The Instigator
biggizzle93
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
Cody_Franklin
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Suicide, is it logical?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Cody_Franklin
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/10/2010 Category: Science
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,389 times Debate No: 11705
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (24)
Votes (4)

 

biggizzle93

Pro

You are one small person on one small land mass on one small planet in one small solar system in one small galaxy in one enormous, ever-expanding, infinite universe. There are more than six billion other people in the world just like you. Even if you were to affect all these people it would still have no significant effect if your looking at the big picture. Our planet is not even a grain of salt in comparison to the universe if it was modeled as a football stadium. If your even smaller than that, how in any way are you significant even if you touched the lives of all the people on your tiny grain of salt. Whether we live or die, it simply does not matter. Since, death is imminent, is it not locigal that we all commit suicide and not delay the inevitable? I do no want any religious or emotional arguments, I want to keep this debate solely philosophical.

Round 1- tell me why you disagree
Round 2- discuss the logic behind suicide (or absence of)
Round 3- closing arguments

I welcome and encourage any intelligent debater to participate.
Cody_Franklin

Con

Since Round 1 is only for opening statements, I would assume, I'll keep it brief (at least, as brief as I can keep it).

Your entire justification of "logical suicide" is based upon the premise that, if one does not have an outside sanction upon one's exist, one shouldn't exist at all - that there is no warrant for one's existence. However, I agree with Ayn Rand when she says in Anthem, "I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction."

You certainly could say, I am sure, that a person's life has no "wider significance" in terms of a universal picture; however, justifying suicide based upon that premise presumes that one's justification for living is based upon service to some wider cause, or upon one's place in the "bigger picture"; it presumes that one has no reason to live, and that, if such reasons do exist, that they are not a sufficient justification for existence.

I agree with you that, in a wider context - let's say, a universal context - a man's life probably has no particular impact or significance; that much I'll grant you. Even granting that, I would contend that a man has an absolute right to exist for his own sake - that he shouldn't be morally obligated to sacrifice his life for the sake of the life of any other man or animal, nor should he be bound by arbitrary edict to sacrifice himself for the sake of a "greater cause", or even for the lack thereof. In terms of reality, a living being has two choices: life or death; that is, existence or nonexistence. By mere virtue of his body, a man - the highest form of life, being both living and "gifted" by nature with reason, continues to sustain his own life; or rather, his body sustains his life, while his mind directs him to the fuel necessary to power the body's life-sustaining processes.

From this, we can derive that a man's life is an end in itself, in that no secondary value can exist without a living valuer to ascribe the value. That which the rational man values is the function of his reasoning mind, and is what guides his action. To achieve these values, and to gain that sense of joy as a result of the successful pursuit of one's rational values is that feeling we call happiness; naturally, a man can only be expected to live for his own happiness as his highest ethical purpose (and as the best gauge of his success), with his life as the ultimate value by which to judge and direct his actions; that is to say, a man, by acting in accordance with the inexorable facts of reality, ascribes purpose to his own life, and judges his action toward that purpose by that standard which is his life.

I say all of that to say this: assuming that suicide is logically justified on your part is to implicitly presume one's service to a "greater cause" to be the highest (and only) ethical purpose in one's life, and that the absence of a cause to serve justifies - and even obligates - a man's taking of his own life, since - according to your premises - there can be no other justification - no other warrant and sanction - for a man's existence; however, it's very clear that one's existence isn't sanctioned by the outside causes he serves, but by one's nature as a living, rational being.

Not too brief, but I apologize.

Let me simply put it this way: if you say that suicide is logical, you may want to check your premises.
Debate Round No. 1
biggizzle93

Pro

Every man should have the right to live, but your perception is somewhat flawed. You are looking at life from a humanitarian perspective. You are essentially spitting out preaches of human rights activists verbatim. It's BS. Aren't we the wise men? Shouldn't we learn from the generations of the past? The billions who have died throughout the time mankind has spent on Earth? All these lives were wasted. What did they do? I can't recall, you can't recall, and I'm sure nobody else on commenting on this debate can recall. These people didn't even have a significant impact on our lives which are just as minuscule as theirs. Even if they did, it would be trivial. Our lives are simply trivial, filled with trivial days and trivial actions. In the end it won't matter, so in essence, what we do in life shouldn't matter, therefore if there is no meaning to life one should not live, hence my reasoning for suicide as a logical escape from our insignificant lives.

