Saturday, 25 August 2012

Consider Your Options

The world is bad. What does that mean? It means first and foremost that we should do something to fix it. What does this knowledge do to us? Cause us pain, for the most part.

If the world is bad, in what ways can we react to such a revelation?
A. Strongly hold said situation in mind and think about it a lot.
B. Pretend it isn't so.
C. Any combination of the above two.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each extreme, A and B?
A. Possible extreme mental pain, situational depression compared with the highest possible chance that something will be done to fix the world to a very slight extent
B. No mental pain, believing opposite leads to mental pleasure possibly compared with little to no chance of fixing the world to any extent.

Option A will not fix the world unless many believe in such a thing. Option A does not guarantee that one will realise how to fix the world - most for example, do not believe that having children is a problem even though it perpetuates more suffering. Option A is such an extreme that it will either make or break a person - you can get charitable fanatics, hellbent on saving the world, while at the same time you can get people who simply give up on the world, longing for death.

Option B will continue the suffering in the world, even if it is only one person believing such a thing, unless they are restricted by others believing either Option A or C. Option B may lead to the creation of suffering as it is believed that the world is fundamentally good - especially with relation to creating new human beings, or even the creation of new animals (for slaughter, say). Option B can create optimistic cheery people who can condone their own sins on the goodness of the world ("It's okay if I screw this poor person out of all their money, since the world is good they'll still be alive(which = good) after it").

What should Option C be to make sure the world is fixed yet people do not lose hope that fixing the world is possible? The combination should be at least, in my mind, one in which the world's situation is held in mind most the time so the most possible can be done to save it, but under that must be a steadfast delusion that it is not depressing to live in such a world. Not many people will be able to handle this form of Option C, the idealistic Option C. As an alternative I would suggest NOT thinking strongly about the world's state, BUT having mental blockers on to prevent belief that the world is good.

Will Option A (or an Option A-friendly Option C) work out if everyone reacts this way? The answer is yes, and comes in two forms: transhumanism and antinatalism. The easiest, most pain-sparing mechanism of attack is antinatalism, but the most realistic goal to be reached is transhumanism's pain-free utopian vision.

What will continued Option B (or Option B-friendly Option C) reactions do to us? Suffering will be glossed over, charities will not get the support they need, and increases in technology MAY NOT be used to eradicate suffering of humanity, but rather to increase the pleasure of the rich, while the poor suffer. The world being good can be used to justify all kinds of atrocities - for example, slavery. If the world is fundamentally good, then slaves cannot complain about their state because life is a gift no matter into what position you were born. Slavery can't be bad if it causes others to suffer, since suffering is not something to be concerned about and may even give valuable life experience. Slavery can't be bad because it violates human rights, because humans don't need rights as the world is fundamentally good and anyone is lucky to have any kind of life.    

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Song of Suffering

I don't know why the hell I decided to make this. I was originally going to write a post in my classic "I hate the world! And you, and you, and you too!" style, but then on the spur of the moment started writing a song. Again this is a "Posting for the sake of posting, oh please think of the posting someone please!" post, wherein no new content is actually divulged to the world.

SONG OF SUFFERING, by estnihil

VERSE 1: Intro
Oh we’re merry sailors of outer space,
Hanging on to our rocky place,
No time for leisure,
Or ordinary pleasure,
Put more sailors on the task!
Continue this disgrace.

VERSE 2: Life is always precious
[Sailor #1:] “Oh I love a good bit of cancer,
And osteoarthritis and old age.”
[Sailor #2:] “Well the ringmaster gives me orders, I’m mentally disordered,
And I’ve spent the past decade in a cage.”
[Both together:] “Oh what a jolly good life I have! Whatever could I need?
No one in a cape,
Will save me from rape,
Life is so great! Let’s breed!”

VERSE 3: At the Casino
Welcome to the Baby Casino!
Where we gamble with our children’s lives,
Will this one be ugly with legs that don’t move?
Will this one’s life ever improve?
Will this baby end up a starving thief?
Will this child suffer beyond one’s belief?
Oh how silly can you be?
That would never happen to my child, to me

VERSE 4: The Stillbirth’s Sorrow
I’m a sorry sad stillbirth,
Because I never got to be born,
Every day, I lament my fate,
Abandoned, forgotten, forlorn

Think of the millions that don’t exist,
Weeping tears of sadness,
“But that’s silly,” they say,
“We don’t exist at all,”
“How can we be deprived of this madness?”

