Sunday, March 18, 2012

An acceptable reality vs. an unacceptable reality

Many people seem to think that I'm against the existence of suffering solely on the grounds that it is a negative phenomenon, and that I'm promoting a futuristic utopia of nothing but unfeeling robots in its place. To extinguish this false notion, I'd like to present two sets of negative sensations -- one acceptable and the other not so acceptable.

Please note that these sets are somewhat subjective; the real solution would entail that each consciousness immerse itself within a simulation perfectly customized to its particular preferences -- at least, so long as said preferences do not interfere with the fundamental teachings and meta-teachings of the society, in case the consciousnesses ever need to leave their respective simulations.

Unacceptable Sensations

Suicidality and extreme depression
Panic attacks
Pain caused by cancers and other deadly diseases
Physical torture
Nausea and any intensely uncomfortable stomach sensations
Trigeminal neuralgia
Passing kidney stones
Stab wounds
Bullet wounds
Natural childbirth

Acceptable Sensations

Stubbed toes
Scrapes and bruises
Pulled muscles (excluding some back muscles, anyway)
Headaches (possibly excluding migraines)
Cold and hot (excluding extreme burns, frostbite, etc.)

The latter set wouldn't really make the world such a horrible place, honestly. If that's all that our children had to look forward to, then I don't think that your having children would be that big of a deal, even in spite of the fundamental nature of deprivation as a cause of discomfort. Too bad for you -- and me -- that these are definitely not the only possibilities, and that set 1 must also be accounted for.


  1. I disagree. None of the negative sensations in both sets are acceptable for me.

  2. Why would it be so terrible to be born into a world where the greatest tragedy is that you have to scratch your arm once in a while? Keep in mind that euthanasia would still exist, so if anyone really wanted to take that option, they could. They also would not suffer at all during the process of death, physically or emotionally, and would be incapable of feeling intense fear or anxiety.

    In any case, whether it's better to live in a world without itches or stubbed toes, realistically, inviting stubbed toes entails inviting starvation and mutilation. The question is only philosophical for now.