Saturday, 19 May 2012

Being 'Pessimistic' is being Realistic

What do we want? Are we getting it? If not, pretend that you'll get it in the future. You are being a Realist.
What do we wish for? Will we ever achieve it? If not, pretend we don't wish for it at all. You are being a typical person.
What is there in life? Is there anything beyond the meaninglessness and the distractions? If not, pretend there is. You are being religious.

Anything else and you are probably being pessimistic, if I haven't neglected some other choice (which I probably have, given how many ways of pretending things in front of us are in fact daisies and sunshine). What's so good about this? Nothing at all, except that it helps us make the right decisions, for us anyway, though maybe not for emotionless cold robots. Such as antinatalism, for one. Which is not really for robots at all, since it does carry the little assumption "Ye must not like suffering". Which is a simple assumption for most of humanity, in fact, so that's fine as far as we're concerned. But not if you're a Boltzmann brain. But as for Pessimism, is it really worth following?

Well, it depends on whether you are a sociopath or not. I've already said that most of humanity cares about suffering. Sociopaths only really care about their own suffering, so as a result, can't truly be benefitted by following antinatalism, and will probably actually suffer more, since it's easier to just believe that everything is awesome and the world is a haven. Ordinary people however, have their moral values furthered exponentially, as they do not have children, and their children do not have children and so on.

So you can expect a very large return out of following antinatalism and not having kids, if you aren't a sociopath. But, well, the rest of Pessimism isn't the best really. It's only for people, I'd say, who tend towards preferring the truth over lies, as I do. And there is a lot about our worldly situation that is not rainbows and cookies.

So should the standard human being pick and choose which parts of Pessimism to follow? Or should they swallow the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

Probably the former in my opinion, if they want to die of natural causes. Pessimism is the act of throwing Hope into the shredder and laughing at its screams. You don't get much further from the pursuit of Happiness than that. On one hand while this may be a good thing, as maybe you spend more time distracting yourself (more pleasure) than seeking things that you know won't come to any great reward in the end. Though to be honest, I'm not altogether sure whether seeking is for most people a state of pleasure, or a state of painful desire. If it's mainly pleasurable, then again it may be potentially less depressing to just be Pessimistic enough to maximise your morality, but not enough to send yourself into a coma.

So should we be spreading the Pessimistic word? Yes, if we want friends who are closely related to us in opinion. But I don't know for sure if Pessimism, over a long period of time, makes people happier or not. Zapffe sure didn't seem too depressed, but that's anecdotal, so I can't give an overall yes or an overall no. Yikes, an undecided post.

1 comment:

  1. Anti-natalism is contrary to rational nihilism. Sure, I don't like suffering, but what do I care about other peoples' suffering? I'll be honest, I don't. Anti-natalism still smuggles in moralizing and collectivism (as do most misanthropists, "people are such greedy bastards!" rather than, "people are uninteresting and obstruct me."

    Stirner bitch-slaps most nihilists and existentialists with their quasi-religious pseudo-problems.