VERSE 5: Let’s harm others and violate consent
Hello, I bought you a birthday present,
It’s a rabid grizzly bear,
I hope you like and don’t resent,
That you can’t return it anywhere.

Hey if you’re causing suffering,
I guess you’re causing harm,
And if you make a life you’re causing it,
Here is logic’s charm:
In every life there is suffering,
So every life is a harm,
So you’ve been rescued from the brink,
Of beginning to start to casually think,
That you’ll make a baby-farm.

VERSE 6: We are saved
One day a good man named Benatar,
Told us exactly what we are,
“Only existers suffer harm,” he said,
And one by one an army he led,
To reaches wide and far,
So that the sailors no longer bred.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Are Goals Ever Worth Accomplishing?

(Essentially this is my thought process on the matter I've brought up before, Escapism and Goal-achieving. It was not fruitful, so if you read my previous posts on this you'll get little from this. But hey, better than no post.)

I am not quite sure of this proposition myself yet. I had previously said (I also said a little here), goals may be something worth accomplishing if the net effort you put in gives you a steady stream of happiness. But is that really the case for most people? Do most people really feel good CONSTANTLY while achieving something? I certainly never have. I've always just felt the pain of the effort when I'm doing it and the pleasure of the fantasy when I'm not. And when a goal is actually achieved, the high that comes from it may be intense, but it can't match Escapism's CONTINUAL emotions produced of similar, though not as intense, calibre.

Could it be that Escapism is always the better choice? Let's dissect what I'd previously said:

"The balance is between effort, goal-punishment, goal-achievement and escapism."
But is it really? Goal-punishment, is simply the idea that not accomplishing things makes us sad. Surely this has the possibility of becoming a complex in some people, but others simply don't care at all. The way I see most people behaving, it looks as if they have very little goal-punishment at all. They have very few goals, too. And these people seem to be genuinely happy, or at least, superficially happy. Could it be that accomplishing goals, from this vague generalisation, is actually not a good thing to do if you want to maximise your utility? But again, it does depend heavily on the person in question - though if we take the mean, and say this is what you should probably do if you are close to the hypothetical average person, then things still work out fine.

Could it be that people NATURALLY maximise their own utility and there is no need for my endless philosophising? I don't think I can believe that, since there are many psychological studies that show that people could be happier with a few life changes. But I think that the fact, as I've said, that most people seem to be happy NOT achieving goals is either a sign that goal-achieving behaviour is not good for one's welfare, or simply my own stupidity presenting itself, as it is really due to how most people are happy anyway, and may be HAPPIER in fact achieving goals. So we're back to square one on this issue.

"Goal-accomplishing is slow-release positive utility that remains more or less constant - like an IV bag."
Is it now? Does that actually happen in most cases? I don't actually know myself, I'd need some kind of study, or at least some help with this one. I think this may vary from person to person. What we would need to know, though, is how many people and what percentage of the human population are like this, so good advice for the average person can be given on whether to achieve goals, relax or do half and half or some other combination.

Also there is the nature of subjectivity. What distinguishes how much utility one pleasure gives from another pleasure? Is goal-achieving behaviour's pleasure 'better' somehow? I think this too may depend on the person - whether one buzz feels better than another.

Does effort = suffering? Certainly the frustration that comes with failing or getting set back on a goal is suffering. How do they balance out? Goals can be extremely hard to achieve or quite easy to achieve, so availability is something of an issue. Escapism is readily available anywhere in the world, even if it is just a spiritual walk in nature or the stories of one's ancestors, though it is more available to richer folks. So as for availability, Escapism clearly wins.

But as for everything else, as I've said, we're right back to square one. I'd need hard evidence before I could start making claims that humanity should stop pursuing goals, or should get off their collective asses and do something. So it seems that it depends heavily on the person in question.

But still, I do believe that some people are misaligned; some people are not maximising their utility and are doing the wrong thing. It is up to you therefore to assess your own situation and attempt to see if you would be better off changing the amount of time you spend achieving goals or performing escapist actions.

I don't write very depressed anymore. I hope you don't mistake that for my worldview having changed, because it hasn't. I don't think much anymore about how absolutely horrible this all is, and how no one seems to care that we are forcing toil and pain onto others. And after we've done all that, we tell them they have no right to commit get the hell out of here? Not that committing suicide makes everything about the suffering and misery imposed hunky-dory, St. Caplan.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Things we don't need

I really detest it when people are 'proud' of their country. A country is just a land mass cordoned off by humans for their exclusive use. Being proud of your country is pretty close to nepotism, or even racism, in my book, since you're inherently favouring people of your 'kin' over others, for next to no reason at all. Every country has geniuses and great artists and bla bla bla you know the drill. Nothing separates any country from another except silly human memes. Those silly human memes include languages and laws, by the way. See below for those.

