Re: prison and suicide

D.den Otter (
Thu, 02 Dec 1999 02:24:11 +0100

> From: Rob Harris <>

> Rob wrote:
> >> What would you do, faced with imprisonment and butt rape for the rest of
> your days? Survive?
> >> You'd be searching for the nearest sturdy beam just like the rest of us.
> Harvey wrote:
> >This sounds like every prison in America, yet most people sentenced to life
> >imprisonment do not commit suicide. They fight, they plan escapes, they
> >move up within the prison hierarchy.
> >Other countries have worse prisons including regular torture and rape.
> >Statistically speaking, most people do not give up and commit suicide.
> >Somehow, people endure and struggle to survive under the most horrendous of
> >circumstances.
> Yeah, the way I put it across did imply that everyone would kill themselves,
> but my intention was to counter the argument that all would survive, unless
> they are in logical error, put by Eliezer.

That wasn't put by Eliezer, but by me. My point is that killing yourself (permanently) is stupid because it robs you of a potentially infinite amount of "pleasure points" (pleasure being the interim meaning of life because all our goals are based on the pleasure-discomfort principle, the carrot and the stick). Why do we think that a certain action or goal is good? Because it makes us *feel good*. Therefore, the logical thing to do is to stay alive and be pleasured whenever possible until you find something more meaningful, if there is such a thing at all.

Sure, people will kill themselves in difficult situations (and/or because their brains are out of balance), but strictly speaking this isn't rational, certainly not in this day and age with its prospect of immortality and sustainable mood enhancement (among other things).

See also: