Tuesday 9 April 2024

Suicide Pills will be welcomed by many/ most of the public, for at least three reasons

When (not if) the plan for mass free distribution of painless-suicide pills gets unveiled; it will be welcomed by many or most of the Western public - for at least three reasons:


1. Fear: Because so many people fear that they will suffer while dying. 

It doesn't matter that prolonged or extreme suffering is usually preventable - because some risk of a painful death cannot be eliminated... except by pre-emption. (Prevention is the best cure!) 

And 2020 shows how easily extreme fears can be whipped-up by the Establishment, and how resistant the most-terrified can be to reason or reassurance...

Probably because - in a world that believes death is annihilation - health has taken the place of religion (including for most churches); and current suffering (of almost any degree or duration) becomes regarded as an intolerable violation.


2. Altruism: Because some people regard the death of people such as themselves as a benefit for the world. 

"With me and mine out of the way; there will be more for everyone else."

Indeed, plenty of people claim to regard human beings as a plague on the biosphere - whose elimination would be better for all other living things... and much better for The Climate! 

Thus suicide is an expression of ultimate altruism! In a world where avoidance of suffering is the highest value - the best way permanently to reduce our carbon footprint, to walk lightly upon the earth, to minimize finite-resource consumption - is to offer our own death as a willing sacrifice to the goddess of environmentalism.

3. Despair: Because the mass majority are materialists who, at bottom, regard reality as purposeless and meaningless; and who therefore live only for the satisfactions of this-life. 

Such people have no strong reason to stay alive - because their life is going nowhere except death, and has no meaning except whatever comforting "delusion" they themselves try to invent. 

Therefore; as soon as life starts to go badly - overall; then why bother with it? 


For such reasons as the above; I suspect that plans for mass provision of painless suicide pills will find themselves pushing at an open door. 

Especially if the Western Establishment succeed in escalating the Fire Nation and Arrakis conflicts into all-out world war - with its high-likelihood of causing widespread violence, disease and famine; then the Western masses will be biting-off the hands of state-sanctioned death-draught feeders, in their eagerness to get hold of the medicine.

Indeed; it seems far more likely that the masses will protest against the ineffectiveness (or "inequity") of suicide pill distribution, then to protest against the Establishment encouraging suicide. 


Ron Tomlinson said...

Bruce, should we examine our metaphysical assumptions directly or only when necessary during the pursuit of a purpose?

Maybe there's an analogy with therapeutic culture. If a man focuses on feelings/relationships instead of on his purposeful work then he risks messing up both the feelings/relationships *and* his work. Whereas if he focuses on the work then the others things will eventually fall into place and continue to provide useful signals.

By the by if Richards Dawkins focussed sincerely on defending/promoting cultural Christianity it would eventually lead him to God!

Bruce Charlton said...

@Ron - I believe that we, unlike earlier generations, *must* understand and evaluate our ultimate assumptions concerning the nature of reality - in order that we can take responsibility for our beliefs.

Francis Berger said...

As you note, anyone who scoffs or guffaws at any of this would do well to remember how effectively fear, altruism, and despair motivated people into receiving pecks a few years ago. I suspect many have yet to come to terms with that whole demonic mess.

cecil1 said...

This prediction is actually already here. See here:


This is Canada in a picture now. Anyone who thinks this statement doesn't reflect a whole worldview, and attitude of the bureaucratic state towards the populace of the living, doesn't understand what's being said here. I doubt this 'journo' fully grasps it.

Canadian society has been so artfully manipulated our citizens no longer have constitutional rights that are not subject to revocation in the name of Social Welfare. There are no citizens here, only masses in a state of indiscriminate 'equality', a state of de facto slavery.

“The world is not dying, it is being killed. And the people that are killing it have names and addresses.” -Sam Hyde

Bruce Charlton said...

@Frank - The great advantage of a suicide pill scheme, from the point of view of the spiritual war, is that it is something that people would choose to do to themselves from sinful motivations (and bearing in mind that the modern concept of altruism is itself evil e.g. https://charltonteaching.blogspot.com/search?q=altruism).

Bruce Charlton said...

... Plus, as I just see, your own current post!: https://www.francisberger.com/blog/placing-the-nothing-and-non-existence-of-the-other-over-ones-own-nothing-and-non-exsistence

Bruce Charlton said...

@cecil1 - Indeed. There is still significant resistance in the UK especially among those (such as doctors) who would be required to provide the "assistance" - i.e. who would be state executioners.

This would be overcome if the need for a medical murderer was eliminated, by self-administered suicide.

2020 seems to tell us that the terror-panic of a (created) crisis can massively manipulate the behaviour of a modern Western population.

Bruce Charlton said...

Alteo has left a comment:

The idea of suicide does not require materialism. I'm a philosopher and I see my life as an instrument for philosophical work. When my philosophical work will be finished, I don't see a point of continuing live.

Most people live because they are biological alive organism and life wants to persist and continue itself through the self-reproduction aka having kids.

(...) I don't think that my consciousness is my body, so I don't have attachment to it. For me it's like shoes that I need to be present in this world. (...)

Bruce Charlton said...

@Alteo - "The idea of suicide does not require materialism."

Well, your comment confirms my point exactly!

But my argument is Not that suicide *requires* materialism. I am saying that there needs to be a spiritual reason Not to commit suicide; as soon as life loses its savour or becomes unpleasant - and for a materialist there is no such reason.

i.e. for a materialist there is no strong reason not to commit suicide.

Indeed, remaining alive in order to do philosophical, or any other kind, of work also *implicitly* entails some spiritual reason that goes beyond your materialist/ biological rationale for life.

If you reflected deeply on that, you would undoubtedly find that you actually have some deep metaphysical assumption about life's purpose and meaning that contradicts your superficial self-understanding.

Laeth said...

a little bit of a tangent, but: what is your opinion on seppuku, and other forms of 'honor suicide'?

Bruce Charlton said...

@Laeth - My understanding is that - (in general) after death people get (subjectively) what they want; so that ritual suicide needs to be understood in terms of the metaphysical philosophy that rationalizes it - within-which it makes sense, and serves some purpose. I cannot remember (if I ever knew) what the ancient Japanese regarded as the fate of the post-mortal soul - with or without seppuku; but I suppose that is what matters.

From a Christian point of view, seppuku would probably indicate some kind of anti-Christian or un-Christian perspective - and seems unlikely to be associated with the desire for salvation.

Nico's Way said...

Any study of the nature of man and life will always lead to cynicism for people with a certain softness of spirit. And while people say they don't believe in anything more than this material world, their heart still yearns for more.

These are the secular Ricky Gervais types. They see that life really is truly horrible and doomed, so decide correctly to have no children. Because how can you bring a child into the world knowing that it too will face it's innocence crushed just like yours (they lie to themselves that its politics etc, but really it's the tragedy that life is for conscious beings).

But now everything has changed! Transcendence is mine. It came by fluke or miracle. But it is now solved for me. And your blog has helped which I thank you for.

But it could not have happened without in my case extreme spiritual suffering. That suffering that bores into the depths of a man, a painful experience but a necessary one. Only having this long experience has led to the transcendent place I am now in. That not only is God real but that I profoundly know it to be true to an almost invincible sense. It trembles through me at times. And now I know that there are higher beings sculpting souls here. I sense them. I know they know me. They send messages via the "media". A profound machine has been developed that is bringing fourth thousands of saved souls, I cannot be alone!

Am I mad? If I am, then I choose madness!