Furthermore, Albert Einstein said that, "only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile." Considering he was possibly the wisest intellectual in the last 200 years, I am going to go out on a limb here and agree with him. We are obligated, whether it is ethically, religiously, or culturally to help others through periods of strife whenever they arise. Otherwise, our life is considered meaningless in a philosophical sense determined by the general population in society. Einstein was one who saw the big picture. He knew that to have a truly meaningful life, one must have an exorbitant impact on the universe around him. This impact is nearly impossible in our Type 0 society on the Kardashev Scale. It is not until we reach a Type 3 or 4 civilizations that humanity can harness the power necessary to impact the universe, rendering meaningful life a feasible possibility. I will not live to see this occurrence and neither will your great great grandchildren. I am trying to emphasize the fact that it will take tens of thousands of years of developments in technology, theoretical physics, chemistry, economies, political engagement, and philosophy to even attempt to have a human being have a worthwhile impact on the universe.

Now, that I have shown how improbable it is to impact the universe and by default lead a meaningful life, I would like to discuss something else. Let's say that you led a meaningful life even though it is literally impossible. This life does not matter. You are going to die anyways. So let's say we spent the next thousands of years investing time in having a greater reach in the universe and someone actually did. He or she is going to die sooner or later. Death is the only guarantee in life. Logically speaking, suicide is a way of speeding up natural processes. Is that not what modern society does anyway? Are we not always making things faster? Making ourselves increasingly productive? Trying to get things done efficiently and quickly? The most efficient life is one not lived. Suicide does not have to be an emotional escape. It should be recognized as logical passage.

Cody, I would like to thank you for your intriguing response, although I could not disagree with you more. Your argument simply serves to reaffirm your reasoning to continue with your own personal life. It strengthens your reasoning for self-importance. Wake up, man. The MTV Rock the Vote commercials in which they repeatedly say that "one vote counts" is BS. One vote does not count. One vote in a 6.7 billion is less than 0.00000001%. That seems quite inconsequential to me. That does not sway the votes in anyway. That person's vote was trivial. It simply did not matter. Comparing it to real life, yours does not matter and neither does mine nor the people viewing the webpage.

This response is not intended to be a personal attack on any individual, rather a retort that was necessary to properly reply to Cody Franklin. Excuse me for any rigidness, but I stand by everything I wrote.
Cody_Franklin

Con

If you can really argue that "every man should have the right to live", you directly contradict the notion that suicide is a logical course of action. At the point that you argue man's right to life - that man is both the warrant and the sanction upon his existence - it becomes impossible to argue that one should logically be directed to forfeit that right in pursuit of "speeding up the inevitable".

Like I said, the warrant for man's existence is neither the impact he makes on others nor the "greater cause" he serves; man's life is an end in itself, with his personal happiness as the highest goal to which he can aspire. I really don't care whether people 1,000 years from now remember my achievements, nor does it matter to people who lived 1,000 years ago whether I remember theirs. Man's productive achievement isn't a tribute to his fellow man - it is a monument to his own rational values, and a conduit to his happiness.

Let me again put it this way: whether there is a "greater meaning" is irrelevant; the fact that the meaning for an individual's life stems from that individual's existence is what sanctions his existence, and prevents suicide from being a logical option.

When you say "our lives are insignificant", I must ask, "to whom"?

Let me be the first to say that I don't care what Einstein said, especially when his quote reflects the kind of dogmatic, self-sacrificial garbage that has been responsible for some of the greatest travesties in human history. If man has a right to live for his own sake, as you agree, you contradict yourself in agreeing with Einstein that man must be a slave to his fellow men. Protip: Einstein was a physicist, not a philosopher.

For you to say that man is obligated to help others, and that an individual's worth is gauged by "society" (which only means a majority of individuals) is to force all men everywhere to assume the role of servants - slaves - human sacrifices who must be ready to give up their right to life, liberty, and property to any needy parasite who strolls (or crawls) by. I can see why you might consider suicide in that kind of a universe. After all, if man can't live for his own sake, why live at all? Thankfully, in a world ruled by logic, the rationally selfish man has no reason to die.

For your information, I do lead a meaningful life. Perhaps not by your definition, which requires me to tear myself to shreds and distribute the pieces amongst my comrades or to some unaccountable, unachievable "greater good", but I find it meaningful in my own way nevertheless; and, so long as I live a rational, happy life, what right have you to say that suicide is the logical option for me? What right have you to demand that I sacrifice my life due to the lack of a collectivist cause requiring my sacrifice? You're asking for my life, without discretion concerning what I sacrifice it to. In an irrational universe such as yours, suicide may be a viable option. Again, though, I say - not in my universe, where I am both the warrant and the sanction upon my being. No collective cause (or lack thereof) may demand my life from me, nor must any such cause even exist to justify my own existence.

