a wonderful and happy life? What if he is given up for adoption, gets adopted by amazing parents, and ends up having a successful life?

As long as there is a possibility that the happiness a person may experience could outweigh the suffering they may experience, then we should not decide for anyone else.

In the case of factory farmed animals, whose life we could be sure will be filled with nothing but suffering and will end in a cruel death, then we are justified in saying that nonexistence would be better than existence.

So in essence, I don't think that existence is an absolute good. Happiness has to reasonably outweigh suffering in order to make it worth it, or at least the possibility of happiness.



posted on May, 19 2011 @ 09:45 PM
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Originally posted by Partygirl

It is a binary, yes-or-no question, no grey areas, very black-and-white: Is life an absolute good?


How can anyone who hasnt also experienced "deadness" give a meaningful answer to that question? You have to speculate about what being "dead" is, and for all we know it could be sooooo wonderful, way better than living ever was. After all you hear lots of living people complain about living, but no dead people complaining about being dead.


Originally posted by Partygirl
By this I mean, is life itself worth living in every case, absolutely? Or are their some cases in which death is preferable to life.


Clearly, the answer to the question phrased this way is "no." How could it be when people take their own lives? Since some people do choose death over life, we can say with certainty that life is not absolutely worth living in all cases.



posted on May, 19 2011 @ 09:49 PM
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To me life is not an absolute good rather its just overrated There is a quote in one of the Bizarro comics I usually read in Sunday's newspaper but unfortunately I can't find the exact wording or comic strip but went something like this

"Work hard, suffer, preservere ... YOU'RE ALL PART OF AN ELABORATE HOAX!"

Underneath that caption it showed an old man (I'm presuming to be a knock off of Socrates) yelling to a group of people.

I know it's just a comic and I shouldn't take it seriously but I can't help but think of the validity of this statement. Now I take a moment to reflect of the things mankind has done in history and only see a cycle of creation and destruction and yadda yadda yadda ... all in a pursuit of an ideology that eventually gets kicked to the curb and the cycle repeats itself.

Now I know im just putting all mankind into one generic pot but, when you think about, what truelly is great about life? My opinion nothing. We're all in our little caves looking at the shadows against the wall and majority of folks haven't stepped out into the light (I probably am still in my cave).

But that's just the way I perceive it all. And in the end, I find all of it absurd.



posted on May, 19 2011 @ 09:50 PM
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i say yes. why? because it's an experience. whatever is on the other side will still be there. you're here to experiece something. you will die when it's your time.



posted on May, 19 2011 @ 09:57 PM
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Apart from the individual there is responsibility. Responsibility to others. The notion that we live as individuals who only do what we do according to what we want for ourselves is, I think, juvenile. Certainly we have individuality to one degree or another but I don't think that we, as energy beings have an abrupt cut off where one persons energy ends and anothers begins.

You know, the old Beatles tune I am you and you are me and we are all together( is that how it went?) Our life is not only our own. We are responsible for each other. When I'm ready to go, it will be when I know I have nothing to offer to those with whom I am connected. They will know that they need to let me go. We will know what we all want.

Is that to Polly Anna?



posted on May, 19 2011 @ 09:57 PM
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reply to post by Partygirl
 


whats an absolute? and i dont need the definition... how do you explain an absolute philosophically?



posted on May, 19 2011 @ 09:58 PM
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There are too many shades of gray, and even color, in the vast spectrum of existence and experience, for absolutes to have any meaning. However, life has an intrinsic sanctity about it, deserving of respect and care, and that there are times when either preventing a life or ending one, for a variety of reasons, is a more wholesome act than letting live, more respectful towards life.

Some will argue that it is the will of a higher power to decide who and what lives and dies, that it is not a human decision to make. And yet we do constantly anyway, even those who argue for God's will. They fumigate their houses for insects, neuter their cats and dogs, and some of them even support the death penalty, and for good reason. Termites can bring a house down on its inhabitants, most pet animals are unwanted, and there are some criminals who the world is better off without. But when a man is dying of something heinously painful, these same will argue that he has no right to get a doctor to help him die gently. They will argue that every child that is conceived should be born, even if the child will live a very brief life of intense suffering, and this is well known by doctors and the mother. They value suffering, not life, if they would kill for vengeance and convenience, but not out of mercy.

Life is sacred, and to treat it that way, sometimes it is best to end a life.



posted on May, 19 2011 @ 10:51 PM
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Originally posted by Partygirl
By this I mean, is life itself worth living in every case, absolutely? Or are their some cases in which death is preferable to life.

If you believe life is absolutely good, you are apt to oppose abortion, taking people off life-support, suicide, etc.

If you don't believe this, you will be able to find examples of situations in which death is preferable to life, like Kervorkian-style euthanasia, etc.

Thoughts?


I think that some people that define life as worth living in every case are people who cannot find a reason to contribute to ending a life.

Life is arguably all we know. So to say it is absolutely good cannot be false in my opinion.

If death is ever preferred over life, it is no different than someone fast forwarding the clock. We all die, so if you want to die sooner, it shouldn't be forbidden, however it should be challenged. People can be easily coerced into a mass suicide as history has shown, to me it only seems natural to show people there are other reasons worth living.



posted on May, 19 2011 @ 10:56 PM
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reply to post by Partygirl
 


I really don't know how to answer that question... All I know is that death is part of life, and I'm not even certain about that.

Perhaps you should ask someone who was born with severe Cerebral Palsy and requires full-time care if life is an 'absolute good.'



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 02:36 AM
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reply to post by Partygirl
 





It is a binary, yes-or-no question, no grey areas, very black-and-white: Is life an absolute good?


No it's not an absolute good, life is life, nuf said.



By this I mean, is life itself worth living in every case, absolutely? Or are their some cases in which death is preferable to life.


There are some cases were you would be better off dead.



If you believe life is absolutely good, you are apt to oppose abortion, taking people off life-support, suicide, etc.

I don't get it is this a question? Ask whoever is on life support if they want to live or die and if necessary try to persuade them to live, if they then still want to die, then it's there life there choice. Suicide same thing though suicide is different then being on life support and a possible vegetable for the rest of your life, and it usually passes or is lessened with time.


If you don't believe this, you will be able to find examples of situations in which death is preferable to life, like Kervorkian-style euthanasia, etc.

you can always find examples and answers for anything you would look for especially if you would want to justify it.



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 07:15 AM
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Originally posted by Partygirl
Is life an absolute good?


Absolutely not. Life is what it is. The judgments we put on it (Life is precious and sacred) are just judgments. They're opinions.

I believe in life. I like life. I hope I have a long one. But death is just as much a part of this existence as life is. It's just a step in the process.



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 04:07 PM
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Life is an absolute good. Life is what is good, death is what is bad. I believe this is how morals, the idea of good and evil came about. All from the view point that some force of universe, has allowed us beings to experience what we know as existence on this planet. And so all things that combat the steady flow of human life are bad. Like others have said death is gurenteed to all forms of life who have been fortunate enough to live. Life is absolutely good, but there are grey areas of living things that are in conditions hinting towards death or severe halting of living that should be dealt with acordingly, the fact that those instances occur should not affect at all that all we know is life, it is all we are and have been, all that has been created, thought, and said was produced by living minds. And if you look around the world at different cultures and their languages,customs, foods, music, behavior of humans.. you can see the absolute majesty and diversity of endless capabilities the infinite mind living in eternal time can come up with.. Also If one is not living how can they carry their seed, their genetic legacy that has not been dropped for the milenia leading up to their being, into the future and potential states of this planet?



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