In my quest to attain sheer rationality and objectivity I had to overcome my own biases, prejudices and subjectivity. In doing so, I concluded that there is no rational basis for choosing life over death.
Why then, should one, when facing the meaninglessness of life, not commit suicide?
I'm not very into other people. Well, I don't need others the way other folks seem to. Suicide was an option for me more than once. I'm glad now I wasn't successful. People kept trying to help me and for some reason it finally worked. I used to be a hard drinker and that of course, led to the hideous depression. For close to 25 years now I've not used and life really sucks sometimes but I know so well now how life can be horrible one moment and wham! it changes drastically in just a moment's time. I'm glad I somehow came through all the crap because I too am just so curious as to what comes next. I so enjoy my books, my music, my art now and that keeps me afloat. As trite as it sounds I think about all the things I enjoy and even though I don't have many friends (that's the way I like it) these few special people mean more to me than they will ever know. That may sound kind of contradictory but those dear people know to leave me alone for the most part but that we're there for each other when the need arises.
I don't know where I'm going with this except to say, I like knowing I will have future options. The other way is without any option ever again.
Defeat in death, as opposed to...victory in life? Lol. Not if your life happens to suck. And the only thing accomplished by life anyway, is more living.
I'm in agreement Andrew. I've been contemplating the same issue for quite some time now. I have no preference for life or death, and there are days when it would only take a convenient, painless means of exodus for me to find myself among the dead. Unfortunately I don't own a gun, nor do I live near any tall structures, or have a car to get me to some. I've read that sleeping pills can be quite a painful way to go, etc etc. It's not made very easy to just go ahead and die, so I'm still here for now.
I think the majority of people have been evolutionarily culled to have an irrational preference for life, or fear of death. But I am not tricked by my biology into thinking that there is any point in any of it. I don't even recognize a distinction between "living" and "non-living." Once you exist, you cannot un-exist, regardless of being "alive" or "dead." We're all just stuck in this reality forever.
I seek the nothing; the calm; the still
But I am moved against my will.
I am here against my dreams,
And cannot be no thing, it seems.
Technically you are dying right now ever so slowly.
I understand how meaningless life can be. But I like to see what is around the next corner. It doesn't give my life meaning but it keeps me entertained. To live or die is a choice you can make for yourself. Just don't leave a mess for other people to clean up. That is just rude.
I suppose the best answer I can give is that basically life is what you make it mean. After all there is a bigger picture to it all; we just choose to see the smaller more immediate portion of it.
For me I see it like this, the universe has been around some 13 to 15 billion years, and out of it all, came me. What’s more is that we happen to be living in a time when mankind is coming to realize the nature of the universe, past, present and future. And of that, only a small percent of the race has the wish (or desire) to fully see, appreciate and embrace that knowledge without first having to filter it through secularist eyewear. We now know more fully the processes have gone on in the past to have brought us into being. I would also assert that the fact that we have a consciousness is by far one of the most remarkable aspects of being.
Therefore to throw away my life at this point would be an admission that I have exceeded the limits of my imagination and intelligence and therefore I cannot see what greater efforts I can contribute to the world as a whole, even if only for myself.
After all, with the billions of years that has gone into the evolution of life on Earth, for me to finally come into being only to use it as an opportunity to kill myself, now that WOULD BE meaningless.
I have some bad news: the only way to be completely rational at all times is to become either a robot or a vulcan. There are just times, because of the brain and all its wonders, where I am going to be irrational. I have made my peace with that.
I've tried the suicide route and it is not fun. The possibility that you could get it wrong and end up either a veggie in a hospital bed or not able to move from the first lumbar down is a bigger chance than actually dying. If you try pills, you have to go against your body's natural response, which is to vomit. If you try a gun, you really have to rig it just right. And because we are human, we won't be able to get it *right* the first time.
Then there is the possibility you actually do get it right. So now you have many family members and friends who are very angry at you. The work you were doing at your job? Someone else has to pick up that slack.
But if someone really cannot cope with the raw deal they are given, after all else has failed, the choice is ultimately theirs. I chose to live. Granted it took having my best friend and my cousin to commit suicide and having to go through all the emotions that go with that(survivor's guilt? you betcha) to make me realize I never want to inflict that type of damage on anyone I love.
It's not a taboo against death on my part, it's just a healthy respect of it. I've lost a lot of family and friends. And I cannot get them back. I will never see them in any great beyond.
Of course we all die, and when we die none of us will be completely "ready". To assume we will have everything just right is like sitting in front of a locked door that leads to a secret part of the house. We can assume all we want, but until we unlock and open the door we'll never know.