Once again, I see you telling me that my life doesn't matter; and once again, I find myself asking you, "why"?

"Your argument simply serves to reaffirm your reasoning to continue with your own personal life. It strengthens your reasoning for self-importance."

Thank you. Yes, it does; but, it not only affirms my reason for living - the concept my argument represents warrants the existence of every man, and tells him that he may survive and be happy without being sacrificed by any other man, and that he will be successful if he productively utilizes his rational faculty. This is the right you've agreed is intrinsic to man, and it is the same right which you have contradictorily argued against due to lack of a "greater cause" to sacrifice oneself for.

If my life, or the life of any other rational man, has a purpose - a meaning - in the context of individual existence - then why should I - or anyone else - care that no one else actively supports my existence, or even the absence of existence? Also, I really don't care what the other 6.999999999 billion people voted for, so long as it doesn't involve robbing me of my rights. Let them eat cake, I say.

So, let's revisit the question. Is suicide logical? Well, let's see. Man has the right to life - we agree to that. Man is both the warrant and sanction upon his own existence. He ascribes purpose to his own life (with the ultimate purpose being happiness). His survival does not require the approval of any other person, nor any "larger cause".

For a rational man, who obeys the laws of logic, there is a reason to exist. Suicide is clearly illogical to a man pursuing his own happiness, on his terms, without sacrificing himself to others or others to himself.

I don't know about you, but I have no reason to commit suicide. I don't worry about noble causes, or affecting the entirety of human kind (or even the universe!). I agree with Rand yet again, concerning my right to live and to pursue happiness as my ultimate purpose, when she writes, "The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me."

In your universe, where men must exist simultaneously as human sacrifices and parasites to survive and have "meaning", suicide may be logical. In my universe, however, where we both exist, I again urge you to check your premises.
Debate Round No. 2
biggizzle93

Pro

biggizzle93 forfeited this round.
Cody_Franklin

Con

I guess he was too busy checking those premises. Because the purpose for man's life lies with the man himself, it's clear that you negate.

Thanks.
Debate Round No. 3
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 7 years ago
Cody_Franklin
Don't just 7-point yourself for no reason.
Posted by biggizzle93 7 years ago
biggizzle93
i hate to be a dick an vote for myself but i think I'm gonna need it since I did not finish in time. I would still enjoy the chance to finish this debate.
Posted by biggizzle93 7 years ago
biggizzle93
damn i did not their was a time limit. Is it cool if I post my argument as a comment? I mean, in all fairness, why does it matter where I post the rebuttal? We are all here to simply debate, so it's up to you Cody_Franklin.
Posted by biggizzle93 7 years ago
biggizzle93
Feverish,
You amusement was not accounted for when I formulated my argumnet, simply an unintended outcome that is quite trivial to me.
Posted by biggizzle93 7 years ago
biggizzle93
J. Kenyon,
It is not death I fear. I only fear allowing an uneducated society which you so represent perfectly to be allowed to continue in such pitiful existence. I am here to educate you, for deatg is not feared by those who have lived wisely my friend.
Posted by feverish 7 years ago
feverish
Hey Big, I wasn't questioning your logic or your argument in general, just saying that some of your statements like "Whether we live or die, it simply does not matter." remind me of part of the Bible which has always amused me.
Posted by J.Kenyon 7 years ago
J.Kenyon
@Cody

It's not a tu quoque. One who is currently living (and has no plans to commit suicide in the near future) cannot coherently argue that life is pointless, as his choice to continue living is evidence of some reason (a POINT) in doing so.

PRO's purpose in continued existence is, I presume, fear of death. A pathetic purpose, no doubt, but a purpose all the same.
Posted by belle 7 years ago
belle
nope lol. still missing the point. according to nagel its impossible to have a "purpose" in the sense that you want. just think of it.... your life is meaningless... and then you do something which effects everything else in the universe.. if everything else in the universe is meaningless then how does your act have meaning?

any external source you go to to look for meaning won't give you an ultimate answer because you can ask in turn, and whats the meaning of that!? infinitely.

http://img.photobucket.com...

^^see!

the point is not to resign ourselves to nihilism either, but to realize that there is no "bigger purpose" to which we can dedicate ourselves too and yet at the same time go on, creating and living our own purposes.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 7 years ago
Cody_Franklin
Less commenting, more argument posting. :)
Posted by biggizzle93 7 years ago
biggizzle93
Feverish- I argue that suicide is logical, not that I am logical.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by belle 7 years ago
belle
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Vote Placed by studentathletechristian8 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by biggizzle93 7 years ago
biggizzle93
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Vote Placed by Cody_Franklin 7 years ago
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