domingo, 8 de mayo de 2011

Is Life Overrated?

Have you ever heard that statement? It's a very valid question, I would say.

Does life give us mostly good moments or are good moments the exceptions during our lifetime? Other than writing down in two-column books good and bad moments every single time we feel we are having one of either kind, how can we measure reality in order to state something true rather than a lie?

Of course, we need to accept the fact that different individuals will tend to qualify different moments differently. For some persons the same exact happenings that will be qualified negatively by others, will be qualified positively by them.

Yes, we need to obtain statistics on these subjects. If you make a search with the terms you will find plenty of individual and group cases dealing with the fact that "Life is overrated". However, it isn't only life that is overrated, but a number of other things that some consider "great" and finally end up deserving no more than the qualification of "overrated".

We need to focus here on the subject of life itself. It's life being overrated that we are concerned about.

When we say that life is overrated we mean that the experience or opportunity of living is, after all, considered to be something better than it really is. In other words, we imply that being alive is not such a great event, after all. And, of course, the forced conclusion would be that if the event is not so good, why not to do something to end it sooner rather than letting it show more moments that we won't like—along, of course, with the few more moments that we might like.

Socially sanctioned suicide would be the intelligent response of human societies to the fact that life is effectively overrated.

A lot of belief systems consider that whoever ends their own life will suffer—even dead—not so nice consequences. The Christian belief is that suicidal persons do not go to heaven. The diversity of cultures created by our species must certainly include cultures that didn't condemn suicide or even would consider it socially valuable. Modern muslims combined with political causes do argue that suicide in the name of "holy war" will result in great prizes in the after life.

For people who would rather not guide themselves by what these religious systems command, how would they consider suicide?

Probably the most reason oriented opinion will tend to argue that life is, ultimately, the responsibility of the living creature. Today law enforcement persons have the legal obligation of not allowing anybody to commit suicide. It is their obligation to do anything they can to stop anybody from committing self murder—as it is considered. Just as it is a crime to take somebody else's life, it is also a crime to take your own life.

The main difference between taking your own and somebody else's life are the possible consequences of the action. Nothing can be done against you—to punish you—if you succeed in taking your own life. As a matter of fact, if you are a free person—that is, if you aren't serving prison time—nobody can punish you because you tried to commit suicide but didn't succeed. Probably inside jails different internal rules might have developed to deal with suicidal inmates.

Does it make sense to enforce actions to stop somebody from committing suicide? Sincerely, any sense it might make is strictly a matter of opinion. This is that sort of issue to be argued by all sides endlessly. No side can be "right" or "wrong"; it is a matter of opinion; that is, it is a matter of personal position.

And that is what your own life should be: a matter of personal will, a matter of personal decision. Whether you live or die is within your power. In other words, it is one of those basic human rights that should be universally respected.

Being this the case, why do our supposedly vanguardist and modern societies do not provide to individuals the means to peaceful, oriented and planned suicides?

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