More than one language
It is absolutely unnecessary for human beings to have more than one language, except for of course, sign language for the hearing impaired. It's not anyone's fault for this of course, but procrastinating and not doing anything about it, or WORSE KEEPING YOUR LANGUAGE BECAUSE OF SOME STUPID NOTION ABOUT COUNTRY OR CULTURE (meaningless) is not a good thing at all. Culture by the way, is not entirely a bad thing if it makes people happy, but doing things for the sake of it is absolutely stupid. I could create a culture right now from nothing and it would be no more meaningful than your culture developed over thousands of years. Fighting to protect culture is not something we should invest time in, and should not be something that causes hatred and divides the human race.

You may say that it is an almost impossible task to unite people in language, but the thing is, a lot of even small efforts can have large impacts. Besides, we don't even know if it is a hard task yet, BECAUSE NO GOVERNMENT IS ACTUALLY TRYING TO DO THIS. If every government agreed to do this, then in a few generations everyone would have the same language, I am sure of this.

Individual governments
Individual governments allow for separation of people and foster hatred. World government, as totalitarian and scary as that sounds, would be a step forward in uniting people together, so long as (a it has a constitution of rational humanitarian laws guaranteed for all divisions (there do need to be divisions, otherwise we would need to refer to locations by co-ordinates). What I am talking about is basically a souped-up UN. Separate places may have SLIGHTLY different laws, let's say, but since immigration is absolutely unrestricted, and no one can create crazy anti-human rights laws due to the constitution, things work out just as they did before except people are a lot more sane, and a lot less divided. (I'd mention that one law should be 'no reproduction', but baby steps, people, baby steps). This bit is pretty much open to debate, because I'm not too sure of it myself. I'm not sure there's actually a point in governments making new laws unless some new development in technology calls for it - as soon as you make sure there's enough to protect humans from each other and still allows them all the freedom they can get their grubby little hands on (joking), there isn't much left to do that isn't bullshitting about the place.

If there is no difference between humans of one country and humans of another country, then there is no reason to restrict immigration. Nothing makes foreigners different from natives, except for dangerous memes and the ever-present in-group bias. What would be best for humanity would be for that same "In-group" mentality to be harnessed so that instead of a tribe or a town or a country being the 'group', instead the group is humans themselves. And then we can extend that group further, into animals and alien species. Until we all die out from refusing to breeding. Heartwarming.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The Immoral Wizard

I don't have a lot to say on this matter, so this may be an exceedingly short post. However, it's still something that I find absolutely atrocious. Even if you're not an antinatalist you should be able to understand to some extent I hope.

Tom creates a pig out of thin air because he's a wizard. No more explanation necessary. Who is indebted to whom? While you may at first think that the pig is indebted to the wizard, things don't necessarily work out that way if we think past our natural biases. The wizard cannot at once assume he has a debt to claim, and force the pig into a life of slavery and hardship (to pay for the wizard's retirement or look after the wizard when he is older for example). One one hand, surely sentient or near-sentient beings have RIGHTS and cannot be owned from the start by anyone! And moreover, if anyone is in debt here, it is surely the wizard, who took a risk on a life that was not his; he created the pig's life, so he is de facto responsible for any suffering the pig undergoes. Therefore HE is indebted far more to the pig than the pig is indebted to Tom.

What do I mean by this? Well what I mean is, the traditional practice of raising children to become moneymakers for the purpose of not dying alone and with money troubles is horrible. One, that's almost slavery. Almost. Two, surely something's gone wrong here - if anything the opposite scenario should take place! The only possible way you might expect a return from your children would be either (a out of love, biological love NOT BECAUSE YOU ARE A GOOD PERSON, or because (b you did not create them, but rather saved them from being parentless by adoption. And even then, they have rights. They aren't REQUIRED to do anything in return for your favour. You did not sign a contract with them. You forced it onto them.

And remember, forcing your dreams onto a child is basically the same sort of scenario too!

Take care of your children. Being a parent is not something you should be rewarded for, it's a responsibility. You signed no contract with the child saying they should repay you. It's also wrong if you're a biological parent, but you know the drill.

I can't think of how to edit this post, so I'll leave it as it is, a little rough around the edges. May come back to it later.