Re: PHIL: Extropy, Boundaries and Suicide

Michael Lorrey (
Thu, 26 Feb 1998 20:40:46 -0500

den Otter wrote:

> ----------
> Darren Reynolds <> wrote:
> > "True freedom requires a life without boundaries."
> Agreed.


> > This must surprise a lot of list members, who seem to take a far more
> > libertarian view of ethics. Many here seem to take the view that it's OK to
> > do what you like, so long as you don't harm anyone else. I challenge those
> > people to place a boundary around causing "harm to anyone else".
> > Every action a person takes will affect every other person to some small extent.
> > You can't live your life without causing harm to someone else. All you can
> > do is mitigate the degree of harm whilst promoting your objectives. I for
> > one have an interest in the "rational ethics" declared in the introduction.
> If you want to follow rational ethics, than you only have to worry about the
> most apparent damage done to others (or, more specifically: can I get away
> with it?) "Not damaging others" should not become a mindless dogma/taboo,
> that wouldn't be rational.

The error in logic here is that the writer assumes that all influence one has on others
is harmful, and that harming others is some sort of capital offense. It is not, it is
more a recommended practice, more of a cultural boundary issue, than one of criminal
action. It does not prhibit it, but does expect you to pay damages if the one harmed
feels that would mitigate the situation. Like wise, not all influence on others is
harmful, and much may be highly beneficial, and usually educational. Of course,
busybodying yourself with somebody else's life is also considered by those who value
their privacy to be rather rude, and in rare instances, the death penalty seems rather
appropriate. ;)

> > Which brings me, finally, to the point.
> >
> > Someone you know, rationally, carefully and thoughtfully, decides that it
> > is time to end their life. Such an action has a number of easily
> > identifiable anti-Extropic effects.
> >
> > What is the right thing to do? Do you give the person their liberty, or do
> > you exercise your "ethics for survival and flourishing" and forcibly remove
> > it?
> >From a rational ethics point of view, the choice is easy: you try to prevent
> the permanent destruction of someone you care about, even if this person
> doesn't want to be saved *at this time*. Freedom of choice does not apply
> to the mentally ill, IMO, just like it doesn't apply to small children. The only
> rational reason why someone would want to die is unbearable (mental or
> physical) suffering. If this can't be cured by today's medicine, euthanasia
> and cryonic suspension are in order. If the person in question is revived
> at some point in the future, he will be cured of all his physical and mental
> disorders, *and* he'll be hedonistically engineered so that satisfaction is
> guaranteed. And on this day, he will surely thank you from saving him
> from himself.

Sorry, the last thing I would want any do gooder to do is save me from myself. A drunk
or addict cannot get sober solely through the actions of others, but only through the
personal will to do so, nor should a person who has decided to end their lives be
forcibly saved and then brainwashed by the shrink establishment into thanking people for
doing so. Just as the freedom of speech means that one has the freedom to NOT speak, the
right to life guarrantees that the individual has the right to decide when NOT to live,
otherwise, it is no right at all.

   Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------ Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
MikeySoft: Graphic Design/Animation/Publishing/Engineering
How many fnords did you see before breakfast today?